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Let's stop this war

  • PERHAPS browser features are a metaphor for the entitlement state. Take away a federal or local benefit (no matter how modest the cutback) and all hell breaks loose. Hell hath no fury like well, from a subsidy taken back (other than . . . is it a woman, scorned).. Similarly take take away an exotic customization feature (in the interest of maybe greater browser speed, accessibility of sites, to leave the feature to a developer extension, hopefully, in the future, or just to ditch the feature, because it's too much for the browser and hardly anyone really uses it or only a small universe) and it's the same thing. All hell breaks loose! Now you may say it is not an exotic feature lost, but one essential. Each man's "essential" differs!
    On the other hand, I agree with colderwinters also. A forum is surely for the airing of different opinions. No doubt, some or many will disagree with mine.

    There is no doubt in my mind that a sense of entitlement permeates the attitude of many users, particularly considering that the browser is free. That attitude is amplified because of the entire modern "free" Internet paradigm that most folks have become used to and which now constitutes a sort of level of expectancy and, yes, entitlement.

    However, there's another aspect involved that doesn't get much attention, which is a misunderstanding of why Opera (or any other commercial enterprise) creates a browser. Why does a "free" browser exist in the first place? Everything related to software costs something to create, to keep patched, and to support. So why place it out there for "free"? The simplest "commercial" answer is because the creator(s) derive something of substance from it being used; and the more folks that use it, the more revenue that is derived from that usage. In essence, it's not about the feature bells and whistles per se contained in the browser, it's about growing its "market share" (which equates to raw browser usage). Sometimes a "free" browser might be considered a "loss-leader" because it enhances or encourages users to also employ other of the creator's software that is paid for (either by the user or his device maker/seller); sometimes the browser contains elements that result in click-count or usage revenue that is paid like royalties back to the browser maker (preferred search engines, pre-loaded "favorites", pre-placed content, ads, etc); sometimes a combination of all of these exists.

    What must be kept in mind is that designing a browser as a commercial undertaking does not involve designing a browser with certain "tool" features that appeal to a core of expert or "loyal" users, it involves designing a browser in such a way as to keep design costs minimized while appealing to as broad a selection of users as possible, especially with an eye to attracting new users. Those new users will involve many folks who are quite naive and dismissive about tool-like features and settings, depending on what they're used to seeing out in the broad-world browser marketplace... which today, frankly, largely amounts to Chrome and IE, perhaps soon to be joined by upcoming Firefox editions. Whether a new browser is "successful" will be defined, not by feature-sets valued by the expert or "loyal" users, but by the multitudes of broad-world users who do or don't adopt it and the associated revenue returns that result, since those users potentially far outnumber the expert/loyal users. Like it or not, it's simply how things stand.

    Opera is a business, and it makes decisions to enhance its business posture. If it were otherwise, it would face a stockholder revolt. Regardless of where the Blink decision first surfaced or who championed it when or how or why, it ended up being a business decision taken by the company. Along with that Blink decision and probably related intimately to it, the decision was made to simplify the browser feature set and configurability while eventually incorporating some other features that would hopefully add distinctiveness and appeal to the broad-world user segment so as to grow market share. Or so would be the likely plan. What appeals to that broad-world user segment will not in all likelihood be the same things that appeal to expert/loyal users. Hence many of those expert/loyal users find themselves on the "outside" of the business plan with little ability to influence events, and that has understandably led to repeating, frustrated outbursts in these forums.

    Frankly, I don't especially like Opera's business decision and the results thus far... but I do understand the decision. The real-world answer for Opera users unhappy with the results is to get used to the reality that Old Opera will not be back as such and to prepare for a post-Presto world as quickly as possible. That means start finding an alternative browser, or perhaps several of them... try them... use them side-by-side, and pick the best of that lot for their forthcoming primary usage. Whether that browser is New Opera or some other browser, it should be adopted with the realization that it, too, may have to be changed yet again as the world (and the browser business) evolves.

