Although it slipped under the radar with everyone getting ramped up for the release of Firefox 3; the folks at Opera released a new version of their browser a few weeks ago. On June 12, Opera 9.5 was released, and apparently includes quite a few updates.
Opera is hoping to steal some of Firefox’s thunder, with a launch timed to fall just before the open-source darling’s version 3 unveiling. Like the new Firefox, Opera 9.5 (code-named Kestrel) has revamped its address bar, simplified its download dialog, improved content blocking, sped up performance, and tightened memory use. Its updated interface gives the browser a modern, 3D obsidian look. You’ll also find some unique new features, like the ability to sync your bookmarks among PCs using its hosted service. Although I found a few sites that didn’t fully support it, and occasionally ran into a stability issue, Opera’s problems are minor. With built-in e-mail, chat, newsreader, and even BitTorrent clients, Opera is a one-stop Internet shop, and it’s faster, safer, and more compatible than ever.
I have yet to install the new browser, but I’ll be sure to check it out. I am still a faithful Firefox user, but I do like using Opera from time to time. Although I have yet to do any serious testing on Firefox’s standards-compliance, I’ve always been frustrated by the quirks and bugs inside of Firefox that throw off its compliance. I’ve never noticed those problems in Opera, which is why I like testing my sites in that browser.
Although 99% of the world won’t see the page rendered the way you initially code it, it’s nice to see how the page is actually supposed to look when you write it according to the W3C standards.