Hey Reddit - we've gathered a bunch of our finest staff (well, the ones that volunteered) for this IamA.

In case you don't know, we're the oldest browser company around (remember Netscape? Yeah, so do we). We have a desktop browser that has about 3% market share worldwide, and we make the world's most popular mobile browser. As well as browsers for all sorts of devices. In total there are 140 million Opera users across the globe.

Note: Our headquarters are based in Oslo, Norway and most of our engineers/programmers are based here, or deployed somewhere in Europe. So answers might be delayed due to timezone differences (and reading reddit/raiding instances in WoW).

Edit: Grammar fixes

Edit 2: Staff answering questions are: palbo, Arve, chucky, shwetank, gautam_chandna, cstrep, miketaylr, suspectdevice, Porpheus, gustomaximus, chrispine, brong, frivoal, padt, demonstro, opvard, johansch, lachlanhunt, ruario, bature, chaals, lastorset

Edit 3: It's just going 1am here in Oslo so I for one will hit the hay now and pick up any more questions in the morning. This has been really enjoyable and thanks for all the great comments so far.

Edit 4: Thanks for all your questions. This has been really enjoyable and interesting. It's just gone 1:30am here in Oslo for the second night so I'm calling it quits and getting back to normal duties tomorrow. We are regularly on at /r/operabrowser if you want to ask something else or drop by our forums.

We really enjoyed and hope you did too. Thanks from all the Opera team.

Comments: 3520 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

tizz66645 karma

Microsoft, this is how you do it.

LieutenantClone218 karma

Seriously. I had high hopes for Microsoft to pull through and do something different, but they just turned it into a marketing-fest. I don't think they got through to a single person here.

But the from what I see in this thread so far, Opera is doing exactly what we all wished Microsoft was going to do. And I think its working.

boobtoober80 karma

It's working. I'm trying Opera out now because of this IAMA; it's pretty slick but the UI will take some getting used to.

Zhai92 karma

Don't "get used to it". Just customize it the way you feel the best suits you. If you need any help - just ask.

einsteinonabike15 karma

Been scrolling through this for about 5-10 minutes and Opera looks promising. Are there any neat tricks you'd recommend for someone using it for the first time?

[deleted]9 karma

I'll echo Zhai's Mouse Gesture tip, it's really useful for porn, if you know what I mean.

frivoal14 karma

For whatever reason, if being able to control your browser with one hand matters to you, you can also to that fairly easily from the keyboard.

If you go to Preferences > Advanced > Shortcuts, you can check "Enable single key shortcuts". Then Opera becomes more awesome than usual. For instance, you can switch to the previous / next tab by pressing 1 / 2

Then you can browse reddit while drinking tea without letting go of your cup, and look like a gentleman and a scholar.

thecoffee9 karma

Can you set up something like moving the mouse up and down rapidly to open a new window in private mode?

Arve16 karma

Yes, gestures are customizable. Check in Preferences (Ctrl-F12) → Advanced → Shortcuts → Mouse setup.

By default, "GestureDown, GestureUp" which you are looking for, is bound to "Open link in background page | Duplicate page" - if you want to retain the ability to use that gesture over a link to open in background, change it to "Open link in background page | New private page". If you don't care about the opening of links, the value should just be "New private page".

Note that the gestures (and keyboard shortcuts) can be bound in an emacs-like fashion, so you can create gesture chains of arbitrary length.

raldi593 karma

Thanks for advertising with us! As a token of our appreciation, and for the benefit of this discussion, I've sprinkled some magic admin dust on your usernames.

Porpheus357 karma

That should make it a lot easier for people to see who replies on behalf of Opera! Thanks a lot raldi!

S3W4N1222 karma

[serious question] How do you feel about everyone taking your ideas? For example: tabs and speed dial.

Gustomaximus641 karma

We have no problem with this. This stance is one of the coolest things about Opera's philosophy. Trying to protect everything stifles innovation. And I am glad we are not further encouraging one of those spiderweb of who's suing who charts. I want to be part of a company looking for the next innovation and gaining a first mover advantage there, not spending our time and resources protecting past ones. And lawyers are expensive. Our vision specifically points out we want a patent free web which I really admired when I first came across Opera.

The annoying side - when a company copies features and then claims they have invented them....boo

[deleted]119 karma

Well, fuck. You people are officially on my 'show-boobs-when-seen' list. Or beer list if you prefer that.

