Sites Reported Not to Work Properly in Opera 7.0x
Published in Scot's Newsletter, April 22, 2003

Since Opera 7.0 was first released, Scot's Newsletter readers have been sending me reports about specific websites that don't render properly in the browser, but which do display fine in Internet Explorer and other browsers. I've collected a list of these websites so that everyone may try them -- in hopes that it will get this issue out in the open.

When I showed the list to Opera Software president and CEO Jon von Tetzchner, he immediately let me know that the 7.1 version of the program fixes at least some of these problems. I was not aware that the 7.1 version added page-rendering improvements. I went back and checked. The vast majority of the sites on the list were reported to me prior to the release of Opera 7.1. So Jon may have a point.

I have not tested the list extensively; it would take many hours to do so. I'll leave that up to Opera Software. I did notice that in some cases you'll need to do a visual comparison with the site loaded in both IE and Opera to find the differences. In some cases you'll need to perform tasks on the Web page that require secure login, check out, or filling in of forms to encounter the glitch. In some cases the person reporting the problem may not have realized the website required a Java Runtime Environment or Flash player. In some cases I couldn't find a problem, so it may have been fixed by the Web developers (or a newer version of Opera) since it was reported. Some of these I deleted but if I wasn't sure, I left it in. One common problem not always apparent is that "roll-over" hyperlinks may not work properly.

Some people believe that the only way to address such issues is for all Web developers to build pages strictly to Web standards instead of developing for the de facto Web browser standard -- Internet Explorer. I have covered this in the past; I don't agree at all with that point of view. The reality is, you can't program an application with an expectation that it will be used in a specific, prescribed way. That just not a viable programming strategy. Instead, the strategy should be: The user is always right. Most Web developers focus on making a page look right in the most common browsers, instead of adhering to a spec that in many cases limits what they can do on a page. I know this to be true; I've worked in online editorial professionally since 1994 and am proficient in HTML, JavaScript, and other Web dev tools. You are free to disagree. But the market has borne this out repeatedly. Microsoft had to learn this very same lesson back when Netscape 1.0 and 2.0 ruled the roost.

Another source of information on this subject is the Opera newsgroups. I recommend these two in particular:

  • Opera.Page-Display
  • Opera.General

    This document is not a living document. I have no plans to update it, add to it, or subtract from it. If there's something new to say, I will publish that in a future issue of Scot's Newsletter. Now, here's the list:

    http://www.housecall.antivirus.com/

    http://www.hp.com/

    http://www.fytogreen.us/Report.htm
    Notes: Opera 7.0 produces wrong body text color (green).

    http://www.globeinvestor.com/static/hubs/quotes.html
    Notes: Enter any stock symbol and press Go. When the stock information comes up, select "Chart." The chart won't appear.

    http://www.sportsline.com/nhl/box-scoreboards/
    Notes: The links that run along the top have a drop-down menu that opens in IE but doesn't in Opera 7.0. There was no trouble with earlier Opera versions.

    http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/
    Notes: Can't click the roll-over hyperlinks in Opera.

    http://www.netflix.com/

    http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Mountain/d/-7/java

    http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/

    http://www.webcamsue.demon.nl/mohammed.html
    Notes: Opera goes to its knees when you try to open this page.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/uncomp/articleshow?msid=43359603

    http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/
    Notes: Opera freezes when its window is maximized and the screen resolution is about 800-by-600 pixels.

    http://www.virginblue.com.au/
    Notes: Page won't load under Opera.

    http://www.filebasket.com/
    Notes: This page crashes after a short time in Opera.

    http://officeletter.com/
    Notes: Cascading menus don't open.

    http://www.nonags.com/nonags/index.html
    Notes: No scroll bar so unable to view the bottom of the page.

    https://langalist.hypermart.net/rhtml.html
    Notes: "Clear Here to Continue" button has no effect. Works with other browsers.

