Get rid of default search engines

  • This is my hint. Why not simply get rid of the default proposed search engines and let users add their own?

    I'm stuck with Google and I want to put Google SSL as a default search engine. I was able to do that, but now, and I'm talking about Opera 23 and Opera Next and Opera Developers 24, I just cannot have my "Make Default" button when I add a new search engine.

    I can change my default search engine only between the proposed ones, and whenever I add a new search engine it will be put in the "Other search engines" list where the button "Make Default" doesn't appear.

    Is this a bug or a feature? why don't just eliminate the difference between 'proposed search engines' and "Other search engines"?

  • The default search engines preloaded in browsers like Opera and Firefox are sponsored. All these options (Google, Bing, Amazon, etc - except Wikipedia I guess) pay these browser vendors so they're included.
    These contracts, plus the built-in Speed Dial entries partnerships, are the main revenue streams of the desktop browser and they're what makes the browser free for us.

    About the lack of ability to set custom search engines as default:
    "The option was removed after we got targeted by malicious third-party "applications". It will return when we can protect against alterations by other apps and not the users themselves." - Daniel Aleksandersen, Opera employee.

    "This will be renabled in a future update. Currently disabled due to third-party applications overriding the user’s preference in favour of malicious sites." - Opera employee Daniel Aleksandersen

    Please search before posting next time.

  • These contracts, plus the built-in Speed Dial entries partnerships, are the main revenue streams of the
    desktop browser and they're what makes the browser free for us.

    For sure those provided are good reasons, and I cannot argue with that: money.

    And that's about the 'FREE BROWSING EXPERIENCE' that Opera wants to provide, chaining 'de facto' the user to some sponsored search engine.

    Hope that will be soon solved tough as your so willingly provided info states that there are 7 major Opera version without the possibility to really personalize the browser search behavior.

    Are Opera Devs plagued with poor programming skills or are they simply sheepishly following sponsors dictatorship? Posterity will judge...

    Please search before posting next time.

    Can't do. If someone doesn't fix the search function on the forums or in the blog posts, finding needed info will still be very difficult, read impossible. I've searched for 'custom searches', 'custom search engines', 'search engines' and other meaningful words, and nothing pertinent came up.

    And, if you strain yourself so much to search about this very same subject (help on searching content on Opera forum/blog posts) there are so many ppls that complains. In fact, when I've seen those posts I've simply halted my search and posted my comment.

    Luckily, there always be 'someone' like you that will answer, providing the needed info only to vent his ego.
    Thanks dude!

  • Are Opera Devs plagued with poor programming skills or are they simply sheepishly following sponsors dictatorship?

    My fellow, what I can say is that there's no evidence to support that. The search contracts between Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex, Baidu, etc, don't define that only them can be set as default search engines - that's what is more likely and I believe. If someone can show these contracts and prove something else, I'll believe it, until then I'll remain skeptic.

    The reason stated by the developers at Opera Software is that if the choice is extended to custom search engines, in the way it's used to work until now, third-party programs can hijack the search engine choice. For example, Babylon, Ask, and much worse malware can edit a file in your computer that will add themselves as default search engine in Opera. You can see that Firefox and Chrome can be easily hijacked.
    The only way to give this option to users is implementing an anti-hijack tech. They want to do it but until now they haven't done it. Maybe their management didn't consider it too important to give it priority over other things (like what they're working to add in Opera beta versions - bookmarks/import, H.264/MP3 support, tab previews, Linux support, built-in PDF reader, etc) so they couldn't do it until now.

    I found a good prior comment by lem729 on a discussion: https://forums.opera.com/post/41620

    Hey, about setting Google SSL as the default search engine, when I search via the address field I'm sent to https://www.google.com (either logged in or with cookies cleared)... Aren't you?

  • My dear friend, are you really waiting for such evidence in the world we are living in to make your mind? I'm used to look at choices and from those, reverse engineering the possible causes. It's the only way to get some truth: trying to use my mind. And from the way that they are playing their balls I, and many others from what I read in this forum, am more and more concerned about what this browser future will look like.