Gustomaximus231 karma

As I don't know if you're a guy or gal....allow me to play it safe and upvote the beer option :)

chrispine53 karma

Gustomaximus speaks not for all of us.

dieyoubastards169 karma

Whoah - Opera invented tabs? The most useful feature browsers have ever implemented?

razzark666105 karma

Ditto... I remember when I switched from IE to Firefox I immediately fell in love with tabs... I never knew that Opera had them first!

Thanks Opera

shwetank58 karma

CTO of Opera invented CSS :)

Arve20 karma

As much as I like both CSS and Håkon, it's more fair to say he was one of the many inventors of CSS and one of its most important driving forces. CSS was the product of multiple people, but Håkon and Bert Bos edited the first CSS specification.

I've written about the history of CSS here.

shwetank9 karma

Yeah, but Håkon was the main driving force behind it, as you said and the man behind much of the initial work which later became CSS...but as with all web standards, its a process of collaboration...

ruario125 karma

It just means we did the right thing. ;)

frivoal28 karma

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Opera is not the only browser to come up with new ideas, but it is true that we're certainly not last on that respect. People copying what we did is just pleasing, as it shows we were right all along. Now, if they go along and pretend they invented something we've been doing for a while, it can be a bit annoying. For instance, when you are in a project maintaining a full web browser for mobile phones released a somewhere in 2003, and The Steve goes on stage and announces the iPhone, just like any other geek, you're excited, and a bit more so because of what it means for the field you are working in. But then he goes on to says it is the first time in the history of mankind that you can browse the web for you phone or something like that. Yeah, right.

I guess this just means we need to get better at marketing, so that everybody knows us and what we did.

But for the actual feature copying, no, that's fine. Probably even good then. That's the way to move forward. Someone comes up with an idea, someone else implements it better, the first goes back to work and makes it even better, picking up some more ideas from the other guy along the way...

Think for a second how bad web browsers would be if everybody hadn't copied from everyone else for the last 15 years.

thoughtpod167 karma

What stand-out opera feature do you boast about at parties?

gautam_chandna431 karma

We don't talk about Opera at parties. If someone does talk about work, we tap our watch and remind them of the "5 minute rule". They have 5 minutes to wrap up work talk and get back in party-mode!

Though if I was asked this question at a party, I'd have to say my personal favorites are: mouse-gestures, speed-dial, wand, m2 and irc. Since not everyone likes the same features, I'd probably be boasting to people similar to myself, and annoying the rest...

  • edit: I accidentally a whole word.

Arve188 karma

We don't talk about Opera at parties

The serious answer about this is of course that Gautam is bluffing. Opera people pretty often party together or spend their free time together in other settings as well (it's even rumoured that employees have produced offspring together), so of course people talk about work at parties.

Of course, to answer the actual question: If I were allowed to only boast about one feature to someone external, right now it would be speed dial, a feature I disliked pretty hard when it came around.

gautam_chandna66 karma

I guess I should have stated, "We try to not talk about...", at least in the groups I party with :-p

zombiegirl201050 karma

So, for those of us who aren't familiar with Opera's features, what does Speed Dial do?

Arve91 karma

When you open a new tab, a grid of m*n special bookmarks (with thumbnails) show up that you can click directly on to go to. The default is a 3*3 grid, but it can be customized so you can have any arbitrary number of bookmarks here.

In addition, the first nine can be accessed by pressing Ctrl-[1-9], and if you have more than 3*3, by typing the relevant number in the address bar will load that number, so if you have 42 speeddials, typing 42 loads the last one.

ChiXiStigma76 karma

Kind of like what Chrome does, but with a bit more customization?

EDIT: So this was an innocent question but many seem to have taken it as trolling. Let me assure you that, after reading the comments left and downloading the browser, I fully understand that the features aren't the same and that the Opera devs did this thing-that-isn't-the-same first.

mindspider107 karma


YourIcarus77 karma


kddude29 karma

You can select what you want there, it's not automatically populated by history or top sites or whatever.

Edit: Apparently you can in Chrome too. Good to know! Thanks for the corrections

Arve35 karma

Which is why I started loving it, eventually - muscle memory now allows me to navigate to 12 particular, often-used sites.

Arve88 karma

The speed dials are manually populated, so while Chrome has some thumbnail-like things on the blank page (and Safari too), it's really quite different.

Poromenos38 karma

Why can't I sync my RSS feeds yet?! Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!

Arve54 karma

I don't know when (or indeed if) this will be added, but I'll inquire internally.

padt121 karma

For me it's probably the keyboard navigation. Perfect for using a laptop on the couch. (shift+arrow keys to navigate. Enter to follow link. Shift-control-enter for open in new tab)

ruario181 karma

Hey me to, it is great for po.. I mean it's ... umm really useful!

padt119 karma

Po You say? I'm just going to assume you mean translations..

lysdexia-ninja162 karma

I like you guys. I'm going to try Opera.

