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Opera Sees "Dramatic" Rise From Microsoft's Ballot

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the fat-lady-warming-up dept.

Internet Explorer 378

TheReal_sabret00the notes a TechRadar piece reporting that Opera Software has seen a doubling from normal download numbers on average since Microsoft's browser-choice screen lit up in Europe. The UK saw an 85% increase and for other countries it was larger still: Poland 328%, Spain 215%, and Italy 202%. Hakon Wium Lie, CTO of Opera Software, said "A multitude of browsers will make the web more standardised and easier to browse."

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378 comments

That's very nice Opera (-1, Troll)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535834)

Now get back to your rightful place as the weird browser that nobody I know takes seriously.

Re:That's very nice Opera (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535938)

You must be lonely, or only know idiots. Opera has been at the forefront of web technologies and open standards for years. PS. Check market share in Russia.

Re:That's very nice Opera (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536952)

Well, nowadays, Chrome has been taking over that front a bit more, but they're still doing a good job (and the best job on mobile devices).

Re:That's very nice Opera (5, Funny)

residieu (577863) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536574)

It's a Big Red O! There's no stopping the Big Red O once it gets rolling. It'll roll right over your lowercase blue e. It'll roll right over your rat clinging to the blue egg. It won't even acknowledge Safari, because it doesn't remember what its icon is. Beware the Big Red O! It's the Future!

Re:That's very nice Opera (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537022)

It won't even acknowledge Safari, because it doesn't remember what its icon is.

It's a compass. A typical icon to indicate "navigation", in contrast to big red O's, foxes and swirly colory... things...

Re:That's very nice Opera (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536984)

Opera must be doing something right, that all the other browsers are missing. Go ahead, look at market share in eastern Europe, and especially among people who use the Cyrillic alphabet. It seems that a LOT of people take Opera seriously.

I've tested it, in several incarnations now. I'll bet I could still find my license file somewhere, if I tried hard enough. It has some pretty neat features, no matter what language you speak. That sharing thing, for instance - any idiot can share files, photos, whatever with their family, in a reasonably secure manner, without jumping through a lot of hoops.

You should drive it, before you dump on it.

I'm not switching, because Firefox suits my needs and wants, but if I were to switch, Opera would be a good browser to consider. In fact, it comes in side by side with Chrome, in my books.

Re:That's very nice Opera (4, Informative)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537132)

I've been using Opera for ages. For a long time, it was really the only choice for power users. Every other browser would crash or slow to a crawl when you had more than a few dozen pages open. Back in my Pentium II 200MHz days, I needed 200 pages open to inconvenience Opera. It's still one of the browsers with the smallest memory footprint, although it's not leading by as much as it used to.

Woah (-1, Troll)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535840)

They used to have 4 users, now that have 10. That's one dramatic rise.

Re:Woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536080)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson%27s_rule

Statistics can be misleading.

Re:Woah (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536274)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson%27s_rule

Statistics can be misleading.

Links can be misleading, too. That link had absolutely nothing to do with the Simpsons.

Re:Woah (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536462)

What's this got to do with Link? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Woah (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536564)

He didn't say Link, he said Links. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536840)

You mean Links [wikipedia.org] ? This discussion is about web browsers right?

Same old mistakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535874)

"A multitude of browsers will make the web more standardised and easier to browse"

Oh, no, they won't. I can assure you that the majority of webmasters test their sites in IE and some of them in Firefox (definitely not all of them). The rest of the browser are either assumed to be compatible with IE or Firefox or be rendered irrelevant.

Re:Same old mistakes (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535990)

I can assure you that they do not act this way out of sympathy for IE. They do so because they know that the user base not using IE/Firefox/Safari is too small to care for.

Re:Same old mistakes (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536242)

We code for, and test against, IE 6+, FireFox 2+, Safari 3+, Chrome 4+ and Opera 9+. And it sucks.

With all the supposedly intelligent and future thinking people pushing the Internet forward, I am stunned at their inability to comply with W3C standards. Yeah, yeah, W3C documents are the 'drying paint' of the internet, but they are what all browser developers are supposed to be aiming for. I think they all need new glasses.

