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

  • Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    rafaelluik
    "So you can't imagine a situation where the engineers come up with an idea, decide to go with it and then the management agrees with them?"

    you posted a link: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/02/18/opera-sheds-almost-100-employees-after-switching-to-webkit/#!wvz2l

    in it it says:

    "the 90-something employees that left Opera weren’t all developers that were unilaterally canned. Rather, some of the jobs at the Norwegian browser software company had simply become obsolete over the course of 2012 because of the switch from its proprietary rendering engine Presto to the open-source WebKit project".

    "In fact, of the 90 people who left Opera, only about half were developers".

    so, 45 developers/engineers became obsolete because they were specialists in the presto engine? surely these were not the ones that chose the new direction and then lost their jobs? martyred for webkit, that would be true belief.

    1. How much is "about half"?
    2. How much was the total?
    3. Not everyone was fired, I remember reading some people willfully left. And remember the rest of Haavard's comment, there were layoffs under Jon too!
    4. It's stated the decision was led by engineers, but never that it was via democracy.

    I don't know why you just can't accept this simple truth... The devs must be the most happy to drop the complex Opera 12 code and all the superfluous features they had to maintain. They weren't able to implement OOPP and hardware acceleration without breaking stuff and keeping it in an endless beta or rolling back, there wasn't a bright future for Opera 12 engines and maintaining its code either, not to mention the compatibility issues. Borrowing from Chromium is much easier.

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    I don't know why you just can't accept this simple truth... The devs must be the most happy to drop the complex Opera 12 code and all the superfluous features they had to maintain

    It's weird how you draw the conclusion that they were happy seeing what they have worked on for years go to dev/null

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    I don't know why you just can't accept this simple truth... The devs must be the most happy to drop the complex Opera 12 code and all the superfluous features they had to maintain. They weren't able to implement OOPP and hardware acceleration without breaking stuff and keeping it in an endless beta or rolling back, there wasn't a bright future for Opera 12 engines and maintaining its code either, not to mention the compatibility issues. Borrowing from Chromium is much easier.

    So, how does that account for the lack, after all this time, of many common features, like BOOKMARKS, various customization preferences, etc, when they've been part of Chrome for years? It can't be that hard to incorporate those things in to the new Chromium design, no?

  • Originally posted by StevenCee:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    I don't know why you just can't accept this simple truth... The devs must be the most happy to drop the complex Opera 12 code and all the superfluous features they had to maintain. They weren't able to implement OOPP and hardware acceleration without breaking stuff and keeping it in an endless beta or rolling back, there wasn't a bright future for Opera 12 engines and maintaining its code either, not to mention the compatibility issues. Borrowing from Chromium is much easier.

    So, how does that account for the lack, after all this time, of many common features, like BOOKMARKS, various customization preferences, etc, when they've been part of Chrome for years? It can't be that hard to incorporate those things in to the new Chromium design, no?

    I think the answer to your first question is: "It doesn't---and it's not intended to". The claims by Blink's advocates---both here and at Opera ASA---that the new browser enables greater efficiency/leverage/productivity/freedom are not (at least, not necessarily) connected to a commitment or sense of obligation to use those new resources to implement specific features that the community of devoted Presto users (of which I have been one) believes are essential and/or easily accomplished.

  • rafaelluik
    "1. How much is "about half"?
    2. How much was the total?"

    "the 90-something employees that left Opera weren’t all developers that were unilaterally canned. Rather, some of the jobs ... become obsolete ... because of the switch from its proprietary rendering engine Presto to the open-source WebKit project".

    "In fact, of the 90 people who left Opera, only about half were developers".

    -90 something is total. about half were developers. these presto developers became obsolete b/c of swich to webkit. context states that these were the unilaterally canned employees. dictionary definition: "Doing something unilaterally means it's done without the agreement or participation of other people it might affect".

    rafaelluik
    "The devs must be the most happy to drop the complex Opera 12 code and all the superfluous features they had to maintain. They weren't able to implement OOPP and hardware acceleration without breaking stuff and keeping it in an endless beta or rolling back, there wasn't a bright future for Opera 12 engines and maintaining its code either, not to mention the compatibility issues. Borrowing from Chromium is much easier".

    true that the company was/is struggling financially to match the juggernaut of google. even if they made other choices regarding their business model, it would be hard to combat google's money. but the new opera developers will continue to add features to the webkit browser, and given time, will make it just as expensive to maintain (anything would be harder to maintain to the barebones webkit opera that was released). out of curiosity, does anybody know if the wii/nintendo browser is still presto, or did it also go webkit. and i wonder how much it cost to purchase the webkit code from the chromium project? was firefox (also open source) ever considered for opera? it seems to me that google doesn't like everyone adopting webkit, and will eventually use its money to redefine the internet in such a way as to make all the chrome clones struggle and fail. it might have been wiser to adopt firefox's gecko and take them on head-to-head, instead of hiding in their shadow?

  • Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    does anybody know if the wii/nintendo browser is still presto, or did it also go webkit.

    I don't know what kind of browser there is on the Wii U, but I wouldn't expect the Wii browser to receive updates (besides perhaps the occasional security update).

  • Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    1. How much is "about half"?
    2. How much was the total?

    -90 something is total.

    Wrong! I'm asking about the total number of devs in Opera Software, not the total number of people of different positions that left.

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    but the new opera developers will continue to add features to the webkit browser, and given time, will make it just as expensive to maintain

    Nope, they won't have to maintain and improve the engine which is a big part!

    Originally posted by Frenzie:

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    does anybody know if the wii/nintendo browser is still presto, or did it also go webkit.

    I don't know what kind of browser there is on the Wii U, but I wouldn't expect the Wii browser to receive updates (besides perhaps the occasional security update).

    The Wii browser never really was Opera's, you can even see it's branded as Internet Channel. Nintendo licensed their Opera 9 engine and would only update if by requesting and presumably paying Opera again. Opera Software developed it and also the DS and DSi browser but it was never on their own and Nintendo don't really want to or don't see the need to update them.
    The Wii U and 3DS browsers are made by NetFront, not Opera.

  • Originally posted by fluxrev:

    Originally posted by StevenCee:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    I don't know why you just can't accept this simple truth... The devs must be the most happy to drop the complex Opera 12 code and all the superfluous features they had to maintain. They weren't able to implement OOPP and hardware acceleration without breaking stuff and keeping it in an endless beta or rolling back, there wasn't a bright future for Opera 12 engines and maintaining its code either, not to mention the compatibility issues. Borrowing from Chromium is much easier.

    So, how does that account for the lack, after all this time, of many common features, like BOOKMARKS, various customization preferences, etc, when they've been part of Chrome for years? It can't be that hard to incorporate those things in to the new Chromium design, no?

    I think the answer to your first question is: "It doesn't---and it's not intended to". The claims by Blink's advocates---both here and at Opera ASA---that the new browser enables greater efficiency/leverage/productivity/freedom are not (at least, not necessarily) connected to a commitment or sense of obligation to use those new resources to implement specific features that the community of devoted Presto users (of which I have been one) believes are essential and/or easily accomplished.

    Thanks, that's it! Except for the part "the new browser enables greater efficiency/leverage/productivity/freedom" which I never said so. At the moment I only highlight the better performance and compatibility, and the features that are currently included, in my own usage, were enough for me to upgrade to the new browser and also seeing differentiators compared to other browsers so I didn't switch to them.

    Originally posted by olli:

    It's weird how you draw the conclusion that they were happy seeing what they have worked on for years go to dev/null

    I'm talking about the ones that are still working at Opera Software, that despite possibly a little sad (a feeling caused by the attachment they had to a material thing and nothing else), are aware that nothing lasts forever and positive about what the opportunity to start fresh brings to them and their company in the short and long term (not having to maintain and improve an engine constantly to stay competitive, not having to deal with so many compatibility issues and so on, all while keeping complete control over the source code and everything that's implemented)...

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    1. How much is "about half"?
    2. How much was the total?

    -90 something is total.[/quote]Wrong! I'm asking about the total number of devs in Opera Software, not the total number of people of different positions that left.[/quote]

    yes, the article doesn't disclose the total number of developers, only that around 45 presto boys bit it. you are suggesting that that is a small percentage of the developers(?).

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    but the new opera developers will continue to add features to the webkit browser, and given time, will make it just as expensive to maintain

    Nope, they won't have to maintain and improve the engine which is a big part![/quote]

    they purchased the current webkit engine. i don't believe that gives them access to any new changes and development that the chromium project does in the future??? would they continue to repurchase the current engine as large changes are made? or will they do as google does, and fund the open source project to maintain access/control?

    Originally posted by Frenzie:

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    does anybody know if the wii/nintendo browser is still presto, or did it also go webkit.

    I don't know what kind of browser there is on the Wii U, but I wouldn't expect the Wii browser to receive updates (besides perhaps the occasional security update).