Well played.

m__154 karma

Ah the old "I masterbate" salesman line. Bet the IE9 guys are kicking themselves that they didn't pull out that old stalwart.

ruario133 karma

Ah the old "I masterbate" salesman line. Bet the IE9 guys are kicking themselves that they didn't pull out that old stalwart.

Nah, they are too busy sitting around ma.. making efforts to improve their browser.

thurbaluva28 karma

Mouse gestures are pretty cool.

What language(s) did you use to write the program?

Arve67 karma

The Opera browser itself is written in C++, but overall as a company, we use a large variety of languages - for instance Opera Dragonfly is JavaScript, the My Opera Community is Perl, Opera Mini is Java on some platforms, and other languages are used elsewhere in the company and for other projects. The job opening page should give you a better idea.

bature42 karma

Opera Mini is a mixture of C/C++ and Pike on the server side, and various languages (depending on platform) on the client side.

padt41 karma

Portal and some other sites are python. Celery is python and started at Opera.

miketaylr146 karma

I talk about the built-in IRC and BitTorrent clients, which usually kills conversation on the spot.

[deleted]44 karma

I like the idea of a torrent client in my browser, but a lot of private torrent sites don't allow its use.

miketaylr167 karma


Porpheus136 karma

My biggest problem is that people tend to think I work at the Opera house in Oslo and not the software company.. Once I clear that up people tend to be a bit disappointed and wants to talk about whatever they do.

demonstro130 karma

I get the same. Funny thing is, my neighbour is the designer working at the Opera. He get the same questions I do reversed.

audiostatic8254 karma

Parties at about boast you do feature opera out-stand what?

ruario93 karma

are you from Soviet Russia? :P

chucky107 karma

The trashcan, because for some reason I keep throwing away tabs I later want to access.

Most times I try not to boast about my job at parties though, people are rarely impressed (and if they are, it's usually followed by me having to write down a complicated bug report for some obscure site, not an easy task to accomplish when you're inebriated!)

meh-aidez11 karma

ok that's an awesome feature...looks like i'm switching back to opera! i lose so many tabs...i wish there was a "light" bookmark, where it just kept track of tabs...like a temporary bookmark.

demonstro33 karma

Just beware: it will not store private tabs. For obvious reasons.

shwetank25 karma

The trash can feature is a little bit like that....try it :)

cstrep51 karma

We are (or claim to be :) all hardcore engineers. We don't boast too much. We actually complain A LOT about our own browser, believe it or not. To me that's a good thing. Because it means we care about our browser.

Anyway, to answer your question, I think the best feature is Opera Link, especially Link notes. Shame we don't even mention that here.

I use the notes to save bits of info I don't remember in my head. Then when I go home, or I'm traveling, I can look up and search any note with Opera on my mobile.

There's many other features as well (mouse gestures, M2, ...) but if I had to choose just one, I'd go for Link.

demonstro9 karma

I get my handleliste by mail from the mrs., copy it to a note and immediately have it as a note in Mini. Great if your phone is not hooked up with your mail accounts.

bature31 karma

My favourite feature of all is the customisable search in Opera Mini, great for when you want to look something up quickly in Wikipedia or IMDB. Mini in general is pretty amazing, but then I'm biased.

My favourite on desktop is being able to navigate backwards and forwards using just the left and right mouse buttons. Apart from that: speed-dial and Opera Link.

chaals21 karma

The people I get to work with. (Otherwise, I try not to talk about Opera at parties...)

nastynarwhal154 karma

How does Opera get its funding? The advertisements are enough to upkeep everything?

Porpheus215 karma

Opera receives money from two basic sources. Opera Desktop (the browser on your PC/Mac) and through partner deals where major partners either as OEM's or people making cool stuff or through service providers.

On Desktop the money comes from people searching and Google and other search engines giving us a piece of the action, but we also make money selling Opera's rendering engine as a separate product.

In the Embed market we also sell Opera Mini and Opera Mobile to major players like T-Mobile, Vodafone and more.

It's a complex answer, but there is more extencive info available on the following URL: http://www.opera.com/company/investors/faq/#faq3

chaals34 karma

There is more information in the quarterly and annual reports and other investor information that we publish.

Opera is a public company, so you can buy and sell shares in it if you want to...

orb152 karma

Why haven't you properly implemented onunload?

Why haven't you implemented onbeforeunload?

Why haven't you implemented pageshow/pagehide?

Why haven't you implemented window.onerror?

Why does a stack overflow stop JavaScript execution?

