Category: Opera

Internet Explorer (IE) vs. Safari vs. Firefox vs. Opera

By | August 14, 2007 | 74 Comments

It’s about time for another article. I really like unusual things to do, so will try something different this time too. You probably read dozens of articles with the similar name. Yes, it’s “Internet Explorer (IE) vs. Safari vs. Firefox vs. Opera”. However, I am not interested in web browsers features, speed at this moment. No, I will compare those web browsers web pages design. That’s right, enough of those regular “Internet Explorer (IE) vs. Safari vs. Firefox vs. Opera” articles. It’s time to try something new.

“Internet Explorer (IE) vs. Safari vs. Firefox vs. Opera” – Web Design Battle
I will analyze every web browser main web page and see how does it looks, what is good or bad, see if it renders correctly in every web browser (using browsershots.org), etc.

Before starting to review web design itself, let’s see how well it’s coded. We will use validator.w3.org.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/default.mspx – This page is not Valid (no Doctype found)! Failed validation, 209 Errors
Ouch.

http://en.www.mozilla.com/en/firefox/ – This Page Is Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict!
Good coding. No errors.

http://www.apple.com/safari/ – This page is not Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional! Failed validation, 3 Errors

Haven’t passed this test, but only 3 errors were found. Not bad.

http://www.opera.com – This Page Is Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict!

Good coding. No errors.

Now we will use browsershots.org to see if web pages are being rendered correctly in any web browser.

Internet Explorer – didn’t rendered correctly in a few web browsers.
Firefox – renders correctly in any web browser.
Safari – didn’t rendered correctly in a few web browsers.
Opera – renders correctly in any web browser.

Please note: rendering tests maybe be not accurate due rendering software.

OK, we’ve passed some regular tests, let’s review start pages web design now.

Firefox
Firefox Design
Click to Enlarge.

When you open web page for the first time, it gives you a very nice impression. Colors are very well organized; whole interface is not messed up with no need stuff. In the left there is very catchy “Download Firefox – Free” text/button so everyone will understand that this web browser is free. That’s a very good thing. Right after the text there is a version number, another great thing, helps you to know about the latest version and “Release Notes” tells you what’s new there.
Right after that, Firefox team presents some cool features, for example: “active protection”, “thousand useful add-ons”, etc. Although I think they should remove blue background from those red “check” markups, let’s go the right side now. We see awards, yet another great thing which can attract more potential users. In the footer I’ve also found a language selector, another plus. Now one more thing I didn’t like was their links system. “Download Firefox – Free” link is underlined which tells you that it’s a link, while links with text like “Enjoy a Better Web Experience” are more like promotional words than links, they are not underlined so you can’t say it’s a link (unless you mouse over on it). In the “Special Editions” corner there’s another different kind of link. This time when you mouse over, text become underlined. So there is like 3 different styles of linking which can confuse not experienced web surfers a bit.

Pros

  • Catchy download button.
  • Includes “FREE” in the start page.
  • Version number included.
  • Release notes.
  • No validation errors.
  • Site renders correctly in any web browser.
  • Reasons to try Firefox.
  • Possible to change language.

Cons

  • Links system might be confusing to new web users.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer Design
Click to Enlarge.

Although Internet Explorer start page contains so many errors, it does look nice. Actually, for me Internet Explorer page is more beautiful than any other web browser. It contains nice glassy buttons, some effects and well chosen colors. In a few words I would call it “Vista style”. Right after navigation there are some new features listed, for example: New Look, Tabs, Printing, etc. which gives you a nice impression of what you can expect from Internet Explorer browser. You can’t instantly find “download” button as it’s not really separated from whole content, that’s a bad thing. Links (in the picture) also needs some improvements, “download”, “take a tour” and “watch video” are same size, color, but only two of them are links. Yes, there is a small “arrow” which should tell you something, but I think that “watch video” shouldn’t look same as links because it’s not a link and it’s not a good idea to confuse site visitors. Right after promotional picture you can find a list of new features and reasons to try this browser. One more thing which I didn’t like was advertising in the right corner, that’s not professional.

Pros

  • Good looking site.
  • New features listed.
  • Reasons to try Internet Explorer 7.

Cons

  • Lots of validation errors.
  • Doesn’t renders well in all web browsers.
  • Links system might be confusing to new web users.
  • Advertising in the right corner.

Safari

Safari Design
Click to Enlarge.