    I found a good prior comment by lem729 on a discussion: https://forums.opera.com/post/41620

    Thanks for providing me with this link. I've followed the discussion and I see that I'm not alone with my feelings. All the 'playing nanny with users' accusation may not have better support than what Benjamin Franklin once wrote: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (first written by Franklin for the Pennsylvania Assembly in its Reply to the Governor - 11 Nov. 1755)

    So, it really seems that Opera Developers are not getting the message on what true freedom is, and in place of educating users on choices and their implications they are simply choosing to eliminate 'dangerous choices' from the ones available to the end user that's deemed inapt to make any. This is not something that is contributing much to internet freedom and that's a certain shame.

    And, playing cards only thinking about the less educated users will push down the overall quality of any project. And this is something that has been proven right even by the PMI (www.pmi.org) that usually come late on any kind of obvious finding. So, who's in charge of the Opera Developement Vision? Must we start to pray for some kind of 'head change' in the Opera Management? I'm pretty sure about that and I really start to get bored by the fact that more and more users are complaining and all the complains fall in the void, unheard.

    Finally, who are you? I mean, I really appreciate your efforts on providing me with info and feeding my thoughts, but are you paid by Opera in some way? Are you related to them in any way, so to justify your aim and your passion on 'shutting down' any complaint? I know that I'm not wasting my time as talking to you makes this thread grow stronger, hoping that other users will chirp in soon with their point of view on this subject. A subject that is hot, judging from the links provided by you.

    So, at the end I thank you for sure, but please qualify yourself. Are you a 'honest user' or some sort of ninja Opera censor?

    Hey, about setting Google SSL as the default search engine, when I search via the address field I'm sent to https://www.google.com (either logged in or with cookies cleared)... Aren't you?

    No, I do get https://www.google.fr/ from the address field that's not the same as Google SSL. For sure you have some more privacy from what your provider can read from your unencrypted communications, but you will get tailored search results, that means 'different' than what you want.

    This is one of the reason why I demand for some change in this browser search behaviour.

    There is also another reason why it's against privacy to not let ppls chose Google SSL as default search engine. When you start to type, you start to get suggestions that are simply sent unencrypted. You must always remember to type a few chars, then manually switch to the desired search engine, and then complete your search to not to get in that trap. But if you are concerned with your privacy this is really too much job to do. You may say, why not to disable suggestions? Yeah, but asking for this it is not against the 'make the dumb users happy' premised Opera policy?

    Anyway, reading other forum posts makes me think that the real freedom that Opera was once providing is definitely gone.

  • I'm not shutting down any complaints, I'm merely presenting facts and helping users here...
    For instance, I agree that the default search engine choice must be extended to custom search engines, I have even filled bug reports and sent them suggestions to solve that. (At the same time I understand the technical and management limits the devs are under and I trust their words to be honest. I can't force you to believe that, but again no one can give me evidence of the opposite of what the devs said publicly. Themselves have said the option will come back...)

    I'm not paid by Opera Software. You can see by visiting my profile that I'm a moderator, but it's a position I volunteered to do (it means for free) to help in fighting real spam threats, keeping the forum organized and asserting the forum rules.
    I want to add, friendly, that this is not a valid point to consider in a discussion, my job status have nothing to do with this subject. Whether I'm paid or not doesn't change the validity of any of the arguments I post, it doesn't make my assertions any more or less true.

  • For instance, I agree that the default search engine choice must be extended to custom search engines, I have even filled bug reports and sent them suggestions to solve that. (At the same time I understand the technical and management limits the devs are under and I trust their words to be honest. I can't force you to believe that, but again no one can give me evidence of the opposite of what the devs said publicly. Themselves have said the option will come back...)

    I think that starting our dialogue with this phrase would have been a great way to improve our communication. And, I state that I do not want to offend you, and I state again that I do really appreciate your help. And here comes my second part of the answer for you.

    I'm not paid by Opera Software. You can see by visiting my profile that I'm a moderator, but it's a position I volunteered to do (it means for free) to help in fighting real spam threats, keeping the forum organized and asserting the forum rules.
    I want to add, friendly, that this is not a valid point to consider in a discussion, my job status have nothing to do with this subject. Whether I'm paid or not doesn't change the validity of any of the arguments I post, it doesn't make my assertions any more or less true.

