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Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner Answers Your Questions 207

Posted by Roblimo
from the yes-we-spelled-his-name-right dept.
Back in 2005 (last week) we sent Opera Software CEO Jon von Tetzchner twelve of your questions. This year (this week), we have his answers. Enjoy!

1) Re:Competing vs Free Open Source Product
by CSMastermind (847625)

Some have suggested that Microsoft should buy the Opera browser. How do you feel about this? If they did, would you plan to continue with work on the browser? Would you ever work for Microsoft?

Jon von Tetzchner:

We have been competing with Microsoft for a long time and I have not felt that they have always fought fairly. I would be disappointed if we were to end up in their hands and I find that very unlikely. I believe a lot of people at Opera would find them selves other work and that would include me.

2) What can we look forward to?
by robyannetta (820243)

I've been pimping Firefox since version 0.7 but have recently moved to Opera because Firefox doesn't natively support some things that Opera does:

local.google.com Native user agent switching
Opera 9's upcoming Acid2 compatibilty
Eye candy and general coolness factors
Can you give us a taste of new, unannounced features we'll see in future versions?

Jon von Tetzchner:

Thanks for using Opera. You have moved from one good browser to another. :)

There is a lot of new things coming in Merlin. We continue focusing on making Opera even smaller and faster, while adding a lot of useful, new features. Some of these features are by request from our user community, so feel free to add your own requests.

A lot of the focus is on improving what we have got. Our users want us to do this and we want to do this. This means that we will continue to focus on making Opera work faster and better with all the sites out there. We will continue to innovate new features that makes your browsing more pleasant. We aim to give you more control over your browsing. The idea is that you should feel the browser has been made for you. This is one of the reasons why we have so many different ways to do the same thing, as people are different and have different ways of working.

We will also work on improving the other parts of the program, such as the mail client, IRC client, RSS, News (nntp), etc. Each of these parts should follow the rule of being small, fast and user friendly.

3) Market growth?
by sheridan3003 (165213)

Do you find that the majority of Opera users are on the IT side of things, and if so how do you plan to get more users who are the "typical user", or only use their computer at work for their assigned tasks? Since IE is embedded when they get their new machine out of the box, how are you introducing Opera to users that probably have a limited understanding that they can have a different browser, or even more than one browser on their machine?

Jon von Tetzchner:

Our goal is to increase our user base significantly. Our user base in general has a higher degree of people which use the Internet extensively. Most of them have tried every other browser before choosing Opera. We consider it very important to focus on keeping our users happy and build from there. There is nothing better than a happy user and we will do what we can to innovate and push the limits to what you can expect in a browser. At the same time we will also try to remove any barriers for new users and make it easy for them to migrate to Opera.

In addition to this we will work on our distribution and marketing, of course, but nothing really beats a happy user that tells his friends and family.

4) Would you sell to Microsoft?
by lilmouse (310335)

Recently someone suggested that MS should simply buy Opera as a web browser for Vista. What do you think of that idea? Would you sell?

Jon von Tetzchner:

I am not interested in selling out to Microsoft. However, if Microsoft is interested in including Opera with Windows, we would be happy to provide them with it. I do believe that would be positive for the web in general.

5) Feature thieves
by tehshen (794722)

Opera has been an innovative browser for some time; it was one of the first to offer popup blocking, tabs (or MDI of some description), sessions, mouse gestures, and so on. However, since then, other browsers have implemented them as well; Firefox has extensions offering mouse gestures and sessions, and popup blocking and tabs are now commonplace. After offering so many features, would you prefer browsers such as Firefox and IE to come up with their own ideas instead of taking them from other browsers, or prefer the sharing of ideas so the web is better off overall?

Jon von Tetzchner:

Although our competitors have opened their eyes to some of our features, many are still only to be found in Opera and we aim to continue adding new ones. I am happy that we are considered the most innovate browser company and that is something we will be working hard to maintain. It is quite flattering that our features are being copied like that and I would prefer us to be in the position of being copied and not the other way around.

6) Google as a search partner?
by furnk (935156)

Can you offer more information on the terms of the recently announced agreement with Google?

What exactly is a "major presence"? Was Google just the obvious choice because of its scope, or is there some flirting going on in the hopes of a more lasting relationship?

