Home > Uncategorized > Opera Vs. Firefox: A side-by-side review

Opera Vs. Firefox: A side-by-side review

May 18, 2005

NewsForge has published an article comparing Opera and Firefox.

The review focuses mainly on the availability of default features and the ease of customization.

From the review:

“To avoid bloat, Firefox developers created a browser that is lean, fast, and by default includes no extraneous features or closed source plugins. This makes for a small application download…”

Wrong, even with all the standard features that are included with the default Opera install, its size is only 3.6MB compared to Firefox’s 4.7MB.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 18, 2005 at 1:00 pm

    *sigh*, How can anyone even trying to do a decent comparison get that bit wrong? 😦

  2. May 18, 2005 at 8:28 pm

    I think the figures comparing an installed copy of Opera to a fresh installed copy of Firefox are more impressive. 4.6mb to 14.4mb.. and that’s before you start cluttering it all up with extensions.

    The article wasn’t too bad, though, really. It just.. set out to be indecisive from the start. I think my webpage is a lot less biased. 😉 http://www.soaringrabbit.com/misc/opera.html

  3. May 18, 2005 at 11:31 pm

    Hah! Loved your site, SuitCase! Great analysis!

  4. May 19, 2005 at 1:16 am

    Google ads on this page in Opera with open panels covered text.

  5. May 19, 2005 at 2:34 am

    suitcase: You claim Opera shows as much webpage with ads as Firefox does without, even though the screenshots clearly show it doesn’t…

    Also, claiming Opera if faster at startup is a bit dubious. It’s faster when started, I’ll give it that, but it’s not faster starting up. (At least not on my system, as well as the three or four other systems I’ve tried, varying between 200 and 3200MHz.)

  6. May 19, 2005 at 2:58 am

    I’ve done some fairly subjective tests on computers I own trying to disprove other people by double-clicking Opera and Firefox at the same time. Firefox tends to take a fair bit longer (on virtual PC, it takes about a minute and is very noticeable, Opera takes 1/3rd the time!)

    I do kind of cheat with the “ads use the same space as Firefox UI” bit, as Opera’s default layout doesn’t include a status bar. However, the two parts of the interface for page viewing are almost exactly the same height, and Firefox depends on the status bar a lot more than Opera.

  7. May 19, 2005 at 5:23 am

    “…by double-clicking Opera and Firefox at the same time.”

    What you need to do is, after a fresh restart of your computer, run Opera. Close it again. Do this a few times. Time the first five startups. Then restart your computer, and do the same with Firefox.

  8. May 19, 2005 at 5:47 am

    I did the test I described above, and both browsers turned out to have pretty much identical startup times.

    I created clean profiles before testing, and set the home page to blank/none.

    My system is a AMD 64 3200+ with Cool ‘n’ Quite, ie it runs at 1000MHz when not under load, and 2310Mhz when under full load.

    The times i got were:

    Firefox: 4.6s 1.1s 0.7s 0.7s 0.7s
    Opera: 4.6s 1.2s 0.7s 0.7s 0.7s

    The Opera times were measured to the point when the browser had loaded, but not the ads.

  9. Anonymous
    May 19, 2005 at 5:55 am

    Hmmm, that (soaringrabbit…opera.html) is a very nice Opera vs. Firefox piece. But I would hesitate to send a friend to it because of the initial headline, “Firefox sucks and Opera is better”. Anyone who is slightly invested in Firefox stops reading right there. I don’t suppose you would consider mellowing that and the first paragraph out a little; or providing an alternative copy?

    To restate in another way: you’ve written a page which is quite gratifying to an Opera fan, but lacks persuasive potential because it’s too likely to offend the target audience before they absorb your message.

    Regarding the side-by-side review: I wonder if someone could make more direct contact with the author and get him engaged with the various Opera features, tweaks and extensions he’s missed. Imagine a followup article later, written from the same viewpoint. He was already familiar with the Firefox extensions ecosystem and produced a review as balanced as we saw. Imagine the shift of balance if he was equally familiar with the Opera ecosystem.

    (On the other hand, the comments are almost exclusively pro-Opera, making me think that his article hasn’t gotten any attention in the Firefox world. If only one camp reads it then it doesn’t matter how balanced it is…)


  10. May 19, 2005 at 6:41 am

    I take your point, David, and I will keep that in mind when I revise it (there’s already a few things amiss, like the mention of only three security patches so far.. four now.) However, while that’s a good objective way of testing it, in practical application I find Firefox pretty reliably slow to start up compared to IE and Opera. I’ll try and do some more tests too.

    Bela, thanks for the input. I understand it’s pretty mean and undiplomatic, but I really want to grab attention more than offer a general list of reasons as to why Opera is better than Firefox – there are such webpages already and people generally ignore them.

    I think it’s persuasive to at least a certain type of Firefox user – there’s a bunch of people who are convinced Firefox is the best thing ever because they took a look at getfirefox.com and read the hype, but I want to point out that it’s really quite a load of crap and the perceived advantages to Firefox are quite few in reality. By outright saying that Firefox isn’t very good, I might convert a couple of people. Who knows.

    Also, that Newsforge article was posted on Slashdot.org, Mozilla fan central, and a lot of Opera supporters crawled out out of the woodwork and praised it quite a bit, while the Firefox guys stayed relatively quiet. I don’t think improving the article’s opinion of Opera would do much.. the hardcore Firefoxers don’t seem to want to read those sorta articles and change opinions (though to be fair, hardcore Opera people are no different, just correct.)

    I should try and stay on topic. Sorry 😛

  11. May 19, 2005 at 8:43 am

    The more fonts you have on your computer the longer it takes for the browser to startup.

    It loads all those fonts during the startup.

  12. Anonymous
    May 19, 2005 at 2:29 pm

    If I buy opera 8 how many computers can I use the reg. key on? For example, I’d like to use it at work and at home without buying 2 licenses. Is this allowed?

  13. May 19, 2005 at 2:31 pm

    Yes, one license is good for all of your computers.

    Opera made this change recently. Before, you would need a seperate license for each computer.

  14. Anonymous
    May 19, 2005 at 2:34 pm

    Thankyou for your prompt response!

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