    The Wii browser never really was Opera's, you can even see it's branded as Internet Channel. Nintendo licensed their Opera 9 engine and would only update if by requesting and presumably paying Opera again. Opera Software developed it and also the DS and DSi browser but it was never on their own and Nintendo don't really want to or don't see the need to update them.
    The Wii U and 3DS browsers are made by NetFront, not Opera.[/quote]

    i presumed that since it was with opera, it was presto (opera doesn't have the resources to develop another engine). if opera developed it, but it was never their own, did nintendo gain any rights to the presto engine code (i know you said it was licensed only for opera 9 and would only update by paying more, but could they independently develop that which they received and not use opera updates? - seems unlikely). how would you know if netfront was now developing the code from presto for nintendo (i know it'd likely be in breach of contract, but that might be why nintendo uses third parties for development)?

    boy, i suck at using these quote.

  • Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    1. How much is "about half"?
    2. How much was the total?

    -90 something is total.

    Wrong! I'm asking about the total number of devs in Opera Software, not the total number of people of different positions that left.

    yes, the article doesn't disclose the total number of developers, only that around 45 presto boys bit it. you are suggesting that that is a small percentage of the developers(?).

    I'm suggesting ~45 devs aren't >50% of the devs.

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    but the new opera developers will continue to add features to the webkit browser, and given time, will make it just as expensive to maintain

    Nope, they won't have to maintain and improve the engine which is a big part!

    they purchased the current webkit engine. i don't believe that gives them access to any new changes and development that the chromium project does in the future??? would they continue to repurchase the current engine as large changes are made? or will they do as google does, and fund the open source project to maintain access/control?

    Opera hasn't purchased anything. Firstly, they are using Chromium/Blink, not WebKit. Secondly both are free and open source. They have access to all the changes, they can (and do) contribute upstream to the project and are also free to modify anything they want in their implementation in Opera.

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Originally posted by Frenzie:

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    does anybody know if the wii/nintendo browser is still presto, or did it also go webkit.

    I don't know what kind of browser there is on the Wii U, but I wouldn't expect the Wii browser to receive updates (besides perhaps the occasional security update).

    The Wii browser never really was Opera's, you can even see it's branded as Internet Channel. Nintendo licensed their Opera 9 engine and would only update if by requesting and presumably paying Opera again. Opera Software developed it and also the DS and DSi browser but it was never on their own and Nintendo don't really want to or don't see the need to update them.
    The Wii U and 3DS browsers are made by NetFront, not Opera.

    i presumed that since it was with opera, it was presto (opera doesn't have the resources to develop another engine). if opera developed it, but it was never their own, did nintendo gain rights to the presto engine? could netfront now be developing the code from presto for nintendo?

    boy, i suck at using these quote.

    Nintendo licensed it so they could use the engine in their browser... Opera Software and Nintendo developed the Nintendo consoles browsers together and I don't know how much source code Nintendo had real access to. I suspect the licensing terms don't give Nintendo the rights to publish the code or launch new products with it anyway, and perhaps were dependent on Opera to develop changes in the engine. Opera is the owner of Presto...

    There's no reason to suspect NetFront is using Presto code, as they've aways used WebKit before Nintendo would even call them.

    Fixed the quotes in my reply...

  • oh, i was thinking that the chromium project would be something like the clam antivirus. they seem to license their engine out for profit (ex. spybot uses it as a paid upgrade, but perhaps they don't pay for it either and i am mistaken?). and since blink is based on webkit, i like to improperly equate them: me bad. but blink vs webkit illustrates the fear of using this stuff. google doesn't want competition and pushed for the newer blink direction. those companies that paid a lot of money to develop a product around webkit, will be left behind. tomorrow, google will ditch blink for another flavor.

  • biggerabalone:
    I work in a big-ish software company (with a few hundred employees ... or are we even in the thousand range now?). I can tell you that if you kicked out the right 90 people (on all levels) the company would probably collapse (or at least it would hurt very much). If you kicked out 90 other people probably nothing would happen. So it really depends on who leaves.

    Also afaik the 90 people are those that "were let go" (to use that particular euphemism), which does not tell you anything about people who may have ragequit eg. as soon as the announcement was made to kill off presto or later when they noticed that all the promises like "we are gonna make an even better product than we had" (who else heard that particular sentence from his boss already) were not fulfilled.

  • Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    google doesn't want competition and pushed for the newer blink direction.