Jon von Tetzchner:

Google provides what many people consider to be the best search engine. Our goal is to provide our users with the best solutions available, so Google was a natural choice, although there are other good choices out there.

The latest announcement about our agreement with Google with regards to Opera Mobile and Opera Mini states: "Opera will make Google Search a major part of the browser`s home screen." That means just that. Google search will be easy to find.

Google is an important partner of Opera and we hope to continue our cooperation into the future. Do not read anything more into that. It just means that we will always strive to get good partners for us to provide a strong product and thus increase our market share.

7) One critical thing missing from Opera...
by JaguarSavages (558510)

Better extensions/plugins. Firefox has earned great acclaim for its dynamic extension support. Extensions such as Fasterfox, Adblock, Web Developer, and many others are the sole reason people use Firefox over Opera (or any other browser). I know Opera is working to help unify the Netscape plugin API, but the upcoming version 9 doesn't appear to have anything that can match Firefox's extension capabilities. When will we see Opera support plugin/extensions as powerful as Firefox's?

Jon von Tetzchner:

Opera does have quite extensive extension capabilities today. User Javascipt is one such example. This is something we first used when we made the Bork version of Opera. We have later added this as a user feature and there are already more than 100 scripts available from the developer community. You can find a lot on userjs.org. Many of these script are very powerful.

Our concern with regards to extensions has been security and general usability. We have seen the number of security issues Microsoft has struggled with and many of them have been related to the APIs between the different applications. However, we do see a demand and we do tend to listen to demands from our users.

8) Will Opera ever go Open Source?
by PenguinBoyDave (806137)

I like Opera...in fact, I have stopped using Firefox in favor of Opera for reasons mentioned in someone elses question. Would you ever consider going back to charging for the browser, yet making it Open Source, and offering support for the paid version?

Jon von Tetzchner:

Thanks for choosing Opera. We apprieciate it. :)

We aim to keep Opera free. Our goal is to increase our market share and we have now taken a big step forward by making Opera free without a banner. We have already seen a good increase in downloads and we are adding significant resources to work on Opera in general and on the desktop.

I do not believe that making Opera open source would benefit us all that much. I do not think it has benefitted Netscape much either. I believe that we should work as closely with the community as possible and find ways to enable the community to engage and influence what we do to an even greater extent. I do not think that going open source would make us more efficient.

9) Web developers and Opera "testing"
by bushboy (112290)

I've worked in a few high profile companies in the UK who are all very serious about adhering to web standards, checking all designs in internet explorer, firefox and safari, but I've yet to encounter a company who will ensure that Opera renders page layouts correctly.

What level of market share would you say is required by Opera for web developers to ensure their layouts render correctly ?

Jon von Tetzchner:

IMHO, it is best for web developers to focus on following web standards. This still leaves them with having to code for IE, but most of the time, this will lead to the fastest and best result. I also think that is absolutely necessary as the web evolves from being desktop only to being cross-platform and cross-device.

I believe that web developers should strive to test with as many browsers as possible and that Opera should be part of that as one of the major browsers in the market. Very many sites are already testing with Opera as we do have a significant market share, with between 10 and 15 million active desktop users and more than 20 million mobile deployments so far.

10) Future of free version?
by simetra (155655)

Hi
I love Opera and bought it... several years ago, then a recent upgrade. THEN, you made it free!!!

So, that makes me think, maybe you made the PC version free, and are going to concentrate on the mobile versions, which you probably really make money on. Does this mean that the free PC version will stagnate? Or will future versions be built, with fun new features?

Also... how about a new logo? Or maybe a cross-marketing deal with Oprah?

Jon von Tetzchner:

We are increasing our efforts on the desktop as well as on mobile and other markets. We have big plans for our desktop version, so do not worry, you can expect even more in the future as we are adding programmers to work on the desktop as well as in the core, which benefits all versions of Opera.

No new logo is planned. Our feeling is that the current logo works well and it has been built over years. It is already being used by partners all across the world in promoting the fact that Opera comes with their products.