Re:Same old mistakes (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536404)

I find it amusing that everyone rails against IE (rightfully so in many ways) for not following standards, but every web developer I know (and being one in a lively local web development community, I am exposed to a fair number) still has to check sites in IE plus a multitude of other browsers . When there are differences between standards compliant browsers, theres something wrong with the standard imho.

Re:Same old mistakes (5, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536586)

You're right in that it sucks that you can be standards compliant and still render things differently from another standards compliant browser, but it's important to note that the differences between Gecko, WebKit and Opera's rendering engine are generally quite small and can often easily be worked around in the last day or two of a large project, but when it comes to Trident it's like entering non-euclidiean space, menus disappear or appear on the wrong side of a page, other elements magically ignore that you just told them their size and none of this ever has a simple "oh, we'll just tweak it a little" solution, it always seems to involve moving stuff around a lot and writing mangled IE-specific non-standards compliant CSS just to trick Trident into rendering things the right way.

So yeah, there is a problem with ambiguity in the standards but Trident rendering standards compliant sites so wrong they're not even usable is a much bigger issue which will hopefully be solved if we can get IE to no longer have a majority share of the browser market.

Re:Same old mistakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536660)

I'm a webdev and I test all sites against 10 or so browser/version/OS combinations. Apart from identical font size/width issues on all browsers on the Mac, I rarely have to make any changes except for Internet Explorer - IE7 sometimes requires a few small minor things; and IE6 usually requires a few CSS tweaks. All the rest display identically every time (and that includes IE8). Anyone who has to make tweaks specifically for any of the major modern browsers is doing it wrong (or using CSS3 stuff thats just too new to be trusted). But you simply can't avoid testing - its part of the job in every IT related field.

Re:Same old mistakes (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536668)

When there are differences between standards compliant browsers, theres something wrong with the standard imho.

Each browser developer seems to interpret the standard differently ... or only implement it partially (or rather, incompletely). When the five largest browser developers (among others) don't implement the standard properly or completely it's the developers and not the standard.

Re:Same old mistakes (3, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537270)

When there are differences between standards compliant browsers, theres something wrong with the standard imho.

What's wrong with W3C standards is that there's never been a reference implementation, which means there's a lot of room for interpretation, and interpretations can vary a lot. And after they've been implemented, people start discussing which implementations are closest to what the standard intended, after which people need to fix their browser, and in the mean time, we've got a big bloody mess.

Reference implementations are important.

Re:Same old mistakes (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536576)

Well, the standards do suck ass.

I mean, CSS (IMO at least) was completely useless for serious website development until version 3, when it finally gained columns. *Columns!!* One of the most fundamental page layout concepts, and CSS didn't get it until version 3.0! Sure, you could make a box with a dotted top border and a dashed bottom border, but you can't make two fucking columns without workarounds. It still doesn't have math, making simple constructs like "5px + 3em" impossible. (You can't do the math at design-time because you don't know what an "em" is until run-time.)

Frankly, I have no problems with browser makers extending the standards when the standards suck... especially DOM.

For example, I've written a Javascript tag that does cool things to a webpage and can be either included on the page HTML itself, or can be loaded through a bookmarklet. The problem is, IE is the *only* browser that lets this script ask if the page is fully loaded if the script is dropped on the page after the page is loaded. All the more W3C-compliant browsers only let you install a handler on the Load or Pageshow event... if that event's already fired, you're fucked, since it never fires twice. The (completely retarded) work-around is to have my JS actually search the DOM tree to find a script tag including itself for non-IE browsers.

This is one of those cases where the Microsoft engineers who wrote their particular extension of DOM were *much better* at writing the standard than the W3C was, since they anticipated and compensated for a use case the W3C apparently didn't even bother thinking about.

Also: would it kill the W3C-compliant browsers to add "innerText" to DOM? Just alias it to "textContent." Or to alias attachEvent to addEventListener? You'd get massive compatibility wins for adding it and it would take like 10 minutes of work. If the W3C were smart, they'd just add those into the standards anyway since so many sites already use them. (Whoever came up with textContent when innerHTML already existed should be smacked.)

