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Opera 10 Benchmarked and Evaluated 277

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the faster-is-better dept.
CNETNate writes "Dial-up connections and flaky Wi-Fi are made significantly more tolerable with Opera 10, it seems. After yesterdays news that Opera 10's first beta had landed, some testing was in order. One major new feature is Opera Turbo — server-side compression — which shrinks pages before sending them down your browser. With a 100Mbps connection throttled to a laughable 50Kbps, Opera 10 proved itself to outperform every other desktop browser on the planet, and there are graphs to prove it. Javascript benchmarks put the new browser in fourth place overall, after Chrome 2, Safari 4 and Firefox, but it indeed passes the Acid3 test with a perfect score. If you ever use a laptop on public Wi-Fi, to not have Opera 10 installed could be a big mistake"
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Opera 10 Benchmarked and Evaluated

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  • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:52AM (#28208071) Homepage

    Back when my net connection was a 56kb/s modem, I used to make an ssh connection (with compression) to a machine at university, and then tunnel through that to the university's http proxy server. That gave a handy speed increase compared to making http requests directly over the modem link. You could also try the RabbIT [sourceforge.net] compressing web proxy. All this relies on having a server somewhere with a fast net connection that you can run programs on - and this is the service that Opera Software are really providing.

    • I didn't realise that was possible! Thanks for a great tip! In putty you can enable it in Connection->SSH - I do a lot of work over modems, so this is very useful...
    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @10:22AM (#28210139) Journal

      >>>That gave a handy speed increase compared to making http requests directly over the modem link

      That's not quite the same. The summary read: "Opera Turbo shrinks pages before sending them." If it operates like my Netscape Web Accelerator, it squashes everything. Text is shrunk to about 5% original size, images to around 10% original size, and Java and other executables shrunk to 20%. This approach makes my 50k dialup have an apparent speed equal to my 750k DSL connection!

      The only drawback is that the images, when compressed, look like crap but if you're only interesting in browsing the internet for information, not the pron, then that's okay and acceptable.

      • P.S.

        I wonder if Opera's Turbo could be used with hi-speed connections? If my 50k connection is sped-up to 750k, then maybe it could squeeze text/image/executable for my DSL too and make it load as fast as a ,000k connection. Hmmm. I don't mind seeing images get squashed, smeared, or otherwise distorted.

        • [,000k] --> [11,000k]

        • by borizz (1023175) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @03:54PM (#28214839)
          No it can't.

          At those speeds, delivering internet pages is more latency bound than transfer speed bound. You always have to wait [your ping to the page] + [time it takes to transfer data to you]. With broadband, the first is usually larger than the last, so you won't get any speedup. Certainly not if you add an extra step to the mix, opera's server. Then you have [your ping to the opera server] + [opera's ping to the page] + [time it takes to transfer data to you through opera].

          In short, Opera Turbo will only work when the time it takes to transfer data is way larger than the ping.
      • by Ed Avis (5917)

        It depends on what it means by 'shrinks'. If it's just gzip compression, then yes you do get that by tunnelling over an ssh proxy. If you want to recompress images as well, use RabbIT. Anything more than that (intelligent summarizing of text? rewriting bloated Javascript?) is an AI-complete problem.

        I also found that cutting the overhead of TCP handshakes, DNS lookups etc. by just sending requests to a proxy server over an already-existing ssh tunnel noticeably reduces the delay between clicking on a link

  • Phenomenal browser (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jarlsberg (643324) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:55AM (#28208127) Journal
    Opera is a phenomenal browser. Seriously, they keep churning out useful features for their browser, and it's a pleasure to use. It definitely feels faster than the other major browsers, though they're all pretty good nowadays.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:12AM (#28208337)

      [T]he other major browsers [are] all pretty good nowadays.

      Largely because they've copied features originally introduced in Opera.

      • by mcvos (645701)

        Opera isn't really ahead of the curve anymore, but for a long time it was the only browser that could handle my browsing habits.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        So opera forced other browsers to keep up, and those browsers forced opera to improve too...
        No competition = stagnation = IE6...

      • [T]he other major browsers [are] all pretty good nowadays.

        Largely because they've copied features originally introduced in Opera.

