Opera is a terrific Web browser and they continue to develop it to be very feature rich. I don’t use Opera as my primary browser because of the lack of compatibility with many Google services, but I do use it from time to time. The best thing about it is that I never have a memory leak!
Opera has stepped up the game even more by offering a new AJAX feature which sounds really great. Here is how the new system works:
With the traditional AJAX implementation, the browser continually polls the server, sending requests to the server, asking to get data back, making new HTTP requests for every single poll, putting more strain on the server than needed.
In Opera 9 you can instead open a persistent connection to the server, sending data to the client when new information is available, eliminating the need for continuous polling.
Since continuous polling is no longer needed it relieves some of the strain from the servers. If you want to see how smooth it runs you can try out this example that Opera setup for a RealTime Web Chat (view a screenshot). Sure this is only a chat system but if Google implemented this AJAX system into their services then they would reduce the load on their servers which could make it easier for them to add even more features.
I give credit to the Opera Team for developing such a secure, stable, and advanced browser. Hopefully other browsers will soon see the benefits this could have.