Re:Same old mistakes (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536810)

For example, I've written a Javascript tag that does cool things to a webpage and can be either included on the page HTML itself, or can be loaded through a bookmarklet. The problem is, IE is the *only* browser that lets this script ask if the page is fully loaded if the script is dropped on the page after the page is loaded. All the more W3C-compliant browsers only let you install a handler on the Load or Pageshow event... if that event's already fired, you're fucked, since it never fires twice. The (completely retarded) work-around is to have my JS actually search the DOM tree to find a script tag including itself for non-IE browsers.

I’m betting there’s a better way. But without knowing what your script does, I can’t be positive.

Re:Same old mistakes (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537212)

If there isnt 2-3 main browsers, but a lot having roughly the same market share, things could evolve in some ways:
- There isnt so many engines. A lot of browsers are based on webkit or could be based on it (like with the chrome plugin for IE). Actually the main engines are gecko, webkit, and the ones in opera and IE, but could be a run to standarize in i.e. webkit for some ofthe browsers that don't use it now (would be an interesting move for Opera, and the others could do it gradually... IE already have a "compatibility mode", so it could end being webkit based in some moment).
- Convergence, having as measure things like the Acid3 test, to score compatibility of browsers on one common standard
- Webmasters entering into reason. Maybe could have some sense to code for the browser that have 80% of market share, but if all browsers/engines have 25% market share or they code for all, or they code for none, keeping into common ground zone, or at least a zone where are most of them (that probably will put IE out, that is the one that ever had been far fromt he rest in standards compliance)

Frist ps0t (1, Redundant)

heneon (570292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535896)

Could someone explain when this ballot actually comes up? is it only for new installs of Windows or at some later moment, too? I already use Opera so it wouldnt make any difference to me but at least during the odd times I had to use IE for something it didn't ask me anything.

Re:Frist ps0t (1)

iJusten (1198359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536292)

I understand it's an update for Windows 7, served with other software updates for computers in EU.

Re:Frist ps0t (2, Informative)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536364)

During the latest (or a recent) Windows Update it presents itself, but only if you have no browsers other than IE installed. It also appears to do it pre-update on new (XP) builds since then, too.

Amusingly, it's presented by IE, so you still have to click though the three or four pages of setting your IE8 preferences, and it doesn't replace. I'd understood IE was to be removed, but I wasn't really listening.

Re:Frist ps0t (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536904)

>>>the ballot is presented by IE

Correction - The ballot WAS presented by IE, but Opera and others objected, so the EU ordered Microsoft to use a generic window.

Re:Frist ps0t (1)

takowl (905807) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536444)

It will appear on new installs of windows, but an automatic update also pushes it to existing installations of XP, Vista and 7. You get a "browser choice" icon on the desktop, and I believe it pops up when you try to use IE.

Reasons you might not have seen it: You're not in the EU, it's not been rolled out to you yet (they're not doing it all at once), or it may even detect that you already have another browser installed, so decide not to bother you.

I like Opera the way it was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31535902)

Better than the rest of the choices, but largely unknown. Tiny install and just as small a target for malware. And the stuff they are adding with unite and native widgets only makes it better. But lets try to keep it secret like Usenet so the malware authors keep attacking you idiots that use IE and firefox.

an anti-swpat company doing well (5, Informative)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535908)

Opera Software [swpat.org] did great work lobbying against software patents in the campaigns on the EU software patents directive [swpat.org] . Thanks Opera!.

Re:an anti-swpat company doing well (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536766)

I can understand why people would be against software patents for obvious ideas, such as the one-click patent. But are these folks against all software patents, no matter how innovative and complex? If so, why? What makes software patents so special that they should not be allowed?

Re:an anti-swpat company doing well (5, Insightful)

augustw (785088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537038)

Because they are expressions of ideas, more like mathematical proofs than real, mechanical, inventions - and neither ideas nor mathematical theories are patentable. The "expressions of ideas" bit is why programmes are copyrightable -- as literary works. And if they're literary works, protected by copyright, how can the be patentable too?