        One of my complaints about Opera is that the reverse does not seem to be true often enough. Firefox eventually copies most of the useful features of Opera. Opera never gets around to copying the useful features of other browsers. E.g. it still doesn't allow me to resize text fields.

    • by Racemaniac (1099281) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:12AM (#28208345)

      i've been using opera for quite a while, and i agree that it is an awesome browser.

      the main problem however is that it's got bad compatibility with lots of sites. not really their problem, just that many sites don't bother to make sure everything works with opera.

      besides obvious things like online banking, and microsoft junk, i've since a few weeks been having problems on facebook. lots of things suddenly stopped working, and it's seriously annoying....

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by amicusNYCL (1538833)

        besides obvious things like online banking, and microsoft junk,

        Microsoft, probably more than anyone else, has actually gotten their act together with regard to Opera. It used to be that they were actually delivering Opera a separate stylesheet to manually move everything off the page and mess up the margins, but now I can even use the MSDN articles just fine with Opera. I certainly don't miss an opportunity to rub my Opera user agent string all over their logs.

    • by Jurily (900488)

      It definitely feels faster than the other major browsers, though they're all pretty good nowadays.

      It uses native widgets. You hear me, Chrome and Firefox?!

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        You mean like the native widgets Firefox supports as of version 3?

    • by rishistar (662278)

      I totally agree with this - in fact I started using Opera at version 5 and even paid for it. The BIG feature that made it brilliant above the competition in the year 2000 was the fact that with a single key press image downloads could be turned off, which really really helped when using the Caribbean dial up connection I had to use at the time.

      • by richlv (778496)

        at home i'm using crappy gprs connection (no edge, no thing), which isn't even running at full plain gprs speed.
        web is only somewhat usable with opera.
        i have default set to use cached images only. if i come to an image i'd like to see, i can either right click and load it, or enable images temporarily (there's no need to refresh the page, opera just downloads the images). then i switch back to cached mode, and downloaded images are nicely used from that point on whenever i visit the same page :)

        • by mobby_6kl (668092)

          Give the Opera 10 Turbo mode a try. This is basically exactly what it's been made for. I tested it on my 2mbps connection, but it (at least in the alpha) showed the exact savings in traffic it made. On average, I'd say you could expect 50-60%* less data transferred for a given page, though of course this depends on the content.

          *This is very rough and IIRC, of course

    • by sznupi (719324) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:30AM (#28208531) Homepage

      ...It definitely feels faster than the other major browsers...

      Especially since it remains fully responsive with much bigger number of open tabs than other browsers. So...you just open interesting pages in new tabs by middleclick where they load without locking the UI (Opera is quite multithreaded AFAIK) and wait, ready, for you (yeah, in that light I'm not that interested in Opera Turbo feature...perhaps when I'll be on 3G)

      Plus it has several properly implemented ways of navigating said large number of tabs tabs (you don't have scroll tabbar or "window" menu, sidebar has treeview, and..."hold down RMB and, without releasing, move scrollwheel"), and also full keyboard navigation.

  • Squid + Gzip (Score:5, Informative)

    by Albanach (527650) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:05AM (#28208249) Homepage
    Given this is server side technology, I presume it's not part of the opera web browser. Sounds like they're using a proxy server with gzip added. There's a beta stage patch for squid to allow you to do that yourself http://devel.squid-cache.org/projects.html#gzip [squid-cache.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sznupi (719324)

      They're definitely doing more, for example image recompression (perhaps using better at low quality setting format than jpeg, like jpeg2000, for example?)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheP4st (1164315)
      More specifically what it does is resizing images and disables a lot of plugin content that otherwise would slow the page loading to a crawl on a slow connections. This of course is done on a proxy server as you correctly assumed. Granted you end up with somewhat pixelated images and plugin content that you have to "activate" by clicking. While this is not of much interest to most of us here there is also a very big share of people that certainly can benefit from it.
    • by Burdell (228580)

      This is nothing new; it sounds like the same thing the "download accelerators" have been doing for years. My ISP has been offering Propel [propel.com] for almost 5 years. The only difference is that now a browser vendor gets to collect stats about your web use.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IBBoard (1128019)

      Yeah, from one of their pages [opera.com] it is basically a proxy server with added compression (not just GZip since a lot of servers can deflate content anyway).

