Google Reader does evil; dumps Opera

One of the most favorite (and cer­tain­ly my per­son­al favorite) RSS read­ers is Google Read­er. In cut-throat com­pe­ti­tion with Blog­lines, Google intro­duced Search func­tion­al­i­ty in Google Read­er yes­ter­day. Read TechCrunch’s take here.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this has made Google Read­er stop work­ing with my favorite brows­er, Opera. Here’s how it looks in Opera v9.23:

GoogleReader in Opera

Now, despite Opera being the most W3C com­pli­ant brows­er, it has the low­est mar­ket share, and hence has his­tor­i­cal­ly had prob­lems with var­i­ous Google ser­vices. This, despite the fact that Opera is the clos­est brows­er to Google’s approach towards fea­tures and func­tion­al­i­ty. And this, despite the fact, that the folks behind IE, Fire­fox, Opera, and Google Read­er, announced in April this year, that the brows­er wars are over.

As of this writ­ing, there is no response yet from Google to this issue being report­ed in the Google Read­er forums.

I sin­cere­ly con­tin­ue to hope that Google — a com­pa­ny that has grown phe­nom­e­nal­ly by focus­ing on the W3C-reg­u­lat­ed Inter­net rather than a pro­pri­etary OS — respects the most W3C com­pli­ant brows­er in the mar­ket. Google’s mot­to may be “Do No Evil”, but it’s doing the exact oppo­site!

Update 7th Sep 2007: Google has fixed the prob­lem. Cheers! I Gll­looove you, Google! 🙂

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  • Mahen­dra, your posts are look­ing very sol­id, and the blog too. I think its a very good idea to focus on tech issues. I try and read some tech stuff sites like say Engtech, and though he is good, often the stuff goes over my head.Its not that I am not inter­est­ed in tech­nol­o­gy. I am very very inter­est­ed, if it is explained very sim­ply. and there are so many dai­ly tech issues with just run­ning a blog!! I had to most­ly fig­ure them out myself at first. It took sev­er­al months for me to get com­fort­able with run­ning a blog smooth­ly.
    per­haps you could come out with some basic html tips or some­thing!

  • Mahen­dra, I was a huge Opera fan myself (I think I still am — its such a delight to use the super fast and ele­gant Opera) and I had writ­ten a post in my blog last year
    I used to use hacks for using google ser­vices though (spec­i­fy brows­er iden­ti­fi­ca­tion as ‘Mozil­la’ in Opera) But, I tried out Fire­fox and though it is slow, hogs a lot of mem­o­ry — it has a huge bunch of add-ons (for, stum­ble­upon, face­book, web devel­op­er, mouse­less brows­ing, down­load helper etc.) that makes life very sim­ple — and I had to migrate to Fire­fox. And I think “addons” is where Opera is los­ing to Fire­fox. (The only thing I did not like in Opera is “Wid­gets”, they dont inte­grate into the brows­er like fire­fox addons)

  • Nita: thank you! It seems like the more my posts and blog look sol­id, the less the read­er­ship! 🙂

    Well, there are pletho­ra of sites, tuto­ri­als, and guides for most of the ele­men­tary to inter­me­di­ate tech skills, so I’m not sure if I can add any val­ue there. That is why I write about tech news that seem inter­est­ing, have a privacy/economics/India angle to them, and so on. I will def­i­nite­ly take your encour­age­ment and con­tin­ue to write about such stuff and try to think of more.

    Vasu­ki: Good to hear from anoth­er Opera buff! 🙂 You’re right — if you use all those add-ons, Fire­fox is prob­a­bly more suit­able for you. I don’t — and that’s one of the rea­sons I love the fastest and slick­est — Opera. Anoth­er rea­son is that it is pre­cise­ly these add-ons that make Fire­fox an inse­cure brows­er — there’s no guar­an­tee or test­ing for these add-ons from Mozil­la. I don’t like to take that risk!

    You’re right — I’m not too hap­py with the wid­gets in Opera either — I use only one — but there is noth­ing miss­ing in Opera that I need and am very hap­py with it!

  • Since my e-birth and until recent­ly, I used only and only Opera. Thats because I was on Win­dows 3.1 with 8MB of mem­o­ry (imag­ine!) and Netscape/IE sucked big time. Opera’s ‘load image’ was the most attrac­tive for me that time — to make brows­ing faster (days of pay-per-minute dialup)

    In my Lin­ux­i­fied avatar, I start­ed prefer­ing Fire­fox just because FF for Lin­ux is more than awe­some. Opera is still W3C com­pli­ant and all, but as a ama­teur web design­er myself, I feel its inter­pre­ta­tions are too strict (lot of W3C defs are open to inter­pre­ta­tion)

    Apart from that, I use Thun­der­bird to man­age my mails and feeds. It’s just too con­ve­nient to have every­thing togeth­er.

    But as an Opera divorcee who prob­a­bly under­stands your frus­tra­tion, I real­ly hope that the things start work­ing for you.

