My Browser Goes to Eleven
I have been using the Opera web browser for over a year. It has many features that I like in a browser. If I recall correctly, it was the first browser to start using tabs, grouping tabs, a minimal bar, private browsing and speed dial. In other words, it has started trends that other browsers have followed.
I used to exclusively the Firefox browser but switched to Opera due to speed and memory leaks. Firefox uses more memory and if it is open continuously it leaks memory, hogging as much as the OS will allow it. For someone that likes to run a lean system, using as little resources as possible, this is very vexing. I tried Google's Chrome browser for a short time but it just doesn't work the way I want. Use Internet Explorer? Hmmm, I never even gave that a thought until just now.
So of all the browsers I have tested, I do believe that Opera is the fastest. That may be appearances because Opera displays items as they are downloaded instead of waiting for either the entire page or until a majority of the page is ready. Which is how Firefox used to function, I am unsure if it is still the same or if it has yet again copied Opera. So, when I want that extra umph in my browser I turn it up to 11, Opera 11 that is.
There is another reason that I do not like Firefox and Chrome. They are constantly pushing out updates. I know there is a need for security updates and understand pushing those out quickly to users. I am refering to other types of updates, style changes, etc. I used to think it was cool to get the latest update and would daily check to see if there were any change to the browser. However, I have changed and changed the way I perceive things. To be ever receiving updates gets old and very tiresome. I want a stable product, one I don't have to change my extensions or add-ons because they are not up-to-date yet with the versions that feels like it changed last week and then again just yesterday. Another reason for kicking it up a notch to Opera 11.
This leads me to a slightly different topic. That of Ubuntu. The Ubuntu team has an aggressive, fast release cycle. Every 6 months they have a new version. In between there is a large number of updates. This is fine for those that want near-bleeding edge and are hungry for something to do. I have other things that are more important than to be updating my computer so often. I need an OS that works and works for a long time without my interference.
I have never been a fan of Ubuntu, for a sundry of reasons, but many people are and in my opinion those are mostly GNU/Linux newbies. That is ok, it gives them a good looking example of the power and abilities of GNU/Linux. However, as they have to update so often and are forced to use Unity, I think many will tire and fall away, back to what they knew before, without ever tasting some of the other flavors or distributions of GNU/Linux. To me, that is a shame.