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Opera Founder Jon S. von Tetzchner Resigns

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-gestures dept.

Opera 222

fysdt writes with this excerpt from TechCrunch: "Opera founder Jon S. von Tetzchner has resigned from the company. In an email to Opera employees, von Tetzchner said that 'It has become clear that The Board, Management and I do not share the same values and we do not have the same opinions on how to keep evolving Opera. As a result I have come to an agreement with the Board to end my time at Opera. I feel the Board and Management is more quarterly focused than me.'"

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222 comments

the fat lady sang? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559248)

Sorry it just slipped.

So, will he continue to use Opera? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559256)

If not, that'll cut their usage share by half.

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559450)

Zing!

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559552)

Half of nothing is still nothing though.

KILLING ZING.

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559562)

I LOL'ed

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559912)

Opera has more than 200 million users (on desktop and mobile combined), so I think they're doing pretty well as it is.

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559942)

Does anyone force Opera on their customers as Apple forces Safari on their iPhone users?

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560046)

The Wii has only an opera-based browser available.

Not sure how much this counts.

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560258)

If by force you mean installed by default, there are installationsbut getting them to be the default is the problem.

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560404)

How does Apple force Safari on iPhone users when you can trivially easily replace that browser with dozens of other choices with a few clicks?

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560186)

Opera has more than 200 million users (on desktop and mobile combined), so I think they're doing pretty well as it is.

Source? It is hard for me to believe that a product I have never seen used by people or supported by a web site is used by a population 2/3 the size of the USA.

I could believe that many users have it installed, if some vendor has it installed by default.

Re:So, will he continue to use Opera? (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560422)

It has 200 million actual users. More than 50 million on desktop, more than 100 million on mobile, and then some on various devices.

It might not be big in the US, but it's huge in many parts of the world. The mobile version in particular is completely dominant in many countries, especially emerging markets.

The world is bigger than the US, you know.

*yawn* so what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559260)

*yawn* I'm sure the 10 Opera users will be mighty upset over this while the other 99.9% of the browser users will yawn from lack of caring.

Sad news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559272)

The five people who use Opera are going to be so sad.

Re:Sad news (4, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559326)

After the remaining board members "monetize" it, (my guess as to their intentions), I think your estimate will be quite accurate.

Re:Sad news (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559956)

How so? Businesses need to make money to stay in business. After JvT stepped down as CEO, the profits started accelerating. Even Mozilla needs to make money. Is making money a bad thing?

Re:Sad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560534)

Did you really just ask a bunch of freetards whether they thought they should pay for anything on a computer? I assume the question was rhetorical?

Ouch (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559306)

Opera has been a damn good browser, and the focus of the company Opera has always been producing a damn good browser. If the focus becomes quarterly profit, I don't see much of a future for the Opera browser.

Re:Ouch (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559526)

Opera has been a damn good browser, and the focus of the company Opera has always been producing a damn good browser. If the focus becomes quarterly profit, I don't see much of a future for the Opera browser.

Unless they can make such a damn good browser people would be willing to pay for it.

Considering they moved away from a paid model, yeah...

Re:Ouch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559648)

No they didn't. The let people have their desktop browser for free. Their embedded mobile stuff still costs, and it's this that keeps the company alive. But not for much longer. Chrome has too much momentum now, and mobile devices are reasonably computers in their own right these days, and don't need mini versions.

Re:Ouch (2)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560064)

Really? I downloaded Opera Mini for my Android at no cost. Did the same on my ancient Windows Mobile. How exactly are they charging for those?

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560184)

If you bundle Opera mobile with a product of yours, you need to pay.

Re:Ouch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559678)

Opera is a big player in the mobile browser market (think Nintendo, HTC). That stuff isn't free. The Desktop browser is supported by advertising IIRC (the default searches, for example, are Google, Bing, Ebay, Amazon, etc).

Re:Ouch (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560760)

Considering they moved away from a paid model, yeah...

Your point being? They did move away from that, and now have more than 200 million users on desktop+mobile+devices.

Re:Ouch (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560474)

If the focus becomes quarterly profit, I don't see much of a future for the Opera browser.

