Opera Mini Euro Cup – 2008

Opera Mini vs. iPhone

Here is a funny ad I saw the other day:

Opera 9.5 Full Text History Search and Tabbed Browsing — Feature Myths and Tipps

If you ever wandered who was first, Firefox (FF) or Opera, in implementing the full text history search accessed in the address bar. In both, Opera and Firefox, the search covers at least page titles in addition to URLs. Bay the way I’m not talking about the feature called “nickname” or “keyword” in Opera and Firefox, respectively.

So far so good, as it’s a really nice feature and it doesn’t harm at all to have it in the best two browsers there are. But never the less I was curious as of who was actually the first to introduce the feature. Not that it’ll happen like with tabbed browsing or other really helpful function introduced to “the masses” by Opera.

Excursion on tabbed browsing

Only by the fact that NetCaptor -- Tabbed Browsing introducedpeople switching from IE to FF in lack of knowledge about Opera, Firefox has been awarded with being the inventor. Well, actually, it was more complicated than the simple FF vs. Opera. A project called NetCaptor in 1998 had tabbed browsing before others all though it was not a fully featured http web browser instead it used IE’s socalled Tradient Layout Engine. Opera had Multi Document Interface (MDI) before other browsers but tabbed browsing is claimed to have been in mozillas trunk before Opera extended their concept of multi docoment views. So I will close this side leap by breaking it down by a term by Adam Stiles:

“Actually, tabbed browsing is over 7 years old – Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, Safari and others can all trace their tabbed browsing DNA back to NetCaptor at some level.”

Back to Full Text History Search:

For one Opera 9.5 Alpha 3 introduced this feature publicly for the Norwegian browser in Sept. 2007. And as Pavel Studen├Ż lines out Opera not only searches URLs and page titles but also complete page contents (plus shows the last visit date in the result list). From trying out without knowing better so far FF 3 only searches URLs and page titles. Does any one know better about Firefox 3?

Sidenote: In Opera the index size for pages indexed in cache can be tuned through the Preference Editor by MaxVisitedPagesIndexSize (supposingly in KB, -1 means unlimited, i.e. limited by cache size I presume and 0 means deactivated). By the way, there is another way to access history search if you’d like to focus more on prettier results overview. And yet another hint for the use of Opera’s version: It sorts the results by hits on URLs followed by those in page titles and the like, thereby ignoring punctuations (all?). Hence, if you know right away you want to search titles or descriptions of pages only start with a punctuation like so: ;opera.

Opera everywhere

As much as I’m into open source and don’t like the consept of closed source software, Opera clearly is an exception! They even do really good ads:

(or download it)

Opera, Flash and Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn, Gutsy Gibbon and Hardy Heron also)

Note 08/01/08: There have been issues after the original plugin has been updated. See Ubuntu Forum, Bug description (workaround or fixed deb for firefox only which is version 9.0.115!) or comments below for more. Components have been removed that also opera needs! Yet another example why closed source is bad… Hence you might want to give gnash a go, i.e. open source flash. The new Flash version is meant to work with opera version > 9.50 Beta, though (see bottom note). Anyway, here it goes for Flash version \leq

Note 2008/04/19: Before you get all frustrated about Flash and Opera you might enjoy operas’ ads.

Here we go

To install Adobe Flash Player after you installed Opera in Ubuntu, I found the best way is to, once again, use the debian way:

sudo aptitude install flashplugin-nonfree

After the install routine is done you need to add the path to plugins options in opera. Alternatively you could link there. To find where the new binaries are located do:

dpkg -S flashplugin-nonfree
app-install-data: /usr/share/app-install/desktop/flashplugin-nonfree.desktop
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /var/cache/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/lintian/overrides/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/doc/flashplugin-nonfree
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/doc/flashplugin-nonfree/changelog.gz
flashplugin-nonfree: /usr/share/doc/flashplugin-nonfree/copyright

Update 2008/04/16: The correct “list flag” for dpkg would be -L instead of -S:

dpkg -L flashplugin-nonfree | grep -i 'lib'


Alternatively you could link the lib’s binary to Opera’s plugin directory:

sudo ln /usr/lib/flashplugin-nonfree/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/opera/plugins/

Some say you may need to restart opera in order for plugins to actually work. Fortunally, for me it work right away. In opera’s address field type opera:plugins to see what opera knows about flash.Update: See this blog on bleeding edge info on plugin’s development status if interested.


Update: This works for 7.04, a.k.a. Feisty Fawn, and 7.10, a.k.a. Gutsy Gibbon.

Update 2008/04/16: On a side note: There is the option reinstall for aptitude if one wants to make sure the newest files are all in the right places.

Update 2008/04/19:I stumbled upon the close to be release of Opera 9.5 which is currently in beta state (and has even more great features once again before Firefox has them ­čśë ). Supposingly the Debian package should get flash working. I tried the i386 version for Gutsy and it did work for me.

Update 2008/06/28: Here are some command line parameters you can start Opera with. Especially useful would be -debugplugin. To use it you have to open a terminal to see the additional information:

opera -debugplugin [Enter/Return Key]

Ubuntu, Opera, Flash and Feisty Fawn — Moved

This Post has been updated and, hence, a new address.

Ubuntu: Installing the Opera Browser via repository

It really is very simple, especially if you are familiar (like I was) with the Debian apt system. All you have to do for the 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” release as suggested by Ubuntu Community:

  1. Add the repository line to your sources.list by hand (sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list && sudo aptitude update) or via the GUI (Applications -> Add/Remove… -> Preferences -> Third-Party Software -> Add… and don’t mistakenly hit “Revert” afterwards; hit Close!):
    deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu feisty-commercial main
  2. Even though they suggest to search for “Opera” with the graphical user end (it’s called Synaptic Package Manager) it wouldn’t list it for me. So I went:
    sudo aptitude install opera
  3. Hit Enter for aptitudes question to install additional packages.

After the install run you find Opera listed in the Applications menu (in your Gnome desktop panel menu bar, i.e. upper left corner) sorted in as Internet Application. By the way, the standard keyboard shortcut for that menu is Alt+F1.

Edit: The code line above starting with “deb” is to be one single line!