An involution milestone

Current music: Дельфин - 925

If twenty years ago someone told me web browsers in the future won’t be able to save pages for browsing offline, I wouldn’t believe such degradation is possible. Yet here we are, and again, I seem to be the only one who notices that fact and cares. Today, I tried to save this article on The Washington Post.

None of the current browsers (I’ve tried Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Vivaldi, and Pale Moon) was able to save it with all the assets, pictures, styles, fonts and markup (either as a single mhtml archive, html file with external resources, or pdf). The best of them (namely Opera and Vivaldi) could only save text and markup. I understand why such a technical problem occurs. I know how it could be redone to work properly. If browsers wouldn’t send a new HTTPS request to the remote server the time you press the “Save as” button and write its response anew and instead save the already assembled complete page from the temporary Internet files on the client’s computer, the problem wouldn’t exist.

Nobody from the new generation of coders, which made the stereotypical image of an IT guy cool with sleek fashionable laptops, gamification of the workspace, and mobile, active, sporty lifestyle instead of the old one that depicted a crowd of extremely thin or extremely fat nerds with bad eyesight tied to their bulky desktops and huge monitors with cables everywhere, seems competent enough to see that despite them earning 20 maybe 30 times more than I do. Nobody from the corporate management seems to care as long as the market share and sales KPI are met. Nobody from the user base seems to have noticed after they moved the said “Save as” button deeper into the submenus.

When was the last time you saved a web page? What are you going to do when the content you consume becomes unreachable or tainted? How fast will you conform to the new world view and behavioral patterns offered (and probably slightly enforced) to you? Doesn’t it affect your self-worth right now if you actually aren’t afraid to think about it?

More on the global situation in the fifth episode of Show Up and Tell

Newer for sure but is it better?

Current music: Пикник - Через 10000 лет

operance upon a time, in a galaxy not so far away there was a relatively young, very fast and highly customizable web browser. It was with no doubt the best of its time and came to taste in many countries where users prefer the functionality to the fruity gloss. Years have passed and one day Opera 12 came out. It was assured to be newer and better and as developers were respected for their long-term good work many people believed and upgraded from previous versions. This is where the real story begins…

I may be mistaken for not seeing great improvements in depths of the code, but as user the first thing I’ve seen changed was the font color of address field drop down list. It was black and turned to light blue. Guess how awesome it’s looking on the white background? I searched for solution how to make it back but found nothing. Then I wrote on Opera forum asking for help but no one responded. Nearly two days later during experiments I found that font can not be changed by opera:config panel nor by user interface of course. You need to edit standard theme to make that. That’s what they call “even easier personalization” in their slogans on opera website. The second big fail is adobe reader plugin. I mean it worked fine but newer version doesn’t work with it properly. Dozens of users on opera community support forums (me included)  still are unable to open pdf files as earlier. What is the reason? Bad design? Indian code (in Norway)? Lack of testing?

The only thing I can say for sure, it takes me more and more time with every newer version to get back what I used to get from my favorite browser. It started lightly from removing buttons and tabs I don’t need at all. First time I had to get to opera:config was when speed dial came out and I wanted to remove that questionable “invention” from my sight. Why you may need that thing if there were bookmarks and the list of recently visited sites already? Then one day the button that opened address bar drop down list of the recently visited URLs disappeared. On another pretty evening it came as a surprise that double clicking on the window top opens new tab instead of maximizing it. List may go on and on… I’m afraid that one day I will buy a new PC, download the latest Opera and won’t be able to make it the browser I liked to use for long years.

What I wanted to say is if you work on new version of software just add something new and usable to it. Don’t destroy or alternate what had already worked well.

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Ah… almost forgot about describing the actual way to get font back. Here is the instruction:

1. Open your Program files\Opera\skin\ folder

2. Make a copy of file and rename it as you like.

3. Open that new archive and copy skin.ini file from there somewhere you can edit it.

4. Open skin.ini in Notepad and find string [Address DropDown URL Label]

5. Edit next four strings like that

Padding Left = 0
Text Color = #000000
Link Color = #000000
Colorize = 0

6. Save edited skin.ini and copy it back (with replacement) to archive you took it from.

7. Run Opera 12 and go to Main Menu->Appearance

8. Choose altered theme and click OK.