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

  • 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.

  • Originally posted by magellan42:

    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.

    The reality is the existing users form a very small share of the overall browser market. Problems with site compatibility has always been a major issue with Opera for many years so perhaps sacrificing the few dedicated users who have very specific and sometimes individual requirements is necessary in order to attempt to gain a larger market share. You have to wonder why a simple browser like Chrome is way more popular than the feature rich Opera (before the engine switch).

  • Originally posted by cozza:

    ... The reality is the existing users form a very small share of the overall browser market. Problems with site compatibility has always been a major issue with Opera for many years so perhaps sacrificing the few dedicated users who have very specific and sometimes individual requirements is necessary in order to attempt to gain a larger market share. ...

    And just how is Opera attempting to gain market share, especially if they have alienated a significant portion of their long-term, feature-demanding user base, however large that may or may not have been? Marketing? If they are marketing, where and when and how? Because right now, I've encountered virtually nothing in the media. In bygone days, the Opera desktop demand came either from word-of-mouth from that now-"sacrificed" user base and from down-adoption by mobile users who found it on their phones - marketing has never been Opera's "strong suit". Will share be gained from the Chrome-fixated world by the addition of "must-have, killer" features? If so, which ones and when will they appear - and how will the market find out they even exist? What is Opera uniquely doing (and marketing) to both retain old uers and attract new ones?

    It's been a long time in "Internet-years" since Opera introduced a desktop browser feature that was both compelling and novel. It's been a year since many in its "existing user base" experienced the release of a fully-featured Opera as useful as what they've known before... instead, they've seen many of those features simply evaporate. It's been six months since the introduction of the Blink version... and still the marketplace waits for something distinctive and compelling as a reason to switch to Opera (since every net-aware device already comes with some kind of default browser, and "switching" is the only way Opera can grow market share).

    In all of this, I'm not arguing that it won't or can't eventually happen. But the wait is growing long, and the encouraging signs are few of late - particularly in the marketing arena.

    Originally posted by cozza:

    ... You have to wonder why a simple browser like Chrome is way more popular than the feature rich Opera (before the engine switch).

    Because all-too-many sites have financially partnered with a few browser makers to "support their browser brand" on those sites. Because it's easier and cheaper to code for a website by ignoring rigorous Internet standards or low-market-share browsers. Because a ton of software and websites push downloads of a few browsers in return for "financial consideration". Popularity and simplicity may have little to do with why the masses choose a simplistic browser... it may have more to do with the consequences of a user's "needed" site employing browser-sniffing that coughs up a warning panel intimating Chrome, Firefox, or IE are the only ones that should be used, or "safely" used. That's particularly compelling when it's your bank, your webmail, or whatever.

  • Chrome is popular because there is a giant advertising power behind it. Every time somebody visits the Google main site and probably others with another browser, there is a banner saying "install Google Chrome", sprinkled with some marketing bull like faster, modern, etc. It may be dumb and primitive, and it may be a good browser for "1 bit" users who are unwilling or uncapable to make some mental effort when using the web (this probably desribes at least 2/3 of all users), but there are a dozen dumb and primitive browsers for similar people, and the winner is the one with the biggest marketing power. Look at those other dumb browsers, without the marketing support that Chrome gets, they are even less popular than Opera, and not because they are worse than anything else!

  • I have yet to see some real usage statistics for Opera 15+ which show its penetration and because of its user agent suspect that most show it as Chrome. Neither of the traffic analysis tools I use on my own websites (analog and AWStats) identify Opera 15+. I see a slight decline in Opera Presto usage but it remains 1-2%. So at the moment it is difficult to gauge Opera Blink usage but I have a gut feeling it is low and even lower than Presto. Yes, unless they concentrate on the marketing, Opera in all forms is just going to disappear.

  • Originally posted by magellan42:

    Chrome is popular because there is a giant advertising power behind it. Every time somebody visits the Google main site and probably others with another browser, there is a banner saying "install Google Chrome", sprinkled with some marketing bull like faster, modern, etc. It may be dumb and primitive, and it may be a good browser for "1 bit" users who are unwilling or uncapable to make some mental effort when using the web (this probably desribes at least 2/3 of all users), but there are a dozen dumb and primitive browsers for similar people, and the winner is the one with the biggest marketing power. Look at those other dumb browsers, without the marketing support that Chrome gets, they are even less popular than Opera, and not because they are worse than anything else!

    Not surprised at all. Google invests 10 dollars into the Chrome's advertising and its sneak install campaign for each one dollar invested into the development of their browser as software.
    Opera's attempt to fight Google's marketing monster with stripped-down Chromium-based shell under a proven brand couldn't be considered as winning strategy. The niche of oversimplified and 100%(nearly) compatible browsers is already oversaturated.

  • Ohh, that is really great news, wok-tek. I think I'll check the source for that Otter browser and see if I can give some help to the project.