    So, nice to meet you mister moderator and I do really appreciate your personal honesty in doing your job. You may understand, though, that in many forums when users are complaining a less honest way to approach the problem is exactly the way I've tried to describe, pushing less honest moderators to simply water down any good discussions. I'm glad that this is not the case, but was my intent to be sure about that.

    Lastly, and perusing your honesty and your understanding, I wish only to state again that several development choices are not very popular to the user base, and even if there are many complains, seems that none of them are really taken seriously by the management.
    I really do like Opera and I like also the possibility to choose between browser to tailor 'my' browsing experience to the extent that I will be glad to pay for this browser if the need arise. Mind you that I'm using Opera, Opera Next and Opera Developer at the same time just to be more and more acquainted with the future of this browser, and looking at my past experience on Windows and Mac, you can for sure deduce that I'm not an occasional user. And many out there share my same experience.

    So, if the money is really the main concern, and to promote a more free user choice, why not to push in this direction?

    Historically, Opera has been the browser of choice for geeks or better informed peoples that were searching for freedom of choice and informed privacy. So let the masses have their Internet Explorer alike browser, or Safari for instance, and keep up with what in the past has been recognised as the Opera browser strongest advantage: unicity. Ok, I'm not a fan of chrome engine, even if I use chrome and chromium as well for dedicated tasks, but I know that a lot may be done to push that platform ahead.

    I'm not going off topic if a propose this, as the fact that the 'default search engines' seems locked, and the need for additional programming effort to solve the issue (anti-hijack engine), may well be solved with money that comes from aficionados like me. What do you think? 20 euro? Hell, even 40 euro seems to me a good price to pay to have our old browser up and running shining and improved as it should be. Less arguable marketing/financing choices and a really 'free' browsing experience.

  • Money isn't the issue. The issue is the lack of an anti-hijacking tech. For example, the file that stores the default search engine choice would have to be encrypted by Opera with a password or something to only give you access to edit the setting but not malware, or another solution...

    No one pays for a browser...
    Opera used to be paid in the past. What happened was that Firefox rose at IE6 expenses while Opera lost the ride. Opera has been barely used historically, even after it became free.

    I don't know why they don't accept donations though, perhaps the ASA status in Norway doesn't allow it or something...

  • "The option was removed after we got targeted by malicious third-party "applications". It will return when we can protect against alterations by other apps and not the users themselves." - Daniel Aleksandersen, Opera employee.

    So far, almost a year since that comment was posted, this option hasn't been returned. I think it would be safe to say it's not gonna happen anytime. Heck, we're even not allowed to change letter keywords if they're occupied by the stock SE.

  • Another month...without option to change default search engines. When is this gonna be considered by the overseers ?

  • Alright, now Opera doesn't allow me to choose any "other" search engines to be my default.
    Is there a way I can turn of onmibox search completely? No search engines at all.
    Basically what I am interested is to get my local intranet DNS to resolve the keywords i type in omnibox, I'm not SEARCHING for anything.

    Any help is truly appreciated.

  • *Alright, now Opera doesn't allow me to choose any "other" search engines to be my default. Is there a way I can turn of onmibox search completely? No search engines at all. Basically what I am interested is to get my local intranet DNS to resolve the keywords i type in omnibox, I'm not SEARCHING for anything.

    Any help is truly appreciated.*

    "Is there a way I can turn of onmibox search completely?"

    Nope, you are screwed. I wish also that I could enter a web address using a current Opera browser in Linux without having to be careful that that isn't searched for by google or their other pet search sites, that when I enter an address, IT GOES THERE and is not searched for. As shmucker implied, SO MUCH for the FREE (as in liberty) browsing experience from Opera.

  • I won't use Opera because it won't allow my CHOICE of search provider.
    I'm going straight back to Firefox. Vote with your feet. Goodbye!

  • Get another browser -they are easy enough to download. :lol:

  • Alright, now Opera doesn't allow me to choose any "other" search engines to be my default.
    Is there a way I can turn of onmibox search completely? No search engines at all.
    Basically what I am interested is to get my local intranet DNS to resolve the keywords i type in omnibox, I'm not SEARCHING for anything.
    Any help is truly appreciated.

    Look for a way to reroute the default search engine domain's IP using the hosts file or something in your modem/router.

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