We have not plans for a cross-marketing deal with Oprah, but maybe it makes sense? :)

11) Bug tracking, developer tools and HTML/CSS/JS
by smurfsurf (892933)

1. Opera Bug Tracking System My experience with Opera's bug tracking system are rather frustrating. I can not check if some bug is already known (describing a bug and creating a test case is time consuming). Also, I reported some things and never ever got any feedback besides an automatic email. I do not know if Opera considers it a bug, if it is not a bug but an error on my side, if someone works on it, if it was fixed, simply nothing comes back. The Opera BTS is a black hole, and since some time now, I do not feel like making the effort to report bugs.

Do you plan to open up the BTS or at least allow the submitter to view the ticket? Or enhance the feedback?

Jon von Tetzchner:

Your feedback is well received. The BTS works very well for internal use, but I can understand that it is not optimal for those that would like to do more than just report an issue. We will discuss this internally and see what we can do. We still want it to be possible for people to register bugs without having to have an account in our system.

2. Developer Tools

How about a DOM Inspector (and a Javascript Debugger)? Firefox's DOM Inspector and XMLHttpRequest Monitor are dearly missing in Opera.

There are some excellent third party tools available (please see nontroppo.org/wiki/WebDevToolbar for a good starting point). We are also actively working on extending built-in solutions and there are some improvements with regards to that in Merlin as well. This is something we take very seriously as more and more people are using Opera to build applications.

3. HTML/CSS/JS

Any word on opacity support? On a Richtext Editing component?

Both are part of Merlin.

12) Norwegian babes
by HonkyLips (654494)

From previous Opera related posts on Slashdot, it has come to my attention that you have some real babes working for you in Norway. Are any of them single and if so, would they be interested in dating a guy who reads slashdot? BTW I use Safari but I can be persuaded to switch...

Jon von Tetzchner:

I must admit to not having total control over who of our employees are currently single and who are not, but I am sure some of our employees are single. However, who they date is clearly up to them.

I believe most people working at Opera read Slashdot either frequently or now and then. We are a very technical bunch.

Happy New Year to everybody at Slashdot! May the new year be very exciting and positive and peaceful!

-- Regards/Vennlig hilsen/Kær kvedja...
Jon S. von Tetzchner
Opera Software

Opera's Vision: www.opera.com/company/vision/

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Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner Answers Your Questions

Comments Filter:
  • by JonN (895435) * on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:04PM (#14385567) Homepage
    "12) Norwegian babes
    by HonkyLips (654494)

    From previous Opera related posts on Slashdot, it has come to my attention that you have some real babes working for you in Norway. Are any of them single and if so, would they be interested in dating a guy who reads slashdot? BTW I use Safari but I can be persuaded to switch...

    Jon von Tetzchner:

    I must admit to not having total control over who of our employees are currently single and who are not, but I am sure some of our employees are single. However, who they date is clearly up to them. "

    Wow...I'm still trying to figure out if they are both being serious...or if one side isn't holding up their end of the joke

    • Maybe he really does have control over who they date and is trying to play it off like he doesn't.
      • Re:Serious? Joking? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by chaals (842154)
        /me checks contract...

        Nope. Gotta do work, expected to turn up from time to time for friday evening drinks unless I don't want to, get invited to parties, but nothing about who I date. Although I am not sure I was the employee in mind when the question was asked... ;)

        But hey, what kind of question is it anyway? We work hard here, and we enjoy ourselves. Nobody found the photo of Jon stripping off to go swimming at the staff party, or some of the other fun stuff we do. But we're not for sale. Not as a compan
    • by tgd (2822) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:13PM (#14385648)
      I'm just wondering how that question got submitted to them, but my +5 question asking for Kari's phone number on the Mythbusters interview didn't.

      *grumbles*

      • Really! I was waiting on that myself also.

        I guess I will have to make a trip to SF and stalk^H^H^H^Hask her myself.

        *goes and gets the windowless van ready*
        • Re:Serious? Joking? (Score:3, Informative)

          by th3space (531154)
          Here's a thought. Maybe go to one of her showings are a gallery (try to go on opening night, that's when the artists are most likely to be in attendance), express interest in her works (some of which are very stunning and provocative), approach the curator regarding the acquisition of a piece and ask for an introduction to the artist. Focus on her creative works, not on her television persona, keep the conversation light and breezy, offer to fetch a drink for her, etc.