What does that mean? Turning a profit is evil?

Re:Ouch (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560526)

No, that means focusing on the short term alone is likely to be bad for the long term.

Re:Ouch (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560818)

What makes you think anyone is going to focus on the short term alone? Opera has numerous long-term projects, such as a new joint venture in China which is supposed to grow their presence there. That will take time, and will cost money in the short term, but is expected to be profitable in the long run.

Re:Ouch (2)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560568)

Stupid question.

No of course the man is not opposed to making a profit, quite the contrary.

The man is against short term and short sighted policies, he prefers to have a future horizon that's more than 13 weeks ahead.BR> A perfectly sensible thing to do.

Re:Ouch (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560846)

I don't understand. Where did anyone say that quarterly profits are the only focus? Opera has numerous long-term projects going that will in fact cost money in the short term (and they were started after JvT stepped down as CEO), so it seems quite ignorant to claim that they have started only thinking about quarterly profits.

In fact, the company believes that the real big money will not be made until a few years from now. They may be profitable right now, but their aim is long-term profitability, and they have laid out their strategy for that.

Opera after v9 is too hipfag. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560578)

It would've been nice if they kept the early form-factor of Opera, and simply integrated a cross-over layer to use other webbrowser Add-ons & Plug-ins, because the quality of others was in the OPEN development process. Opera was first to integrate handling of Bittorrent downloads into it's browser, and that was fine but the lack of interactive control to a PEER network was ridiculous.

Still have Opera 7 on a Windows 9x/ME system, right next to another browser known as OffByOne, and OPERA for it's size even outperforms the other small formfactor browsers in many instances. Something tells me that this was the vision of the founder, because all the versions of Opera after 7 simply started trying to look pretty rather than be functional.

Opera has always been the fastest and most stable and most uniform browser for me. It's the number-1 standard for actually DOCUMENT-READING pages while other browsers were just for finding the next URL href in the page to go to the next. Opera in all practicallity is the equivalent of an eBook reader for pdf, but only for HTML: it's better than the rest.

Quarterly Focused? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559380)

Okay, I actually read the article and the press release, and I'm still at a loss as to what he means by "quarterly focused". Is he complaining about a lack of big picture focus, or is he just hoping that throwing enough buzz-words will confuse people into leaving him alone?

Re:Quarterly Focused? (4, Informative)

firellama (833578) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559454)

Quarterly Focused means that they are looking to hit their quarterly financial targets rather than the strategic long-term objectives. Companies that do this tend to be loved by analysts, but encounter difficulties when competition leaps ahead (usually by investing in R&D or technological breakthroughs).

Yes, though it's a little more complex (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559704)

Basically you are correct. However, you're overlooking that companies have to rely on funding from outside sources in order to manage their cash flow. This means creditors, and creditors are all intensely fixated on quarterly financial targets due to the covenants they have in place with their lendees. They don't care about competition leap-frogging, they care about whether or not the company can hit their EBITDA targets, as well as payments on capital, senior, and other kinds of debt. A company has to take this into account, especially if they want to manage their cashflow and be able to pay their employees plus their rent and everything else. It's a lofty goal to focus on strategic long-term objectives, but that has to be balanced by quarterly financial obligations, or else something important is going to be shafted.

Re:Yes, though it's a little more complex (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559886)

Right. It is also a lofty goal to focus on hitting budget numbers for the next quarter, but that has to be balanced by long term strategy, or the long term goals will get shafted.

OP left out a fairly important 'more', suggesting Tetzchner and the board disagreed over the balance between the two rather than either of them wanting 100% of one or the other.

Re:Quarterly Focused? (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560772)

That, or Opera's execs want to join hands and start a version-inflation train, a version-inflation train...

(Yes, I know those make terrible lyrics; they go well with the terrible trendy strategy.)

No surprises here (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559416)

Business guys want short-term profit at all costs. Technical guys want long-term technical excellence which is better in the long run but not as profitable in the short run. Because the business guys have the dough, they win in a for-profit business.

That (in a nutshell) is why for-profit business cannot be the driver of excellence in software.

