Opera’s CEO Answers Community Questions

By | April 28, 2009

Here you go, a complete list of questions and answers. They were originally posted at Choose Opera blog.

  • Will Opera ever make a page where users can upload and find UserJS files?
  • Good idea. This has been discussed quite a bit and we do plan to do more in the near future. As an example the new My Opera will better promote the use of UserJS. We also plan to look into how we can in general make UserJS easier to use for new users. This is something I believe is very important.

  • Will Opera desktop version get a new logo soon?
  • The Opera logo is very known to many people. About 40 million use Opera on desktop regularly. More than 23 million use Opera Mini and millions use Opera on other devices. Changing the logo is as such no simple thing to do. However, I do believe we can fix it up a little, without changing it.

  • Will Opera ever support extensions like Firefox?
  • We have chosen to focus more on including most of the important functionality and providing extensions through Widgets and UserJS. Opera thus comes with a lot of functionality that you need extensions in other browsers for. However, I would not be surprised if we add more ways to extend Opera in the future.

  • Will Opera Mini 5 revolutionary change mobile web experience?
  • Have you seen it? :-)

    Opera Mini 5 is really cool. You use big words… but maybe they are right for it. More than that I cannot comment. You will see it WIR.

  • What is the process for determining development direction – ie. prioritizing & selecting new features & improvements, etc. to include in Opera browser?
  • This happens in many different ways. There are clearly big discussions, but sometimes things just happen. Someone has a great idea, does some work on it, shows it off and it ends up in the next version. To me building a great product is like making art. The process is not always streamlined, but you need some structure as well. Too much structure will stifle innovation and creativity. You need both.

    Ideas come from the teams, individuals and the Community. Anyone can have an idea. Later we test out the ideas with you. If you like it, great! If not, back to the drawing board.

  • Will Opera Link functionality be expanded, and if so, when? E.g. synchronizing the wand (with extra password for security, and possibility to remotely remove the passwords from all linked applications), rss feeds, settings and more?
  • Yes, we will continue to expand what you can do with Link. All the ideas you are suggesting have been discussed. We are open for even more ideas.

    However, what is also quite interesting is having Link on more platforms. Think about Linking your desktop Opera, mobile Opera and TV Opera. This is where things get really interesting. Clearly Link can be used for more than bookmarks and notes.

  • What happens to feedback submitted directly in Opera, through Help –> Report a site problem?
  • Issues reported through Help->Report a site get collected into a big database. This allows us to see where users are having the most issues. If you would really like to contribute, however, please use our bug tracking system to add bugs. This allows you to add a lot more details and makes it easier for us to dig into the issues.

  • Why hasn’t UserJS been afforded a level of investment (of time, etc.) in any way comparable to Widgets?
  • The UserJS technology is being used more than you think. As such, we are using the technology to patch sites through BrowserJS. However, you are right in that we should do a lot more with UserJS. It is a really cool technology and it is interesting to think about how it all started… with the Bork version of Opera.

    I do not see these two technologies, Widgets and UserJS, competing. They complement each other. Widgets allow you to run Web applications across platforms. Thus it is important for us to continue making standards based Widgets everywhere. UserJS fits in nicely as well.

  • Is there any chance to see an improved Opera Notes with full BBCode/HTML compatibility?
  • The main purpose with notes is a very simple system for taking notes, particularly in relations to Web content. Using Link this becomes even more useful. Styling has not been a focus, but I guess that as we have added styled mail, enabling styled notes is an option for the future.

  • Why hasn’t Opera developed an API yet, considering it’s the best thing about Firefox, it’s one of the first things Google promised to do with Google Chrome and is already available for Maxthon and Internet Explorer?
  • I guess your question is about extensions. We have focused on including as much as possible in Opera directly. Out of the box you will find more features in Opera than any other browser. You can also easily style Opera and expand it through UserJS and Widgets. However, this does not preclude us from adding new ways to expand Opera in the future.

  • We have suggested number of wishes in wish-list thread. Can you implement 3-7 popular wishes in each version of Opera?
  • Tamil, I am sure we implement a lot more than that. Some of the wishes are small. Some of the wishes are big. I have always stressed the importance internally at Opera with working with the Community. IMHO, we owe you to do what you request. Thus we try to do that. It can be difficult at times, because we are trying to balance a usable product with a lot of features and requests. However, I do believe that we should strive to adapt to every user. You may not get your Opera out of the box, but a few tweaks here and there, it will be your Opera.