          It is my suspicion that this would b
    • by _xeno_ (155264)

      Based on this [opera.com], it would seem that Jon S. von Tetzchner does indeed have a sense of humor, so I'd guess that this was a strange attempt at some form of a joke. I think he's suggesting that they read Slashdot, so if any were actually interested, they could post here, and that's the joke?

      But I could be wrong. I dunno. I really just wanted to post that link.

    • I believe the lack of obviousness on his part is the joke.
    • Language issues perhaps? I mean, it seems like he speaks fine English, but having had a close friend from Germany and a current roommate from China, I can attest to the fact that jokes are the hardest things to translate (I speak minimal German, and no Chinese, they both speak very good English), because they are often rooted in idiom or plays on words. My German teacher said that you always lose something like 13% or so in even the best translations. This may be one of those cases.
    • by sstidman (323182) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:54PM (#14385981) Journal
      You're right, and that's just one of the areas where he blew it. Opera would have been better served to keep their answers somewhat lighthearted instead of so stiff. He didn't really answer some of the questions well, I don't think. He says in a couple of places that they will be improving Opera in Merlin but he does not give any clues at all about what those improvements are. He had a great opportunity to list all the new features, but he didn't bother. His predictable answers seem like fluff written by a marketing stiff.
      • Re:Serious? Joking? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by g0_p (613849)
        Maybe he likes it "Steve Jobs" way and keep things under wraps until it is ready... especially since a lot of their innovative ideas keep getting copied by all the other browsers in the market.
      • He had a great opportunity to list all the new features, but he didn't bother.

        Bother??

        You know, they have competition both from at least two fronts with the IE guys hard at work nowadays too.
      • And exactly what did you expect from him? He is the CEO of a public company, with rules and regulations that govern that position. One of them being that you don't blab in a public forum about stuff that hasn't been officially vetted by your legal/PR/marketing/tech departments. As a result, all questions that are directly product-related (what new features) will be stiff PR stuff. The only questions that could be light-hearted and off-the-cuff are the Oprah cross-marketing type questions - questions that ar
    • I think it's straight-forward dry wit, though it's always easier to pull off in person than in text.
    • by Simon Brooke (45012) * <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @04:05PM (#14386542) Homepage Journal
      From previous Opera related posts on Slashdot, it has come to my attention that you have some real babes working for you in Norway. Are any of them single and if so, would they be interested in dating a guy who reads slashdot?

      Last time I was over in Scandinavia (Sweden, actually, but... (much too long ago)) I met a very real babe who worked for Opera (and still does). Sadly, she's married. Even more sadly, happily. If you're reading, you know who you are... and I still wear the T shirt!

    • by tacid (731505)
      What's the matter with you /. guys? Can't understand humour without a ;) ending it? Just try using your imagination... Of course Jon von Tetzchner said this with a smile on his face...

      However, it's a rather silly question, and not very funny, and I think Jon's rather dry but sarcastic reply fits it perfectly...

      (and I am Norwegian, so I'm an expert on all Norwegians' sense of humour...) (if you didn't get the joke there, try inserting a ;) at the end of the line, before the closing parenthesis and compile it
  • Merlin (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheJavaGuy (725547) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:05PM (#14385577) Homepage
    There is a lot of new things coming in Merlin. FYI, "Merlin" is the code name for Opera 9, the next major browser release.
    • Re:Merlin (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ToasterofDOOM (878240)
      I was really dissapointed as to how he responded to the requests for extensions. I recently switched to opera from firefox, but I really miss some of my extensions, namely foxytunes (best. extension. evar.) among others. It would totally be THE browser if it had a more powerful, open extensions API.
      • It would totally be THE browser if it had a more powerful, open extensions API.

        What's wrong with what they already have [opera.com]? I don't see why something like Foxytunes wouldn't be possible. In fact, Plugger, which is listed on that page, seems very similar.

      • At least he hinted that he understand the demand along with saying they listen to demands.

        It's about as positive I think he can get without giving away any specific future plans, which he may not want to for competitive reasons or because that part is still sketchy as for its implementation.
      • I think if you read the Opera forum wishlists, a large percentage of the vocal base (say up to 60%) actually prefer Opera does not have extensions. Specifically for the reason he listed (though there are many more), security.