Re:No surprises here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559446)

Yeah, because we know you can't make profits from great software.
 
You're a dolt.

Re:No surprises here (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559518)

I'm sure some business decisions are long term based. Like .NET, or CUDA, or research generally.

Re:No surprises here (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559642)

Panicky investors and the business guys who live in perpetual fear of them want short-term profit at all costs

FTFY.

Re:No surprises here (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560024)

It's actually not panicky investors, but investors who can very easily move their cash to greener pastures.

Imagine a world with 2 investment possibilities: Company A is growing at a steady 5% and is likely to continue that easily over the next 5 years. Company B is growing at a very unstable 15%, and is likely to blow up in about 6 months. Our rational investor will want to invest in company B for the next 5 months, then go back and move their money into company A. If the investor moves his cash, it's quite possible company A won't be around when company B blows up. But if the investor doesn't move his cash, then company A will still collapse because all the other rational investors came to the same conclusion about the correct strategy. That means moving the capital from B to A is a completely rational, yet destructive, decision.

The management at both companies knows this. So the management at company A will try to look like company B to investors. Meanwhile, the management at company B will try to cash in on the investor activity, make a bundle, and quit before moving on to found another unstable company C.

Re:No surprises here (3, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559688)

Yes and No. I've beaten my head against developers who see their code as sacred and are unwilling to put it in the hands of users.

That obsession with perfection can often prevent "good enough" software from being put to good use "before it's ready". And then I often find that the developers are working in too much isolation and lose the incredibly valuable feedback from being used 'in the wild'.

Re:No surprises here (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559748)

According to "The Innovator's Dilemma" and "The Innovator's Solution", hunger for profits when establishing new markets critical. After you get a profitable foothold, then hunger for growth is critical.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559868)

You are absolutely right! With credible sources such as these there is absolutely *zero* possibility of *any* doubt... *at all*... *whatsoever*!

Re:No surprises here (3)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559774)

"...profit at all costs."

You know that's an oxymoron right?

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560336)

Not the OP here, but you otoh, are aware that not all costs are monetary, nor are they necessarily incurred by you, right? Right?

Re:No surprises here (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560870)

You do realize that while those are included in the term "all costs," so are the monetary ones, right? Right?

Re:No surprises here (2)

Artagel (114272) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559970)

You do know that the investment made in companies uses money, right? And the people who gave the money, actually value the money? I mean, sure, it must be fun to burn other people's money. But don't act surprised when they object.

Re:No surprises here (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560146)

So... Are you saying that Opera was driving excellence before and isn't now? Or what are you talking about exactly?

Is Google driving excellence? Is Apple driving excellence? Can you think of no for-profit business that drive excellence in software?

How about you mention someone who does drive excellence in software, then?

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560582)

How about you mention someone who does drive excellence in software, then?

Linux, clearly! It's not like there are monied interests (IBM, RHEL, Canonical, Novell, SuSE) driving innov...

Oh.

Crap. Well, sorry guys, all software is shit, and there is no excellence to be found anywhere.

Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559418)

Always a scrappy underdog. Provides a lot of out of the box capabilities in a small install. Sorry homeboy decided to quit. Looks like he's srs bsns.

Can JoeMonco step up to the mic? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559448)

Has JoeMonco weighed in on this at all? I can't form an opinion without help from JoeMonco.

Hard to compete with free.. (4, Insightful)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559482)

I think the board will find that monetizing a great product in an environment of free mediocre and/or good equivalent products is still a failing business model.

In this case it's easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560004)

There was an article a while back which claimed that Opera can become the new Google if they wish almost overnight. Their secret weapon is Opera Mini and all the traffic and searches that go through their servers.

Re:Hard to compete with free.. (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560464)

You're forgetting that nearly all that competition is better that Opera. This wasn't always the case, but it certainly is now.

Re:Hard to compete with free.. (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560542)

What makes you think "monetizing" means that the product won't be free? Google searches are free, and yet they monetized that.

Hint: Opera is making money in several different ways without charging users directly.

