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 Studený 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.