And remember, in Europe you can't patent business methods or processes, either.

Re:an anti-swpat company doing well (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537172)

I can understand why people would be against software patents for obvious ideas, such as the one-click patent. But are these folks against all software patents, no matter how innovative and complex? If so, why? What makes software patents so special that they should not be allowed?

There are various arguments for disallowing all software (and similar "business methods" patents), as they are currently outlawed in Europe. However, the main one is that software is basically too slippery for any patents office adequately to adjudicate on. Physical inventions are far easier to award patents for because things like prior art have a least some chance of being discovered and you can't easily derive a machine from another machine.

This is of course an unfortunate state of affairs for the writers of software. We all know that writing genuinely innovative algorithms is just as hard as inventing a method for stripping the wings off flies. Perhaps in the far future, super-human intelligence will be able to judge the originality of software and business methods to award bone fide innovators with patents. But until that happy day, we'll be stuck with the likes of Darl McBride trying to rip us all off and work the system.

Re:an anti-swpat company doing well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31537280)

There is no such thing as innovation in software, just different ways to do things.

Software Patents will just end up resulting in the mess we already have with the patent system in general, companies hogging up all kinds of simple crap just because they can.
"Want to do some nice addition using that good ol' Addition sign? Too bad, you'll have to do some complex bit-shifting, rotating and creating wormholes to do that. And we will still sue you because we have loads of money and can hire better lawyers than you can. So if you give us 10k, we'll leave you alone."

Algorithm patents would be the first to be abused.
Sorts, calculations for file management, creating keys, 3D geometry and so on.
Software patents can fuck right off.

Re:an anti-swpat company doing well (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537342)

Software should be copyrighted, NOT patented. Period. No matter how innovative, no matter how complex, no matter how many billion people think it's really cool. No patents. Patents are for physical, concrete, touchable and feelable items. Tangible, as opposed to intangible. All software is just a specific way of rearranging ones and zeros, after all. You can't actually make anything new with them.

Re:an anti-swpat company doing well (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536972)

PLUS Opera's Turbo mode is great for people with slow connections like Dialup or Cellular/wireless. It makes the connection look about 5 times faster than it really is.

Opera's innovations remind me of how Mosaic (and later Netscape) innovated in the early 90s.

Correlation/causation (3, Informative)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535912)

These numbers don't mean too much, because at the time the ballot screen was introduced Opera introduced a new version of their browser as well. Probably at least part of the increase is caused by this new version, and not by the ballot screen.

However, still nice to see people trying something different.

Re:Correlation/causation (3, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535992)

They track the browser downloads depending on source, so they do actually have a quite good idea how many people are installing via ballot screen.

Re:Correlation/causation (1)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536100)

Could be, but it doesn't say so in TFA. It may be *implied*, but that's not good enough in my book.

Re:Correlation/causation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536398)

Perhaps if you stopped reading TFA's you'd be able to infer anything you'd like - just like the rest of us.

Re:Correlation/causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536020)

These numbers don't mean too much, because at the time the ballot screen was introduced Opera introduced a new version of their browser as well. Probably at least part of the increase is caused by this new version, and not by the ballot screen.

However, still nice to see people trying something different.

Considering that Opera had previously released, what, nine new versions and never seen a bump, I'd say it's pretty likely that the ballot was the causal factor.

Re:Correlation/causation (-1, Flamebait)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536420)

I had completely forgotten about Opera, until the MS "browser choice" started making the mainstream headlines.

I tried Opera a few years ago and quickly dumped it because of so many incompatibilities. Regular pages that looked fine in IE and Firefox were completely mangled in Opera, so I gave up and said never again. I was also appalled that it wasn't free; they wanted me to pay for it! (I got it as part of some special promotion where it was free) Why pay for a piece of crap when there were free browsers that rendered my pages correctly?

I'm going to guess it's a combination of a new version and the ballot screen that are attracting more interest. Despite my past experiences, I'm willing to give it a try again and help it's 'dramatic rise.'

