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The impending demise of Opera?

  • Pesala, stash and speed dial are NOT bookmarks. I don't know how much I can stress that. I have thousands of bookmarks in Opera 12. Stash is a joke, as it can only hold a couple dozen links before they drop off the bottom. Speed dial is just a fancy way to start a new tab with the option of launching into one of a few very commonly used sites. That is not bookmarks. Bookmarks are a hierarchical, folder-based structure where one can store and organize as many links as they want, in any fashion they want, that's searchable and cross-referenced, WITHOUT LIMITATIONS.

    It's the limitations bit that has me so pissed off. Opera Next is nothing but limitations. Limits everywhere. I'm sick and tired of losing the sites I want to track because they fall off the bottom of Stash. Not to mention the fact that stash is the worst means of ORGANIZING the links I'm interested in keeping around EVER.

    Again, this is THE MOST BASIC feature of EVERY browser...except Opera Next, that is.

  • The Bookmarks Bar is a hierarchical, folder based structure, where one can store and organise as many links as one wants, in any order that one wants, but it's not searchable, and can only be sorted one-time alphabetically. It's not without its limitations, but it is a viable solution to the problem of finding previously bookmarked sites.

    Stash is not a joke. Its a valid solution to keeping temporary bookmarks for a particular project, that you probably want to discard later. It's not something I would use, if I used Opera 20, which I do not, but it is a useful addition for some users. In the previous browser, I create a session for this kind of use, then delete the session when it's no longer needed.

    I don't know why you're even using Opera 20 if you hate it so much. If I come across a site that is broken in both Opera 11.64 and Opera 12.16 I might try opening it in Opera 20, but I would more likely use Firefox for that site.

  • Opera is doing well financially and isn't going away soon but isn't that the way you'd report it IF you weren't doing so good? Opera as we knew it is dead and the new Opera will struggle on for a few months but within 24 months will be absorbed by the Google team. It's not new, it's not innovative but is only a second class clone of Google Chrome. Die hard Opera hangers on will swear it's the best thing since sliced bread until Google takes it over!

  • @jrista (if he or she is still here)

    As a long time Opera user, since version 8 or so, I too feel the pain of Opera's reinvention, despite my still using it on both my work and home machines as my primary browser. HOWEVER, your approach to the problem, the sturm and drang and "OMG YOU SUCKK!!!!", is only going to antagonise people and presumably lead to a ban.

    I also want to take issue with some of your comments regarding the supposedly saintly nature of version 12.

    12 was a good browser - however it was NOT perfect. While it had many features that internet users wanted, many of them were lacking in features and functionality. True, flexible password management, for instance, didn't come along until Opera finally allowed true Extensions. It was the same for ad-blocking. M2 was decent as a basic mail client but I had the strong impression that managing the mailbox file, with its thousands of archived messages, was leading to performance issues across the entire browser, most notably opening and closing. And last but not least, BitTorrent functionality was so basic compared to full-blown clients it was pitiful.

    You talk a lot about Bookmarks. Frankly, I'm glad they're gone. I had hundreds of them, going back about a decade, making them a nightmare to manage and keep current. I was relying on 3rd party tools to verify broken links but the work of managing them was a bit of a drag. Honestly, I was glad they went away. I'm using the speed dial and not really missing having the bloat of an unwieldy library. I get that for those that liked them their loss is a bitter pill to swallow, but I see it as a niche concern. Mainstream users either won't care or will simply adjust as I have.

    The lack of site compatibility may not have directly been Opera's fault in most cases, although I firmly believe their ethos of trying to adjust the web to suit their approach was a nigh-religious motivation that ignored the practicalities of browsing the web. That might have been okay were it not for the fact that this devotion came at the at the expense of the experience for every Opera user. This, more than any other problem with Opera, was a serious problem that needed something as drastic as this engine change to happen. Like many others I presumed most of the functionality would transfer across to version 15, and was fairly horrified when 15 emerged as basically a skin over a Chrome shell, but it was IMMEDIATELY apparent how much smoother the experience of visiting sites - the primary purpose of a browser - had become. And it has freed the developers from having to provide endless hacks and workarounds for sites that clearly didn't see any need to kowtow to Opera's tiny percentage of the market, presumably caused by Opera's problems browsing the most popular sites: the ultimate catch-22 situation.

