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Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's founder and former CEO spoke to The Register

  • There might be a low chance to detect multiple Opera installations on one computer, but this has its own problems. What is more, if you can identify that a single person is using Presto as well as Blink Opera, how do you count it for the statistics?

  • In truth does any of this really matter? We all know that statistics can be twisted and turned around to say whatever the interpreter wants them to say. Realistically, what did we really think Jon would say in the interview other than what he did say? He was pretty much forced into resigning from Opera and naturally he would not be pleased with the direction the company has taken nor the development of "his" browser. It could be argued that Opera Presto was already on the decline anyway even before Jon's departure (in fact that such a decline probably precipitated his departure) but in the final analysis what would that matter?

    This all reminds me of my experience with Netscape. I started with NS 3.0 Gold and followed it faithfully until AOL acquired it and we saw its last version in 9.0. I had used other browsers back in the 90's, including a paid-for version of Opera but Netscape was always my go-to browser suite. We were furious when MS gave away their browser, forcing NS to give theirs away and eventually go open-source. The handwriting was on the wall and NS's days were numbered. The forums in which I was a member saw the same sort of arguments we see here with many blaming NS's poor business model, other blaming MS for killing it off and still others defending NS to the bitter end and vowing to use it in spite of no more security updates. But eventually all that went by the wayside, all our arguments fell on deaf ears and NS became a part of internet history. We "moved on" and that was that.

    I see very little point in arguing about Opera anymore. Opera Presto is dead and done with. We've been arguing about this since last July, all to no avail. How many useless threads have been started, locked and re-started? How many former Opera members have abandoned Opera for other browsers? How many have begged the company to release the source code to no avail? It's all little more than an exercise in futility since the company has made its decision and its final. No one is going to change their minds regardless of the cleverly crafted threads here on the forums. And in the end we're faced with either remaining with an older version until it becomes relatively useless or moving to another browser (with completely different or the new Blink version of Opera). But really - who cares? What will happen, will happen and whether our predictions pan out or fall short, it doesn't matter. My attitude has become: pick your poison of choice and go with it and make the best of it. Move forward. I remember someone saying to me: no stress - just progress. That is... when you come to a road block, move around it and keep on going forward. Do not go in reverse. We can't return to what "was" so it's best to move around the blockage and keep on moving forward. And riding with an essentially dead (or soon to be dead) browser suite, does not seem to be a prudent decision (at least not in the long run).

  • And... in just a very few short weeks, this Opera Community will abruptly lapse into digital history. Some extracts from these forums, in whatever form they will come to exist, will (perhaps) live somewhere else. However, most of these threads and all the intense, focused, emotionally-charged rhetoric will simply evaporate, and the agitated electrons that supported their screen renderings will all return to their previously-relaxed state. A forever hush will come over this part of Opera. Opera will continue doing whatever it is that Opera does. Users will continue doing whatever it is they do, using whatever tools are then at hand. So, as @leushino notes, there's little point in arguing anymore here. The time to decide how to go forward now rests upon each of us, and arguing over how we got here or who shot whom, when, or why will help none of us. The buxom, overweight singer with the horned Norse helmet stands in the forum wings, readying her voice for her aria. It's over.

  • No, firstly we don't even know which topics will be moved to the new forums and which won't. And a discussion for obtaining and sharing truth and different ideas is never in vain!

  • Originally posted by blackbird71:

    The buxom, overweight singer with the horned Norse helmet stands in the forum wings, readying her voice for her aria. It's over.

    You slay me, blackbird. You have a way with words (I imagine you know this) and it's very convincing (and delightful). 🙂

  • Originally posted by blackbird71:

    The time to decide how to go forward now rests upon each of us, and arguing over how we got here or who shot whom, when, or why will help none of us.

    "Go forward" - with what?

    Everything Opera-like has gone from the desktop browser, save the name and and the logo.

    - Presto is condemned to fade into oblivion, as is My.Opera.com

    - the Mail client has not been developed beyond version 1.0

    - Opera Blink is updated constantly, but without getting anywhere near its predecessor. Which it isn't supposed to do anyway, as officially announced.