        I am one of those people, and I am glad Opera doesn't have extensions - for reasons I've expounded on at lenght in several wishlist threads.
  • by ettlz (639203) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:06PM (#14385579) Journal
    I must admit to not having total control over who of our employees are currently single and who are not

    Yeah, well just how far does your partial control extend?!

  • by ptrangerv8 (644515) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:08PM (#14385598)
    How come it took him a year to reply to /. ? Aren't we good enough for him, or were all those 'hot Norwegian babes' distracting him?

  • ...when the Google Browser [kottke.org] is on the way! ;-)
    • What's really funny is that a few weeks ago, people were citing gbrowser.com as "evidence" of a Google takeover of Opera.

      Just goes to show that wild speculation never disappears, it just changes in the details. Hmm, kind of like urban legends. There may be something to that...
  • by glomph (2644) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:11PM (#14385632) Homepage Journal
    "Tell us, Jon, all Slashdotters need to know: Is it really over when the Fat Lady sings?"
  • Dupe in the Q&A (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:12PM (#14385642)
    Can't even get through a Q&A without a dupe? Why is question 1 repeated in question 4? I realize they're not exactly the same but the information we get from 1 is the same as what we get from 4 and it should've been pretty obvious that would be the case.
  • by b7j0c (884562) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:16PM (#14385672)
    This is just moronic. Its a compliance test.
    • by Kelson (129150) * on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:52PM (#14385951) Homepage Journal
      It's not even really a compliance test. It's a kick in the pants for browser developers to fill in a bunch of unused corners of the specs (in the hopes that they'll one day be usable).

      Passing Acid2 doesn't mean you comply with CSS 2.1, HTML 4.01, or any other spec -- it just means you correctly implement the particular rules that Acid2 tests. It's theoretically possible for browser A to pass 90% of the spec and not pass Acid2, and browser B to pass 85% of the spec including Acid2.

      So far Safari, Konqueror, and iCab have passed, and Opera is very close (Opera 9 preview 1 has something like one Acid2 bug left, and they may have fixed it in internal builds by now.) We'll probably see Firefox catching up in 2.0 or 3.0 (I can't remeber which is going to use Gecko 1.9).

      There are may reasons to use Opera, but a preview release nearly passing Acid2 isn't one of them.
    • Yeah, he's dropping Firefox because it doesn't natively support something unimportant that Opera also doesn't support. Oh, and don't forget the all-important eye candy and general coolness.

      Looks like the average IQ of both Firefox and Opera users just went up a notch.
  • URL Autocomplete (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 31415926535897 (702314) on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:18PM (#14385691) Journal
    Some of these features are by request from our user community, so feel free to add your own requests.

    One feature I got hooked on back in the day was auto-URL completion by using Ctrl. So you type in "google" into the address bar, hit Ctrl+Enter, and the url would automagically become http://www.google.com/ [google.com] . Firefox took this a step further and have made Shift+Ctrl+Enter .org, and Shift+Enter .net. Naturally, I habitually did this in Opera when I tried it out, and it would not auto-complete, it would fail and then try .com, and by the time it got around to getting the url right, I could just type it in by hand. I think it would be nice to at least be able to turn this feature on.

    The real reason I moved back to Firefox after I tried Opera (and I gave it a good month) was because one day, Gmail just stopped working. On different days, both at work and at home, I could not log back into Gmail no matter what I did (short of reinstalling Opera, because I'm just too lazy to do that). This also happened to a coworker; he switched back too.

    • The real reason I moved back to Firefox after I tried Opera (and I gave it a good month) was because one day, Gmail just stopped working. On different days, both at work and at home, I could not log back into Gmail no matter what I did (short of reinstalling Opera, because I'm just too lazy to do that). This also happened to a coworker; he switched back too.

      Same here. I actually have Opera and Firefox installed on my machine. I *try* to use Opera since it sounds promising, but it always fails on Javascri

    • Re:URL Autocomplete (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kelson (129150) * on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @03:17PM (#14386163) Homepage Journal
      I could not log back into Gmail no matter what I did

      I used to have problems with logging into sites on Opera. There was a period of time when I had to log into my.opera.com using Firefox (oh, the irony!). It turns out that Opera's behind-the-scenes cookie management is not always intuitive.