    http://www.historychannel.com/cgi-bin/frameit.cgi?p=http%3A//www.historychannel.com/tdih/auto.html

    http://www.tvguide.com/

    http://www.100megsfree3.com/bookmarks/library/browser.htm
    Notes: Opera sometimes ignores some horizontal rules tags on pages that have many of them. Scrolling the rules out of the window and then back into it sometimes makes them appear. This page should should have a rule between every section. Scroll to the bottom.

    http://www.tsdomain.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?page=timesystem/home.html

    http://www.taxactonline.com/
    Notes: Settings set by using Option buttons or checkboxes do not stick. Using IE 5.5 the options are correctly saved. (It is free to sign up and fill out the return so you can test it. You only pay when you eFile).

    http://www.ureach.com/
    Notes: Every CR/LF turns into a double CR/LF. If you type three lines with a carrige return in-between them, the email that is sent will have a blank line inserted in-between each line of text (not what you typed).

    http://www.weather.com/
    Notes: Maybe this is a good thing; the deplorable Flash advertisement doesn't work in Opera.

    http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
    Notes: Page headers render as a bunch of jumbled text in Operas 6 and 7.

    http://www.web-stat.com/
    Notes: This hit counter uses some JavaScript that works in Opera 7 (it didn't in Opera 6), but it is quite slow by comparison with MSIE. It creates pop-up windows that track pages.

    http://www.darrenadlington.co.uk/

    http://www.cdrom2go.com/
    Notes: On every page on this site Opera fills the top half of the screen with VBScript.

    http://httpd.apache.org/docs/mod/mod_rewrite.html

    http://www.pabar.org/
    Notes: Can't see all of the link in the left frame.

    http://phoenity.com/
    Notes: Opera doesn't differentiate between stylesheets for screen and print.

    http://www.subwaywebnews.com/photo_of_the_day.htm
    Notes: Page does not load properly and side-scrolling is required to view its content.

    http://fly.to/bagdad/

    http://www.nymex.com/jsp/index.jsp

    http://www.veganessentials.com/
    Notes: Checking out causes a crash.

    http://online.comcast.net/help/connect.asp

    http://espn.go.com/main.html
    Notes: Opera crashes, it does do a crash log.

    http://www.saintsfc.co.uk/
    Notes: Should have a menu in top left of homepage, which appears correctly in every other browser, including Opera 6.

    http://www.cheaptickets.com/
    Notes: Page rendered very differently in Opera than in IE.

    http://armorytrack.com/in03/nysb.htm
    Notes: Page doesn't display properly; problem appears to involve tables.

    http://theblackwave.net/
    Notes: Opera has a problem with the scrolling a marquee, and the print seems to be larger than in IE.

    http://www.theblackwave.net/FAQS1.html#cat1_2
    Notes: When you access the "Injuries" section, the answers don't come up.

    http://www.proenviro.co.uk/

    http://talk.nycsubway.org/cgi-bin/subtalk.cgi
    Notes: Strange things happen when you use the scroll wheel when viewing this forum index page using Opera. IE and Netscape have no problem.

    http://www.livesights.com/
    Notes: Opera can't display the time module under the Web cam display.

    http://www.usaa.com/
    Notes: Opera won't load the USAA page (it is encrypted).

    http://www.camvista.com/england/london/leicsq.php3
    Notes: This is a Web cam that updates every 5 seconds, except when using Opera, where it gets the initial picture and no more.

    http://www.porters.uk.com/webcam/default.asp
    Notes: Same Web cam problem.

    http://www.bwphillips.us/
    Notes: Opera doesn't load the page fully.

    http://www.compucare.com/

    http://www.bankofamerica.com/
    Notes: Secure bank pages that won't load properly.

    http://www.lutonchurches.org.uk/html/index.htm

    http://forums.compuserve.com/vlforums/default.asp?SRV=CourtReporters
    Notes: Try to create a message and post it. Opera can't.


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