    Several versions later we're still awaiting the return of many beloved features. Some may never return. MyOpera is gone. The brilliant, free Fastmail based mail service is gone. Opera is now something very different from the browser and ethos of old, and it easy to be dismayed at the loss of something truly unique, even angry. Personally, I'm hoping customisable mouse gestures return soon so I can once again open closed pages with a quick flick upwards. It angers me that I have to rely on a process for this vital function far slower than I'm used to. I also really liked the expandable, groupable tab thumbnails. But ranting and raving and shouting and insulting will not, WILL NEVER, get you what you want, and nor should it.

    Your choice is simple. Live with the situation, and work WITH Opera to help bring missed features back. Or move on and spare the rest of us your rudeness. Best of luck with what you decide.

  • @granttlc

    Good post. Ranting is useless. Constructive criticism is welcome.

    If it becomes possible to customise mouse gestures, shortcuts, menus, and toolbars, or at least the first two, that will solve a lot of problems with the current iteration of Opera.

    Reopen closed tab is now Ctrl Shift T — intuitive perhaps, since Ctrl T is New Tab, but Ctrl Z is a lot easier to use. If users can customise shortcuts, that immediately cuts through a lot of the resistance to change. We always had this before — they even included an Opera 9.20 Compatible keyboard setup when big changes were made to placate those migrating from other browsers.

  • April 2001 we got gestures. At that time it was the single most incredible improvement to my browsing experience... though having since migrated to Linux I find it more natural to hover my mouse and roll the wheel to switch tabs - not quite so easy with Opera... Tabs were amazing, later on I discovered joys like using multiple desktops driven by mouse gestures... Now I'm back with tabs on a single desktop, but sometimes using dual monitors.

    With the appearance of 'easystroke' I have gestures which give me the familiar trail, which can be totally customisable to work with all applications (e.g. map an 'o' gesture to open opera, 'c' gesture to open chrome... handling tabs and windows for file browsers/web browsers in the same way as each other.

    Now I'm being advised that the only way I am going to see text in my addressbar is if I change my desktop theme (currently I have white text in a white addressbar and often in search boxes on websites - but not in Chromium or Firefox).

    The issue of open/closed source isn't a biggie for me - but this white text problem will not encourage me to change my theme to suit Opera, it will leave me using browsers which can use my theme... Blackmate on a Linux Mint desktop.

    For a handful of people complaining about MyOpera disappearing - you have to understand that we're trying to cater for billions of users online and this forum is but a very tiny corner of a vast universe.

    Let the Devs do what Devs do. Support them, criticize them, but don't rant. Everyone has their own workflow. Everyone has different needs.

    In my opinion, there is no 'best' browser. They all suck, just as all operating systems suck. Sit in front of a Cray computer and try to get it to do what you want, you'll decide very quickly that it sucks more!

    But we have awesome tools - Opera is one, Firefox is another, and.. erm is there another? Oh, nearly forgot Chromium/Chrome...

    All great. Three Blind Mice - much better than having only 2 or 1.

  • @eyzndasky

    Opera is doing well financially and isn't going away soon but isn't that the way you'd report it IF you weren't doing so good? Opera as we knew it is dead and the new Opera will struggle on for a few months but within 24 months will be absorbed by the Google team.
    Opera's financial results are open to anyone since it's a publicly traded company. Take a look at the investor information linked at the bottom of this page. Opera is not struggling financially, and the new Opera for desktop is growing nicely.

    .

    @granttlc

    The lack of site compatibility may not have directly been Opera's fault in most cases, although I firmly believe their ethos of trying to adjust the web to suit their approach was a nigh-religious motivation that ignored the practicalities of browsing the web.
    This seems to be a common misconception. Presto was actually built from the ground up to be compatible with the real web. We did not expect the web to adapt to Opera.