Right after I’ve opened this page, thought: grey… Grey color is dominating there, from top navigation to background. For me grey color is more like a depression color so I really don’t like Safari start page color scheme. However, not everything is bad here. Big screenshot instantly allows you to see how does Safari look and it’s pretty easy to notice “Download Beta Now” button too, although it’s not so catchy as Firefox one. If they could add a full version number, that would be great. Right after button you can find word “FREE”. Another great thing; before downloading users should know, whether this browser is free or not. What we see next is the top 12 reasons to try Safari, yet one more plus. I kind a like their way of showing those 12 reasons with some fading. Looks nice and doesn’t require new page loading. First reason is “Blazing Performance”, and here you go, we see performance graph. Of course, Safari is the winner there. Yes, that’s another big plus to Safari web design. This trick helps to convince users and try Safari 3 Beta.

Pros

  • Reasons to try Safari.
  • Includes “FREE” in the start page.
  • Safari screenshot in the start page.
  • Performance graphs.
  • No new page loading required when viewing 12 reasons to try Safari.

Cons

  • 3 validation errors.
  • Grey (depressing color) dominates there.

Opera

Opera Design
Click to Enlarge.

OK, no offense, but for me this new design is the worst one. I used to like their previous tries, for example this one:

Opera Old Design

Not a perfect design (After Opera 9.2 it used to look even better), but much better than the current one. In the top I see old style grey buttons, not a good thing, it needs upgrade. After old navigation there’s a big picture, no idea why but it contains my.opera.com stuff and no browser screenshot, bad idea I would say. After that strange picture we see promotional text which says “The coolest, fastest, and most secure Web browser available”. Although that’s not a bad thing, but they should include some reasons why it’s so cool or so. In the right side we see green “Download” button. This button should include “FREE”, this is a MUST for Opera, click here to see why and that’s almost all, after download button we can find other “Opera Software” products promotions.

Pros

  • No validation errors.
  • Site renders correctly in any web browser.

Cons

  • Old style navigation.
  • No “reasons to try”.
  • Only a few words of text.
  • Where’s “FREE”?

Conclusion

If there would be a beauty contest, Internet Explorer start page would win, but it’s not all about beauty. Web design should render correctly in any web browser, contain most important information in the start page, have nice user friendly interface, etc. So… And the winner is… Firefox. It had no validation errors, nice interface, most important information listed, well chosen colors and much more. Regarding second place, probably that would be Safari, it had nice navigation and performance graph. Third goes Internet Explorer. I know, it’s cute design, but that’s not enough. And the last one… Opera. Start page needs serious improvements, maybe they will make a new design after Opera 9.5 is released, I don’t know.

Also, this is only my opinion.

EDIT: I’ve just rewrote my conclusion, Internet Explorer was in the second place due it’s beauty and third one – Safari. It’s really hard to decide.

What’s your favorite web design?

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EDIT2: Why those pages?
I have used Google Search and thought what would users type in order to find that web browser.

So it was like: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera. I took a first result (which most searchers clicks) and analyzed that page.

[digg-reddit-me]

Just Another Opera 9.5 Topic :-)

By | August 10, 2007 | 17 Comments

It’s Friday and seems there won’t be any Opera 9.5 build today. But that’s not the main point. Today I’ve asked then they will provide any more information about Opera 9.5. I am just curious, that’s not a crime (I hope so). After few minutes my question was deleted (even all other times it wasn’t), so maybe Opera Destop Team are just too tired to answer questions about Opera 9.5. Anyway, just a friendly advice: you could save more time by writing 1 line with text “No Opera 9.5 this week” instead of deleting people questions (me included) :-)

Opera 9.23, Build 8808 Released

By | August 9, 2007 | 0 Comments

It’s Thursday (not a Friday) today, but we got a new Opera 9.23 series release: Opera 9.23, Build 8808. This is not a final version, use it on your own risk.

Here’s a changelog:

  • More Speed Dial stability fixes
  • Fixed issue with some mouse wheels and scrolling up on Vista
  • Fixed another fuzzer crash

Download:
Windows MSI
Windows Classic
Macintosh
Unix

I guess we won’t get any new release tomorrow, or will we?

Opera 9.5. Is Tomorrow That Day?

By | August 9, 2007 | 6 Comments

Everyone is waiting for the very first Opera 9.5 public release. Tomorrow we should have another weekly or just some more news, so maybe Opera team will release it tomorrow? Since we are waiting for so long I think that it won’t be released tomorrow. Why not? My guess is that to get more time on Opera 9.5 polishing they will release Opera 9.23 Final as Opera 9.23 weekly (not a final version) was released last week already.

Oh well… I can be wrong, let’s wait and see.

Opera 9.23 Build 8805 Released

By | August 3, 2007 | 2 Comments

Today Opera pleased us with a new weekly verion of Opera 9.2x, althought everyone expected to see Opera 9.5, but updates are good anyway. There wasn’t something like a “changelog” in their post… But this new build contains security and stability fixes.