Why don't you allow context menus? (edit: already fixed, see reply)

Why have you been miscompiling JavaScript since February 2010? (CORE-30333, DSK-285105). It doesn't matter that it's fastest if it's broken.

Why don't you ever respond to bug reports, except when absolutely necessary?

Why can't I browse the bug database? I'm happy to sign an NDA.

lachlanhunt77 karma

Why have you been miscompiling JavaScript since February 2010? (CORE-30333, DSK-285105). It doesn't matter that it's fastest if it's broken.

We took a huge risk by redeveloping our JavaScript engine from scratch, replacing Futhark with Carakan. Unfortunately, we're not perfect, and we knew Carakan wasn't perfect when we launched. But we are doing our best to resolve those issues (at least, the CORE bug you mentioned looks to be fixed internally).

opvard66 karma

I don't think there are any specific reasons for things not being implemented, except for other things simply having a higher priority and getting implemented first, I guess. There may be various problems, such as window.onerror apparently not being consistently implemented in other browsers, which could cause problems if implemented by us at this stage.

We don't have the resources to respond to bug reports, and we couldn't really say much anyway. The bug tracking system contains a lot of sensitive information, and we have a lot of business customers that would not be pleased if something somehow got out. I think it would take a lot of time and resources to open the BTS because we would need 100% watertight separation between different projects and access levels.

I personally wouldn't mind an open BTS, but it's up to the management. It's also their heads that would roll if something went wrong. Also, a lawsuit by a big and angry customer over leaked information could cause Opera to go bankrupt.

JamesDelgado12 karma

Can you give me fake examples of what would be considered sensitive information that would lead to decapitated management? I find secrecy in general fascinating.

Arve23 karma

Well, here's a scenario that's potentially nasty: Let's say we have Company X as a customer, and this isn't known by the market. Somehow, information in the BTS leaks, and someone picks up on this and uses it to manipulate the stock to their own benefit, potentially landing both us and the customer in (legal) trouble.

opvard19 karma

Well, it could be something as simple as a bug report mistakenly being set to be available to the public. And as Opera's core is cross-platform, different issues will often affect various projects and customers. It could be a customer that doesn't want anyone to know that we are working on something for them, for example, but you could use various sources of information to piece things together.

palbo9 karma

Why haven't you properly implemented onunload?

Why haven't you implemented onbeforeunload?

Our current code architecture makes these two particularly difficult to implement properly, so it's very non-trivial (the features itself are fairly trivial, just not in our codebase the way it stands to this day), it's just stuff that happens when you accumulate code for a decade and a half. It's also usually not prioritized very high in comparison to other features, but it's not in the bottom of the pile either, it will eventually come.

Why haven't you implemented pageshow/pagehide?

See this post.

Porpheus147 karma

I'm so going to answer the first question!

InigoMemetoya212 karma

Coming first isn't always a good thing, mate.

Li0Li244 karma


ani62586 karma


tonberry58 karma


minime28357 karma


frivoal39 karma


shamelessrepost132 karma

has anyone ever been caught using ie/firefox/chrome on the job?

cstrep187 karma

We're free to use any tools we think are the best for our work. To test our web apps, f.ex. my.opera, we usually use anything from IE6+, Chrome, Firefox, Opera ofc, Opera Mini, etc...

There's only one rule we're not supposed to break. I'm not sure I can mention it :)

[deleted]114 karma

well now you have to tell us

gautam_chandna243 karma

You have to be on the look out for such things, they can't always be said out loud... ;-)

Arve85 karma

A lot of people here are expected to regularily test with/use other browsers. On the software side, we're allowed to use pretty much anything we want (we also get to choose our main OS), except a few mail clients with bad security histories.

lachlanhunt53 karma

Most of us use Opera, though we're allowed to use other browsers. I have all 5 major browsers, plus recent nightly (or public beta) releases of each installed, and use whichever is most convenient at the time.

ruario51 karma

My first day at Opera I had some issues getting X running with the machine I was provided so I spent half the day in a virtual terminal running elinks surfing for solutions.

As others have said we have to regularly test in other browsers anyway so most people have all kinds of other browsers installed.

You also have to keep in mind that we are browser geeks. Even before coming to Opera I was always playing with other browsers: Omniweb, Chrome, Safari, Shiira, Camino, NetPositive, Seamonkey, iCab, Firefox, Konquerer, w3m, elinks, lynx ... etc. All of them have interesting ideas, though I can honestly say Opera has always been my favourite.

