I think I’ve been using the Opera browser for about a year now. I tried it out because that’s what you do, but I stuck with it because of what it could do. I have really found that, for my purposes and surfing habits, Opera is the best web browser of the current bunch (IE, Mozilla, Opera). IE is a better application platform, but that’s not quite the same as a browser.
The web is exactly that: a web. Hyperlinks weave disparate sites together into a rich tapestry of information, and I like being able to look at multiple parts of that tapestry at the same time. If I’m reading a site, or a story, I usually find several links I want to visit, so I click on them. In Opera (and in Mozilla now, as well), I can open these new pages up in separate windows (or tabs) within a single application space.
Right now, for example, I have 20 windows open in my Opera session. I’ve been snuffling about a variety of weblogs, and more than any other kind of site blogs are just full of interesting hyperlinks. Opera opens up these new windows quickly, and in the background. That way the flow of my reading isn’t interrupted.
When I exit Opera, it saves the list of windows that were open. So, when I start it up again, it re-opens them all, and I can carry on browsing where I left off. This is just so nice, I want more of it!
The feature I would really like to see in Opera (and Opera 7 is just round the corner, so fingers crossed) is the ability to save these sets of window setups.
For example, these 20 windows I now have open are mostly related to blogs and blogging. It would be great to save these to a file (say “bloggin.sav”), and then start with a clean slate. I could go back to this list of saved windows whenever I wanted to.
You can sort of do this now already in Opera 6, but it’s not exactly slick: you can create a new bookmarks folder, and stick the URLs of all the current windows into that folder. You can then use the “open all folder items” feature to open up all the URLs in one go. But you have to do the work of putting all those sites into the bookmarks folder yourself. Even a function to put all current windows into a bookmarks folder at once would be pretty cool.