Help me out here. I’ve tried both and there’s no real difference as far as I can see (although Opera is prettier than Firebird).
For general web browsing which should I stick with? For secure transactions, is one better than the other? Can I be assured that there’s no back door sending all of my data to Tom Ridge (or some 15 year old) in Firebird? For general trojan/virus/spyware protection, does one work better than the other?
Does it even matter? I’ve been using Opera off-and-on for months while I just got Firebird today. Everyone I talk to recommends Firebird…for no good reason at all.
I use both. I’ve used Opera for several years and have been using Firebird for a few months. I am finding Firebird renders web pages much faster than Opera and doesn’t get hung up on some difficult pages.
You can use either for secure transactions. I find no differences. You can rest assure that Tom Ridgeisn’t receiving any information from using Firebird, or Opera. (FWIW, your paranoia in this area is misguided.)
One big difference is that I find more glaring coding errors on web pages written specifically for IE using Firebird. Perhaps this is because Opera (which strives for standards compliance) just isn’t as standards compliant as Firebird.
In any case, I will continue to use both for a few more months but my gut support is now leaning towards Firebird.
In any case, glad you are using a quality browser – Opera and Firebird.
There are a few features in Opera which make Firebird my #2 choice.[ul][li]Crash/close your session, and all your pages are saved.[/li][li]Multiple windows (with above feature)[/li][li]search page with ‘.’ or ‘/’, search links with ‘,’[/li][li]so many commands with a single keystroke[/li][li]Window->Closed menu[/li][li]better Tab navigation (1/2 move left/right in tab list. Closing a tab takes you to the most recent tab, not the rightmost tab.)[/li][/ul]
I agree that the extensions make all the difference.
In particular, one extension is absolutely critical for me: AdBlock. (I wouldn’t be suprised if Opera provided similar functionality)
When you install AdBlock, you can pick and choose which page elements to load using regular expressions. You can right-click on any image and say “AdBlock this image” You can click a little “AdBlock” tab that is attached to all Flash objects and block them.
You can bring up a list of all blockable objects on a page and pick and choose which ones to allow through.
I depend heavily on the regular expression mechanism since many annoying spammy pages serve their ads from the same site that their good content comes from, thereby defeating the standard FireBird “block images from this site” feature. They frequently are kind enough to put the garbage in a subdirectory: “my.site.com/ads/…”, so I just block that.
I think that most of the Opera features are in Firebird – it’s just a matter of finding them. For example, in response to emarkp, they designed Firebird with similar goals: lean mean, hot keys for everything. Searching on page is easier than you think: just start typing. They provide a hotkey to modify whether the incremental search looks at links, text, or both. The tabbed browser extensions mentioned by KidC probably provide all of the tab features you are looking for.
Oh, I know about it, the problem is that because you start typing to search, you lose all alphanumerical characters for other purposes. Opera chose to require a single key (I like ‘/’ because it’s how I do searches in VIM, now if only I could search with regexps) to begin searches, and hence can use other keys to perform common actions.
Since I’ve had to move away from IE 6.0 (not by choice, still working on getting the problem fixed), I’ve been using Opera 7.11. Today I downloaded and installed Mozilla 1.5. I figured I’d try regular Mozilla before trying Firebird.
I’ve noticed that some pages just will not load fully in Opera without numerous reloads. Not many, but some. Otherwise I like it so far.
I’m using Mozilla right now and it seems to be okay.
What are the major differences between Mozilla and Firebird?
I can’t argue with you there, emarkp. My opinion about FB vs Opera is heavily biased by which one I am most familiar with. Had I chosen Opera several months back (I didn’t because it wasn’t free), I would likely be singing a different tune today.
As far as differences between Mozilla and Firebird, I’m sure that their website answers that, but as far as I can tell, Firebird is truly a “lean mean browsing machine” as they call it. A browser with no fat, meant for serious browsing.