Arve28 karma

My first day at Opera I had some issues getting X running

On my first day at Opera, I got dragged out for beer by chaals. That was when the Evergreen was a nice pub, and beer was 29 NOK.

ruario26 karma

beer was 29 NOK.

when was this, the dawn of time?? :P

Arve23 karma

2005. Evergreen was ridiculously cheap, and not jam-packed with students all the time.

shwetank30 karma

As a guy in Developer Relations and Open the Web, I pretty much have to have all the major browsers installed in my system. Also, I have a mac, but also use Windows and Ubuntu trough VMware at times.

xb00t97 karma

Opera 11 extensions

  • What extensions are you kicking-off with?

  • When?

  • Why?

  • How compatible/portable will Opera be with Firefox extensions? (sort of like userJS and Greasemonkey)

  • In your tests how do extensions affect the total performance of Opera?

  • Can we get an exclusive reddit glimpse of the reddit extension (or any other exclusive screenshot iis fine)?

  • Server-side event - how do they work? Get we get some examples (with code)

On a different note - why the F haven't you guys taken over the desktop market like the mobile? I couldn't believe how well Firefox did... and they have NOTHING on you.

That is all... for now.

gautam_chandna123 karma

What extensions are you kicking-off with?

A Reddit extension, and then we got caught up using it and haven't made any since... just kidding, we've looked through the top extensions, the architecture we're going for and have devised a small set that will be supporting any release we make.


soon :-)


Because it's a natural move from our existing customization options, merging into the W3C widget packaging format, allowing more than Opera internals to work with the browser. Widgets are meant to enhance you experience outside the browser, Extensions do it inside.

How compatible/portable will Opera be with Firefox extensions? (sort of like userJS and Greasemonkey)

  • userJS/greaseMonkey, Yes.
  • FF extensions, No. They're too powerful.

In your tests how do extensions affect the total performance of Opera?

So far, we're not finding too many problems since they are HTML5, CSS, Javascript based W3C widget packages. With a fast engine, it all seems to run pretty smoothly. Though it really will depend on how people end up using the APIs.

If someone chooses to XHR content with a tiny timeInterval and runs massive scripts in inefficient ways - and still manages to hit the top of the downloads list, it will get slow. Very unlikely, but possible. We'll have a moderation system in place, will assist developers in fixing their code.

Can we get an exclusive reddit glimpse of the reddit extension (or any other exclusive screenshot iis fine)?

Here are some screenshots

Server-side event - how do they work? Get we get some examples (with code)

I'm not sure if this server sent events article still works, but you could ask Arve. He wrote that one, and is answering questions on reddit today.

On a different note ....

We're working on it.

Chr183124 karma

Why are FF extensions too powerful?

gautam_chandna63 karma

If you visit [chrome://browser/content/browser.xul](chrome://browser/content/browser.xul) in firefox, you'll be able to see your entire browser inside your tab. As an extension, you can modify all of that, including stuff placed by other extensions. It's worked out great for the firefox community, and they've managed to upvote/downvote everything into a manageable set.

Starting out with such great power seems a bit daunting, given our history with simply adding a feature to the native browser rather than writing an extension mechanism for it (so far). We're going with specific use-cases based on the top extensions publicly available so far, and making sure those are or will be possible.

Arve22 karma

Server-side event - how do they work? Get we get some examples (with code)

I'm not sure if this server sent events article still works, but you could ask Arve. He wrote that one, and is answering questions on reddit today.

I believe that article is out of date and out of touch with current reality, as the spec has changed a number of times since then.

honestbleeps19 karma

A Reddit extension, and then we got caught up using it and haven't made any since...

Have you really made a Reddit extension?

I have. I'd love to make it a native extension. How do I get started?

gautam_chandna23 karma

It's pretty simple, and based on an internal Opera build (so I wouldn't suggest looking at the code once it's out). Here are some screenshots of the reddit Opera extension

honestbleeps20 karma

Cool. You should check out Reddit Enhancement Suite... it's just a userscript for Opera for now.

I'd love to get it working as a native extension... I asked a question elsewhere in this thread about that... looking forward to hearing more about how I can get started! :-)

gautam_chandna23 karma

will there be a "background html page" that you communicate with?

Yes, there will be a background process and userJS scripts running on tabs using the current @include/@exclude filtering scheme (used by both userJS and greaseMonkey). So pretty similar to Chrome and Safari, though still compatible'ish with existing userJS and greaseMonkey.

We're trying to be conservative, and create the entire specification based on a few mantras:

  • when in doubt, leave it out
  • You ain't gonna need it
  • Eat your own dog food
  • Less is more
  • Use-case before feature-praise
  • etc...

This has led us to make sure we don't make drastic changes, but still make it possible to have the top extensions that are out there ported or made for Opera.

