Well, I’ve downloaded Opera 8, and am using it right now. A sleek browser that is fast and a joy to use. In my opinion there’s no other browser that comes close to the experience, either when I’m just browsing or working; all I need is just there, and it works smooth. I can’t recommend it enough, so if you haven’t already, go to Opera.com and download the browser right now.
As I’ve been using the beta versions of Opera 8 for quite some time myself, I’m not that surprised to see what is available and new in this version – but there are things I learn too1): I’m using the English version of Opera, but would like the Norwegian language files when they’re ready. The cool thing is, I don’t have to manually check now and then to see if they’re available; I just set it in the preferences (under the ‘General’ tab) that my preferred language is Norwegian, and it will be automatically installed when it’s ready. That’s neat.
Identify as something else – ua.ini
Opera has sometimes problems visiting some sites – not because of shortcomings in Opera, but because of broken browser sniffers. Opera has given you a choice to camouflage itself as Mozilla og Explorer to get past these sniffers, but it still has been able to identify Opera. Some sniffers are more thorough than others, and see this. Thus, Opera can be blocked from viewing sites it’s perfectly capable of viewing. Until now.
Now it’s possible to identify as Mozilla or Explorer without and Opera-string at all, which should do the trick. The downside is that the owner of such sites can’t see that Opera has been used, and thus still can’t be bother to do things right, so use it carefully. Now, this option can’t be accessed from the quick preferences – you have to edit a file in the profile-directory: ua.ini – which contains the sites where Opera should identify as something else.
Opera Software will put a ua.ini-file online, and Opera will check this once a week to see if there’s any updates to it, and update your own file if there are any additions. If you want to edit this file yourself, here’s what you need:
The list is stored in “profile/ua.ini” and it’s syntax is “WWW.url.tld=id”.
IDs are as follows:2)
1= Opera/8.0 (Windows NT 5.0; you ; en)
2= Mozilla/4.78 (Windows NT 5.0; you ; en) Opera 8.0
3= Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; en) Opera 8.0
4= Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.0; you ; en; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041110
5= Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; en)
So now you can identify as Opera without worrying about those silly sites that try to sabotage – Opera will take care of those on a site by site, basis. And if you do find a site which gives you a problem, there’s a handy “Report a site problem”-entry in the help menu. And remember, the more people identify their browsers as Opera, the more Opera will be visible in the logs and statistics, which in turn should make it less tempting to ignore it.
Old preference style
Anything else? The preferences are revamped, but maybe you miss some options from the old preferences? Easy to fix. You can get back the old preferences dialog easily by editing your “standard_menu.ini”. Search for the line
; Item, “Old preferences” = Show preferences, 100
and remove the “;”. This will create an additional entry in “Tools” menu to access the old preferences dialog.
1) Of course there’s things I learn – there’s just so much Opera can do as standard, there’s much I don’t know. Yet.
2) Well – they will vary of course, depending on your OS and language 😉