Re:Hard to compete with free.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560812)

I felt the same way at least 10 years ago but somehow they have remained. The only time I crack open opera is on the Wii, and that is no pretty experience, believe me :).

Fastmail (3, Interesting)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559494)

I don't use the Opera browser but I do have an account at Fastmail (an Opera company). I wonder if they'll be affected by this dustup.

Opera is my favorite browser (3)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559496)

I've been using Opera since before it was free, since I feel it provides the most in terms of features and performance. Every update seems to get better and faster while maintaining a low footprint. I don't know how they keep adding features without it becoming a bloated mess, but they manage to. It's sad they don't have more market share.

Re:Opera is my favorite browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559608)

my perception is different. i have also used opera for a long time (since 6.0 or so). in the last few years they have introduced a number of bugs/bad design decisions which cost me more time/convenience than the new features bring.
but yes.. for the features it includes it is a wonder how fast it is. :)

Re:Opera is my favorite browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559750)

And that's probably the core issue. IT has a long history of technically excellent products/companies that pay zero attention to sales & marketing and get eaten/go under.

Opera sort of seems to be in that boat.

Re:Opera is my favorite browser (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559992)

How can Opera be in that boat when the company is turning record profits and has loads of cash to spare? It's even acquiring other companies!

Re:Opera is my favorite browser (1)

Shippu (1888522) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560172)

Opera has become so buggy it is barely worth using any more. It still has at least two really fucking annoying bugs which I reported in 2007 (usually can't select text in text boxes such as this one without right click/select all first, and pages randomly becoming uninteractable). I actually have a huge list of bugs, but no point in posting it anywhere. The devs don't seem to give a shit, which is a shame. I need to figure out which other browser I can customize close to Opera then make the switch.

Re:Opera is my favorite browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560326)

Opera has become so buggy it is barely worth using any more. It still has at least two really fucking annoying bugs which I reported in 2007 (usually can't select text in text boxes such as this one without right click/select all first, and pages randomly becoming uninteractable).

The page-becomes-uninteractable bug was especially annoying but I'm glad to say that it no longer happens as of v11. Can't comment on the text box issue, since I've never encountered this one.

Re:Opera is my favorite browser (1)

spartus (724018) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560412)

I've never had that text box problem, might just be you--I know I get UI ghosts sometimes if I migrate settings from one machine to another, if you've been porting settings for a long time there may be something incompatible with later versions that needs to be removed. As to the second, and you probably already know this as a longtime user, you have to click on Flash to "activate" it, such as needing to hit the play button twice on a YouTube clip, but then once Flash is in focus you can adjust volume, pause, etc. without needing a second click. Maybe this is your issue--being active in Flash and not in the rest of the page would do something vaguely similar to what you describe.

I hope Opera doesn't start to suck, I've been using it for over 10 years and none of the other browsers have the options, configurability, or ease of migration to new installs/machines. Chrome is okay, I guess, but I desperately hate the UI. The main reason I stay with it, other than its general greatness, is how responsive the UI is to input, even if it's doing things at the same speed as other browsers it just has a tactile "fast" feeling.

Everyone will be using chrome in the future (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559548)

IE is only used by corporates / retards/ chinese users and Microsoft is virusing them out.
Firefox bloated itself to death on memory crashing even 12GB RAM systems.
Only ipad and macfags use Safari and can't visit most site because of lol flash.
Opera is too hipster for hipsters and doesn't work with most sites due to its market share being less than Linux.

Everyone will be using Chrome soon, uploading all their data to chromes botnet so Google can sell ads everywhere.

Re:Everyone will be using chrome in the future (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559636)

Insightful troll is insightful.

Re:Everyone will be using chrome in the future (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559672)

wow.

Re:Everyone will be using chrome in the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560078)

You are probably trolling but I actually agree with you. I don't understand why everyone is so keen on selling their life story to Google.

They know where you live, what restaurants you go to, where your friends live, where you work (google maps).

They have all your email and instant messages.

They track you around the web with adwords, and have your entire search history regardless, including queries that you decided not to finish typing and every link you've clicked on.

They know what you've posted to usenet.