  • It seems to me that the core disagreement held between the Opera Prestovists and the New Opera Blinkists comes down to features. If you look at early editions of Opera with each new update new features were added. The Switch between Presto and Blink however removed all of the old features and implemented extensions as the primary way to expand the browsers capabilities. Many of which were the core aspect of why they choose Opera over Chrome, IE, Firefox, and other browsers. In essence they had a mansion built up and learned to live in it and love it, and then they went out, came home, and found the whole mansions save for the house number and a single room had turned to ash. As Lem729 has shown me many of the functionalities present in Presto do exist under the new blink system as variant extensions. Those extensions are certainly close although none have shown themselves to be identical or as well refined as Presto, but they have the capacity to become identical or surpass what was in Presto. That said there seems to also be shots fired in both directions of this argument. Blinkists believe there is no use in complaining or bemoaning the fate and direction that Opera is moving in, where Prestovists are upset and thus willing to argue when they are told to suck it up. Personally I loved Opera 12.16 (presto) and use it for the majority of my browsing, but I am currently giving Opera 20 equal face time with a few extensions to mimic what I mainly used in 12.16. In the end though I think the Prestovists would not be opposed to Opera 21 if it embodied the freedom of customization and functionality found in Presto, along with the rendering and flexibility of Blink. However I do not believe that simply asking for a war to end will end it. What needs to be done to end the war is either wait for a compromise from Opera to find a middle ground of merging the abilities of both, or to just let Prestovists voice their disagreements and ignore them until they give it up as futile.

  • There is no doubt in my mind that a sense of entitlement permeates the attitude of many users, particularly considering that the browser is free. (snipped)

    However, there's another aspect involved that doesn't get much attention, which is a misunderstanding of why Opera (or any other commercial enterprise) creates a browser. Why does a "free" browser exist in the first place? Everything related to software costs something to create, to keep patched, and to support. So why place it out there for "free"? The simplest "commercial" answer is because the creator(s) derive something of substance from it being used... (snipped)

    Opera is a business, and it makes decisions to enhance its business posture. (snipped)

    Hence many of those expert/loyal users find themselves on the "outside" of the business plan with little ability to influence events, and that has understandably led to repeating, frustrated outbursts in these forums.

    The real-world answer for Opera users unhappy with the results is to get used to the reality that Old Opera will not be back as such and to prepare for a post-Presto world as quickly as possible. That means start finding an alternative browser, or perhaps several of them... (snipped)

    blackbird, you've done it again. This has to be one of the best, most thorough and unbiased explanations of the current situation that I have ever read in this or the other forum. Well done. Now if only cool heads will prevail.

  • @blackbird71

    That was super. I hope the search engine can find what you wrote.

    @nightmaresoul.

    I enjoyed your play with the war between the Prestovists and the Blinkists. 🙂 On the war thing, I was lamenting the personal assaults in the disagreement between the two warring parties And the incredible venom towards Opera by some, as if the beneficiaries of a free product were somehow grievously wronged by Opera -- which is somehow trying to financially survive. Now of course not everyone in the Prestovist camp is at all like that. Many lament features they loved, and that I can understand. As to Opera's financial decision, I can't give it a businessman's analysis. I very much liked Opera Presto, used it for years, and generally preferred it to the competitor products.. And right now, I like/prefer Opera Blink. They are different products. They have different pluses and minuses. For me, the balance favors the new product. We all have to balance it based on our personal needs, and pleasure in a browser.

  • I agree with sidneyneto's post. Stop the war! Particularly the PERSONAL WARS. Where bloggers personally attack each other -- with labels like "fanboys," "idiots," whatever. It's harmful. We have new users, people coming all the time (many for the first time) (from Firefox, Chrome, wherever) and they see some of the venom of the posts. And maybe they go to another browser. Because Opera must be terrible, they think. That helps no one . . .

    This war is impossible to stop, because guess who started it - ASA itself. By replacing Presto with an immeasurably inferior product, by causing uproar by self-contradictory non-answers during critical times, thus upsetting and dividing the entire user base. Also, closing the old forums with all the services didn't help, because pretty much all the actual experts who never had any interest in personal flame wars went with it.

    All these moves by the company created the flame warriors and are keeping them alive. If the war subsides, it will be only due to the demise of the company and loss of interest in the product. You thought these forums were to support you? The old forums were, yes, but they are gone.

  • @Lem729

    I looked for a new titling system that wouldn't raise as many hackles. Although I certainly understand the dislike of personal attacks. They give nothing useful for the discussion and only add fire to an already boiling cauldron. As for the beneficiaries feeling grievously wronged I would say that it is much the same as being given a brand new top of the line muscle car fully loaded, and once you've put ten miles on the odometer having it unceremoniously taken away from you, by the person who gave it to you, and being given a Prius instead. Certainly some people like the Prius, but some also like the muscle car but thats subjective which is in general the problem with the war. Each version Opera Presto, and Opera Blink have their shares of Pros and Cons which are objective and can be enumerated yet are not. Obviously each side believes theirs is correct either by the list of pros or by the realistic views voiced where it comes to economic concerns and corporate policy. To the Prestovists it seems like a bait and switch, to the Blinkists it seems like people crying over spilled milk. However engaging those who's rants and raves are based on an emotional reaction with anything other than either sympathy or compassion will only turn the Prestovists ire upon that person which may dilute the anger they have towards Opera for a brief moment but it also works to build up their resentment, disappointment and anger towards the company. I also see the update today for 12.16 to 12.17 as something that may rally the Prestovists to have hope, which may only herald a greater resentment from that camp if 12.17 is the official end. As for the economic side I think Blackbird did it to perfection, although it does beg the question of the aim of Opera releasing a free browser to grow its market share then would not splitting their community due to removal of features not lower the market share swiftly ?