  • I like Opera too although I don’t use it that much. No rea­son real­ly — I don’t have very strong pref­er­ences when it comes to brow­ers use all of them as and when I feel like it.

    I am quite impressed by Opera’s ren­der­ing speed. I have a fair­ly com­plex web-appli­ca­tion “in devel­op­ment” — all javascript dri­ven and gen­er­ates very com­plex con­tent. For a cer­tain test case, IE takes 8 sec­onds to ren­der, Fire­Fox: 2.5 sec­onds, but Opera < 1 sec­ond! Now that is what I call fast!

    I agree with your frus­tra­tions — par­tic­u­lar­ly the bit about Opera being most W3C com­pli­ant but still gets raw end of the deal.

  • Priyank: Giv­en that only Opera on Win­dows pass­es the W3C Acid2 test, no won­der that its inter­pre­ta­tions are too strict! It has mail, chat, and much more, so I also don’t real­ize why it wouldn’t be con­ve­nient to use Opera to have every­thing togeth­er. But I con­fess, I have nev­er used Thun­der­bird, so there may be oth­er fea­tures in its mail/feed client that are rich­er. Like you can see above, I myself use (or used to use) Google Read­er, rather than Opera’s in-built RSS feed read­er!

    Arun: Yes, Opera is the fastest, among oth­er things!

    Both: Thanks for the empa­thy — I hope some­one fix­es this soon! It’s rather tedious to have to launch IE7 just to use Google Read­er! And it’s a pleas­ant sur­prise to dis­cov­er that some of my read­ers are indeed Opera-aware!

    (I’m just wait­ing for Ram­bodoc or Krish Ashok to make puns on this Opera busi­ness: ‘Opera’tionalize 123 agree­ment, Rambodoc’s surgery or ‘Opera’tions, fit­ting post and com­ments on the day of lead ‘Opera’tic tenor Pavarotti’s demise, etc!) 🙂

  • Sunil

    Late­ly, I have been using Opera Mobile/Mini on var­i­ous mobile devices (Thanks to my pro­fes­sion). Equal­ly good (if not bet­ter) as the desk­top ver­sion. The intel­li­gent zoom rocks and eas­i­ly com­petes with Safari brows­er on iphone.

    BTW, you may enjoy this video at www{dot}operamini{dot}com{slash}beta{slash}video{slash}

  • Sunil: Thanks for vis­it­ing. I’ve been using Opera mini on my O2 Pock­et PC, and it’s much, much bet­ter than the Pock­et IE! The video is a nice mar­ket­ing gim­mick cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the iPhone’s restric­tive AT&T deal, I’d ear­li­er writ­ten about. Cool…thanks!

  • Not much to say.…I just want­ed you to know that I came by.…and to say “hi.”

  • Google always breaks read­er in Opera when the launch a lot of new fea­tures, but it’s usu­al­ly fixed with­in a week or so. Not that it’s not annoy­ing or any­thing. Also, my impres­sion of Opera is that even though their CSS sup­port is the best, their javascript sup­port isn’t quite at the same lev­el (and javascript is prob­a­bly the root cause of read­er not work­ing right now). I know a large por­tion of prob­lems are caused by brows­er snif­fers that don’t look for Opera, but I don’t know if that’s what’s caus­ing the prob­lem with google read­er. As some­one who does some web devel­op­ment, I can say that devel­op­ing cross brows­er code is a roy­al pain in the arse. Get­ting stuff to work in IE6, IE7, FF/gecko browsers, Opera, and KHTML browsers is a night­mare. Again, not an excuse…

  • //Nita: thank you! It seems like the more my posts and blog look sol­id, the less the read­er­ship!

    Pray how didya con­clude that? Are you talkin abt #com­ments?

    Mark: You’d agree — Thats pre­cise­ly why real web design­ers aren’t a com­mod­i­ty 🙂 Its the pain that sep­a­rates rice frm chaff

  • Priyank — Indeed I do agree, though some com­pa­nies make it extra hard for devel­op­ers…

    Indi­den­tal­ly, I’m able to load the new and improved Google Read­er in Opera right now, and it looks like some­one from google just post­ed in the google read­er forums. Pret­ty speedy response, actu­al­ly. It nor­mal­ly takes them a few days:P

  • Mark: //As some­one who does some web devel­op­ment, I can say that devel­op­ing cross brows­er code is a roy­al pain in the arse.//
    Isn’t that why W3C stan­dards are there in the first place?!

    But because these big com­pa­nies choose not to fol­low them, we have the rice in folks like you and Priyank! 🙂

    And yes, Google has fixed the prob­lem. I’ve updat­ed my post. Thanks for the tip-off.

    Priyank: //Pray how didya con­clude that? Are you talkin abt #comments?//
    A com­bi­na­tion of num­ber of com­ments and site vis­it sta­tis­tics (exclud­ing feeds).

  • o i c.
    About 25% hits to my weblog are by spam­mers. If the #vis­i­tors drop, is usu­al­ly them, and I am hap­py;)