  • If it becomes possible to customise mouse gestures, shortcuts, menus, and toolbars, or at least the first two, that will solve a lot of problems with the current iteration of Opera.

    Their PR guys said that an extensive customizability won't return:
    https://forums.opera.com/post/24105

  • I read that too, but assigning shortcuts and gestures is not what I call extensive customisation. It is a basic requirement.

  • I don't like this attitude. 😞 I've been in and out of Opera since the 10.00 days, though I have been using it alot more heavily on my mobile devices. It is fantastic that they supported platforms like Symbian and Windows Mobile right up until the very end. However, I can see why they're trimming down their product lineup and removing alot of the excess.

    As for ditching Presto, yes it was a smooth engine while it was relevant, but the fact remains that web developers don't subsidise web standards these days. They make sure sites will run on Chrome, Firefox and IE, everything else is not mission-critical. I also wonder whether Presto development was hitting a brick wall, and that the developers weren't able to adapt new technologies to it.

    I can definitely see a future when the desktop version of Opera will cease to exist as a fully-fledged browser. I can also see the canning of any other browser versions they maintain that are based on the Chromium engine. However, the technologies they maintain for Opera Mini compression remain a valuable asset, and I can see that product being the main focus going forward. One of Mini's strengths is that it is based on Java, and that means it can be adapted for a diverse range of operating systems (heck, I've even got it running on my PSP). I can see Opera Mini being adapted for the desktop, all the core mobile OSes, other obsolete and obscure tech, embedded systems...you name it.

    Today I use Firefox on both my Linux desktop, and my Android phone. Given how extendible and flexible it is, even with the Gecko engine I can't justify using Opera with Presto today. There are too many compatibility issues that would persist even if development was continued. Yes Gecko is slower, but computers keep getting faster so I don't see it as a huge issue.

    Those are just my thoughts on the matters...

  • Firefox + FireGestures + AdBlock + NoScript = Salvation.

    Try that combination. It feels basically like browsing with Opera v12, once you set up your gestures right. Here's a script for FireGestures that enables you to open links in new tabs just like you want to:

    "[Hybrid] Open Link in New Tab / Open New Tab"

    try {
    FireGestures._performAction(event, "FireGestures:OpenLinkInFgTab");
    }
    catch (ex) {
    FireGestures._performAction(event, "cmd_newNavigatorTab");
    }

  • pesala

    I read that too, but assigning shortcuts and gestures is not what I call extensive customisation. It is a basic requirement.

    No it's not. There is no other browsers (other than Opera/Presto) that gives such type of customizability, at least "out of box". Also:

    • An average user never customize browser's keyboard shortcuts and gestures.

    • Advanced settings (such as custom keyboard configuration) can frustrate an average user.

    • Customized shortcuts can cause conflicts with Google services.

    shiranaihito

    Firefox + FireGestures + AdBlock + NoScript = Salvation. Try that combination. It feels basically like browsing with Opera v12, once you set up your gestures right. Here's a script for FireGestures that enables you to open links in new tabs just like you want to:

    I have Firefox with a 40+ extensions (in the role of secondary browser) but i am still missing a significant part of Opera 12's functionality/customizability that i need.

  • There is no other browsers (other than Opera/Presto) that gives such type of customizability.

    Which is the main reason I use Opera. That, and built-in email client.

    So, as I said, assigning shortcuts is not what I call extensive customisation. Installing extensions just to view APNG or Exif data is what I call extensive customisation. Creating or modifying skins, hacking accounts ini to change the order of columns, hacking dialog.ini to change the appearance of dialogs, and many other tricks that Opera presto users have developed over the years are what I call extensive customisation.

  • On Opera's financial bottom line, discussed in this thread, it seems to have moved into Smart televisions.

    http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2014/03/20/rca-to-launch-opera-powered-smart-tvs/

  • It's a free market, guys. If you don't like Opera post-version 12, don't use it. It's the exact same for any other commodity. I'm happy with Firefox, and if you aren't satisfied with anything else, try developing your own browser.