      I wrote up my findings [hyperborea.org] last summer, but the basic issue is with cookie permissions. "Treat as specified in Server Manager" seems to ignore any cookies that you haven't explicitly allowed in the Manage Cookies dialog, and some sites require you to accept third-party cookies. From what I can tell, there are situations in which site1.example.com sets a cookie for example.com (so that site2.example.com can read it), but the cookie is interpreted as a third-party cookie, so if you have told Opera to block third-party cookies it'll just ignore the cookie, preventing you from logging in.

      Hope this helps
      • I think the cookie management is one of the major flaws of Opera.

        I really like the browser but why oh why can't they simply copy Firefox, Konqueror or half a dozen other browsers?

        If they'd only change the fact that the cookie dialog always defaults to the same value, not the one you chose the last time. So most times you have to use the dropdown menu (in itself slower than bullet points) and most times you also have to disallow both cookies and third party cookies for any given domain because somehow the

    • Re:URL Autocomplete (Score:2, Interesting)

      by aconkling (916504)

      The real reason I moved back to Firefox after I tried Opera (and I gave it a good month) was because one day, Gmail just stopped working. On different days, both at work and at home, I could not log back into Gmail no matter what I did (short of reinstalling Opera, because I'm just too lazy to do that). This also happened to a coworker; he switched back too.

      I have an even better idea. If you like Opera, it'd probably be easier to search for your problem [opera.com] rather than customize a different browser. The Ope

    • Is it THAT MUCH TROUBLE to type in .com? I mean, seriously. I have myself so trained to type in .net, .com, or .org after a URL, I'd save about 1/10 of a second by doing a Shift-Ctrl-Enter chord.

      Translation: a queer effect of a browser I got used to doesn't work in Opera. Can you implement, bugtest, QA, and deploy a feature that me and three other people will use?

      • ? Yes, it's that much trouble. I never want to be without Ctrl-Enter.
      • Actually, I understand people wanting that feature, and if Opera wouldn't be pigheaded, their current keyboard mapping ability *could* allow it if they didn't disallow certain random keys (like enter) from being mapped.

        That all said, if you turn off another stupid default (the check for local lan addresses) which should be off by default ... then finding www.foo.com from foo is instaneous.

        And if you are going to sites frequently, I find (for instance) that setting a bookmark with a nickname is much faster.

        s

    • I would guess other browsers are similar, but in Safari, I type usually 1 or 2 characters in my address bar after typing Apple-L to load the location. If its a site I've been to recently or is bookmarked, I'm there. If its a new site, I hit tab and then put the company name in the google search and the first link will usually suffice.

      Having to press shift+control+enter takes me about the same time as pressing .org. Having to press shift+enter is about the same as typing .net. Having to remember 1 to 2 c
    • type in "google" into the address bar, hit Ctrl+Enter [...] Firefox took this a step further and have made Shift+Ctrl+Enter .org, and Shift+Enter .net

      But not on Macs. I've never been able to get these tricks to work on the Mac, which sucks because I use them all the time on my Windows machines. But then Safari is more than good enough, so... I wish it had this feature, though.
    • Naturally, I habitually did this in Opera when I tried it out, and it would not auto-complete, it would fail and then try .com, and by the time it got around to getting the url right, I could just type it in by hand. I think it would be nice to at least be able to turn this feature on.

      Better yet, just search from Opera address bar. Type "g kerneltrap" into the address bar, hit Enter, and voila - Google search results page. Of course this doesn't apply if all you want is the Google home page, but person
  • Do me a fav... go to the question story [slashdot.org], change to 'highest score first' and you'll find my thread at the top, score:5. I had, what I thought, was a good question. Why was it not asked? It was the first top rated question, yet not included. I really wanted to hear his insight on it.
    • Grammar and capitalization errors, plus other questions covered essentially the same material.

      I follow your journal [slashdot.org] and like it, so please don't think it was anything personal.