    No matter what users decide to do, "going forward" means in effect using another browser - and that includes a certain re-badged Chrome clone.

    A product that braved all competitors successfully for well over a decade is abandoned by its own makers, to be replaced by the inferior copy of
    a rival.

    A sad end, and a crying shame.

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Originally posted by blackbird71:

    The time to decide how to go forward

    "Go forward" - with what?

    No matter what users decide to do, "going forward" means in effect using another browser - and that includes a certain re-badged Chrome clone.

    That's right. Just one of many examples of what "going forward" in life means, and compared to most other examples of what "going forward" in life means, Opera Presto's demise is utterly trivial.

    Originally posted by Sawo:

    A sad end, and a crying shame.

    There are a number of Presto users who've expressed similar sentiments here (often with much more drama), but despite that fact that Opera Presto has been my primary browser since 2000, words like "sad" and "crying shame" don't come to my mind when I think about Opera Presto's end.

    PS If there really is a demand for the kind of browser Opera Presto was, someone else will build it. (And I predict that more than one developer will, though whether I'll choose to use it or not remains to be seen.)

  • Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Just one of many examples of what "going forward" in life means,

    "Going forward" means: a platitudinous and though-terminating cliché, the spin-doctored-version of an indifferent shrug.

    Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Opera Presto's demise is utterly trivial.

    These are the forums where Opera is officially discussed.

    Why bother to visit them, and even comment on a thread, if you find the subject so "utterly trivial"?

    words like "sad" and "crying shame" don't come to my mind when I think about Opera Presto's end.

    Congratulations, your mind must surely be superior. But take care not to dislocate your arm patting yourself on the back…

  • Give it a rest. Go get a life and stop your infernal whining. Acquit yourself like a man.

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Just one of many examples of what "going forward" in life means,

    "Going forward" means: a platitudinous and though-terminating cliché, the spin-doctored-version of an indifferent shrug.

    Oh, really?

    I guess I should have expected that sort of shallow, faux-clever response from someone who writes about an Internet browser in a manner worthy of Tennyson: "I weep for Adonais – he is dead! O, weep for Adonais!"

  • Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Originally posted by Sawo:

    PS If there really is a demand for the kind of browser Opera Presto was, someone else will build it. (And I predict that more than one developer will, though whether I'll choose to use it or not remains to be seen.)

    Don't worry, somebody already is

    Haven't used it myself because I didn't feel like downloading and compiling QT5 x_x

    What we're seeing is a dwindling of user choice. There's Fx, of course, but it's going Chromish and hiding/dispensing with features and will start showing "sponsored" tiles on the the tab page.

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Originally posted by blackbird71:

    The time to decide how to go forward now rests upon each of us, and arguing over how we got here or who shot whom, when, or why will help none of us.

    "Go forward" - with what? ... A sad end, and a crying shame.

    "Go forward" with your browsing life... in whatever direction you choose to go. With Opera or without it. For Heaven's sake, it's only a web browser we're discussing, not a pet dog that's died. Life will go on.

    When Opera first dropped Presto, I registered polite complaints here, just as others did - particularly over bookmarks and configurability. Perhaps it did a small amount of good, perhaps not. But the time for complaints to have any real impact here is well past - especially since the tone of so many complaints long ago turned so hostile, attacking, and toxic. Realizing that Opera was walking its own path, over recent months I evaluated using multiple alternate browsers. Currently, I'm using a combination of Firefox and Old Opera and am getting along pretty well... tomorrow I may choose to change again - or perhaps be forced to change through yet another unforseen upheaval of my new status quo. But life will go on. Put the effort wasted through repetitive complaining here instead into going forward: find a new browsing solution that works for you, whether that includes New or Old Opera or not.

    Opera Community is irreversibly teetering on the brink of extinction in a couple of weeks. Likewise, these forums are going to move/change/freeze/whatever - they haven't told us the details. But I strongly believe the continued posting of hostile, attacking comments will come to a screeching halt. So what's the point in wasting all the effort in beating a dead horse, yet another time?

