Question: I am
trying to figure out if Firefox is better than Opera. Version 7.54
of the Opera browser has done for years what Firefox is doing with
v. 1.0. Is there something Firefox does that Opera doesn't?
Much of the press on Firefox appears quite biased in favor of
Firefox. I haven't seen anything that offers a critical review, or
comparison, of both browsers.
I have used Opera for several years and have switched my e-mail
client to the built-in Opera browsers. I haven't tried Firefox, but
it seems to me that Opera is smaller, more nimble, and more
feature-rich than Firefox. Opera does falter with some Web pages.
Notably, it seems that there are some Web page features that are not
displayed, and certain types of links don't work. For example, Lexis
works in Opera, but it works better with Internet Explorer. But
VersusLaw will not work with Opera.
Lanza, editor of The CyberSkeptic's Guide to Internet Research and
frequent author, Jeanne T. Ullian, a law librarian with Williams
Mullen Hofheimer Nusbaum, and Dan MacMeekin, an attorney, respond.
Sheri: I just
finished an article for
Searcher where I discussed several browsers, including Firefox
and Opera. But it won't appear until the July/August issue. Since I
covered about seven browsers, I couldn't go into too much detail on
any of them. But I did cover Opera and Firefox a bit more than the
encountered Firefox when an attorney said Westlaw was not working on
his machine. I finally figured out he was using this alternate
browser, and it -- or some other program -- prevented the pop-up
windows used by Westlaw. It's no big deal once you know, but
troubleshooting issues like this takes time.
Dan: Opera -- the
free version with the little ads that are easy to ignore -- is my
default browser. I like it for its quick loading.
But Firefox is a close
second. I use it when (1) a page doesn't load properly in Opera
(This happens infrequently.), or (2) I want to riffle through a
number of bookmarks in quick succession. For the latter, Firefox's
sidebar display of bookmarks is very useful.
I've also used Avanta,
and thought it was OK -- an improvement over Internet Explorer.
I think Opera and Firefox
are both very good. I've long since abandoned IE and Netscape,
although both are still available on my machine should I need them.
Why I Love Firefox by Mary
Ellen Bates, The Virtual Chase, 11 April 2005