Re:Correlation/causation (5, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536688)

was also appalled that it wasn't free; they wanted me to pay for it!

Note that Opera has been completely free for years (since 2005). (And even before that, long before Firefox existed, you had the option of paying or a small ad.) I'm not sure why the idea of commercial sortware is "appalling" - I mean, you're running this on Windows!

I'd certainly recommend trying it again - Opera has been continually improved, and it's not really fair to judge it today based on a five year old version. (Also it's unclear whether the webpage problems were due to bugs/limitations in Opera, or because of poorly written webpages that are only written for IE and Firefox.)

Re:Correlation/causation (3, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536478)

The numbers don't mean too much not for the reason you mention (as others have pointed out, they probably correlate the IP address used for the download to the IP address's entry point and check the referrer for that hit) but because these are only downloads.

How many of those Polish potentially swayed by the "Opera Turbo technology - speed up your Internet connection" are actually going to -stick to- using Opera, rather than going back to IE or using another browser they might have downloaded through that same choice screen?

The only thing we can even remotely suggest is that if nothing else, the browser choice screen may have brought choice -awareness- to the masses more than any other effort has done so far. That alone is a Good Thing(TM)

Re:Correlation/causation (4, Informative)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536538)

This article explicitly states that the additional downloads are coming from the screen: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8574883.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Correlation/causation (1)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536684)

No, that article states for *some* countries how many percent of the total downloads come from the ballot screen (Poland 77%, Spain, Italy, Denmark over 60%)

In other words, this looks a lot like marketing with some selective data. Not that that's surprising or weird, but still.

Re:Correlation/causation (1)

lw7av (1734012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536650)

However, still nice to see people trying something different.

Or maybe these "new" Opera users had only been exposed to a non-MS browser (Opera) on their phones and they are only discovering its availability on windows.

Re:Correlation/causation (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537040)

part of the increase is caused by this new version, and not by the ballot screen

I see this differently. The ballot screen somehow caused Opera to create a new version.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster may have something to do with it as well.

Testing burden (4, Insightful)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535928)

Presumably it will also raise web development testing costs in the short term, as organisations feel less happy to test "just on the big three" but might not be any happier to assume that browsers all produce the same output than they are today? The long-term outlook might be more standards compliant pages, but the short term outlook might well be "Panic!"

Re:Testing burden (1)

ad0n (1171681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536144)

..and, by that logic, maybe cut long term costs overall given that they will realize up front that a subset of their customers cannot even use their site because it is not supported by common mac browsers, etc. I know I had this problem with http://fido.ca/ [fido.ca] -- it appears as though they fixed the site now, but how many calls to tech support and how much re-inventing or patching up a poorly engineered site after the fact?

IE is the burden. (3, Informative)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536148)

I doubt it. Testing in IE takes longer than in all other major browsers (Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome) combined. Besides IE, all major browsers are reasonably standards compliant. IE is the only browser with enough market share to make it the developers problem if they aren't standards compliant. Only really crappy developers will have any major issues and lets face it - they deserve it.

Re:IE is the burden. (4, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536784)

To make things worse, each version of IE sucks in its distinctive way.

That's a real pain. I used to do some Web developing part-time and I know that. When I was doing the job I had Firefox as the main testing browser and voila, my site automagicaly looked and worked the same in Firefox, Opera and Chrome/Safari without tweaking the standard-compliant code (extensively validated using W3C's tools). For each version of IE I had to maintain different hacks, test them, and make it couldn't break in the standard-compliant browsers, AND still pass the validation, AND keep the hacks as maintainable as possible.

I learned a lot trying to do it and I was glad I made it. I'm doubly glad that I probably don't have to do it again.

Re:IE is the burden. (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537080)

A lot of my job (at least last summer) was testing software in different browsers. It is a massive pain thanks to IE. I have one test plan for FF/Chrome/Opera as they tend to be the same, then one for IE6, one for IE7 and one for IE8.... All being different, handling content differently.

