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

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    As aways said, the forums constitute a minority of users and it's observable that people are more prone to come to bash or talk when they have problems than to come out of nowhere with motivation to praise.

    Yes, as you have always said, time and again, in the face of anyone with opinions different from yours...

    FWIW, in an extremely limited sample (that perhaps still makes a general point), I personally know of exactly 11 other persons in my close circle who use Opera. Only one of us has even tested out New Opera. I am the only one of all of us registered at My Opera or who has ever posted here, in large part because I've installed most of their Opera installations for them and have answered their ongoing questions, in some cases by coming here and asking on their behalf. I believe that the simple reality is that for most kinds of software, the great majority of users don't ever register at a forum and ask questions - and certainly, most don't register just to make comments unless they're both extremely upset and are activist/sanguine by nature.

    The point is that a software forum - any software forum - is a fairly good cross section of only a very small segment of users... it provides little accurate insight into what the great mass of users are actually doing or thinking at that same time. That is, software forums have an inherent, natural bias among the broad universe of users. This forum is no exception. None of this is to say what the broad mass of Opera users think about the redesign. I'm not sure anybody (including Opera ASA) yet knows an accurate answer to that. My personal opinion is that most users would currently find New Opera "uncomfortable" to some degree compared with their Old Opera, but most haven't even looked into it - but, of course, that's purely my opinion and conjectural based on my own circle of personal knowledge. Eventually the various market data counts and summaries will begin consistently telling the story; until then, nobody really knows.

  • Originally posted by Sawo:

    Noo, idiot, of course after about a week or month if there's no new request from the same user they take it out of the count.
    Disabling auto-update in Opera-Presto doesn't stop BrowserJS fetching (or something else that also phones home, I don't remember).

    Insults already? You are living up to your reputation…

    From the page on browser.js:

    Automatic checking is controlled by the Browser JavaScript and Check For New Opera settings in Opera6.ini.

    And the explanations of the settings file OperaPrefs.ini

    Browser JavaScript  Whether to download and use the browser.js file. 
    Enable by setting to 1, Opera will then download the file and set to 2. 
    0 = Never download or use
    2 = Use and check for updates weekly
    1 = browser.js signature invalid. On next check for update, a new browser.js will be downloaded and the value set to 2.
    

    Is there any actual proof for your assertions on what an "active user" is, and how they are counted?
    Or are you just making things up as needed, so you can affect an air of superiority?

    http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=how+opera+counts+active+users

    You'll find this blog post by Haavard.
    You'll find an old interview with Jon where he says how they count active users ("We have people checking of updates and that's when we count them.").
    And also Bruce Lawson here in the comments.
    Believe it or not, it's by some kind of update-checking. And in Mini it's obvious they can use the necessary connection to the servers to count.

    LOL and you think the number of people who disabled BrowserJS or any sort of updates is high enough to twist the numbers? What a joke.

  • Update-checking also isn't the true answer.
    For example, I use a copy of Opera on my desktop at home as well as a copy of Opera on my notebook. I also have Opera Mobile on my phone. I have a copy of Opera on the Wii (which certainly does not get any updates) and I bought one for the old DS (but sold it with the console some time ago). I run a copy of Opera at work and I do have a portable installation on a USB stick. So how many users am I? How many users is Pesala? How many users are you?

  • Besides using Opera on multiple computers, I use multiple copies of Opera on most of them. Even on my phone I have Opera Mini, Mobile/Classic, and Mobile/Blink.

  • 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.

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