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Unifying Browser Terminology

October 20, 2005

With today’s preview release of Opera 9, in addition to some of the more apparent changes, Opera has also made some subtle changes in hopes of unifying the browser terminology.

For example, most browsers refer to browser tabs simply as ‘tabs’, while Opera, until now, referred to them as ‘pages’. However with Opera 9, it is referred to as tabs as well.

It also made some changes to some common keyboard shortcuts that deal with tabs. CTRL+T now opens a new tab instead of CTRL+N, while CTRL+N now opens a new browser window.

The changes was made after many flocked to Opera from other browser after going ad-free and complaining of the lack of common behavior among browsers.

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Categories: Standards
  1. October 20, 2005 at 1:14 pm

    Yep, the changed shortcuts were a very nasty surprise! I had to change back at once. Pity that they trade comfort for cross browser compatibility. Ctrl+N fits me better than Ctrl+T. And wtf, Ctrl+Shift+V instead of Ctrl+D (paste and go)!

  2. Anonymous
    October 20, 2005 at 2:15 pm

    I wish they didn’t change Ctrl-N with Ctrl-T. Why change to look like FireFox? And, please! Bring back Ctrl-D for paste and go!

  3. October 20, 2005 at 2:21 pm

    It’s not just UI behavior they’re unifying. I noticed they’ve also changed some of the rendering defaults that have made cross-browser CSS difficult.

    In a CSS-capable browser, basic HTML characteristics are implemented as default styles. But some CSS rules are similar enough that, in simple circumstances, they end up looking the same. Margin (space outside the border) and padding (space inside the border) are essentially the same if there’s no border, as is the case in plain HTML. There are cases like the default page margin or the indentation on a list where Opera chose one and Mozilla chose the other. The changelog shows both of these being switched.

    When you find incorrect behavior, it’s easy to decide how to fix it. But when a spec doesn’t define “correct” behavior, it’s harder to choose. It often ends up as a majority rules thing.

    On a related note, I see some of the features from WHATWG are starting to work their way into Opera. I’m looking forward to seeing what people do with, say, canvas once Safari 2, Firefox 1.5, and Opera 9 are widespread. (Hmm, why wait? I should try it out myself!)

  4. Anonymous
    October 20, 2005 at 3:38 pm

    I think the most urgent change would be to allow shortcuts like Alt+[Access-Key]. That terrible Shift+Esc, [Access-Key] is quite awful. Did they change that in version 9?

  5. Anonymous
    October 20, 2005 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve already opened many windows trying to open a new page. I understand why the switched to CTRL+T, but I still find that CTRL+N is more suitable for an MDI browser (rather than a tabbed browser). Oh well, I will get used to it eventually.

  6. October 20, 2005 at 9:32 pm

    I already changed shortcuts to good old [Ctrl]+[N]
    And, yes [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[V] is logically right, but terrible for usage.

  7. October 25, 2005 at 2:34 pm

    CTRL+N is more intuitive

  8. Charlie
    October 25, 2005 at 5:45 pm

    While I’ve gotten used to the Ctrl+N for new tabs, I’m glad they’ve made the change. Every browser I’ve used in the past (Netscape, FF, etc.) uses N for new window and T for tab. It just makes sense.

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