After about 1 year: @Opera: why do you not rowing back?

  • Over a year you now fished "in troubled waters". Nothing has improved. Ok - it was an idea: [i]"Let's jump on the Chrome train - maybe we will do it better than them."[/i] But you never had a chance. Chrome is a browser for people who do not know better. Opera has always been the browser for those who do. Now, one year later : What do you reach? Nothing. Still you try - more bad than right - to create a [i]construct[/i] that is already there but just not improving. Not because you can not do it - but because the principle is already wrong. A browser for average user - that Opera never was. You thought "that works". The year has shown: you have been wrong. Even your developers do not have fun in this "test tube baby". This can be seen very clearly as an [i]observer[/i]. [b]How about a completely crazy idea?[/b] [i]"Hey - we get Presto out and start right through!" [/i] The browser is there: Engine and UI! You would have not even start from scratch! And - hey: we all make mistakes. What the hell? No real Opera users will judge you for it! And considering times the earthquake in the browser world: [size=4][i]"Opera goes back to Presto"[/i][/size]. Even the shares would have a high-altitude flight! Sorry for this crazy statement. I just had to be rid of...

  • 🙂 Chrome is well cr**, old is gold.

  • Obviously, I have no idea how long this stuff takes to create, or how much work really needs to be done, but what is striking to me is the lack of progress.

    The Opera PR spun the news of the switch as freeing up resources to develop new features. And, really, there's nothing.

    Most of the features seem like token efforts. "Look we made bookmarks!" - but it's not close to what people wanted, and after rapid development after they announced it, we haven't heard anything since. "Look we still have mouse gestures" - except they are mostly useless because they aren't customizable. "Look we made a search engine manager!" - except you can't even set your own default engine. It almost feels like they're trolling their own users with a bunch of half-developed features that are worse than what they used to have, just so they can say they have the 'feature'.

    And it seems like progress is slowing. 22 barely added anything. New themes, really? And they aren't even real themes - they're just a wallpaper, another example of half-developed features. And their big announcement on 23 is unprefixed CSS transforms. Certainly not a bad thing, but it's not much of a draw.

    Now they have a survey out asking about tab features. It's nice that they're asking for input, but weren't they talking about new tab features coming 'soon' back when 19 was the Next version?

  • 'twould be nice, Ice007… No need to apologize.

    I have tried a myriad of browsers since but always return to Presto.
    Ease of use, functionality (no need to search for an add-on, as you don't need many) and customization.
    I know it is dated now, but even so it is more useful than any of the competition. Ahead of its time.

  • Opera has done some stuff. I always hate it when people say they haven't done anything. They haven't done anything about my favorite features - and in fact say some of them are impossible in Blink - but they have done quite a bit. (In other words, I'm not going to say what they've done is all that good, but I hate people saying "They haven't done anything" when they obviously have. They seem most concerned with speed though …)

  • @sgunhouse:

    They seem most concerned with speed though …)

    but they are not faster than the naked Chromium I use for pages that deliberately exclude the old Opera - and how could they? They are using it as base. Every change they make to Blink/V8 etc goes through the upstream directly to the chromium project, so I benefit of those changes anyway. The only real thing under their control is the UI - and I prefer that of Chromium too - more options and most of them are way easier to find, especially when it comes to e.g. site specific settings: Click on the padlock or the site icon in the address bar and you are there. Not distracting for the new user but very helpful for the experienced. There are many more UI details like that where Chromium excels against Opera 15++, in some it is even better than Opera Presto was. OK, none of the browsers out there ever matched Opera 12– when it comes to the sheer number of integrated functions, but apart from the M2/IRC/Unite/RSS/UserCSS etc.pp. stuff, Chromium is my choice.

  • They do not use the same UI, and that does not go to the upstream. Their UI is simpler, which means less overhead … okay, on complex pages most of the time is in rendering and the lighter UI won't make that much difference. But on simpler stuff it should.

    Mind, if you have to install 5 extensions to get the content blocking and gestures and whatnot that Presto had, you are losing everything they gained in the simplified UI.

  • I've never been taken by any of the Chromium browsers and rather hoped Opera might have come up with something better or more usefully unique, so far rather disappointed, I really don't see the point in adopting it as an option. As far as 'speed' is concerned the differences don't seem to be particularly noticeable enough in everyday browsing to care about unless I'm missing something. I'm still using Presto but have got Firefox to behave and look like Presto with far less hustle than it took just to import bookmarks in Blink. Opera Blink is Opera in name only, I don't see why it should appeal to any old Opera users and if Opera intends it to do so it's a long way down the line yet.

