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Opera 15/16/17/18/19/20+ - The Chrome Wars

  • Should Opera's design build off of Presto based versions (v7-12) or Chrome?

    I dont care about the engine, I only care about the features.

  • Originally posted by serious:

    I dont care about the engine,

    Then don't you care if sites work in Opera or not?

  • @Pesala: I had never problems with Presto, so thats a non-issue really.

  • Originally posted by Frenzie:

    I don't know about the implementation details, but on the surface it looks like the Chromium bookmarks bar with a few minor changes.

    The first version of chropera didn't even have that bookmarks bar. So enabling that bookmarks bar was a 'huge' new feature. And it doesn't do anything special. (It's just bar with a bookmark on it. No nicknames, no descriptions, no search function for bookmars only, no treeview, etc...
    (At first they even recommended to use an extension for bookmarks: http://my.opera.com/ODIN/blog/2013/07/02/introducing-opera-15-for-desktop-and-a-fast-release-cycle). And to make it even worse: although it's now identical to how chrome has it, it's still disabled by default. And the preferences show no option for it. The only way to enable it is by (manually going to) opera://flags/#quick-access-bar and enable it there.

    Opera is no longer actively maintaining an engine and claimed (somewhere) that that means they would have more time to work on new innovative features? So... I wonder... Where are these 'innovative' features? They enabled another chrome feature in the opera:flags, they copied the 'discover' tab from the mobile version (which is useless as you can't say add/remove specific sites).
    Opera 12 (and earlier) had 1 main problem and that is that nobody knew about them, because opera did ZERO marketing. The only people that knew about it are people who visit technology like websites (where an article said they had released a new versions with major new 'breath-taking' new features).

    And now? Still no marketing, no features (at all), will never be faster then chrome, will never be more compatible then chrome, not customizable at all, less news about opera on tech sites (no new features = no special article about the new features them. Opera turbo got an article about it, same for 'opera unite'. Unite might not have been as popular as they hoped, but at least it got them into the news a few extra times).
    Judging from what I know and see, I can only see a dead opera in the feature.

  • Talking about compatibility, Chrome does have issues. It might be optimized and tuned for a certain websites, but it's not a silver bullet. Every browser has issues in my experience. Some has webpage login issues, some has rendering issues. And the one having rendering issues is Google Chrome.

  • Originally posted by martintangsl:

    Talking about compatibility, Chrome does have issues. It might be optimized and tuned for a certain websites, but it's not a silver bullet.

    I'd say it's the other way around. Certain websites are optimized for Chromium: mostly those by Google. Which I find rather strange, given how you'd think the web and interoperability with it is pretty much their core business.

  • Originally posted by sirnh1:

    Opera is no longer actively maintaining an engine and claimed (somewhere) that that means they would have more time to work on new innovative features? So... I wonder... Where are these 'innovative' features? (...) Judging from what I know and see, I can only see a dead opera in the feature.

    Yes, to be honest, that's what I see too. I have always been critical of the new Opera but I have tried to keep it constructive, and in fact I have kept Opera Developer as a secondary browser (Opera 12.16 is still my main browser, of course) to use for Facebook and GMail, and watch its progress. I didn't hope for the new Opera to ever become as satisfactory to me as the old one, but at least I trusted the developers to really devote their time to new features as promised. I.e., I was prepared to not get the handy IRC client back, I was even convincing myself to accept that I would have to make a sacrifice and give up my beloved menu bar (and it would be the first program for which I gave up that - I switched from Office to OpenOffice due to no menu bar, in spite of the latter being inferior in all the rest of the aspects). But at least I thought we would get get a decent download manager, proxy settings, proper bookmarks, simple but handy settings like click on tab to minimize or disable X button on each tab, maybe some MDI settings, options for moving tabs to the side, status bar with URL information on hover, etc.

    The reality is that it's been half a year, six major versions (!) on the Developer stream, and they have implemented almost no significant features. The pace at which they implement them is much, much slower than with the Presto-based Opera, contrary to what they said. And since I'm sure the Opera developers which brought us a great browser with so many handy features haven't become incompetent overnight, I'm convinced that the reason is just that the company doesn't want to focus on the desktop browser anymore. They probably have allocated almost no resources to it. Honestly, if this is the case, it would probably have been better that they had allocated no resources at all and declared the browser a legacy product. Because the way they're doing it, I'm honestly beginning to feel deceived. I feel that they have been giving us the hope that with a bit of patience they would give us a good browser again, and that they never really had the intention of doing so. I am patient, if I thought that Opera would really give me a good browser in another year, or even in two years (which is quite a lot in Internet terms), I would wait and even keep the incomplete Opera Developer installed to help by testing it and sending reports. But what I won't do is wait for nothing, and help a company which I can't really trust anymore, with a browser that is never going to be good and probably is bound to die because there is just no point in installing it.

