Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· jan0sch

Abandoning opera after 15 years...

After having been a happy Opera user for about 15 years I decided to switch to Google Chrome.

It was no easy decision because I think I'll miss the clean and keyboard centric interface of the old opera. But on the other hand since the release of opera 15 the whole thing was just close to unuseable.

I don't mind the decision to use the chrome rendering engine, in fact I think that may be one of the better decisions. But to cut out nearly all the features that made opera attractive was just too much to bear.

I still clinged to opera 12 until a while ago but luckily after finding some extensions for chrome I can get somewhat close to the old opera workflow:


This one is available for all browsers and quite cool. It blocks all those annoying trackers.

Adblock Plus

I didn't need that one in the old opera because banner blocking was a core functionality. But it works good in chrome.


This one brings a lot of useful keyboard shortcuts. Especially switching tabs for- and backward is extremely handy. It may be too much like vim for most people but I find it quite useful. In fact this extension is the one that allowed me to switch to chrome without breaking my workflow.

The awesome opera developer tools (Dragonfly) are gone for good. I will miss them but the chrome developers tools are useable although not a match for dragonfly.

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I switched from Opera to Chrome a couple of years ago, too. Still wish they get a bigger browser share though...

I'm curious, what features in Dragonfly make it better than Chrome's Devtools? I tried Dragonfly a while ago and didn't like the experience.

over 1 year ago ·

I wrote a paper on browser wars a couple of years ago. Opera was the winner in most disciplines, except market share - and shortly I became a user. I switched to Mac and hence Safari 3 years ago, and every time I tried to go back to Opera it has been a significant disappointment.

I still sometimes use Dragonfly to debug some serious Javascript + CSS issues with breeze.

over 1 year ago ·

@dpashkevich Dragonfly had decent javascript debugging and a search box that would let you search not only by text but by css selector or xpath.

over 1 year ago ·

@jan0sch, I find javascript debugging quite decent in Chrome and it keeps blowing my mind with every update :) In fact, powerful javascript debugging was one of the reasons I switched away from Opera and Firefox (I used both for a while).

Also, apparently Chrome's DevTools now let you search elements by XPath selectors:

over 1 year ago ·

@dpashkevich Thanks for the info. Good to see that the chrome dev tools are finally catching up. The one thing I started to miss recently was that private tabs in the old opera ran in total isolation of each other. This seems not to be the case with chrome. :-|

over 1 year ago ·

@jan0sch but Chrome does have private windows (called incognito mode). I think it's better to run a private session in a separate window so it's better isolated from your main session UI-wise. Plus, incognito window also disables all the plugins.

over 1 year ago ·

@dpashkevich I know about the private windows. What I meant is that the several tabs within a private window are not completely isolated of each other. I usually have a normal and a private window open, but I have often to close the later from time to time because some cookies or session stuff seems to remain from private browsing.

over 1 year ago ·

@jan0sch oh, ok, got you

over 1 year ago ·