  • I also see the update today for 12.16 to 12.17 as something that may rally the Prestovists to have hope

    Actually, the entire 12 line has been a disappointment. 12 removed widgets, Voice, and Unite, thus queerly predicting the total removal of all browser features in Blink, leaving only a crippled public internet kiosk.

    As for the economic side I think Blackbird did it to perfection, although it does beg the question of the aim of Opera releasing a free browser to grow its market share then would not splitting their community due to removal of features not lower the market share swiftly ?

    Indeed, the economic argument is question-begging. If there's the idea of profit behind it, then the realistic assessment is that ASA has a product called browser only due to inertia. In truth, the browser has been ditched, replaced with a chewing gum for the masses that accrues as little maintenance costs for the company as possible. Their heart has moved on to some different business, such as Opera Fireworks or what was it. Mediaworks http://operamediaworks.com/

  • If the new Chrome-like version misses half the features, of course people will moan, and they have every right to until the new Opera has the same features the old one had. Does it have newsgroups and email built in yet? Software should not go backwards in evolution!

  • If the new Chrome-like version misses half the features, of course people will moan, and they have every right to until the new Opera has the same features the old one had. Does it have newsgroups and email built in yet? Software should not go backwards in evolution!

    Using Chromium there are some things that are impossible to do it. One of them is email build. Using Chromium implies limitations.

  • There's nothing wrong with Opera using Blink as the layout engine. The wrong thing is that almost all features that make Opera Opera are missing.

    A little while ago, I filed about 20 bug reports for functionality that has gone missing, and ALL OF THEM HAVE BEEN BRUSHED OFF.

    I'm talking bookmarks, a proper preferences dialog, customization, popups being new windows, tabs not minimzing, not being able to close the last tab, missing gesture helper, site preferences gone, quick preferences (F12) gone, doubleclick-contextmenu gone, GUI no longer customizable, and so on. EVERYTHING has been brushed off. It's not that we have to wait until Opera finally decides to reimplement this, this stuff is going to be lost forever.

    Opera, you might wanna think about what you're doing. You destroy a browser, you destroy very things that make your browser any better than the rest. And yet you manage to release an update every fucking femtosecond.

    Might as well use Chrome with the mouse gestures extension. That's exactly Opera these days. Opera has absolutely nothing more to offer than that.

    Let's not stop this war.

    Let's coerce Opera to make a browser WORTHY of being called Opera.

  • However, there's another aspect involved that doesn't get much attention, which is a misunderstanding of why Opera (or any other commercial enterprise) creates a browser. Why does a "free" browser exist in the first place? Everything related to software costs something to create, to keep patched, and to support. So why place it out there for "free"? The simplest "commercial" answer is because the creator(s) derive something of substance from it being used; and the more folks that use it, the more revenue that is derived from that usage.
    Explain Chrome, MSIE, Firefox, UC Browser, Maxton, Dolphin then. Every browser is free, that's just the way it works. The fact that an organization has to find some way around it to make money, is hardly my problem.

    Opera might license their layout engine to third parties... Oh wait. They've stripped themselves of that ability, too.

    In essence, it's not about the feature bells and whistles per se contained in the browser, it's about growing its "market share" (which equates to raw browser usage). Sometimes a "free" browser might be considered a "loss-leader" because it enhances or encourages users to also employ other of the creator's software that is paid for (either by the user or his device maker/seller); sometimes the browser contains elements that result in click-count or usage revenue that is paid like royalties back to the browser maker (preferred search engines, pre-loaded "favorites", pre-placed content, ads, etc); sometimes a combination of all of these exists.
    Opera has created an adience of powerusers for itself, and by crippling the browser they've essentially said "bye bye" to their powerusers, because quite frankly Opera 13 and later are a fucking disgrace to any poweruser. Opera might not realize that adding features doesn't inhibit the use by novice users, and Opera certainly doesn't realize that powerusers sometimes have an audience of their own to persuade into using Opera. This has stopped, of course.

  • Using Chromium there are some things that are impossible to do it. One of them is email build. Using Chromium implies limitations.

    Its to much work and they don't want to. That's all.
    They did not create a simple bookmark manager (and thats surely possible with chromium...) because its to much work so you can guess how long an email client would need.