They have the videos and images you've posted to the internet, so they know what you look like. Maybe someday instead of blurring your face out on street view, they'll just link to your information.

They know what products you shop for online.

Now that they've repurposed Urchin as google stats, they are on even more websites, watching. They also are a popular host for javascript libraries, which are on even more websites.

Some day Google is going to flounder and all that data is going to get sold off at firesale prices to a company without such a colorful logo. Yet for some reason people just keep fighting each other to give them even more personal information.

Fork'd (4, Interesting)

cratermoon (765155) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559680)

Why doesn't von Tetzchner just fork the source and create a new project? Oh right, Opera is closed source. Pity.

Re:Fork'd (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559738)

What would be the point? 2 versions of an irrelevant browser?

Re:Fork'd (0)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559854)

Don't you dare tell other people how to license work that they created. That is both arrogant and insulting.

Re:Fork'd (1)

cratermoon (765155) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559894)

Would that be more, or less, insulting than the people who had nothing to do with the creation of the work taking it over to use it as their own personal blood-giving turnip?

Re:Fork'd (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560098)

Are you saying that Jon has been writing Opera all by himself until now, or that they've fired all the developers now and are just going to squeeze money out of the product without maintaining development? I'm confused.

Re:Fork'd (1)

cratermoon (765155) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560398)

I'm confused, too. Why don't you ask the linux geek who suggested that telling von Tetzchner how to license Opera was an insult. Did the commenter meant to suggest von Tetzchner the only person who stood to lose or gain from the choice of license?

Re:Fork'd (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560120)

So you think Jon single-handedly wrote every single line of code? That he's still working on actually coding? That the hundreds of other programmers don't matter?

The guy took the company public. He made bucketloads of money that way. And we should somehow feel sorry for him for being filthy rich?

Re:Fork'd (1)

cratermoon (765155) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560484)

Where did anyone say anything about feeling sorry for him von Tetzchner? Those hundreds of other programmers and the millions of users are getting the worst of it as the direction of development for Opera turns away from "let's make a really good browser that clobbers all the rest in standards compliance and performance" to "how can investors and management squeeze the most blood out of the work of other people who actually worked hard contributing code or supported Opera through the years as users?".

Re:Fork'd (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560522)

Those hundreds of other programmers and the millions of users are getting the worst of it as the direction of development for Opera turns away from "let's make a really good browser that clobbers all the rest in standards compliance and performance" to "how can investors and management squeeze the most blood out of the work of other people who actually worked hard contributing code or supported Opera through the years as users?".

What makes you think the direction is going to change?

And as for those working hard to contribute code, these people are getting paid to write that code. Do you really feel sorry for them?

I'm really wondering where you are getting all this nonsense from. You talk about a "changed direction" even though you have no clue what Opera's direction has been, or what it will be.

Opera is going the wrong way (4, Interesting)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559792)

I met Jon years ago, and found him to be a great guy. The company at the time was focused on making a good browser for power users, and they did that really well. It also helped that back then they were focused on performance and working on older systems.

At some point I noticed things changing years later. Opera got bigger, and slower. UI stuff that worked forever was broken in favor of a less flexible Firefox clone model. Attention was diverted to writing an email client. Then a BitTorrent client. Then a web server built into the browser. I only wish I was making that last one up [opera.com].

The company lost focus on what made Opera good in the first place as they went from trying to be a good, fast browser to trying to do everything for everybody. Finally I stopped using it when the drift got so bad that it wasn't really better then Firefox at anything.

This drift coincided with the company growing in size and it being less about how it started: Jon and a few other guys trying to make a good browser.

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (4, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#36559984)

IMHO they make the best mobile browser out there, and since almost all the carriers are now going with draconian data plans it makes tons of sense to use their compression and resizing model. I was never a fan of their desktop browser, but I'm glad they were there as most of the other players stole some of their best ideas and incorporated them into browsers that fit my style better.

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560054)

Then a web server built into the browser.

I'll get flamed for this but I love the web server that is built in. I use it instead of throwing stuff up to websites like senduit and the like. SO much easier and cleaner from my end. I haven't really worked on the photo sharing piece of unite yet however. That's something else too. Granted, their E-mail and torrent program is shite but their RSS feeder is the best I've used by miles and miles. Nobody has come close.

