Home > Uncategorized > Gmail now fully compatible with Opera

Gmail now fully compatible with Opera

March 1, 2005

Google has updated Gmail to make it fully compatible with the Opera browser (versions 6.03+).

Gmail makes heavy use of (the non-standard) Java Script and DHTML. Opera follows the Java Script standards that are provided by standards bodies, such as the W3C. Companies often make their own proprietary extensions to these standards, making it sometimes difficult for Opera to render the page properly.

Gmail also introduced XMLHttpRequest, which is not currently part of a standard, forcing Opera to implement XMLHttpRequest support in version 8.0. XMLHttpRequest started as a proprietary extension to Internet Explorer.

But even after Opera’s support of XMLHttpRequest, Gmail still didn’t function properly. However, with the latest update to Gmail, it now uses a basic HTML view to make it compatible with Opera.

When you log into Gmail using Opera, you will automatically be directed to the basic HTML view. With this view you will be able to use Gmail just fine, however, some features will be missing, including Filter creation, Settings (Forwarding and POP), Spell checker, Keyboard shortcuts, and Address auto-complete.

This is a victory for the Opera user base. Google has often neglected support for Opera while supporting most other browsers. It’s gaining more and more power with each new product it releases, making it difficult, at times, for Opera users to fully benefit from them. This is a good start for Google, and hopefully it will develop the appropriate extensions for their products (current/future) to make it compatible with Opera too.

Google recently updated Google Maps and is now compatible in Opera, as well.

Kudos to Google.

[Thanks to Yakov for the tip.]

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 1, 2005 at 12:42 pm

    Are you sure GMail uses XSLT, I thought is was Google maps not GMail?

    Also, I find my DHTML version of GMail works very well in Opera, with only browser navigation broken. It seems quite a few Opera users are upset as they want the choice of which interface to use, but are gradually being shunted over to the lo-fi HTML version without a choice. Still some way to go before victory is declared! 😉

    Google are also still failing to compress any content sent to Opera when ID’ed as Opera due to an elementary mistake in their server configuration. This can cause 10’s of seconds delay for Opera dial-up users…

  2. Anonymous
    March 1, 2005 at 12:49 pm
  3. March 1, 2005 at 12:55 pm

    non-troppo, I think you’re right, must have confused it with Google Maps. I corrected it. Thanks, Daniel

  4. drkn
    March 1, 2005 at 3:37 pm

    This is a victory for the Opera user base.Victory??? You mean defeat… GMAIL in basic html view is like athlete without one leg..

  5. March 1, 2005 at 3:42 pm

    It is a victory for the Opera user base in the sense that Google is finally recognizing the Opera browser, given their history.

  6. March 1, 2005 at 4:13 pm

    Oh, crap. Gmail was working perfectly fine with my Opera 8. Please tell that it uses capability sniffing rather than user agent sniffing. If it relegates me to plain HTML, I’ll have to go back to using Firefox for it.

  7. March 2, 2005 at 2:58 am

    FUD. First, there is no “JavaScript standard”. JavaScript is introduced by Netscape, enhanced by Mozilla. IE doesn’t support JavaScript: it supports JScript. Opera doesn’t support JavaScript either: it supports ECMAScript with some extends to JavaScript and JScript. So it is completely wrong to say someone uses “non-standard” JavaScript as there is no common standard at all (ECMAScript doesn’t count).

    Second, XMLHttpRequest is NOT introduced by Gmail, it is introduced by Microsoft, followed by Mozilla, then Safari and Opera.

    So stop spreading incorrect information. 😦

  8. March 2, 2005 at 7:53 am

    Second, XMLHttpRequest is NOT introduced by Gmail, it is introduced by Microsoft, followed by Mozilla, then Safari and Opera.Though Gmail wasn’t the first to use XMLHttpRequest, it was the first one to make it popular.

  9. March 16, 2005 at 10:31 am

    minghong, you are incorrect in your first point too. According to Wikipedia:

    “JavaScript was first standardized in 1997–1999 by ECMA under the name ECMAScript. The standard (as of December 1999) is ECMA-262 Edition 3, and corresponds to JavaScript 1.5. This is also now an ISO standard.”

    Note that ECMA is the first to standardize javascript, the current javascript standard is ECMA-262 Edition 3, and that this standard is ISO certified. As you have pointed out, Opera supports ECMAscript, which IS the standard.

    Nope, it is you who is perpetuating false information.

  10. Ted
    April 19, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    Use https://gmail.google.com/gmail?nocheckbrowser to get to the “real” Gmail.