      Since it isn't part of the Opera browser but is actually an Opera-run server, I wonder how long it'll take for someone to write a Firefox extension that piggy-backs on to those servers and gets the speed increase itself? :D

  • by jsnipy (913480) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:09AM (#28208281) Journal
    "I don't browse the web often, but when I do I ... prefer to use Opera" -the most interesting man
  • How well does Opera Turbo work with sites that use secure connections?

    • by alta (1263) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:31AM (#28208537) Homepage Journal

      They say in their specs they do NOT compress https at all.
      Those are encrypted pages you're requesting, which jumbles up the data. Jumbled data does NOT compress well at all. Plus, they're 'secure.' You don't want someone else handling your secure files.

      • Well that didn't stop them from intercepting HTTPS with Opera Mini. Yes, they actually do something akin to a MITM attack -- your phone will connect to their server via HTTPS, and their server connects to the remote site via HTTPS. Seems kinda... well... sketchy to me.

    • by TheP4st (1164315)
      It don't, so https traffic will not be loaded through the proxy instead it will be loaded in the normal way. The same goes for intranet pages.
  • Turbo browsing? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by holiggan (522846)

    I love Opera and have been using it since version 3 or something :)

    But about the "new" Turbo thingy... isn't this basically the kind of thing that those dial-up "accelerators" did? Like compressing pictures and stuff? Because when I activate Turbo on Opera, the quality on image files degrades quite a bit, so I don't know if this actually much diferent from those "accelerators" of old age :)

    • by raynet (51803)

      It basicly is the same thing, just that the accelerating and recompressing proxy is hosted by Opera and works even if your ISP doesn't offer similar service.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:28AM (#28208495)
    For some reason I thought Opera was a pay browser (or had ads or something making it not free-as-in-beer). Yesterday I happened to visit their page and apparently it's offered without charge for desktop platforms (and without source code, of course). Ironically, it's the only browser that still supports the older Mac OS X 10.3.9; Apple's own Safari hasn't for years, and Firefox 3.x doesn't either.
    • by Delkster (820935)

      For some reason I thought Opera was a pay browser (or had ads or something making it not free-as-in-beer).

      It used to be that way years ago. You could either pay or watch ads. I think that was changed somewhere around version 8.x or so, though.

    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      Camino still works on OS X 10.3.9. I've got the wife's old iBook and it's the best browser I can find. Not quite as good as Firefox, but most of the way there, plus it doesn't look ugly and out of place on not just one but all desktops!

  • by Octorian (14086) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:33AM (#28208565) Homepage

    Yeah, so much of my web browsing today depends on a number of Firefox add-ons that simply JFW for a variety of things. Opera could be the greatest browser on the planet, but without AdBlock Plus (no, a manually configured host-filtering hack is not equivalent) or GreaseMonkey, or any other FF extensions I occasionally find use for (FxIF, del.icio.us, TwitterFox, , I simply can't adopt it seriously.

    • by kobaz (107760)

      I agree. If Opera had equivalents of Tab Mix Plus, Firebug, Liveheaders, Flashblock, and Adblock... I would switch.

    • I have to agree with this. I've been browsing for so long with NoScript and AdBlock that I can't go back. No one should have to endure purple monkeys and flashing balloon animations on their pages.
    • by sznupi (719324) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:47AM (#28208737) Homepage

      Mehhh...in every thread about Opera those misconceptions.

      Adblock - http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/ [fanboy.co.nz] that's basically the same list that Adblock addon uses. It certainly blocks everything just as well. And the functionality itself is built in, no messing around with plugins. According to my buddy who moved from FF to Opera, style file works slightly better at hiding empty spots. And, if something isn't blocked, you have a nice way of blocking this and similar elements through Opera UI.

      GreaseMonkey - you do understand Opera pioneered also this functionality, right? Check UserJS (it is capable of running many GreaseMonkey scripts btw)

      FxIF - built in. Didn't it ever occured to you to just right click on the frakking image and bring up properties?

      del.icio.us, Twitter - something wrong with bookmarklets placed within one click, on navigation bar?

      I guess the main problem of Opera is that people assume, because of beeing used to other apps, that there's now way it can pack so much in so little executable, so properly/speedy implemented.