    I really hope I'm wrong. I hope in a year we get a really great Opera browser. But this is my sincere opinion right now.

  • Originally posted by Al-Khwarizmi:

    I switched from Office to OpenOffice due to no menu bar, in spite of the latter being inferior in all the rest of the aspects

    I find it much easier to keep styles and content separate in LibreOffice than in MS Office. Also ymmv, but for me the only aspect where MS Office is truly superior is in track changes.

    Originally posted by Al-Khwarizmi:

    The reality is that it's been half a year, six major versions (!) on the Developer stream, and they have implemented almost no significant features.

    More realistically speaking they're like point releases. If you mentally call the current release 1.8, the upcoming one 1.9, and the one after that 2.0 it doesn't sound quite so crazy.

  • Originally posted by Al-Khwarizmi:

    I am patient, if I thought that Opera would really give me a good browser in another year, or even in two years ...

    What a good browser is supposed to be, is a matter of perspective.
    New visions may lead to new perspectives.
    Opera ASA made the hop. It's now your turn if you want to like the new browser.

    I think some Opera veterans won't make the hop though.

  • Hypothetical question (particularly given my lack of software know-how):

    What would it take to keep the last version of Opera Presto (v.12.16) relatively compatible with most internet sites... especially the more popular social sites? If we were to forget about any future development of features but simply focused on compatibility issues and security updates, what would be required... how difficult would it be... how time-consuming and costly for the company given its current decision to fully develop the new Blink version of Opera? 😕

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    Hypothetical question (particularly given my lack of software know-how):

    What would it take to keep the last version of Opera Presto (v.12.16) relatively compatible with most internet sites... especially the more popular social sites? If we were to forget about any future development of features but simply focused on compatibility issues and security updates, what would be required... now difficult would it be... how time-consuming and costly for the company given its current decision to fully develop the new Blink version of Opera? 😕

    Only the Opera developers (past and present) can answer that with any accuracy, and even their replies would be built on a variety of personal assumptions. With sites playing browser-sniffing games, seemingly on an increasing basis, it's anybody's guess whether the devs could ever catch up completely, just on that basis alone. In fact, at this point, it's all "shoulda, coulda, woulda." The Blink dice have been rolled by Opera ASA, and everyone will get to see how it all plays out over the months to come.

    From my perspective, I would have preferred Opera ASA had more effectively polled their desktop user base in advance about their "needs" - much of the angst now evident might thereby have had more effect on design evolution at the beginning; I would have preferred Opera had done a lot more "feature" development in the New Opera desktop version before ever giving up anything to the light of day. But none of that matters now. What matters is how they will go forward from here. However (and unfortunately), the way it has all unfolded thus far has acted to undercut the hopes and attitudes of a finite class of Opera users regarding what Opera's future holds, and the fallout from that continues daily. Credibility of a market supplier is a critical factor to their ongoing viability, and credibility is all about customer perceptions and expectations raised by the supplier versus the follow-through over time... and that ball is now squarely in Opera's court, both in terms of execution and accurate, meaningful communication.

    What I do know is that life itself, as well as browsing the Internet in some manner or other, will continue with or without New Opera. Passionate critics and supporters alike would both do well to keep that firmly in mind.

  • Thanks for the insightful response. Much to ponder.

  • Originally posted by Tradeofjane:

    So far they've copied Chrome's layout engine, user interface, extension system, and even Chrome's rapid release cycle.

    The user interface was made from scratch, so it is not a copy. Chrome did not invent the basic browser interface, and we had to start somewhere to get the new version off the ground (namely with a solid foundation).

    Originally posted by martintangsl:

    Talking about compatibility, Chrome does have issues. It might be optimized and tuned for a certain websites, but it's not a silver bullet.

    So far, it has been basically a silver bullet. Very few compatibility issues, especially when compared with Opera 12.

    Originally posted by Al-Khwarizmi:

    The reality is that it's been half a year, six major versions (!) on the Developer stream, and they have implemented almost no significant features.

    You are paying too much attention to version numbers. They are not really relevant anymore. All the version number tells you is that it's a new version. However, the new version could have small or big changes. You really can't tell from the version number.

  • Originally posted by haavard:

    Originally posted by martintangsl:

    Talking about compatibility, Chrome does have issues. It might be optimized and tuned for a certain websites, but it's not a silver bullet.

