It’s been a while since I’ve written my wishlist for Opera. Now that the top five features I’ve requested have been implemented in Opera 10 (to be released), I’ve got to start putting together some items for the next major update!
In my previous top five wishlist, I was hoping for features like Developer Tools, Auto-Update, more Widget Capabilities, In-line Spell Check and, last but not least, an Improved Interface.
I’ve updated my previous wishlist with links to reference when and how these changes took place, so if you want to look further into that just checkout the first wishlist (linked above).
For my new wishlist, I think the them follows the general theme of the previous one..or at least 3/5 of them. I hoping to see Opera become more noob friendly. In it’s current state, it’s very usable for anyone, however, they do tend to have a bit too much of an engineering took and a little skittish on the designer and user interface front.
Let’s dive right in..
- Menu Systems. The menus for toolbars and even some main menu bar sub-menus are designed too complex and confusing. If you want one of your less tech. savvy friends to use Opera, don’t show them (most) of the menus! An example of simplifying the menu system would be to simply move the “Customize -> Remove From Toolbar” to the main menu or root level and rename it to “Delete” so that deleting buttons and other toolbar elements is written in clear English.
This menu item was moved to a sub-menu to reduce accidental use, however, it is now placed far out of reach and over complicates such a simple task. The naming or wording of this menu item is also overly complex. Firefox uses a simple “Delete” menu item for the same task and it makes the whole thing seem so much simpler.
This isn’t the only menu item or menu that is in desperate need of simplifying. I’d like to see each and every menu analysed and modified to make wording as simple as possible and follow general layout structures that all other competitors are using.
- Completed Opera Link. Depending on how heavily you use Opera, you may know by now that they have a feature that allows you to synchronize some of your settings between different computers by signing into your (free) My Opera account. This way you can have the same settings for Opera on two or more different computers such as the same Bookmarks or Speed Dial entries.
I would like to see Opera finally complete this feature to support all of the other settings that you hate to update all of the time, such as Blocked Content, Mail Accounts or News Feeds, Widgets, IRC, etc. Currently, the only synchronized settings are Bookmarks, Speed Dial, Personal Bar, Notes, Typed History and Searches.
- [done] <video> and <audio>. Opera already has some support for HTML5, however, the very cool parts are still lacking. Firefox 3.5 just released yesterday with support for the new <video> tag that will hopefully make the use of flash obsolete. An experimental build of Opera 10 with <video> support was released from Opera Labs a while back, however, they appear to have been slacking in this particular developmental area and Opera 10 is (as far as I know) planned to be released with the lack of support for the <video> and <audio> tags.
This is a terrible move in my opinion. However, Firefox 3.0 was not released with these capabilities and only extended to support them later in Firefox 3.5, so it just might work out if they are added later.
- [done] CSS3 Border-Radius Support. You can notice the lack of support for this CSS gem easily from kyleabaker.com. If you compare this page from Opera and Firefox 3+ you will notice that Opera doesn’t render the rounded top corners of the tabs in the header like Firefox does.
This is a simple CSS3 feature, but it’s also one of the most noticeably lacking CSS3 features in Opera to date. It’s CSS3 candy like this that many developers are anxious to start using and it’s a shame that Opera hasn’t even offered a browser specific border-radius attribute as Webkit and Firefox have done.
- Bug Squashing Session. The last, but probably most important wishlist item is that Opera takes a break from implementing new features and puts some extreme focus into squashing every last bug in the database. While I know that this isn’t feasible, I do believe that a great deal of priority could be placed on this and then some of the lower priority bugs could finally get some attention.
It seems that Opera is continuously releasing new features one after another. While this is great in one respect, it is also very troublesome in another. We all want to see breaking edge technology and sweet new features, right? But, at what cost are we getting these sweet new features?
When Opera’s built-in source viewer was released, I remember finding it to be one of the most useful features in the browser for web development. I could easily make changes to a page and view them immediately without any need for uploading and refreshing the page!
Now, one of the most limiting features of this source viewer that I’ve found is the lack of line numbers. Something this simple was filled as a bug some 2 years ago (plus or minus) and has yet to be fixed. This is obviously a low priority bug, but a bug squashing session that eliminated the nastiest bugs, allowing time to working on these easier bugs would be great!
If you have any ideas for an Opera wishlist, post them in the comments or post a link to your blog article about them!