Windows MSI
Windows Classic
Macintosh
Unix

It’s not a final release, only a weekly, use it on your own risk.

10 Reasons Why Opera 10 (Peregrine) Will Be Special

By | July 31, 2007 | 17 Comments

I know, I know, it’s still long way to go and we even haven’t tried Opera 9.5 yet, but it’s worth to read anyway (I guess).

1. Come on, it’s Opera 10. That already makes it special.
2. New rendering engine.
3. Stunning performance.
4. More stability than ever before (no lies).
5. Increased security.
6. Very user-friendly interface. New skin I guess.
7. More applications that runs outside web browser.
8. Advanced stuff for web developers.
9. No more problems with various web pages. I guess that before Opera 10 first releases, Opera browser will already have like 2% +- market share (maybe more, depends on their strategy), so less web developers will ignore it.
10. Something BIG which makes you excite about it. We know that with every new Opera web browser release, they add something fantastic. That’s probably the best reason why Opera 10 will be so special.

Most of those features are basically announced with every new any web browser release… Oh well… Just my 2 cents… They keep hiding all the greatest information :-) So it’s more like a guess. Keep waiting for Opera 10.

More Details About Opera 9.5

By | July 27, 2007 | 0 Comments

While we are waiting for some new releases, “Opera Desktop Team” revealed more details about upcoming Opera 9.5 (codename Kestrel) release.

As it says in their “Screen reader support” post, here are some finished stuff:

Windows:

  • Good support for the Microsoft Accessibility API (MSAA).
  • Close cooperation with other screen reader vendors.

Mac:

  • Excellent support of the Mac API for Accessibility.
  • Excellent support of VoiceOver.

Yes, no Opera 9.5 builds today, maybe we will get it another day (hope so).

An Interview With DCT, MPack Developer

By | July 23, 2007 | 0 Comments

Somehow nothing interesting is going in the last few days, but today I’ve read something more interesting, it’s an interview with “DCT”, MPack developer.

More about MPack:

The project is not so profitable compared to other activities on the Internet. It’s just a business. While it makes income, we will work on it, and while we are interested in it, it will live.
“DCT”, one of three developers of the MPack infection kit
A year later, the MPack kit has become an increasingly popular tool, allowing data thieves and bot masters to take control of victims’ systems and steal personal information. The MPack infection kit has been blamed for hundreds of thousands of compromised computers.

And here’s what is bit more:

Anything else you’d like to add?
I would advise you to use the Opera browser with scripts and plug-ins disabled in order not to be caught by the MPack someday.

My “5 Things I’d Like To See In Opera” List

By | July 19, 2007 | 9 Comments

Post after post today, hope you like to read a lot.

Daniel Goldman tagged me in his “Blog tag: 5 things I’d like to see in Opera” post, so I couldn’t miss that. Here you go, my 5 things I’d like to see in Opera list:

1. Integrated inline spell check. This is probably one of the best features to have.
2. Web developer’s toolbar. I’ve actually noticed that more web developers are tend to use Firefox more than Opera. Since it is impossible to install Google, Alexa toolbar, I wish Opera team would make a toolbar where I would be able to see: Google PageRank, Alexa Rank and other great things (no widgets, please).
3. Smart auto update, something like Firefox got. You are surfing the web and then boom, a pleasant message: your update is ready to be installed.
4. More powerful RSS feeds reader. I would like to have a “Trash Can” or at least an “Undo” feature; sometimes I delete important news and can’t use CTRL+Z to get them back. Also: a button to check all the subscribed feeds at once (any time).
5. Actually I have 2 more wishes: Would like be able to delete multiple passwords in “saved passwords list” also an ability to add more “auto-complete” forms.

I was thinking to suggest a small arrow Arrowwhere the “Back” button is so I can see my previous visited pages and chose the one where I would like to come back. However, I can do that already by clicking on a button and holding for a few seconds. Didn’t knew about that.

5 to tag: Rowan Mulder, Paulius Jačionis, Ramūnas, Andy Beal, Rand Fishkin.

Here you go.

Once you’ve been tagged by someone, share your list (on your blog) of 5 things you’d like to see in Opera, and then tag up to 5 other people who will then post their own lists and tag up to 5 more people.

Thanks To Opera Team

By | July 19, 2007 | 1 Comment

Yesterday I’ve posted about Opera’s 9 “Inaccessible Links” bug (thanks to Kyle for reporting), guess what?

Opera team is reading this blog and they are working on that bug already. That’s fantastic news. I am surprised how powerful blogs can be.

Thank You!