  • Originally posted by Sanguinemoon:

    What we're seeing is a dwindling of user choice.

    For the moment, yes. But I believe that, notwithstanding the potential for large corporations (and their accomplices in government) to steer things in a direction that stifles consumer choice/power (for example, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57617013-94/at-t-says-sponsored-data-does-not-violate-net-neutrality/), it seems to me that the trend in the world of technology and business points to a future of greater, not less, choice.

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    "Go forward" - with what?

    to quote asterix: "and thus caesar gloriously advanced backwards" (or something like that) 😉

  • Originally posted by serious:

    to quote asterix: "and thus caesar gloriously advanced backwards"

    That seems a fitting remark to conclude this thread on the fate of the Presto Opera Browser.

    Posterity will find it a huge improvement over its successor.

  • Does anyone have a non-machine-translated version of the heise.de interview (http://www.heise.de/ct/artikel/Jon-von-Tetzchner-Opera-haette-viel-mehr-erreichen-koennen-2108809.html)? The Google translation is not one of the best Google translations I've seen, and I'd be interested in reading a human-translated version. If it were in French I'd be willing to post a translation myself, but alas, I don't speak German.

    Needless to say, these interviews are of interest to me as a longtime Opera user and current Opera 12 user, even if the Register isn't the greatest tech site in the world. I'd inclined to agree with what von Tetzschner is saying since his assertions on the direction of the company seem to correspond with what I've observed over the past few years. I'm still curious to see what the revenue plan for Vivaldi is. The prospect of a Vivaldi browser is certainly interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if it wound up being more appealing to myself and other Opera power users than Opera Blink is, if it really is being developed.

    I am confused by rafaelluik's statement that Opera now has the resources to do a properly integrated user interface. To be fair, I've heard that there have been glitches with the UI in Opera Presto on Mac. But if Opera can do a better-integrated UI now, why isn't Opera Blink available on Linux? Google has Blink running on Linux, so it seems like the UI layer must be the issue. As I primarily use Windows now, it doesn't really matter to me at this point, but the UI certainly doesn't seem more integrated across platforms than on Opera 12.

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Sometimes innovation is achieved by simplicity. Finding the right spot to include a button, figuring out how things should look and behave to match user expectations (so he/she won't actually need heavy customization) and to build a concise non-redundant/bloated interface, etc, are valuable characteristics.

    I disagree with this. Not because innovation can't include simplicity - it can. But the examples - getting rid of customization, making the interface concise - just seem like a synonym for the power-user despised term of "streamlining". In software, streamlining often corresponds with removing customization options and more advanced features, which in turn is bad for anyone who used those. I'm not opposed to making the default user interface more convenient to new users. But throwing out the previous innovations is not innovation, and that's what Opera Blink has done. A lot of those innovations are useful, so it's no wonder so many people don't like Opera Blink.

    To look at a non-browser example, the switch to Opera Blink has been akin to if GIMP were to switch to a Paint .NET interface because it would simpler for new users, and half of GIMP's features would be missing in the new version as a result. I won't dispute that as a casual user of imaging programs, Paint .NET is a lot less intimidating. But if I were a GIMP power user, I'd vehemently stick with the old version in such a scenario. Would GIMP gain users with such a move? Possibly. But I would argue that such a simplification would be the wrong decision, and likewise I agree with Jon that Opera's real-world example of this has also been the wrong move.

  • Originally posted by aj2gj:

    ...

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Sometimes innovation is achieved by simplicity. Finding the right spot to include a button, figuring out how things should look and behave to match user expectations (so he/she won't actually need heavy customization) and to build a concise non-redundant/bloated interface, etc, are valuable characteristics.