Re:Testing burden (3, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536236)

It's going to be a long time until the average web developer gets to "let's test on Opera!" Unless they have a rich customer using it that they happen to know about. Right now, you're still lucky if they test on IE 6-8, Firefox 2-3 and Safari 2-4... I'd guess 90% of web developers don't even do that, and that's what I (personally) consider the bare minimum.

Of course if you want to do the IE and Safari tests properly, you need a VM for each browser, since IE and Safari versions don't play nice alongside newer IE versions. And to get multiple Firefox versions you have to do a bit of user profile dickery, and even when you've done that it doesn't work quite 100% right... so really, for "simplicity", we just use a VM for every browser except the most current.

To add to the confusion, you can't even test on older versions of Chrome even if you want to, because Google claims since Chrome auto-updates itself, it's literally impossible for someone to be running a year-old version-- yeah, right, Google! I'm sure angels will begin farting out software updates to modem users any day now!

Firefox on a stick (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536514)

And to get multiple Firefox versions you have to do a bit of user profile dickery

Or you use the "portable" versions [portableapps.com] , designed to be installed to removable media, that do this dickery for you.

Isn't that Web Purpose FAIL: less portability (3, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536602)

Right now, you're still lucky if they test on IE 6-8, Firefox 2-3 and Safari 2-4... I'd guess 90% of web developers don't even do that, and that's what I (personally) consider the bare minimum.

I count that as eight different platforms (assuming we only count integer-valued version numbers). How many desktop OSes are in use, discounting those used by less than 0.1% of the market? Windows, OS X, Linux, iPhone OS, and uhm... yeah?

So when you think about creating an application and you worry about porting it between different clients, the decision "let's make it a web app! We'll have to test fewer platforms" runs counter to your purpose, right? In other words: people have turned the web into something it wasn't meant to be---a portability nightmare.

Yeah, writing desktop apps exposes you to differences between OSes. Okay, but all OSes have files, can count time, probably can make you some random numbers, TCP sockets and so forth: they do the same things but in slightly different ways. Wrap the differences in libportability and get over it.

Maybe my attitude betrays my lack of coffee, but isn't it basically right? You don't have worse portability for desktop applications than you do for web applications.

Re:Testing burden (2, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536950)

I always test on Opera because I can't install Chrome at work. (Well, I can, but it insists on ignoring my organization's Windows policies, and installs itself to Documents & Settings, which is wiped every time I log out. )

So I test on Firefox 3.6, Opera, and IE7. (Because my organization hasn't moved to IE8.)

I've never run into an instance where Opera didn't match either IE7 or Firefox 3.6. (this is mostly testing other people's shit.)

No, it's probably not ever going to be the first thing I test. But I always hit all four major rendering engines before shipping things out the door (Gecko, Webkit, Presto, and Trident.) If it works on all of those, it's highly unlikely that your design will ever break. And that's worth a final test.

Re:Testing burden (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536850)

I figure just write your page in perfect compliance and say fuck any browser that fails to currently render it properly. Should one day browsers become compliant to standards they'll be able to work with the pages then and re-writing won't be necessary and you won't have wasted time supporting multiple browsers.

Of course, this only works on not-important, mission critical web pages.

Homegrown popularity. (0)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31535976)

I'm pretty sure this is only because Opera is based in Norway. Now that they see the choice, of course they'll pick Opera. Hey, Opera is made in Europe, so why not use that?

Devil's advocate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536002)

A multitude of browsers will make the web more standardised and easier to browse

The same could be said for only a single browser existing.

What a multitude of browsers do, is promote progress and innovation. Now _that_ we surely do want.

some annoying bugs on 10.50 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536168)

it's nice for opera but as a long time opera user i think they should improve pretty quickly their 10.50 desktop browser. it has more bugs compared to the far more stable 10.10

Re:some annoying bugs on 10.50 (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536360)

I know right, a version with 10 revisions is more stable than a remake that just came out. hmm!

Nintendo? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536262)

When will Opera go after Nintendo for only allowing one "3rd-party" browser on the Wii?