There is a network of volunteers called "elektrans" who get early access (under a signed NDA of course), and help us with testing/spec'ing/planning features. If you're interested in that, send me a private message with your email and I'll see what can be done :-)

chaals23 karma

We have a few extensions (the Adblock-like content blocker is a built-in function), but we have to kill you before telling you what they are :) (Although if you look around the Web you'll probably see at least something about reddit, and Wikipedia).

Why are we doing it? Opera has always been highly customisable. At the same time we want to keep the browser secure, and it needs to perform on very low-end platforms (TVs, game consoles, and so on). So we think carefully about how to improve it - customisability inherently brings complexity. And of course there are lots of priorities and we can't work on them all at once.

If you look at the Core team blog you'll see a bit more about how they work. A particular design goal was to make it easy to port extensions and userJS/GreaseMonkey scripts. Watch that space, and labs.opera.com, for more. (You'll probably survive not checking every hour. And weekdays are more likely release times than weekends. I can't tell you when, but soon...).

Batblib88 karma

Die-hard Operafan here. Even bought Opera for the desktop when it had a paid version. Used Opera Mobile on every device possible until iPhone. Helped several friends "make the switch."

One thing tho, Opera Mobile for iPhone is really, really bad. I mean, as I said, I am a die hard fan, but the Opera app is by far the worst app I have installed (yes, thats right, it's still installed even tho I never touch it). Why aren't you giving it more love? Such as proper zooming, and not the 2-step zoom? Giving us more website and less GUI? I have other issues, but I don't want this to just be a whinelist. I really just want you to start patching it already. The basics are there, but it seems like you just gave up.

Edit: This might have sounded harshes than intended. The app's basics are actually great, but the problems it has makes it unusable. It's like having a big cake, but with a spider crawling on it. I still love the cake, but you have to remove the spider, or atleast mold it into the cake before I can eat it.

bature109 karma

That's Opera Mini on the iPhone, not Mobile. Mobile probably won't appear on the iPhone soon, because Apple don't allow rendering engines other than Safari on the phone.

We're still working on the iPhone version of Mini, lots of improvements coming your way.

Arve92 karma

Mobile probably won't appear on the iPhone soon, because Apple don't allow rendering engines other than Safari on the phone.

More to the point, they don't allow interpreters and scripting enviroments that download and execute arbitrary code on to their iDevices.

opvard82 karma

The iPhone only gets Opera Mini due to App Store restrictions, while Android will be getting the full browser (Opera Mobile) soon.

There's good news, though. There was an announcement last week that the iPhone version will be getting pinch zoom and hardware acceleration.

Note that I'm on the desktop team, so our mobile guys and gals will probably know more.

shwetank39 karma

We ARE working on it...definitely haven't given up, not by a longshot. Thats all I can say right now!

Ewingo40172 karma

Why not go open source with Opera? The fact that it's closed keeps a lot of people in the FOSS world away.

honestbleeps39 karma

I have a question... I've had to go through a bit to get Reddit Enhancement Suite to work in Opera.

It started out as a GreaseMonkey script, and now is a native addon for Chrome and Safari. It's still "just a userscript" for FF and Opera.

My questions:

  • Why is "return false;" frowned upon by Opera as a way to stop executing a function? That broke my script in Opera, and I basically had to wrap my entire script with a big if statement to get it to work, instead of saying "if x, return false;" to not execute it.

  • Will the new extension functionality work similarly to that of Chrome and Safari? Specifically, will there be a "background html page" that you communicate with? Will using that allow cross-domain XHR? Opera's inability to do that via userscripts (for understandable/respectable security reasons) means that a couple of features in RES simply can't work.


shwetank12 karma

Will the new extension functionality work similarly to that of Chrome and Safari? Specifically, will there be a "background html page" that you communicate with?


YourGodIsViolence33 karma

First off, thanks for creating and continuing to improve on the Opera web browser. I've been using it since 1997 if I remember right and nothing else even compares.

Is support for SOCKS completely off the table, or is something that is ever discussed as being a possibility?

Thanks again.

palbo21 karma

Heh, that's bug CORE-1 (i.e. a very very old bug, dating from the year 2000).

I think there are surprises in store on that front, although i can't say for sure, and i'm probably not allowed to disclose that anyway.

streets_ahead31 karma

I use Opera exclusively for all of my internet pornography needs. I don't have a question, I just wanted to say thank you.

ruario28 karma

No problem, it is a fun way to use Opera. Thanks for sharing ;)

unicock30 karma

How do you view the future of HTML5/CSS3?