  • Ah, I see the rabble is out and about spreading lies, distortions and misinformation. One has to wonder why they continue to haunt a place they appear to hate so vehemently. Opera Presto is dead in terms of future development. Opera Blink is the new Opera. DEAL WITH IT.

  • Opera Blink is the new Opera * in name only *.

    I fixed that for you.

  • What I find odd about this is people telling me opera is free. No it's not. For a start some of us have been here since opera was a paid for browser. And we Paid for it. Sure in later years to try and increase market share it became an adware supported browser and later a free to download browser. But this isn't an entitlement born out of some ephemeral I should have it because it's what I want.

    Us oldskool users who bought the product supported, contributed and in many real ways paid for the development of the software and it's updates to now say to users like me who've been here for a long, long, long time and paid and paid for the browsers development tough and screw you we're not actually going to a) provide the product we've paid for b) we're actually going to reverse years of development to go with a smaller and in many real ways worse feature set is frankly appalling.

    It's what happens when corporates ruin a good idea for the sake of profit.

  • FYI and worth noting up til opera 12 user share and market share was increasing significantly. Now, well the majority and it is the majority of opera users visiting sites are still doing so in 12 not blink. So that's the lions share of the users on the system not moving to the new browser...

    Windows 8 anyone?

    So when we don't move over because if we want to use chromium we'll use it why would we use blink or for that matter dragon or any of the other subversions of the main core browser what happens to your revenue stream then when your user base plummets... Still at least when opera becomes a used to be a browser maker all the newer blink based users will in fact have something to transfer too, unlike us sadly...

    It's a disgusting way to treat a long term user base and shows how one day blink users you too will be treated when the next CEO or dev team decide to just banjax this engine for the next flavour of the month 'beta'.

  • Ultimately presto should be O/S'ed to allow those who want to to dev it and make it their own. Opera could always MIT or such license it to reclaim those features should it want to option a return to the presto OS engine.

    Why not do this, unless they are genuinely scared of creating a competitor to their own blink...

  • @garfieldlechat What I find odd about this is people telling me opera is free. No it's not. For a start some of us have been here since opera was a paid for browser. And we Paid for it. Sure in later years to try and increase market share it became an adware supported browser and later a free to download browser. But this isn't an entitlement born out of some ephemeral I should have it because it's what I want.
    Us oldskool users who bought the product supported, contributed and in many real ways paid for the development of the software and it's updates to now say to users like me who've been here for a long, long, long time and paid and paid for the browsers development tough and screw you we're not actually going to a) provide the product we've paid for b) we're actually going to reverse years of development to go with a smaller and in many real ways worse feature set is frankly appalling.
    It's what happens when corporates ruin a good idea for the sake of profit.

    You got years and years of more than fair value for what you paid -- which was not a lot. I know because I paid too. What would make you think you had somehow a lifetime's rights to Opera, freezing it as it was, and without the company's ability to change. I mean, -- smile -- really? Is that what you thought?

  • As for the economic side I think Blackbird did it to perfection, although it does beg the question of the aim of Opera releasing a free browser to grow its market share then would not splitting their community due to removal of features not lower the market share swiftly ?

    An accurate response would require access to the desktop market analysis and projections on which Opera based their ultimate decisions, which none of us humble users have. However, just as an illustration, if Opera hopes and aims to attract ~6% of the Chrome/IE/Firefox "naive" user universe with a redesigned, refocused browser, and if all the prior Old Opera ~3% market share comprised expert/loyal Opera users, that would result in roughly a net doubling of market share and share-related revenue. From a business standpoint, that would result in remarkable growth, even if it cost Opera all its prior expert/loyal user base.

    On the other hand, all the design/upgrade effort in the world would be wasted in terms of revenue growth if the vast number of users not already using Opera don't really care about the features/options added by such a design effort.

    The real question is where the user market truly lies in terms of browser features and configurability profile that would attract a sufficiently large share of currently non-Opera users so as to result in major revenue growth for the browser maker. I don't have that answer, and one person's conjecture is of little more value than the next person's. However, the expert/loyal user base is of the belief that their features and browser profile needs are being abandoned in a futile attempt to chase market share, and that is the source of their outcry. Unfortunately for such users, what really matters is the viewpoint that Opera has, since they're the one footing the bill for the development and the browser itself - so they call the shots.

    Again, I don't have to like the situation, but I do have to deal with the reality of it. I suggest others do likewise.

  • Opera Software ASA is free to do whatever they want with its browser. If they chose to left Presto, DEAL WITH IT. There is nothing you can do about it.

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