Wii has 64 MB of RAM (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536636)

Opera has always been the low-resource browser. Are there any Free browsers that run well in 64 MB of RAM and no swap, ready for a port to the WiiBrew environment? Fennec for Nokia N810 requires twice that much.

Re:Wii has 64 MB of RAM (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536916)

I hear Lynx is pretty lightweight.

Death of the proprietary browser monopoly? (2, Interesting)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536326)

Hopefully, this will signal the end of the monopoly of the proprietary, non-standards compliant browsers like ie enjoyed for many years and force everybody to comply with reasonable standards. At the beginning of the internet, being non-standards compliant seemed ok at first, but now we are wiser and non-compliant browsers are looked down upon, instead of being a skewed standard.

Opera support comes from people like me... (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536332)

Why do some websites look okay? Because I, the actual engineer on the project use Opera.. and therefore I make sure the page looks alright. We're tasked with supporting FireFox, IE 7, we force compatibility mode in 8 because of third party controls that we use and can't influence.

Give me a break.... (0, Troll)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536374)

I'm not a fan of IE or anything but I still find it a little strange that Microsoft is being required to "promote the competition" in their own product. Perhaps Opera and every browser should be required to have a popup ballot that appears the first time you open the browser telling you about all of the other browsers you could be using. Let's start the insanity...

Re:Give me a break.... (3, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536472)

I still find it a little strange that Microsoft is being required to "promote the competition" in their own product.

Microsoft isn't required to do anything by anyone. The Browser Ballot Screen is entirely thought up and implemented by Microsoft themselves.

Re:Give me a break.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536542)

to please the EU governments

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536708)

Yes, of course. But they did this out of free will, not because they were required to do anything. The investigation into Internet Explorer was still underway when MS introducted the ballot screen.

Avoiding the appearance of tying (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536580)

I'm not a fan of IE or anything but I still find it a little strange that Microsoft is being required to "promote the competition" in their own product.

Windows is Microsoft's own product, which holds market power [wikipedia.org] over home PC operating systems. The browser ballot is Microsoft's way of avoiding the appearance of anticompetitive tying [wikipedia.org] to EU regulators.

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

Seth024 (1241160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536628)

Because you can't use a monopoly in one area (OS) to gain a monopoly in another area (browers).

Giving IE with every version of Windows breaks that law, because most people won't install another browser. The browser ballot screen is a solution that the European Parliament (?) and Microsoft both agreed to.

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536776)

So how is this different from the iPhone not allowing any other browsers? If Microsoft had locked down Windows so that only Microsoft approved applications from the Microsoft app store could run on Windows, then they wouldn't be facing any of this right now (because they would have presumably denied Opera for "similar features" or "feature already available in Windows" etc.)?

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536872)

So how is this different from the iPhone not allowing any other browsers?

Because the iPhone doesn't have a monopoly in the phonemarket.

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536824)

So Starbucks are being anti-competitive when they sell sandwiches ?

What a fucked up world we live in.

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536932)

Your comparison makes no sense. First of all, Starbucks doesn't have a monopoly in the coffeemarket. But even more obvious, they aren't using their influence in the coffeemarket to gain a monopoly in the sandwichmarket.

Re:Give me a break.... (2, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536648)

I find it a little strange that USA prosecuted Microsoft as an illegal leverager of a monopoly - this should have happened sooner. Maybe the IE team wouldn't have been disbanded.

Microsoft put out a crappy browser and then stopped developing it, thinking people would just give up on standards and write for IE. I find that strange as well.

I'm sure there are other aspects which qualify as strange.

Re:Give me a break.... (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537012)

Microsoft is being treated specially because they have a near monopoly on the desktop operating system market, and they have been abusing this monopoly to promote their own products, such as their web browser, their search engine, and their Office suite. Other companies do not have a monopoly in these areas, and therefore they face an uphill battle in attempting to compete against Microsoft. By promoting other browsers, they're trying to level the playing field to allow more competition, which should result in better products.

Re:Give me a break.... (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537036)

I'm not a fan of IE or anything but I still find it a little strange that Microsoft is being required to "promote the competition" in their own product.

