I decided to install Opera (12.16, build 1860) for 64-bit Linux on my Ubuntu 13.10 notebook. Installation was as simple as going to the Opera website, which automatically determined my OS and presented me with an appropriate download link. I downloaded it, then double clicked on the DEB file in the folder where I’d put it in, via Nautilus. It then installed via Ubuntu Software Center. Absolutely no special, out-of-the-ordinary instructions. It’s no different than the way you’d install it for Mac OS X and Windows, and that’s the way it should be.
With all those positive feelings from just installing Opera for Linux, I fired it up and began to play around with it a bit. The interface is lean and clean like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. It’s not identical to the other browsers, but the interface is similar enough to quickly explore and discover how to operate it.
For example, there’s the menu button on the upper left corner (a lot like Firefox) that produces the drop-down menu where all the main functionality is located. The search window to the right knows about DuckDuckGo, my current search engine of choice. If you’re comfortable with any other modern browser, then you’ll immediately feel at home with Opera.
At this instance I’m writing this post with Opera. Everything nearly works with WordPress except dragging and dropping images into the application. I had to go back to the old-school way of loading the images via Add Media, and that’s with a selection menu. Otherwise WordPress’ Dashboard works the same for Opera as it does anywhere else.
Another test was to bring up the local OSM webpage and look at the map. Here I found that the graphics rendering is not as sharp as it is under Chrome and Firefox. It’s blurry. I’m wondering if there’s some sort of special setting to achieve better sharpness and acuity with images. I went over to my Flickr account and checked how it rendered images, and over there Opera rendered images identically as Chrome and Opera. So the softness is unique to OSM map tiles. I need to investigate this further.
Finally, I made a quick trip over to Youtube, and checked to see if Opera could play back HTML5 video. It can. It’s handling of HTML5 video is identical to how Firefox handles it. Audio and video were excellent in playback, without skips, stalls, or odd video artifacts.
Opera isn’t perfect, and its quirks make it the third out of three browsers I’d recommend for use on Linux. My selections are Firefox, Chrome, then Opera.
I figured out why the Open Street Map map was blurry. I had touched a slider on the bottom right edge that slightly enlarged the page. That caused the tile image to enlarge and in the process it caused the image to become blurry. Setting it back to its default produced a good sharp map image. So there is no problem with Opera displaying ODM maps. Now my selections are Firefox, followed closely by Opera, then Chrome.