Opera browser is simple and effective
- By Michael Cheek
- Jan 25, 1999
Tired of the browser battles? Want to eliminate Explorer and negate Netscape? Go to the
This little browsers arias dont quite reach the same peaks as the Big Two.
But Opera does a good job of supporting the Webs underlying Hypertext Markup
Language most of the time.
Opera 3.5, also known as Beta 10, comes from Opera Software, a 15-person company in
Norway. It is streamlined, easy to use and customizable without the overhead and
competitive ballyhoo of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Communicator.
Although Opera crashed my computer just after installation, it worked flawlessly after
that. High-traffic Web sites displayed normally.
Opera doesnt do channels, e-mail or other extras that you have to worry about.
The screen can keep multiple windows open, unlike Explorer and Communicator, which seem to
launch new clients at every link.
Opera could automate its window switching a little better, however.
The standard button bar along the top can tile or cascade the windows; there should be
a button for switching between open windows.
Opera has a handy knack for zooming in and out of a pagefrom 20 percent smaller
to 1,000 percent larger.
Just press the numeric keypads minus sign to shrink or the plus sign to expand.
The keypads asterisk symbol will return the page to its normal 100 percent size.
Another neat feature: Opera converts annoyingly unreadable designer pages into plain black
text on a white background.
Opera has the most difficulty with Dynamic HTML, an update to the standard HTML 3.2.
The browser does work with Java, although a download from Sun Microsystems Inc. at
http://www.sun.com is required. Youll find the information needed in Operas
Opera also fumbles on some pages that use tables and font control. Although the
information appears, it looks wacky.
The browser supports the Secure Sockets Layer 2.0 and 3.0 standards and most
Netscape-compatible plug-ins. Special versions display large text for users with impaired
The downloaded file amounts to only 1.3M for Microsoft Windows 9x and Windows NT; a
16-bit version for Windows 3.x without Java support also is available. Opera Software is
considering versions of the browser for Mac OS, OS/2 and Linux.