  • The most depressing thing is that there is simply no full-fledged equivalent of Opera Presto.

  • Opera's financial results are open to anyone since it's a publicly traded company. Take a look at the investor information linked at the bottom of this page. Opera is not struggling financially, and the new Opera for desktop is growing nicely.

    You're right, but it would help to actually read the financial reports and verify your information before posting it as fact.

    Here is a link to the 2013 4th quarter report: http://www.operasoftware.com/content/download/4902/159080/version/2/file/4Q13.pdf

    I quote "the number of Desktop users was approximately 51 million, down 7% versus 4Q12. Revenue was lower in 4Q13 compared to 4Q12 due to lower search revenue, which was partly offset by higher content and advertising revenue."

    The majority of Opera's profits are in the Mobile domain, particularly through Mobile Publishers and Advertisers.

    So there IS a problem with the desktop version of Opera and its pretty clear that they most of their energy is invested elsewhere.

  • Just a thought, but it seems to me as if Opera is taking a position -- sort of like Microsoft with Windows 8 -- and working for one across-the-board product. If you look at Opera browser for Android, it's pretty much along the lines of Desktop Opera 20. It offers the Discover feature as well as the ability to make folders of speed dial items. So I wouldn't say that Opera is giving the computer Desktop short shrift -- just that the focus is on a product that meets the needs of Android tablet-phone users AND Desktop users. (Of course Coast for Ipad is a bit of a different play. It wouldn't surprise me, though, if Opera ultimately introduced something like Opera browser for Android for the Ipad.). I mean the reality is that the Desktop market has been shrinking, so why not seek a product that meets Desktop and mobile device needs.

  • @lem729

    Just a thought, but it seems to me as if Opera is taking a position -- sort of like Microsoft with Windows 8 -- and working for one across-the-board product. If you look at Opera browser for Android, it's pretty much along the lines of Desktop Opera 20. (...) So I wouldn't say that Opera is giving the computer Desktop short shrift -- just that the focus is on a product that meets the needs of Android tablet-phone users AND Desktop users.
    It could be, and it'd make a lot of sense for me. From the devs perspective sharing the most codebase as possible is good, from the users perspective who wouldn't want all the desktop features in a tablet and vice versa? But the fact is they're very different after you take away the major feature, and by saying that I mean the desktop version has much more settings and different behaviors than mobile (so I wouldn't say the mobile has more focus or this should be inverted shouldn't it?).

    It offers the Discover feature as well as the ability to make folders of speed dial items.
    Yes but it's just like offering Turbo (Off-road), or Speed Dial, or any other feature in various platforms. That also happened in the Presto versions. The features are welcome everywhere (Opera wants them available to users in these platforms), and how would sync work if the desktop version didn't support Speed Dial folders for example?

  • @salahuddin1

    Opera's financial results are open to anyone since it's a publicly traded company. Take a look at the investor information linked at the bottom of this page. Opera is not struggling financially, and the new Opera for desktop is growing nicely.
    You're right, but it would help to actually read the financial reports and verify your information before posting it as fact.
    Here is a link to the 2013 4th quarter report: http://www.operasoftware.com/content/download/4902/159080/version/2/file/4Q13.pdf
    I quote "the number of Desktop users was approximately 51 million, down 7% versus 4Q12. Revenue was lower in 4Q13 compared to 4Q12 due to lower search revenue, which was partly offset by higher content and advertising revenue."
    1- Right, but in the context of this topic where Presto is considered the perfect product that was making Opera rocketing to success and would "save" Opera if brought back, well, just interpret this yourself:
    There were 60 million desktop users in the 1st quarter of 2012 and 52 in 2nd quarter of 2013 - that was with Opera Presto, before 15 even existed. (You can check the source in the investor area.)

    2- You don't know how much growth occurred up until now in this new quarter (January 2014 until now).

    So there IS a problem with the desktop version of Opera and its pretty clear that they most of their energy is invested elsewhere.
    Look my previous post.