I'm not a fan of strangling women or anything but I still find it a little strange that Gary Leon Ridgway is being required to "promote the safety of women" in his own housing choices, by living in a small cell away from society.

Perhaps Opera and every browser should be required to have a popup ballot that appears the first time you open the browser telling you about all of the other browsers you could be using.

Perhaps Anthony Hopkins and every man should be required to live in a cell.

Let's start the insanity...

I think your insanity is in assuming people convicted of a crime should not be punished and forced to make reparations to society because non-criminals are not punished. That's pretty fucking nuts dude.

Still haven't seen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536468)

...this ballot screen and don't want to. Thank god we block this "important" update via WSUS!

Opera Mini (4, Informative)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536546)

As long as we're spreading the Opera love...
I've tried but never really have gotten into Opera on the desktop. However on mobile devices -- dumbphones and smartphones and PDAs -- it's pretty much the only game in town.
http://m.opera.com/ [opera.com]

The interface is quite fast, even on my crappy old Samsung. Difficult to believe it's a Java midp, given the responsiveness with which you can scroll around the page, zoom in/out, and slide back. It's much better than the built-in browsers that I've used on Samsung, Blackberry, older Palm devices, etc. and I even use it sometimes on my wife's Android phone. And it has some sort of bookmark sync thing tied to your account.

Anyway, if it wasn't for opera mini, I wouldn't have been able to get by with my dumb phone on a cheap wap plan for so long. Also with my Blackberry and Palm it allowed me to hit some javascript-heavy pages when I didn't have access to a computer (airline check-ins, etc.) and the built-in browsers just wouldn't hack it. So it's an essential piece to have on your mobile device.

Downsides:
* sometimes I lose my bookmarks, I think when I exit out of it too fast and my device kills java before it's finished cleaning up.
* My phone puts java apps in a really annoying place without a quick shortcut to it (Tools | My Files | Games).
* It disables my phone's standby for some reason.
* Opera Mini 5 beta doesn't work, but Opera Mini 4 works great. YMMV
* java nags to grant the app network access every time I launch a new session.

But it's awesome enough that I put up with those inconveniences to use it :P

Not too hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536550)

So they went from 100 downloads in Italy to 202?

Microsoft Great Software? (1, Flamebait)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536560)

Goes to show that Microsoft IE has a large market share not because it is a great product, but because it locking competitors out.

I hope others improve too. (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536596)

Because if only Opera is seeing an increase due to this, it seems likely it is either because people like the name or people like the icon better. Not liking either of those options if true.

Mouse Gestures (1)

kirill.s (1604911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31536608)

Opera was the first browser to implement mouse gestures. I only switched to FF, when a mouse gestures plugin was made for it.

I still don't understand (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31536696)

... why anybody thinks the browser ballet was a good idea in regards to what such a move will mean in the long-term. The *only* reason most people are happy about it is because we hate IE - the only reason we care is because this is specifically about the browsers. Why doesn't Mac OSX have to offer a screen for firefox or chrome instead of defaulting to safari? Why are linux distros allowed to bundle firefox? Why has this only happened for browsers, and not text editors/word processors, etc?

I "like" the idea of browser ballet in so far as that some IE usage will drop. However, I don't like the idea that government bodies are starting to dictate how a company should handle their software. It sets a dangerous precedent - this is like Apple hand-picking which apps are allowed in the app store, except on a much bigger scale - the EU hand-picking what software can be included on an operating system install. It's ridiculous.

Re:I still don't understand (3, Informative)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537262)

this is like Apple hand-picking which apps are allowed in the app store, except on a much bigger scale

And there you have the answer to your own question. Governments regulate how monopolists are allowed to leverage their monopolies. This question comes up in every discussion of this nature. You're either new here or you have a learning disability.

Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31537198)

But how many of them users are actually aware of what a browser is and what implications their choice has? Loads of people us the Internet daily, but if you were to ask them (the none techy ones) what browser they use, most of them wouldn't know or would say 'Windows'. Its folly to go forcing this screen on an audience that doesn't understand it.

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