It’s Mozilla without all of the extra fluff – no newsreader or mail or whathaveyou. You can add those as separate pieces if you wish, but with Firebird, you get a fairly lightweight browser. Somewhere in their FAQ, they draw atttention to the vast amount of non-Mozilla code in Firebird, lest we think that Firebird is simply a gelded version of Mozilla.
I used to use Opera, and I still have it installed at work, but now I’m using Firebird and Thunderbird at home. Firebird seems faster and more stable than Opera, and Thunderbird simply puts Opera’s mail/news client to shame.
There’s a Firebird extension that will do this.
Firebird searches the page with ‘/’, and searches links if you just start typing without pressing ‘/’.
A friend tells me the new Opera 7.5 mail client is pretty impressive with some new ideas. I prefer Thunderbird–I moved away from Mozilla for mail simply because it doesn’t respect my default brower. One of my biggest complaints about Mozilla/Firebird is that instead of allowing me to specify a viewer for page source, it’s just argued back and forth in bugzilla.
Wow. An extension. Somewhere. I simply haven’t been impressed with the extension mechanism for Firebird. Essential features like this (crash recovery and history) should be part of the core. Extensions should be for extras.
So what if you want to search for links that start with ‘/’?
Seriously, I know there’s a different philosophy behind the key mappings in the different browsers. I prefer the philosophy Opera chose.
For the casual user, Opera seems to be easier to fall into. Not much of a learning curve for it. (translation-I use it)
I am the only one in the house who uses Opera, everyone else uses Firebird. I seriously wonder if the difference of opinion doesn’t happen to some small degree because of the names. I would think that a guy would much rather say he was using something called ‘firebird’ over something called ‘opera’
I’ve been an Opera advocate for several years. I tried firebird with real hopes but really I quickly became very very disappointed. The download is much bigger than Opera. 3.2MB vs. 6.0 MB. And the features just aren’t there. The ones that are there aren’t fully developed. You have to download extensions, and that makes downloading take that much longer. And the extensions leave a LOT to be desired. Just because they say they do something doesn’t mean they do them as well as Opera. Take the tabs for example. Opera saves the tabs with each session. Opera crashes, you get the tabs back. You also get the HISTORY of each tab. You can also SAVE the tab sessions, INCLUDING MORE THAN ONE OPERA SESSION!!! You can open two Opera sessions, each having multiple tabs, and save the session. Then when you open the session in the future, another Opera instance will open displaying the other tabs. Kind of hard to explain. But I’ve found it extremely useful. I have “typical” windows that I am watching, like Ebay auctions, web mail, SDMB topics I’m watching, etc. Then I have another window I am using to do ongoing internet research. Say I’m looking for a new monitor. I don’t usually find what I’m looking for in one day. I have to take several days. In every other browser you have to bookmark the #%^@ out of your search, and then you don’t get histories. In Opera you can save the session marked “monitor”, and you get histories. There is nothing nothing nothing like this in Firebird. Yeah there are a couple tabs extensions, but I haven’t been able to get tabs to open up when I first start Firebird. Maybe I have to set something up, like maybe create a special shortcut with a command line setting activated or something along those lines. Well, complexities like that don’t speak well for Firebird. There is a learning curve. Opera has one too, but it’s short, unless you want to customize it by adding buttons and such. But then, that’s really a cinch.
Firebird isn’t standardised, even within itself. And it certainly doesn’t conform to canonical standards. Opera is faar more user friendly. It was written by a contiguous group, probably overseen by one person. Firebird was written by hundreds or even thousands of people, most of whom don’t know each other, much less collaborate on a daily basis. And its development is overseen by many people. The devopement isn’t consistent. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for open-source. But Firebird is an example of what can go wrong.
Keep in mind that most of this is based on memory. I don’t have firebird here and it’s been a couple of months since I’ve used it. I tried it for about two weeks, and I tried looking for solutions to get it to operate similarily to Opera. But I just couldn’t wasn’t satisfied.