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (4, Informative)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560056)

The company at the time was focused on making a good browser for power users

Actually, it was never just a browser. Even the first public version did mail, newsgroups, and more. Furthermore, site compatibility was a huge problem in the early days, and until recently. Opera now works with more sites than ever.

It also helped that back then they were focused on performance and working on older systems.

Good thing Opera is currently one of the fastest browsers, and still runs on slow hardware, them.

Opera got bigger, and slower.

On the contrary. Opera is now faster than ever. It got bigger because it now handles a lot more open web standards and technologies than it used to. You'll notice that most of the growth comes from adding support for new web standards, and adding workarounds for broken sites.

UI stuff that worked forever was broken in favor of a less flexible Firefox clone model.

Such as?

Attention was diverted to writing an email client. Then a BitTorrent client. Then a web server built into the browser. I only wish I was making that last one up.

What are you talking about? The BitTorrent hasn't received a single update in several years. Mail was there from the very first public version, but was also left nearly untouched until quite recently, when they made a new mail panel for 11.0 or something like that.

It is clear that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Unite might be a web server, but what it enables is direct communication between devices. Opera is not just a desktop browser, but actually a cross-platform browser.

The company lost focus on what made Opera good in the first place as they went from trying to be a good, fast browser to trying to do everything for everybody.

Once again you are getting it completely wrong. Opera has always been doing more than just browser.

This drift coincided with the company growing in size and it being less about how it started: Jon and a few other guys trying to make a good browser.

You must be drunk or something. Jon himself wanted Opera to be everything for everyone. He was constantly going on about how great that was in various interviews.

Clearly, you are completely clueless about Opera's history.

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560134)

On the contrary. Opera is now faster than ever. It got bigger because it now handles a lot more open web standards and technologies than it used to. You'll notice that most of the growth comes from adding support for new web standards, and adding workarounds for broken sites.

What standards? It can't even render gradients properly [tinyurl.com]

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560210)

What gradients? I'm not going to bother with some random data URI.

And are you saying that "render gradients" is the only standard there is? That everything else doesn't count? So even if Opera does support SVG, HTML5, etc., that's irrelevant because of perhaps one CSS property or one single bug?

Wow.

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560296)

No, but seriously. Are you really denying the fact that Opera has much better and more complete support for a lot more standards and technologies than it used to? That's the point here.

I guess you are just trolling.

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (3, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560550)

Actually, it was never just a browser. Even the first public version did mail, newsgroups, and more. Furthermore, site compatibility was a huge problem in the early days, and until recently. Opera now works with more sites than ever.

Opera 3 had rudimentary support, at best. Considerable effort was spent in creating M2 (the mail client in later versions) after the fact when they should have been focusing on the browser.

Good thing Opera is currently one of the fastest browsers, and still runs on slow hardware, them.

On the contrary. Opera is now faster than ever. It got bigger because it now handles a lot more open web standards and technologies than it used to. You'll notice that most of the growth comes from adding support for new web standards, and adding workarounds for broken sites.

Not in my experience. Opera lost most of its performance advantage several versions ago. They've probably regained some of it recently compared to Firefox because FF 4 is such a pig, but that's hardly a credit to them and more of a condemnation of Mozilla.

Such as?

Couple of the many that annoyed me:

In early versions if you closed the browser with multiple windows open, reopening the browser later would reload those windows from the server. They changed that later so that it would reload the cached versions, completely ignoring cache settings and bringing up stuff that could be *days* since expired. When I stopped using it, it was still doing that. Firefox does the same thing.

They also changed from the nice windowing model Opera 6 had to a less functional tab style version around Opera 9 (or maybe 10) where you couldn't layer things around inside the same window anymore, instead you had to split the tab off into its own window and then do it. Hell, Opera 3's MDI was more capable of that.

What are you talking about? The BitTorrent hasn't received a single update in several years. Mail was there from the very first public version, but was also left nearly untouched until quite recently, when they made a new mail panel for 11.0 or something like that.

