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