  11. Anonymous
    June 21, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    Just using nocheckbrowser unfortunately does not work. I get a standard view OK but, more insiduously, all its useful features are just missing. Specifically, the text formatting button. So, you have a choise of plain view or standard view without features. I’d call that a poor choice and no proper support for Opera, yet. I with google and opera would get their act together on this!

  12. June 21, 2005 at 12:48 pm

    Have you tried using Gmail with Opera 8.01?

    Opera has made great improvments to its latest browser version to support Gmail.

  13. Anonymous
    June 21, 2005 at 12:52 pm

    Sorry about the typos, I meant: “choice” and
    “I wish Google and Opera would get their acts together”…..
    What is really bad is that there is no warning or information about the fact that the text formatting is just missing. I assumed google does not have it and stopped recommending it to anyone. I am thinking about not using Opera anymore either. Lot of crap both of them, if they cannot sort this out.

  14. Anonymous
    June 21, 2005 at 12:53 pm

    And yes, I always use the very latest Opera version, not that it is much help with this….

  15. June 27, 2005 at 4:48 pm

    … just go with the flow, bro. if opera wants to compete with big guys, it’s better have all the features of the big ones + a little more.

    Work From Home Business Info

  16. Anonymous
    October 14, 2005 at 1:56 am

    I just found this page from Google… you know what, Opera is still NOT fully compatible with Gmail. That is Opera 8.5. And still it’s NOT working fully. Yes, I can use it, but there are things, like no rich formatting and usually clicking back button (which is quite natural), makes the hole thing “hand” … the page just does not load anymore.

    Fully compatible – you wish! At least I wish… 😦

  17. December 12, 2005 at 6:36 pm

    New trouble: Not sure when it started… whether it was with the 8.51 patch, or something else unrelated to Opera, but auto-complete on email addresses isn’t working any more!

  18. Anonymous
    February 1, 2006 at 8:56 am

    I was very happy to find Opera after having had several problems with Firefox and IE.To my surprise I had to find out that the auto-complete on email addresse is not working. That’s pretty much of a problem if you have a lot of addresses !! ..I like Opera, but I’ll have to find another one in order to use Gmail 100%…

  19. February 16, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    this really sucks! no auto complete for address! here i was, ready to leave IE and FF because of all the issues and then I find out that I cant use gmai completely!

    this madness needs to stop!

  20. Mike
    March 1, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    I’m here googling on “opera gmail” because I’m having extreme problems with gmail on opera and it’s getting to the point where I might go back to Firefox despite having totally fallen in love with Opera otherwise. I’m using Opera 8.52, updated last week, and I’m constantly experiencing these problems in gmail:
    1. no address completion when I type an address! massive massive massive inconvenience to have to pull up addresses through the contact list or a search->click->reply->edit-subject-line sequence.
    2. frequently I click on a message and NOTHING HAPPENS. the message just doens’t open! I’ve tried opening gmail in a new page and then often the same message will open fine. I don’t have this problem at all in Firefox. SOMETHING IS WRONG with Gmail and/or Opera.
    3. Really weird stuff happens inside the text editor for composing messages (I use plain text only, so this is not a rich text issue), like the point where I’m typing is no longer displayed and the normal movement from line to line with “enter”, etc suddenly starts working differently.

    Suffice to say that Gmail and Opera are NOT fully compatible at present and I desperately wish they were!!!

    If anyone has any advice please let me know! (michaelantonparker at gmail dot com)

    Maybe I really should give up using Gmail, but it would be a major hassle to convert to something else because I have no knowledge in this area.

  21. March 1, 2006 at 10:09 pm


    Why don’t you try the latest preview version of Opera, Opera 9 Technical Preview 2. The issues you wrote about have been fixed in this version.

  22. Joris
    March 13, 2006 at 12:43 pm

    Dear Daniel,

    This realy is a very good tip.
    It even supports the ‘advanced’ functions in gmail, so you do not only have the ‘basic’-functionality.

  23. March 16, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    I would never give up Gmail for a browser. No browser worth that much. article wizard

  24. Anonymous
    March 19, 2006 at 7:52 pm

    Indeed, Opera 9 TP2 fixes the new gmail issues.

    Another tip: you can edit ua.ini to identify as another browser (this is not the same as the F12 menu). If you use super stealth FF or IE mode on gmail, you get the chat feature. I wouldn’t recommend this though, as it means Google will see less Opera traffic and Opera support will stay abysmal.


  25. Anonymous
    April 28, 2006 at 8:17 am

    I fell in love with Opera immediatelly and the only way I’m changing this browser is when the new update comes out…:p

    I was very dissappointed though when I found out that the auto-complete feature in Gmail isn’t supported….:-(

    Well, thanks to Ted everything works fine …….just use:


    at list it works fine for me…

    Happy surfing……

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