      - Robin
      • Grammar and capitalization errors...
        Bah! I'm an engineer, not a novelist! ;)
        Didn't take it personally... figured there was a good answer. Thanks for responding.
    • Re:You missed me (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hkmwbz (531650)

      "I had, what I thought, was a good question. Why was it not asked?"

      Maybe because it was crap and you are not up to date?

      "How do you plan on making money when a free, open source product is directly competing with you?"

      Opera is free as in beer now. Open source is irrelevant to most people. And competition doesn't mean that one can't make money.

      Remember the Mozilla Corporation and how it was formed recently? They want to make money too!

      So basically, your question was just completely stupid because

  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:28PM (#14385758) Homepage
    I'm impressed. When is the last time you've heard a product rep. assert that they're trying to make their product smaller?
    • When is the last time you've heard a product rep. assert that they're trying to make their product smaller?

      Well, the last time I was at a nanotech conference...
    • When there is actual competition, not just two companies bouncing off one another. Now that we have three serious browsers again, Microsoft's IE Gorilla has to compete with both a lighter, refined Opera and an infinitely customizable, OS Firefox. I expect this particular emphasis has to do with Opera on the cellphones, which seems to be where they will try to make their stand against IE.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I used to use Opera and am glad it continues to exist but these responses are very straight, PR type reponses, more appropriate for their investor relations page than a geek journal. Opera have a great browser and my eternal respect for their stance on software patents but the community aspect seems to be a little artificial, more of a reaction to mozilla than genuine grass roots support. Microsoft could easily create a copycat IE community without sacrificing any of their, corporate err... values.
  • There are nerds in the US that want to meet you!

    But the question is, would you want to meet them?
  • by B Man (51992) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <maharghb>> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @02:53PM (#14385964) Homepage
    I have in the past been a sys admin, security admin, network admin, software developer, project manager, integrater, consultant and currently a software tester, so I am pretty well informed on technology.

    Thats my background, but whats funny is that in my history, the people who have used and liked opera have been business types. I have one past customer in particular, he uses opera on his primary browsing computer. But he isnt typical in any way, as this customer has been known to be a technological slug. He still does most of his work on a Windows 98 box using all DOS based software. He uses FirstChoice for word processing, a proprietary app for controlling alarm systems, and other long outdated software. Now even though I have updated everyone else in his office to current software, he continues to keep what he says "works". This is why he only uses Opera now. He had at one time many, many problems with his computers (mostly because of old software, virii, and spyware), including Internet Explorer. So he got to a point where pages just wouldn't load, and when they did not for long as popups would take over and he didnt recognize a concept of trusted hosts. So when he asked me to find another solution for him, I had installed and loaded Netscape, and because of his internet habits, it too became unusable. As this was years ago, at the time I had never used opera, but knew of it. I loaded opera and co-learned with him how to use it for basic browsing, and never looked back. With the new wave of usage of Firefox, I had recently installed it to all other office pc's and all users were comfortable and loving it. So I tried to add firefox for him too, and still even with adblock, etc he still couldnt use it. But opera he is so comfortable with he will not change now. He loves it, it does exactly what it is supposed to, and it has never not worked. This is the key for him, that it doesnt just work, but works everytime. And the fact that it shows some ads has never seemed to bother him at all. He just doesnt want to think about how or why or even what works. So with better exposure I'm sure alot more people would use opera over firefox. Not because of this or that feature, but because of stability and reliability. The web browser is your window to the internet, so what need is there for another set of windows underneath, just tabs. ;)
  • One critical thing missing from Opera...
    by JaguarSavages (558510)

    Better extensions/plugins. Firefox has earned great acclaim for its dynamic extension support. Extensions such as Fasterfox, Adblock, Web Developer, and many others are the sole reason people use Firefox over Opera


    Hey, whats up with the answer to this question?! He dind't answer it at all! This is the only reasons I don't use Opera, and he basically brushed this question off!

    • I know, and it's too bad. I would dump Firefox the slow memory hog in a second if Opera supported easy to use ad-blocking.
    • Jon von Tetzchner:

      Opera does have quite extensive extension capabilities today. User Javascipt is one such example. This is something we first used when we made the Bork version of Opera. We have later added this as a user feature and there are already more than 100 scripts available from the developer community. You can find a lot on userjs.org. Many of these script are very powerful.

