Attn: Web Designers! Have you tried Opera Lately?

I have as much of an affinity as the next guy for Firefox and the numerous, excellent extensions available for the Mozilla Gecko based browser. I’ve been using the Web Developer toolbar, among the other Web Design enhancing Firefox addons since i’ve been coding for accessibility, and validating my code at the W3C. The two go hand in hand so well– that is– the philosophy of valid, accessible design using web standards, and valid XHTML, and the Firefox browser loaded with web designers extensions, such as Colorzilla which uses the DOM inspector to display the html element cascade in the status bar– all of these features i’ve known and loved for quite sometime– to the point that when i’ve gone to other browsers, i’ve felt lost without them– especially if i might be forced to design in an environment w/out them– lost until now– i discovered a web page which draws a comparison between the top 150 most popular Firefox extensions, and the Opera equivalents.

I was truly shocked, and excited to see all of the addons available for Opera which i never knew existed– and many features which have been hiding under the hood of the browser, waiting to be unleashed by the right tweaks, and of course a user who knows what he or she is doing with this powerful tool.

Code softly. Carry a big stick.

I’ve read books or articles of many of the Web Design gurus, such as Eric Meyer for example, who describe in their writing, either directly or indirectly, that their browser of choice is Opera (directly, or indirectly stated), and i’ve often wondered why they choose Opera when Firefox offers so many Design enhancing extensions. What i didn’t realize was the secret of Opera which these gentlemen must have known for quite sometime– that Opera may be humble on the outside, and seem like little more than a fresh take on the Web Browser interface, but where it truly shines is in its advanced DOM and javascript object inspector capabilities, to name just a few of the powerful tools that we hear few people speak of in the design forums.

i feel as if i’ve stumbled upon a holy grail of sorts in finding this Firefox Extensions / Opera functions comparison page, authored by Rijk whose Panelizer, a downloadable web design tool you may have installed to enhance your Opera or Mozilla Sidebar with local copies of the W3C HTML and CSS specifications, among other great sidebar tools. Rijk has apparently been doing his homework for a while! Have a look at his page, and give Opera the benefit of the doubt– take her for a test run for a weekend and see what you think (and definitely at least try the Opera version of the “Web Developer” extension, and the DOM inspector as part of that customization) — you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find! good luck, and enjoy! and by all means, keep using Firefox too– some things just can not be duplicated, of course. 😉

Whatchu do

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