Also, is it true that the hot dog stand right down the corner have some of Oslo's best hot dogs?

Porpheus55 karma

Arguing about the future of HTML5 and CSS3 is like arguing about gravity, it's there and it's going to stay. As for what it's going to look like that's up to the W3C, but Opera is part of the working groups just like the other browser vendors are. If you have specific questions feel free to follow up!

The hot dog stand "Sjuern" or Syverkiosken is simply awesome. They have the 2. best mashed potatoes in Norway after Rich Bar in Sarpsborg!

lachlanhunt24 karma

That's a very broad, open ended question, but I'll do my best to answer it. HTML5 is very important to us for many reasons.

From an interoperability perspective, the fact that HTML5 defines the technical aspects of the features so well, it makes it easier for us and the other browser vendors to implement, and to hopefully implement them in the same way. For many features, such as the parsing algorithm, this means we no longer have to reverse engineer other browsers and copy each other as much as we used to

From a web development perspective, HTML5, CSS3 and the related specifications that make up the open web stack are providing a lot more flexibility in terms of what is now possible to do without plugins, and without having to rely on previously proprietary markup and APIs. So we're really working hard to focus on implementing the features that web developers really want.

Oh, and about the Hot Dogs, that really depends who you ask. Some of my Norwegian colleagues swear that the pølse (The norwegian word for hot dog) are amazing, and, that the pølse stand just a short walk from our office do indeed make the best. But for myself, as a Australian living in Oslo, I still prefer the hot dogs I grew up with.

Arve16 karma

Not having tried all hot dogs in Oslo, I can't tell, but the hot dogs pass as "good". There is a small baguette store next to it that serves Oslo's best baguettes for a ridiculously low price (30 NOK). Try the chicken one with chili sauce.

EffMyNick22 karma

Most negativity of the desktop version comes from subtle nuances with many popular sites. Specifically Reddit for a while was unable to expand and collapse comments, and has been recently fixed. Currently Twitter experiences some graphic glitches when searching for topics and overlapping occurs.

What is Opera doing to ensure that the sites we visit most are going to work as expected, so the end user doesn't NEED to switch to another browser to get the correct viewing experience?

edit: Here is a screenshot of the twitter issue: http://clip2net.com/s/zRnN

shwetank68 karma

If a site isnt working properly, then is either the browsers fault or the sites fault (sometimes both, but very very rare ... its usually the site's fault more often than not).

We have a site compatiblity in the core team which takes care of the former. We specifically look for issues in which websites are not displaying and functioning well, and see whether its our fault or the sites bad coding. If our fault, then this group tries to fix the issue for then next build.

If the problem is from the site's end, then the issue goes to a different team. We have a whole department dedicated to it, called 'Open the Web' which deals with these issues. Their job is to contact various websites and ask them to fix these issues. Its kinda a thankless job in the sense that if a website works well, you dont notice it (because, well, its supposed to display/behave that way!)...but if it doesn't, then you really do. So people don't notice all the sites we have worked with in resolving issues,...but do notice when something slips through the cracks as we only have a few people in the team and the web is huge!. We email poeple, call them and sometimes even meet them face to face to discuss compatibility issues. I'm part of the Open the Web team, and Developer Relations Team in Opera.

We also have something called browser.js.

Also, see this http://my.opera.com/ODIN/blog/2009/11/05/the-lengths-to-go-to-to-get-a-site-fixed

The main problem is that sometimes we cant actually contact the site...for example a bank or something. Sometimes they just wont listen to us, even if we tell them that 'just fix line number such and such something.js from this to this and the issue will be fixed'. I have contacted some shopping and banking sites sites saying that we're one of the more secure browsers available, with automatic 256-bit encryption, ....and they say, sorry, we just support firefox and ie5.5 and above :(

There are also many people out there who code using webkit (or at most moz) only vendor prefixes, which leaves out Opera.

Having said that, there are tons of great people with whom we have relationships with who do care about opera (like fellow redditor and duckduckgo founder yegg), and whenever there is something wrong, we contact them, and they fix the issue straight away.