  • I have a Windows 8 netbook (along with a couple of other computers) - a laptop with an 11" screen, an Atom processor, and 1 GB of RAM (shared between the system and the onboard video). Trying to run Opera 21 on that is just about an exercise in futility. Not that Presto is all that great either, but it does work. Honestly, that is the one feature no current browser has - the ability to run on limited hardware. That is the market no one can take away from Presto (so far).

    Everyone keeps saying John is going to rewrite Presto. That is a very tall order, even with most of the previous developers from Opera Software. But if he does, I hope he can do it in a way that will work on limited hardware.

  • @sgunhouse:

    Everyone keeps saying John is going to rewrite Presto.

    No source from vivaldi ever said that, all rumors.

    That is a very tall order, even with most of the previous developers from Opera Software.

    Oh yes!
    Rewriting software that took years to grow is extremely hard. Each and every fix that went into it and every silly line must be rewritten ("What is this good for? Oh let's remove it." Some minutes later a catastrophe happens because the one esoteric thing happens, that was previously covered by this line). All of that would be way easier if he had the source code, which I think he doesn't have. I don't believe it would be possible at all because some things still might be "© by Opera ASA" …

    The latest bonus the Opera CEO added to his bank account would have been enough to pay a small team of developers (not more than 5-10) who do nothing than carefully refactoring and documenting the latest Opera code with everything in (aka 11.64) and closing the last security holes without adding anything. That could have been done during the last year. In the next step, those few developers could look after the bottlenecks the presto engine has (e.g. position fixed and some few JS methods) and remove those. I believe that there are not that many.
    When all of that is done, they could release the sou…
    Darn, I woke up! It was just a dream, not going to happen.

  • Heh, Opera is promoting an interview with CEO Lars Boilesen from Bloomberg TV

    I liked the part where they asked him why someone should use Opera instead of Chrome. Seemed like he struggled to give an answer. Well he did say "we're different" a few times but seemed incapable of explaining how.

  • Why not just use Chrome? It seems the other browsers are all trying to look and act just like Chrome so why not use it? I just downloaded Firefox (again– the last install had a bug and the only "fix" appears to have been complete removal and fresh install) and so help me, only the Firefox logo looks any different than Chrome. Otherwise, it appears to be a look-alike-act-alike with the Mozilla engine rather than the Chromium engine.

    The new Opera browser-- OK, short and simple, Chrome is better. How a browser that was the worst is now better than what used to be one of the best is an ongoing mystery.

  • The last version of Firefox is listed as having a mode where you can move or remove UI elements - can't do that in Chrome or Opera/Blink yet. Mind you, in some old versions of Presto you could just drag things around (no need to invoke a special mode) … so maybe it's a start.

  • Try cyberfox.

  • @Ice007:

    … Opera has always been the browser for those who do. Now, one year later : What do you reach? Nothing. Still you try - more bad than right - to create a construct that is already there but just not improving.
    Not because you can not do it - but because the principle is already wrong. A browser for average user - that Opera never was. You thought "that works". The year has shown: you have been wrong. …

    Perhaps those of us who want a highly-configurable, minimal-footprint, full-function browser are not the ones Opera is now aiming at. Perhaps Opera is actually aiming at a minority chunk of the Chrome market, rather than a tiny minority of the overall browser market? 20% of 50% may work out to be a bigger chunk of users than 3% of 100% (the numbers are not really accurate, but only serve to illustrate the point). If that's the case, and if they hit such a target, they may not turn out to be wrong from a stockholder perspective… only time and user stats will tell the story.

    One thing seems certain, as I ponder what has become of Opera over the various Blink versions to date: Opera's focus seems no longer to be on basic browser innovation, but instead on a slow process of tweaking a few features (speed dial, tabs, etc). Possibly this is because Opera no longer controls its own engines, but must rely on the chromium/Blink material that's handed down to them. Opera said early on that they wanted to relieve themselves of the burden of maintaining/developing their own rendering engine, and that's exactly what they've done. However, the Blink architecture seems to impose some very rigid limitations upon the levels of innovation that are possible in the GUI... as a result, the changes made over the Blink versions to date contain nothing conceptually "earthshaking" - even the (reluctant?) restoration of a bookmark bar remains inadequate, lacking a genuine native manager. And a year into this, the Blink Opera versions are STILL absolutely crippled in terms of their bookmark importing capability... any browser worth its salt will readily import competitors' bookmarks in one form or another.