    Hmm, not... The reason was Apple (the WebKit "founder" and biggest contributor) was pushing the code to work in a way different than Google wanted it to work in Chrome (it was very mentioned at the time that they weren't agreeing on what kind of new multi-process architecture they'd be using for example) so Google decided to fork the project.

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    those companies that paid a lot of money to develop a product around webkit, will be left behind. tomorrow, google will ditch blink for another flavor.

    Do you keep thinking WebKit is paid? It's free and open source.
    No one was left behind. As with all open source software, they were given freedom of choice to switch to Blink too or keep on WebKit which is still maintained and improved by many contributors including Apple. In fact Blink is already used in Maxthon and Sleipnir browsers with highest version numbers AFAIK, and Opera 14 for Android used WebKit and in Opera 15+ it's already Blink so the switch didn't even took long or seemed complicated for the devs.
    Why would Google ditch Blink? They created it specifically so they could have everything they wanted for Chrome.

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    those companies that paid a lot of money to develop a product around webkit, will be left behind. tomorrow, google will ditch blink for another flavor.

    Do you keep thinking WebKit is paid? It's free and open source.

    He didn't say Webkit is paid. :faint:

    Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    In fact Blink is already used in Maxthon and Sleipnir browsers with highest version numbers AFAIK, and Opera 14 for Android used WebKit and in Opera 15+ it's already Blink so the switch didn't even took long or seemed complicated for the devs.

    Opera 14 was based on Chromium, so there was no such thing as a switch. :doh:

  • @Frenzie
    your answers are calm, well thought and I have the feeling you know what you're talking about.
    I think I'll miss your posts when the forums closes (oh, and I don't mean it sarcastic).

  • As jax says in his signature:

    Originally posted by jax:

    This forum is closing. There are two doors out. Door 1 Vivaldi | Door 2 The DnD Sanctuary

    Perhaps I'll see you around. 😉

  • Frenzie is very excitable. He's just fooling with you right now. 😉

  • And you're fooling with me? :sherlock:

  • Originally posted by rafaelluik:

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    google doesn't want competition and pushed for the newer blink direction.

    Hmm, not... The reason was Apple (the WebKit "founder" and biggest contributor) was pushing the code to work in a way different than Google wanted it to work in Chrome (it was very mentioned at the time that they weren't agreeing on what kind of new multi-process architecture they'd be using for example) so Google decided to fork the project.

    Originally posted by biggerabalone:

    those companies that paid a lot of money to develop a product around webkit, will be left behind. tomorrow, google will ditch blink for another flavor.

    Do you keep thinking WebKit is paid? It's free and open source.
    No one was left behind. As with all open source software, they were given freedom of choice to switch to Blink too or keep on WebKit which is still maintained and improved by many contributors including Apple. In fact Blink is already used in Maxthon and Sleipnir browsers with highest version numbers AFAIK, and Opera 14 for Android used WebKit and in Opera 15+ it's already Blink so the switch didn't even took long or seemed complicated for the devs.
    Why would Google ditch Blink? They created it specifically so they could have everything they wanted for Chrome.

    i am not a browser developer. but i was under the impression that building a browser around webkit (for ex.) would be different than around trident (for ex). i believe we are seeing this with opera's move to blink from presto. this costs money to do. google is not your friend. they will continue to try and redefine what the internet is and how to view it and establish those features in chrome as the standards. when you build a nice little browser around blink, and start to make a modest coin, google will be watching. they will make radical changes to suit themselves and you will have to remake your browser once again. from the chromium blog:

    “However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation – so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.”

    see, google introduced blink so it will not have to support other webkit-based browsers (its all about google, baby). it wants those other browsers dead. in the future, it will do the same with blink and those other blink-based browsers. this is a war, and google is not your friend. apple has responded with a promise to keep developing the webkit in a direction that it prefers, and to remove google's crap from it. the titans are posturing.

    now i'd like to point out that just because webkit is open source, it doesn't mean you can freely use the name. the webkit name is a registered trademark of apple. and building webkit into a successful product builds its title into an household name, which is marketable (think about all those intel stickers on your computers). apple could charge webkit users to use that name. google hates that apple owns this. is blink a registered name of google? i bet you it is. if google owns it could they charge opera for using the registered blink name? you betya.

  • lol, after my last ramble in which i wondered if google registered the name for blink, like apple did for webkit. i see an article that states that microsoft beat them to it. google blinked and microsoft bought it. funny. perhaps google and opera will have to pay microsoft to use that name?

    http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2013/04/15/microsoft-google-blink-trademark/#!wUJbZ

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