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
    http://vasukir.blogspot.com/2006/05/one-of-my-obsessions.html
    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 del.icio.us, 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;)