Now that Opera 10.10 Beta 1 is out, the Desktop Team has calmed down a bit with fresh snapshot releases. I take this as a sign that Opera 10.10 Final is very near. On that note, I decided to throw together a list of changes I would like to see greeting us on the road to the next big release.
There is no particular order to the following wishlist items, but they are a bit rambled on…
- Download Opera updates via BitTorrent technology that is already present in Opera to take the bulk of the stress off of servers and mirrors for those already running Opera.
- Allow Opera to download efficient updates. Instead of downloading the entire installer each time, why can’t Opera download the changes and apply them to the present installation (updating the version of course)? This could dramatically improve the length of time it takes to update Opera, especially on slow connections.
- Remove the Unite Applications that are installed by default with Opera and download them when they are needed. I extracted the classic installer for Opera 10.10 Beta only to find that the Unite Applications that are installed by default consume approximately 2.12mb, thus dramatically increasing the installer download size! Why couldn’t these be installed via the Internet when the user decides to activate Opera Unite?
- [done] Install Opera with an Operating System focused skin by default. Opera for Mac is already installed with a tweaked default skin, but what about the rest of us? The current default skin is a major improvement over skins in the past, but on Windows 7 it really doesn’t fit the feel. This is one reason that a lot of people stray away from Opera.
- Update skins, widgets, unite applications, userjs, usercss, etc. Why has a proper updating system not been put into place to alert you of a skin update? Or to alert you that your favorite widget just got updated and you’re using one that’s a year old? It seems that this may happen with Opera Unite eventually, but what about the content that we’ve used loyally for years?
- Better memory usage and garbage collecting. If you’ve ever opened several tabs (we’ll say 50+) and worked your way through most while closing them as you go, then you know that Opera’s memory footprint can grow madly. One thing you might have assumed, but not been aware of is that when you close these tabs and empty the trash…there is no release of all of that memory that Opera just claimed. While many loyal Opera fans will tell you that Opera gives this memory back if it’s “really” needed, it shouldn’t just hang onto it in the first place. We all want an optimized application, shouldn’t that be try for memory usage as well?
- Opera Dragonfly updates! I remember when Opera Dragonfly updates were fairly often and sometimes significant changes would appear even between snapshot updates! Opera Dragonfly has slipped out of the spotlight due to limitations on updates that depend on Core updates in Opera itself. With or without these limitations, I’m sure we would all like to see how Dragonfly is improving. One improvement I’d like to see (that has already been mentioned by @hicksdesign) is UI integration with the rest of Opera and the current skin. Other than that, editing of style sheets in entirety on the fly is one of my most craved updates. A ruler or grid would be nice as well as not having to reload the page before editing it. Also, I’d like to have Opera Dragonfly open on one page while not seeing it on every page that I switch to. 😉
- UserJS on HTTPS prompts at startup are driving me insane! Why Opera hasn’t implemented an option to ignore this prompt is beyond me. It could easily be configurable via opera:config, but continues to annoy the users who are well aware of what they are doing in the first place.
- More options synchronized via Opera Link. Also, why can we finally have a completed web front-end to Opera Link? I’m tired of not having passwords stored in the Wand for one computer that I know are saved on another. Shouldn’t all of these settings be synchronized by now? Opera Link (it seems like) was released ages ago and is still far from feature complete!
- General polishing on common bugs that are persistent in Opera such as redraw bugs, Google Gears and other Google products that just seems to hate working with Opera (Google Wave).
- One thing about the BitTorrent dialog bugs me. I usually select to use my default torrent application rather than Opera which happens to be uTorrent, but the “Open” and “Save” buttons can be a bit confusing. Why would these not be relabeled to “Start” and “Save“? The Opera download manager already uses the Resume and Restart terminology so it would make more sense to me if it were consistent. If you think about it as follows you might find the confusion: So, I want to save this torrent to my computer right? Or do I want to Open it? What’s the difference? Oh, so apparently save only saves some weird “.torrent” file to my computer. I guess I needed to click open. Shouldn’t they have named it start…or something more logical? 😛
- During Fullscreen mode I often wish I had an easy access bar that I could hover that would drop down the tabs and address bar for tabs open in the current windows, similar to how Firefox manages tabs in Fullscreen mode. I don’t understand why Opera makes this task so out-of-the-way.
- [done] Windows 7 Jump Lists featuring frequently opened tabs as well as currently open tabs and maybe the last x number of closed tabs.
- [done] Windows 7 Aero and tabs pulled up into the title bar for more space efficiency.
- Source View updates. Any update to the source viewer would be welcome. This feature of Opera has been abandoned for far too long (…remind you of Duke Nukem Forever anyone?).
- [done] I think Opera should remove the Rewind and Fastforward navigation buttons (as well as the home button) by default (for fresh installations). These buttons tend to simply add clutter to the navigation bar for new users who will most likely never use them intentionally. I’ve even started removing them first thing for all instances that I install for friends and family just so that Opera has a simple default feel. Simplicity is one reason that so many people are flocking to Google Chrome.
Have other wishlist items that I forgot? Leave ’em in the comments!