Forward thinking and hopeful - A different Opera 12 user's perspective
A few months ago I lost my serial number for xGestures, a system wide mouse gesture utility for OS X. As far as I can tell, it's almost abandonware, but the developer is friendly and responsive, and he maintains it just enough to keep it functioning through Apple's yearly release cycles. He does so because he uses it himself and finds mouse gestures an invaluable part of his workflow, as do I. Pair it with something like Moom or Divvy and you really got something. Anyways, I shoot the developer an email asking for my SN, making small talk, bitching about the lamentable web browser landscape, asking what his current default browser is these days (Chrome) and so on. He humors me in his reply and shared a link to this fairytale TechCrunch article/fan fiction about the founder of Opera, returning from obscurity to right the wrongs of a once great browser maker led astray. This VonTechner fellow was to lead power users out of the wilderness with his shiny new web browser. Be still, my fluttering heart. I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn't reading The Onion. If the browser thing doesn't work out, I'm looking forward to the book deal. For many years the Presto rendering engine was at the very center of my workflow, and I stubbornly clung to it's advanced feature set. With grudging reluctance and a heavy heart I eventually made the decision to move on, along with many other passionate and fiercely loyal Opera fans. I wandered from browser to browser, looking for a home. There was a brief and frightening experiment to Frankenstein a suitable replacement with gobs of FireFox extensions, but that was short lived. I basically gave up on the idea of a power users web browser. Until now. Abandoning Presto for Blink was the right choice for Opera and it's the right choice for Vivaldi. Opera's mistake was turning it's back on it's roots, on it's most engaged power users. I for one welcome this much needed injection of innovation and choice aimed at enthusiasts. The overly critical early feedback, especially from Opera 12 users, is in extremely poor taste. Let's hope Jon doesn't just throw his hands in the air, change his mind and decide to take up golfing instead. I hope everyone will rally around the Vivaldi team and heap praise and encouragement for their early efforts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with providing constructive criticism, I intend to dish out my own share when the time is right. Just remember to balance your constructive criticism with an equal amount of gratitude and positivity. I'm going to be patient and enjoy the ride and I look forward to sharing the experience with new and familiar faces. Go Vivaldi!
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it starts paying for itself or becomes profitable soon enough, that Jon doesn't give up. Personally, I think the chances of this are extremely good.
We're on a wavelength, OP. Heartily agreed!
I would add that in addition, Opera's mistake was not working on Presto/Webkit/Blink concurrently, so they could be at Opera-20ish feature-set instead of starting from scratch when they announced it. Of course that likely wouldn't of changed all that much, since from the outset they've been pretty clear that MANY|MOST Opera features wont be coming back.
We've seen what Tetzchner's small team has accomplished in a little over a year –- it really puts into perspective all the bullshit Opera has spouted over the last 2 years about the "difficulty" of implementing "X". There's no damn "difficulty" --- the Opera dev's implement the features they want or are told to. Screw what the community wants. Opera knows better than you.
Use SpeedDial and Stash as bookmarks. Opera knows better than you.
Choke and Cripple your browser with Extensions; bloat the addressbar with Extension Icons as there's no where else to put them -- Opera knows better than you.
Drink the Koolaid, come on. Opera knows best.
I would also like to thank Tetzchner for giving ex-and-current-Opera users a voice|home|community... Somewhere that we can vent frustration at what Opera has become. You can't do so @ Opera.... they censor and censor and censor. No dissent allowed! Opera knows best.
That's a poisonous attitude which basically comes down to tech companies deciding that they want to be the next Apple, so they're going to copy the most superficial aspects of Apple and assume that will be enough to make them the next Apple. It's like, I don't mind that Apple exists, nor that people like Apple products, but I do mind when everyone else loses their damn mind and throws everything away to badly imitate Apple, and self-destructs. Such a damn waste.
I'm a long time opera user too. I still use opera 12 today.
I'm so thankful to Jon for Vivaldi even though it is not finished yet. Jon understood what made opera great and remembered that the people who enjoyed opera's features did not disappear when opera jumped the shark.
We will probably never amount to a majority of users worth billions of dollars but we are a faithful engaged community of users and we're not going anywhere.
Thanks Jon and team, keep up the good work.
I don't know that I would agree with your premise that Opera has lost its way because they started to imitate Apple. Historically both Opera and Apple have had a tremendous amount in common with one another. If anything I think you could more easily argue Opera may have lost its way when it stopped behaving like Apple.
Let's compare the two:
- Both companies have spent most of their respective existence as widely misunderstood underdogs who struggle to capture significant market share.
- The superiority of both companies products are often difficult to communicate to those skeptical and dismissive of the arguments that "it's the sum of a lot of little niceties", or the thoughtfulness demonstrated in numerous tough decisions and often overlooked details that affect the quality of the product as a whole.
- Both companies are fiercely independent, stubborn and proud. They both have always marched to the beat of their own drums.
- Both companies have an amazing track record of genuine innovation.
- Attention to detail is a core competency and focus of both companies.
- Both Apple and Opera have been followed by a small but very passionate and very vocal fan base that at times has bordered on fanatical and still bewilders the masses.
- Both Jon and Steve left the companies they founded as CEO on less than stellar terms. Both companies saw their founders triumphantly return to the helm years later to rescue the companies from failure… well the last part didn't actually happen... yet.