      • by tnk1 (899206)

        Actually, the main problem with Opera is compatibility with sites I use. It may or may not be Opera's fault, but it still means I have to open FFX or (shudder) IE to use them. If I have to open either of them to use one site, I almost would rather just use one of those.

        People don't know about the add-ons/widgets and other features of Opera because they are called different things and people also assume they are FFX only. That's their fault, technically, but as you know, its not the consumer's job to chan

        • by sznupi (719324) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:48AM (#28209683) Homepage

          The reason why some sites don't work well in Opera is that webdevs at your place still think in terms of browser monopoly, "we can just target IE", only they exchanged it for browser duopoly "we can just target IE and Gecko". I think it will improve though, with Webkit on the rise, which is similarly standards-compliant and nonstandards-intolerant to Opera. Yeah, a bit chicken and egg problem.

          Once your part of the web becomes browser-agnostic, Opera will work great. Like it is here to a large degree; current stats:
            - Gecko 46.8%
            - IE 42.8%
            - Opera 8.4%
            - Webkit 2%

          Even better in one neighbouring country, IMHO:
            - IE 41%
            - Opera 31.9%
            - Gecko 24.5%
            - Webkit 2.6%
          And not because of much larger Opera usage; as you can see, they seem to go towards roughly equal usage share of all major engines (with Webkit/Chrome (no Macs here...) having also relatively more rapid uptake), of which I would be glad the most. Everybody could use the engine/browser they simply like more.

          BTW, content-wise, my part of the web is rather poor so I usually browse through "IE & Gecko" dominated part...and it's already good IMHO (though that might have something to do with the kinds of sites I browse...)

      • What about DownThemAll, NoScript, Brief and Vimperator? Maybe Opera can work for most people, but Firefox is still so much more adaptable...

        • by sznupi (719324)

          Ehhh...

          A variant of NoScript is built in, likewise for very comprehensive keyboard-only navigation (you can't expect that other browsers/extensions, to which you are used, will copy Opera functionality in exactly the same way)

          Feedreader is built in.

          DownThemAll is trivial to implement in UserJS; apart from that Opera can list all links on given page.

          When will you see the pattern?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by twidarkling (1537077)

            DownThemAll is trivial to implement in UserJS; apart from that Opera can list all links on given page.

            More than just list all links on a given page, you can do a search for specific links, including by extension. If you do ".jpg", you can then highlight them all, right click, and save them all to the default folder. Thus, you've downloaded them all.

            • by sznupi (719324)

              And you think "see all links" view in Opera doesn't have filtering by given phrase (say, ".jpg") why, exactly?

              Oh yeah, you haven't ever used it in more capacity than naked FF or IE.

              (I seem to remember also specifically mentioning UserJS apart from "see all links"; hmmm...must be getting old)

              • I believe you've misunderstood. I was SAYING that that's how the Opera view-all-links panel works. Way to misread and attack me. I was giving the next step in what you were talking about. You filter in the panel so you only have the pictures, and then you can download them all. No need for a plug-in or User JS.

                Ugh.

    • by mdm-adph (1030332)

      Just NoScript for me, thanks. Give me that on Chrome (or Opera!) and I'll start using them more.

      However, I have a feeling NoScript's not going to be liked by Google...

  • so, the software somehow uses a gas or liquid turbine? I'm confused.

  • I used to have a 33.6k dialup connection (that's all my modem did). What I ended up doing to speed up my web browsing and such was add as many of the damn advertiser websites into my hosts file. The advantages included never having to wait for a flaky doubleclick to respond, thus speeding up the page loading plus the obvious of never seeing the ads. The other trick I used to use was disable the loading of images and with IE I could at least get a placeholder to show where an image was. This really sped thin

  • by nnet (20306)
    So I tried the beta, enabled Turbo, hit a page on my site that shows requester IP, discovered two things: src address wasn't mine, and ipv6 is not supported. Looks like this turbo feature is just a cache, similar to what some ISPs offer as "speed increase". The src address was 64.255.180.34

    34.180.255.64.in-addr.arpa. 300 IN CNAME 34.0-24.180.255.64.in-addr.arpa. 34.0-24.180.255.64.in-addr.arpa. 6835 IN PTR r02-02.opera-mini.net.

    Why would I want to fill up their cache with my browsing habits?

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