Yes, I know. I’m an evangelist for Opera. I can’t help it. For this atheist, the Opera browser is the closest thing to a religious experience I’ve ever found.
Gah, that sounded bonkers.
Seriously, though. It’s not just my favorite browser. I simply couldn’t imagine using the Internet without it. Firefox, IE, Safari – they just don’t tickle that itch. Either they look like they’ve been hit with the fugly stick (Firefox, admit it), or they act bass-ackwards and stupid (Safari, I’m looking at you), or they run the risk of destroying your computer’s sanity (IE, don’t pretend I can’t see you). There’s some negatives, some non-negotiables.
Opera is the all-in-one package. It’s got the ad block. It’s got integrated e-mail, newsgroups, and, especially important, RSS feed reading. It’s snappy, it’s responsive, and things just look pretty. Yes, I admit it, I’m a sucker for the pretty.
Which is why I’ve just tricked out my Opera.
The version of Opera released in China came with a new default skin called “Ibis.” It’s black. Icons have a neat look. Tabs have a cool background. There’s a lot of red, too. Ibis.
A gorgeous looking browser looks even better. And this from someone who really liked the Opera 9.5 default skin, with the look of high-end audio equipment and a polished black look.
My one complaint with Ibis is that it doesn’t look that good in the Opera 10 Alpha. (Yes, I run the bleeding edge code, and have the notifications in my RSS reader. What can I say? I juat really like Opera.) It looks right, but then you hover over something, and the buttons go funky. So, for the nonce, I’m content to stick with the default audio look for the Alpha.
Ibis. It just looks cool.
ETA: A new build of the Opera 10 Alpha released today, so I downloaded that and gave Ibis another try. Whatever problems I had with Ibis on Opera 10 before are gone, as Ibis looks solid in Opera 10.