    I disagree with this. Not because innovation can't include simplicity - it can. But the examples - getting rid of customization, making the interface concise - just seem like a synonym for the power-user despised term of "streamlining". In software, streamlining often corresponds with removing customization options and more advanced features, which in turn is bad for anyone who used those. I'm not opposed to making the default user interface more convenient to new users. But throwing out the previous innovations is not innovation, and that's what Opera Blink has done. A lot of those innovations are useful, so it's no wonder so many people don't like Opera Blink. ...

    +1. If innovation allows preservation of alternate, effective ways of accomplishing work, then incorporating simplicity has merit. But if simplicity involves obliteration of alternate ways of doing things, then it becomes a battle of will: the designer's "new and simple" way of doing something versus all those users who have found alternate ways of doing the thing differently and, to them, more effectively. I believe this is the very essence of the frustration of many long-time users with Opera thus far. But it really devolves down into how one intrinsically views a browser: many long-time users see it as a necessarily configurable tool; many developers now see it as a "portal" for content delivery and slick "user experiences"; many browser corporate managers see it as a click-countable revenue stream producer to balance their books. In the digital world as it now stands, those second and third perspectives are linked and now dominate things... the first perspective carries little weight any more.

    Not that any of this matters, really. Opera is walking down the path it has chosen, to wherever that may lead. We can either follow along (from "a distance" if need-be), or we can take a different path. Regardless, I don't think Opera is listening to user complaints here any more...

  • Originally posted by blackbird71:

    Not that any of this matters, really. Opera is walking down the path it has chosen, to wherever that may lead. We can either follow along (from "a distance" if need-be), or we can take a different path. Regardless, I don't think Opera is listening to user complaints here any more...

    And therein (not that it matters) lies the simple fact that has escaped (and continues to do so) the realization of most of the naysayers. It doesn't matter. You're either on board or you're not. The registered complaints (while seemingly great) is but an insignificant number in comparison to actual Opera uses and there is no way at present to determine how many Opera users will bolt for another browser based upon these complaints and how many will simply "go with the flow" and learn to adapt their browsing habits to the features provided (or not provided) by the Blink browser.

  • Originally posted by leushino:

    Originally posted by blackbird71:

    Not that any of this matters, really. . . . . I don't think Opera is listening to user complaints here any more...

    And therein (not that it matters) lies the simple fact that has escaped (and continues to do so) the realization of most of the naysayers. It doesn't matter.

    There have been a number of comments along these lines---i.e., that Opera has chosen a development path from which there will be very little deviation, and the time has long since passed where complaints here might have an impact on that path, and so there's no point in making complaints (especially of the obstreperous, irrational, or whiny kind) about it---but this assessment assumes that the belief that they are or may be a force for constructive change is the primary motivation for many/most of the complainers' posts over the last several months. I think, however, that reason and evidence suggest that the primary motivation is to satisfy the complainers' need to share their feelings, which include not only the basic displeasure that is aroused when something that someone has become attached to is taken away from them but also the desire to take the expression of that displeasure up a notch by spitting in Opera's face (and of course the faces of forum members who don't seem to respect their anger/frustration). Therefore, to point out that the complainers are wasting their time because they're not accomplishing anything (useful) is somewhat beside the point.

  • Originally posted by fluxrev:

    ... I think, however, that reason and evidence suggest that the primary motivation is to satisfy the complainers' need to share their feelings, which include not only the basic displeasure that is aroused when something that someone has become attached to is taken away from them but also the desire to take the expression of that displeasure up a notch by spitting in Opera's face (and of course the faces of forum members who don't seem to respect their anger/frustration). Therefore, to point out that the complainers are wasting their time because they're not accomplishing anything (useful) is somewhat beside the point.

    But wouldn't that behavior constitute precisely what "whining", "attacking", and "b***hing" are considered to be? I don't see anywhere in the forum's rules and conduct code that the forum exists as an appropriate place to ventilate whatever primal scream a user feels he needs to emit, as a place to unleash obscenity-laced condemnations, nor to harshly attack Opera (or anyone else) in a "spit-in-the-face" manner. Perhaps some of us are just giving 'complainers' the benefit of the doubt...

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