      Our concern with regards to extensions has been security and general usability. We have seen the number of security is
    • I agree 100%. Right now there are no browsers I wholeheartedly love, and that pains me. I was, up until recently, a Firefox user for the past 2 years, but the memory leaks/cpu usage finally drove me away. I'm now using Maxthon, but something about having IE as the core makes me feel dirty. I decided to give Opera a shot recently, and simply on not being able to painlessly set up an ad blocker, I have decided it's not currently an option for me. Something spending 20 minutes adding some obscure script o
      • Well, I think the case is that AdBlocking doesn't seem to be a priority for Opera software. Actually I think it has everything to do with how they make money - it's based on ad clicks at google, and similar at other partner sites. They aren't going to introduce something that a) pisses off many websites so they block the browser entirely; and b) destroys their revenue stream.

        That said, there is always AdMuncher which does a good job blocking ads, and I use proxomitron which also does a good job.
    • Is the only thing stopping me from using Opera. All external solutions (I tried them all, squid + filter, webwasher, proxomitron, and several others) are all too cumbersome.
  • He's done more than record a few lame "new age" albums?
  • Testing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Simon Brooke (45012) * <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Tuesday January 03, 2006 @04:10PM (#14386576) Homepage Journal

    One of the reason so few developers test in Opera is because Opera on the whole does standards so well. If you build your site in a standards compliant way, it will work in Opera. Which is how it should be.

    A company (and a product) I admire very much. Aside, it's interesting - for such a small country - how many world-class software companies Norway has. I wish we had one half as many here in Scotland.

  • One quite obvious feature I think is missing in all browsers is online Bookmarks, and history. I'd like to login into the browser anywhere and get my bookmarks and browse history in that browser immediately. Bookmarks would automatically be saved at that site (not locally), and I shouldnt have to login daily on my home machine's Opera.

    Such a feature is low-overhead in CPU and bandwidth and shouldnt take much additional code. Maybe it already exists under another name, but I still have to sync my work and ho
  • I wish I didn't miss this Q&A. I used Opera for years, but after getting into Firefox at 1.0 I find it near impossible to go back. I keep installing both at new releases, but Opera invariable falls to the wayside in my usage.

    The only cure I see is real encouragement of a plug-in/extension architecture. And a more consistent (with FF) rendering model.

    I must have:

    Flash block. I tried one of the suggested opera user scripts in the past and it failed. No flash block no Opera. It is that simple. By flashbloc
    • Interestingly enough I have these right now in Opera 8.51:

      Flash block. I tried one of the suggested opera user scripts in the past and it failed. No flash block no Opera. It is that simple. By flashblock I mean the same functionality of the plug-in. Plays flash only when clicked. Domain white listing an optional nicety.

      I use proxomitron, I maintain an opera modded set at www.streamload.com/jp10558/public . Flashblock, domain whitelist, click to play or save. Also works for java applets. (Oh, I have to get a
      • "I use proxomitron, I maintain an opera modded set at www.streamload.com/jp10558/public."

        As a long time Opera user, proxomitron was in my arsenal for better user agent spoofing, but eventually I found this solution too cumbersome. I don't plan to revisit. We need simpler solutions to expand the userbase. Proxo is much more work than extensions.

        "Double click the URL - shift or ctrl shift click the go to url. "

        I am talking about non link text URLs, when you just highlight a bit of text that is a link, a term
  • Additional question, when can I use "/." as the keyword, like I do in firefox. Shame you can only use alphabetical characters (and probably numbers) but not other characters. It should be a string compare, I will use "http://" if I need a page which name conflicts (never happens anyway).

    I like the browsing experience in Opera. I do not like the settings and the rather few (or easy to find?) extensions to it.
  • When I close a tab I expect the one to left of the tab i just closed to be active, not for the damn browser to activate some other lame random tab...
  • the main thing that has kept me with firefox (even though it seems to crash every 3-5 days) is the fact that the tabs in Opera don't resize. With firefox, I can open 25+ tabs with absolutely no problem. With Opera, I can only open about 5 tabs before it makes a new row, which I find extremely annoying. Anyone know of a way to make the tabs resize to a smaller size instead of creating a new row?

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