Prelude to the Opera Mobile vs NetFront article - profound differences between the two new Web browsers
Iâ€™m constantly receiving requests and questions for/about my forthcoming Opera Mobile review and comparison. I wonâ€™t publish it before I get the final, full version of NetFront 3.3 (I want to compare the two browsers), which will, hopefully, happen today, (BIG!) thanks to AximSite forum member axim_wannabe. That is, Iâ€™ll publish the review, hopefully, on the weekend. (Dunno yet â€“ Iâ€™ll travel the entire weekend, but, hopefully, will have the chance to work on and, then, publish it.)
In the meantime, in addition to the Opera Mobile- and NetFront-related posts in this blog, I recommend the following threads for additional information (Iâ€™ve posted a lot of tricks and tips in there I havenâ€™t reposted in the blog):
AximSite â€“ 1
AximSite â€“ 2
PPCT â€“ 1
PPCT â€“ 2
Operaâ€™s own support thread â€“ in there, thereâ€™s even a highly useful post (see this and, what is even more important, this post) on importing your Internet Explorer favorites into Opera Mobile.
Note that most complaints about Opera Mobile come from Dell Axim x50v users running WM2003SE. Unfortunately, it seems some new browsers just arenâ€™t (fully) compatible with the device. For example, a lot of Minimo builds/versions, which, otherwise, run on other models without (major) problems, donâ€™t even start on the x50v. That is, users that call Opera Mobile â€œuselessâ€ most probably have a WM2003SE x50v. And, again, my responses are always worth checking out in the above threads.
Going back some 15 years in time when home computers not necessarily meant PCâ€™s only and people preferred buying â€œbareboneâ€ PCâ€™s and, later, when they had the money for extra cards, expanding their own PCâ€™s by hand (by adding new cards/peripherals):
Opera Mobile is like a 486(DX) IBM PC motherboard + CPU with a CGA card (the most basic video card you can think of, in addition to Hercules and MDA) and a 360 kbyte 5 1/4 floppy drive and, of course, the built-in beeper/buzzer only â€“ that is, an (at that time) excellent motherboard + CPU combo with very bad, next-to-useless peripherals.
This is how NetFront compares to Opera Mobile â€“ NetFront has a much-much better user interface with much-much broader capabilities, while Opera, while having a much more standards-compliant (meaning itâ€™s able to parse/render much more pages than NetFront), has a GUI that doesnâ€™t even let the user configure for example the amount of scrolling or the place of the cache in the file system otherwise configurable in the Opera config files.
You canâ€™t, however, really extend a Commodore 64 â€“ not even add-on peripherals like SuperCPU will be of real help. Itâ€™s much easier to extend a PC. If you get a hard disk and a decent video card, your 486DX-based PC will be much better than a Commodore 64 â€“ that is, the advantages of the engine (superior parsing/rendering speed, less memory usage) will be more emphasized with a decent GUI.
What do I mean by all this? If the people at Opera will have the necessary time to spice up their GUI to, for example, create decent configuration dialogs and also add decent context menus (image saving, link copying to the clipboard, in-page text search, screen dragging with stylus, hardware button configuration as with MultiIE or PIEPlus (this is painfully missing from the latest NetFront too!) etc.) an even manage to interface the Macromedia/Adobe Flash plug-in for great (definitely better than that of NetFront â€“ the latter has a worse Flash engine than that of the Adobe plug-in) Flash support or to the CrEme Java plug-in for Java Applet support, then, Opera Mobile will be the best. In the long run, that is.