  • What are you expecting from us (Opera fans)?
  • I am extremely thankful for the support you have given us. When Geir and I founded Opera, we were only two competing with big companies, such as Microsoft and Netscape. We have been totally dependent on the support from the Community. Thus I am extremely thankful. Even though the company has grown quite a bit, we still rely on your support. I hope you will continue to spread the word and give us comments so that we can continue to improve Opera and MyOpera. :-)

  • If you get the chance to change anything in the Opera history, what would you change?
  • This is a tough one. Sometimes you do not have a choice. Personally I would have liked to provide Opera for free even earlier. We couldn’t. However, we are seeing very significant growth in Opera users on desktop now, with 67% last year and 55% in 2007. We have also learned our lesson, which is why Opera Mini is provided for free. Enjoy! :-)

  • Opera 10 is supposed to have at least on secret feature. Do you think Opera has something up its sleeves that will be a really big innovation in the browser market (in the not to distant future)?
  • We have a lot of cool stuff coming in Opera 10. Opera Turbo is very significant. In the real world, networks are not always fast. Opera Turbo changes that.

    There are generally a lot of improvements in Opera 10. There is more to come…

  • Recently Opera unveiled Opera Turbo. It’s awesome for folks with slow internet connections. But how does Opera expect to get back the cost of servers required to keep this service running? Is this a financially viable project?
  • Thanks. I am glad you like Opera Turbo. I share your excitement with regards to what it enables.

    We have managed to find ways to provide both Opera Desktop and Opera Mini for free. The goal is to provide Opera Turbo for free as well. We just need even more users of Opera…

  • Why is Opera so slow in fixing annoying issues that so many users have for years been continuously complaining about in the forums?
  • A browser is a really complex software. We have to deal with very complex Web standards. Then you see that hardly any site follows the standards by the book. That makes the task really difficult. This is a place where we need your help. If you both report the problems to us and to site owners, hopefully more site owners will fix things on their side.

    We are putting more resources into this than ever before. This is a major focus for us. You should expect more in the future.

  • When will we get a new default Opera skin?
  • WIR? We will continue to look at ways to improve our skin. There will be some changes in 10. There will be more changes after 10. :-)

    Thanks for all the questions! I will continue to celebrate. Hope you will as well!


About (Author Profile)

Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

Comments (4)

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  1. nobody says:

    unfortunately it is a publicity stunt :/ no hard facts. lots of ‘we are working on it’ or ‘youll be surprised’ or ‘We will continue to’…

    how to answer a question without providing any bit of new information is an art, and i think that this is a masterpiece. even the most direct questions about userJS (real opera way of wasting VERY interesting idea (just look how powerfull greasemonkey is) or API (real showstopper for 99% of web users) were answered ‘we are working hard on it’.

    facts – spam: 0-1

    and the really great part is, that opera needs users, and users to give a damn need some FACTS to check/try/whatever. firefox user needs a SOLID incentive to even try something other than FF and opera still thinks that their product is cool/feature rich. all browsers have full page zoom, sessions, tabs etc. it is the extra umph (extensions) and ‘just works’ value that set them apart.

  2. Grrblt says:

    I never thought I’d say it but I agree with nobody.

  3. johnnysaucepn says:

    “or API (real showstopper for 99% of web users)”
    Well, that’s just patently nonsense.

    “opera still thinks that their product is cool/feature rich. all browsers have full page zoom, sessions, tabs etc. it is the extra umph (extensions) and ‘just works’ value that set them apart.”
    Precisely. Opera ‘Just Works’. Firefox is ‘just about works if you install at least half-a-dozen extensions which may not get updated when they need to and which may not interact nicely, that’s if you are knowledgeable enough to pick the best one out the dozens of alternatives for a single given feature’.

  4. hell0 says:

    No hard facts?

    The questions were appallingly bad, but there are still some clear facts and new information there:

    – They plan to do more with User JS in the near future
    – The new My Opera will better promote User JS
    – They are going to “fix up the logo a little”
    – There are details on how they choose what to work on
    – Link will synchronize more types of data
    – Link will be on even more platforms
    – Help -> Report goes into a database for tracking where the problems are
    – Notes using rich text is a real possibility
    – More ways to extend Opera are coming in the future
    – He thinks they should have made Opera free of charge sooner (but hints that they didn’t have a choice)
    – Opera 10 isn’t feature complete yet, more is coming
    – The skin is being worked on.

    Only a complete moron can claim that there were no hard facts here.

    API (real showstopper for 99% of web users)

    No, Mr. Clueless, most people do not use extensions.

    and the really great part is, that opera needs users

    And the even greater part is Opera now has 40 million desktop users, and the desktop user base grew by 55% in 2007 and 67% in 2008, which means that growth is accelerating.