    The governing concept at Opera now seems to be that any kind of configurability, non-primitive feature, or even basic engines (other than the GUI) must be provided by some outside house. Design truth #1: when you farm out everything to outside people, it leaves you with few, if any, product keys in your own pocket - which is exactly what Blink Opera has done. By the time a user adds in the multiple, 'essential' extensions to restore functionality to Opera, with the extensions' oft-halfway performance (that hopefully doesn't break at the next rapid-update version bump), the user ends up with a browser-plus-extensions package that consumes system resources like a pig but has lost whatever speed/resource 'distinctive' that the bare Blink Opera may have offered. One gets the impression that Opera believes targeted users of its products must only ever use the browser on a computer while running little, if any other, software that also demands resources. And, indeed, perhaps those who use their computers only to browse a handful of the most popular websites are the now the real target market they're aiming at. Which brings us back to my initial point.

  • I actually returned to Opera earlier this year, and was fairly happy with it.

    However this week I weighed in on their forums, but the attitude of some of the mods there in closing various threads left me feeling annoyed to the point where I've uninstalled it.

    I alternate between Firefox and Chromium now. And a few other derivatives (Comodo).

    So in the end it was the community, not the technology, that made me leave. I don't think I'm missing much, TBH?

  • The whole thing is a question of management priorities.

    Old Opera was about creating the best experience for the users. New Opera is about creating the maximum short-term profit for the owners. Not that I have any reason to complain, selling my shares was very profitable, but I believe the old way would have created more value in the long run.

    When you break up one of the best software development teams in the world and hire more marketers instead, you will usually see an immediate increase in profits. The developers had filled the pipeline, so it takes time before the users notice that there is less development going on.

    There is, however, no turning back. Opera no longer have what it takes to develop their own engine, and it will take too much both in time and money to rebuild that capacity.

    The first time around Opera could get good people who were willing to work for less in a cool company with a lean structure. It is quite another thing trying to hire top people for a company with a typical overpaid corporate management style. Besides, you will probably get people who are in it for the money rather than the fun and challenge. That will also make a difference to the final product.

  • @am2605:

    … However this week I weighed in on their forums, but the attitude of some of the mods there in closing various threads left me feeling annoyed to the point where I've uninstalled it.
    So in the end it was the community, not the technology, that made me leave. I don't think I'm missing much, TBH?

    The complaint postings at Opera have persisted for all these many months, both in their hostility and in their repetitive focus. The hostility probably comes from continuing user frustration and a sense of their 'betrayal' by Opera; the repetitive focus probably comes because so little has been done by Opera to remedially address the subjects being complained about (and little probably will ever be done).

    The answer to almost any missing-functionality complaint is either "Install xyz extension" or "Learn to adapt to life without abc" - which is essentially Opera's policy now that they have created the "simple" browser which they initially described as their new goal. So posters beating against the same old closed doors in Opera's forums simply accomplish nothing but clutter up the forum-space. The mods might just as well close such threads, since no changes in the browser design are likely to ever come for most of the topics being continually complained about.

    I once held a lot of hope that Opera eventually would return some measures of customization and control to their browser users. The lame response in returning a crippled bookmarking capability is the only substantive thing I've seen emerge… the rest of the "features" are smoke and mirrors. Real functionality and configurability seem to require a complexity of coding that Opera is now simply not willing (or able?) to apply... probably to keep their development costs lower, going forward. So I'm increasingly resigned to life largely without Opera from now on, given that Presto Opera is becoming increasingly long-in-tooth and its site compatibility is starting to suffer significantly.

    I don't harbor any ill feelings toward Opera... their browser has been free, it worked superbly during the time it was Presto, and I've gotten a LOT of good miles out of it along the Internet highway. After all, the browser was theirs to do with what they would. Myself, I've moved along, currently to Firefox, but I still trial other browsers. I don't ever again want to get as dependent on the particular features and configurability of a given browser as I did with Presto Opera. It's too disruptive to my work patterns when the bottom falls out because the browser developers start chasing marketplace soap bubbles as Opera has.

  • The thread that was closed was with regards to being able to change the default search engine.

    Possibly it wasn't closed due to my contribution but it just left me feeling like Opera wanted to shut down discussion.

    Perhaps I'm over reacting, but for me it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm finished with them.

  • Opera has been off of my machines since about the first of the year. At present, I have IE (Windows comes with it so of course it's here) Firefox, Pale Moon (a Firefox sibling) and Chrome. Presently, Chrome is the default browser, and the others are here for testing purposes. Pale Moon is, in fact, rather pale out of the box– looks like a weak sister of Firefox. But, still better than Opera's current offerings. Right now, the worst of the lot-- Chrome-- is still way better than Opera, and considering what Opera once was--- that's really sad.

    Opera lost out when it became apparent that the powers-that-be over there didn't give a rip about us, their users and members of the old MyOpera. They could unceremoniously throw us under the bus and think that a few months notice that we were about to be evicted would be sufficient. They weren't the only ones capable of saying "Goodbye" as it happens. They're gone from my machines and won't be welcome back.


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