The BitTorrent client was built before it was ignored, which was attention spent on something that was never needed. And really, ignoring stuff that needs work is the Opera way in some things. They had a great custom search functionality years before anybody else, but had no UI to edit it and sent people off to edit ini files instead. That's certainly fine in the first version it appears, but they left it that way for years to play around with other stuff instead.

Mail was there in some form in Opera 3, then totally redone in later versions, then ignored for a while.

It is clear that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Really? You're the one telling me the same mail client has been there all along when it really wasn't. They called it "M2" for a reason, and it wasn't because it was the first version.

Unite might be a web server, but what it enables is direct communication between devices. Opera is not just a desktop browser, but actually a cross-platform browser.

Unite is a web server stuck inside a web browser. It'd make more sense as a standalone app so that people could A) not install it, and B) keep it running after closing the browser. (Maybe they fixed B since I stopped using Opera, the first time they didn't fix windowing issues and instead announced a web server I decided I was done with them.)

You must be drunk or something. Jon himself wanted Opera to be everything for everyone. He was constantly going on about how great that was in various interviews./quote?

Jon was the CEO until last year. Have you EVER heard a CEO go on an interview and say "yeah we're doing this shit all wrong"?

Re:Opera is going the wrong way (1, Troll)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560686)

Opera 3 had rudimentary support, at best. Considerable effort was spent in creating M2 (the mail client in later versions) after the fact when they should have been focusing on the browser.

There was a full e-mail client in Opera 4. M2 came with Opera 7, and has barely been touched for extended periods. For example, until the recent mail panel facelift, it had been dormant for a long time. So yes, Opera has indeed been doing more than just a browser since day 1, and the non-browser parts have often suffered.

Opera lost most of its performance advantage several versions ago.

Yes, because others became faster. They did so by using JIT and such. Then Opera did the same thing, and now all browsers are basically the same performance wise.

But the point here is that Opera is faster than ever. So the claim I was responding to is false. Opera has been focusing a lot on performance, especially since 10.50.

Couple of the many that annoyed me:

Um, Firefox reloads tabs when you start it. Opera uses its cache, as it always has. MDI is useless these days.

The BitTorrent client was built before it was ignored, which was attention spent on something that was never needed.

Whether it was needed or not is none of your business, and not what we are discussing here. We are discussing the fact that you made false claims about how "everything used to be so great", when the fact is that the things you are complaining about all happened when JvT was in charge.

And really, ignoring stuff that needs work is the Opera way in some things.

So basically, you are contradicting your "Opera was so wonderful when Jon was in charge" claim.

Really? You're the one telling me the same mail client has been there all along when it really wasn't. They called it "M2" for a reason, and it wasn't because it was the first version.

Are you blind or something? I never claimed that it was the same mail client. I pointed out that Opera has been doing mail all along. Please pay attention.

Unite is a web server stuck inside a web browser.

...and something Jon pushed for...

Jon was the CEO until last year. Have you EVER heard a CEO go on an interview and say "yeah we're doing this shit all wrong"?

So what you are saying is that your claims about how wonderful Opera used to be under Jon are false?

evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36559836)

Let that be a lesson slash heads Profits are evil, yes it's confirmation for all you socialists here.

Short term vs long term. (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560268)

"the Board and Management is more quarterly focused than me."

That's it. Stick a fork in it. Opera is done.

It will go up for sale within the year, get bought out, and disappear. Because the board needs its golden parachutes.

--
BMO

Re:Short term vs long term. (1)

falken0905 (624713) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560414)

Heh, I bet Symantec has already approached them about a purchase. It makes sense since Symantec is in fact "The place where good software goes to die".

Re:Short term vs long term. (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36560716)

Why would Opera be done? Just because someone buys it doesn't mean that the browser will disappear.

Re:Short term vs long term. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36560800)

I agree. I can't count the number of companies that have been bought out, only to disappear completely. The only time you ever hear about them again is when you see their national TV, radio, and print ad campaigns or hear random people talking about them at cafe's or on public transportation - maybe the occasional Newsweek cover. Opera is dead.

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