Opera's New Address Bar Suggestions Face Criticism
Opera, in the most recent stable version of the web browser, and also in the latest snapshot build, has made changes to the browser's address bar suggestion feature. This feature basically handles the suggestions the browser displays when the user begins to type in the address bar. Users in the Opera forum were the first to spot the differences. Two aspects that got criticized heavily were the reduced number of entries from bookmarks and history, and the drop of interactivity features like middle-clicking to open a result in a new browser tab.
Opera today has announced that improvements are also coming to Opera 12.00, the next version of the browser that is currently under development. The old system, according to Daniel Aleksandersen, matched the terms the user entered against the page url, title or page content and ordered them by last visit.
Opera's new system assigns a score to each suggestion that is based on additional factors like the position of the term in the url, the number of matches or the position or if the match is a bookmark.
The feature is still in development, as Opera is still working on integrating the browser's Speed Dial feature and improving the scoring algorithm further.
Suggestions seem to favor search heavily in the current build, which has been one of the points of criticism. Another that it is now more difficulty to distinguish between sources, that site identification has become more difficulty as favicons have been removed, and that it sometimes is not clear why a page has been added to the suggestions.
In my own tests, I was unable to get suggestions if the entered phase did not start at the beginning of the url. The term hack for instance did not list lifehacker or ghacks in the suggestions.
It is my opinion a step in the wrong direction. Keep in mind though that this is not final and may see improvements in future builds. You can download the latest Opera Next version from the Opera Desktop Team blog.Advertisement