    So far, it has been basically a silver bullet. Very few compatibility issues, especially when compared with Opera 12.

    I noticed that.

    I've been using the "new" Opera since the addition of the bookmarks bar. I'm very happy to no longer having to go back to Firefox for site issues.

    I talked others into using Opera. However, most have quit Opera and when they did it was always due to site rendering issues. When Opera matures a bit more, I'll try to reintroduce them.

  • Originally posted by haavard:

    Originally posted by Tradeofjane:

    So far they've copied Chrome's layout engine, user interface, extension system, and even Chrome's rapid release cycle.

    The user interface was made from scratch, so it is not a copy. Chrome did not invent the basic browser interface, and we had to start somewhere to get the new version off the ground (namely with a solid foundation).

    I think part of the problem is lack of communication by Opera on their future plans.

    Users that visit the Desktop Team Blog have heard many times that the user interface was built from scratch and is not a copy of Chrome, and have heard that the user interface is a foundation that can be built upon. And that no features have been removed, instead they haven't been built yet. But many people don't see that information.

    Many users are asking for side panels to return. Some are asking for a menu bar back. Opera has been silent on these UI features. I understand that developers aren't allowed to talk about certain things. But from a user stand-point, it can be a bit frustrating. Especially since the few things Opera has revealed always seem to be things like, they want to make things more modern, they want to make it easier for the average user to use, they don't want to waste time on features that nobody uses.

    That type of information doesn't really say anything about any specific feature. But it sounds negative. Is a menu bar, or a side panel an old feature? We don't know because we don't have any information. And many people will assume the worst.

  • Originally posted by ugly95:

    That type of information doesn't really say anything about any specific feature. But it sounds negative. Is a menu bar, or a side panel an old feature? We don't know because we don't have any information. And many people will assume the worst.

    While I've been generally supportive of Opera's new direction, I've also admitted that its lack of communication has been somewhat problematic. I agree with you that a basic lack of information can lead people to become increasingly frustrated and possibly assume the worst, as you put it. I wish Opera would be a little more upfront about its plans for the new browser and what it intends to do in regards to the older suite. Obviously software companies do not reveal their development plans to their users before introducing new features or removing former ones. But it seems to me that this complete rewrite casts Opera in a bit of a different light, having upset much of its user base. It's been largely left to knowledgeable users to educate confused members on new features (i.e. Quick Access Bar) and how they can be used in place of former ones no longer available. And the Help section appears to be lacking in that regard. I'm sticking with Opera but I wish it would consider being a little more upfront and educate us directly.

  • Originally posted by haavard:

    You are paying too much attention to version numbers. They are not really relevant anymore. All the version number tells you is that it's a new version. However, the new version could have small or big changes. You really can't tell from the version number.

    That might be so, but because developers like you made it so. The version is only insignificant if you convince people to always update due to "security vulnerabilities"

    A change in major version number should indicate a significant change in code (with or without apparent new features), which introduces new bugs and compatibility changes. A practical example. I download a program on an obsolete system, and it doesn't function there. Which version do I revert to? The last one before a major change would be my first guess. Opera 11.54. Doesn't work? Opera 10.63. Major versions are more likely than not to break plugin compatibility (say you drop one flavor of ffmpeg in favor to another, or Netscape plugins stop working).

    When deciding upon updating to the new version, I likewise would like to know if the update is major or not (before consulting a changelog), to prepare for a potentially disastrous change with a backup, or delay updating to an insignificant 'security' type of fix.

  • Version numbers don't mean anything to anyone anymore (LOL... managed to use quite a few "any's"). Apple no longer number their iPads. Increasingly security suites no longer date their products. It's seems with browsers that Google began this insane number race and all the others jumped on board so our complaining about it means squat. It's not going to change and that's a fact so we're going to have to grin and bear it. 😞

  • Originally posted by haavard:

    You are paying too much attention to version numbers. They are not really relevant anymore. All the version number tells you is that it's a new version. However, the new version could have small or big changes. You really can't tell from the version number.

    OK, point taken. But anyway, the comment about version numbers was just an anecdote, a parenthetical element in a sentence, not the main point of my post. If you remove the text "six major versions (!)" from my post, the rest still stands. In six months we got like, how much, 2% of the features in Opera 12, being optimistic? I'm not expecting to get everything back, but at the current pace it will be years until we get even the most popular set of features.

  • Originally posted by haavard:

    So far, it has been basically a silver bullet. Very few compatibility issues, especially when compared with Opera 12.

    It may be more compatible with a few sites like Facebook, most of these sites I don't use and never will be, but what I have seen so far is incompatible with a lot of the existing users, including me.

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