  • Thanks woj-tek for this news! Hope that 'opensource Opera' project will be successful! :hat:

  • I am not a developer, just a user of opera since ver.9. This may sound crazy, but I don't care what engine they run the browser from. The problem seems to me, is that we loyal users have become accustomed to all the useful features that Opera once had. Bring back the ability to have nested Bookmarks, (some of us like organization!). Bring back the link service so we can effortlessly share our settings between computers.

    I hope that Opera hasn't abandoned their PC based devotees. I have searched the web on smart phones and tablets, and found it a much inferior experience. I have experimented with other browsers, (Avant, Lunascape, and the name brand ones), and have found nothing that compares favorably with Opera 12.16. Previously, I had updated with every new version of Opera...

    There are some features that I, personally, cannot do without. If version 12.16 becomes too out of date to use, and the developers don't bring back the old functionality, I will reluctantly have to move on.

  • Me too, but there are actually not that many Essential Features Needed Before Upgrading.

    If you expect or hope for a complete copy of Opera 12.16 you will inevitably be disappointed. Start looking for another browser now. If you're willing to adapt, and install a few extensions, you may find it worth upgrading before Opera 12.16 becomes obsolete.

    I am still using Opera 11.64 for various reasons, but that already entails some compromises. The PDF-XChange browser plugin is badly broken in Opera 11.64 on Windows 7, so I have to use Adobe Reader plugin, or open PDF files externally. Never mind, at least I have my small tabs, and sensible pagedown/pageup behaviour.

  • Originally posted by woj-tek:

    Your answer - http://otter-browser.org/ - basically a project aiming to mimic Opera 12.x UI and functions. It's still in early stages (AFAIKR alpha 1 binaries will be released tomorrow), it's based on Qt5 with (currently) WebKit as rendering engine (author mentions Blink in the feature, possibly other?). From the looks of the screenshots it looks promissing - basically what Opera promised - an old Opera 12 UI with webkit/blink engine underneath.

    Awesome, I tried the alpha version and it actually works! It's seems very promising, but I'm worried that this guy is working alone, he need some help, or even some money.

  • I tried 15 twice and deleted both times. I have just installed 18 and it is currently pointlessly grinding away at something. I adjusted process priority so that I can still get something done using 12.16.

    The reason I use Opera is because it has been a good tool for doing a pile of work. I have been able to make versions up to 12 into whatever finely tuned tool I require to hunt for, manipulate and use information. 15 to 19 are just useless toys copying the toy-town small-minded needs of dumb Americans and their imitators.

    Get a grip Opera. This is a European product so it should be aimed at a higher intellectual level and properly marketed as a tool for doing proper work but still with the features needed for a chill day.

    Maybe you could have it install in internet-for-dummies mode and have a big button in the corner that says 'north european mode' that loads the features that have made Opera special during the last decade. Then, for those who don't require that level of sophistication, the button for changing back is marked 'internet-for-dummies' or 'north american mode' or just 'dumb-ass'.

    ==================================================
    Otter may provide a solution but I share Staross's concern about this being a small and unsupported operation. Otter could disappear quicker then it has appeared.

    I don't suppose there is any chance that Opera could get together with Otter?

  • LOL... just a little biased, eh? Let's see if I've got all this right: toy-town small-minded needs of DUMB Americans; European product ... aimed at a higher intellectual level; internet-for-dummies OR North American mode or just dumb-ass (all equal in your mind).

    Your post doesn't really deserve a response other than to say, it's been reported for abuse.

  • "Version numbers don't mean anything to anyone anymore", really? Every update, especially major ones, to other browsers, or operating systems, always have a list of what's changed, so the user can determine, if they'd like, whether to update or not. Lately, Apple's been releasing updates, that like the current Opera, has greatly pissed off many, many longtime users (like iTunes 11, & some of the Safari & OS updates have eliminated various features, or changed them, and not for the better), however, they are obviously not in danger of dropping off the map, as they have a far greater market share than Opera.

    Had I known that Opera 16 would eliminate Bookmarks, & other customization features, I'd probably not have updated, for I wrongly assumed that updates to Opera would be equivalent to upgrades.... So yes, the near total lack of communication, coupled with the varied & sometimes erroneous or conflicting information from some of the heavy posters in this forum, has only added to the frustration of many users. There's nothing worse for a company than to give their customers/users the feeling they don't give a damn about them, or their experience. And to be left in the dark, after suddenly finding features we'd become accustomed to using (not only in Opera, but with every other browser) disappear, with no explanation or communication as to what will or won't be returning, and when, is not the way to build a loyal customer base, much less retain those they already have.

    The only reason I care, at this point, is that while it's lately been prone to freezing & crashing (& then automatically re-opening, which is odd, & not so good a thing), it seems to be able to be open, with a lot of windows/tabs, without totally bogging down, a good bit longer than FF, Safari, & Chrome....

    I sure wish we could get some definite, or at least approximate (but accurate) answers to the various questions many of us have....

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