The best thing would be for developers to test in Opera as part of their webdev work, and we're trying to make sure Opera Dragonfly, our developer tool, improves on and on. With the addition of extensions, we hope more opera fans will create more web dev related tools. We're also trying to make sure our JS engine is super fast, so that the latest JS heavy web applications run quickly. And also working on adding more and more on CSS3 and HTML5 and other upcoming standards like geolocation, web storage, websql, web wockets, etc

Having said all of that, I think the amount of such issues are much less than what he had a few years ago. We can see it in the number of bug reports we get as well as when i generally browser the web myself. Things are improving in this department, and it would be even better if we get more developers (especially in the US) to care more about testing in Opera. Yeah, its one more browser to test on, but you did it for chrome, and doing it for opera wont be the end of the world :) *Plus, if you're facing any particularly issues you can contact me personally and I'll reply back with feedback like a fix or a workaround. *

palbo17 karma

We have a task force of sorts that deals specifically with fixing bugs in the browser that affect site compatibility (known internally as the sitecompat task). We call site compatibility to bugs that stem from all the major browsers (including us) doing something differently from the norm, which leads to perceived problems with sites, this sometimes means that we're following the standards and other are not, or viceversa.

It's not always our fault either, but all of this is put in the balance when deciding how to fix a particular issue.

There's also a thing called browser.js, which is "opera sponsored" userjs, sometimes used as a quick way to fix a problem temporarily, effectively patching the site, until we can get a proper fix in place.

Another way we have of dealing with this is the Open the Web team (OtW), these are the guys that get in contact with webmasters when the actual problem is that the site is doing things "the wrong way", be it by doing things in a browser specific way, or not dealing with some opera specific thing or whatever. So they get in touch with them and help them fix the issues on their side, basically spreading standards awareness (in general).

I spent a while working on bugs for that task, so i should know :P

Avertr19 karma

Hey Opera Team- Love the browser been using for a long time both on desktops and my mobiles.

How do you feel about Google not supporting things for Opera that they support for Firefox, IE, and of course Chrome? (Like User defined backgrounds, Google Calendar for a long time, Gmail for a long time, and Youtube issues) Do you work with Google to make more of their features available on Opera or is it impossible since they have Chrome? Will HTML5 eventually fix the issues I have visiting some sites who have bad Flash implementations? Or am I stuck opening those sites in IE or Chrome?

chaals17 karma

We hate people excluding Opera (or any other browser, for that matter) from sites. It's why we have done so much to work around it. We also work directly with the sites where possible to improve the situation, and specifically with people at Google.

HTML5 won't fix websites, the web developers have to fix them. But HTML5 will at least offer an easy way to do that...

rkarthea15 karma

When is the true native 64 bit version coming out?

ruario25 karma

I'm running a true native 64 bit version right now! Oh, you probably meant Windows and Mac. I can't really give you an exact answer there I am afraid but I would say don't give up hope. Read what you will into that! ;)

arpitnext14 karma

despite of having almost all essential features, fastest speed and innovative ideas, why Opera (desktop) does not have a larger market share??

opvard25 karma

Well, first of all, it is very difficult to measure market share. For example, Net Applications insists that Opera desktop has a higher share of the market than Opera Mini, despite Opera Mini having more users (and Net Application counts users, not page hits).

That said, one should keep in mind that Opera is an independent browser vendor, and doesn't have the backing of huge corporations, like most of the other "big browsers" do. For example, Google can plaster the web with Chrome ads "for free" because it is in a dominant position in the online advertising market.

It should be noted that Opera actually has a market share of up to 20-30% in some markets. In total, Opera has more than 140 million users, which means a total global market share of about 7% (since there are nearly 2 billion people online in total).

The US has been a hard nut to crack, of course. But we are doing fairly well on the desktop in emerging markets. We're doing even better on mobile because in many parts of the world that's the only way you can get online.

Vowzee11 karma

How could you make such godlike smooth scrolling that no other browsers are able to imitate?

frivoal21 karma

Polish Vodka.

dude610 karma


palbo35 karma

How do you feel about your US market share?

What US market share? ;-)

Do you guys actually use Opera dragonfly or do you resort to firebug like the rest of us?

Yeah, mostly, i'll use firebug and the webkit inspector too sometimes, but i don't usually debug js heavily, just very casual use.

Is it just me or does it take 1+ mins for some prefs to be saved? For example: edit site pref > cookies > edit

Not for me, you should report a bug.

What does this setting mean: opera:config#Network|AllowCrossNetworkNavigation. Why isn't the documentation up to date on these things?

It's some obscure network thing, if i remember correctly for a case where a site on the internet needs access to a site on an intranet, mostly noticeable in some corporate environments. Most of those prefs are not documented because some of them shouldn't even be visible to normal human beings... there's differing views about this within the company :-)

Arve12 karma

Do you guys actually use Opera dragonfly or do you resort to firebug like the rest of us?

We do indeed use Dragonfly. Note that Dragonfly is on a separate roadmap and schedule from the browser itself (but is in ways still tied to it), and we're doing a whole bunch to improve it. This post on Opera Labs says a bit about the next version, and tells you how you can use the absolute bleeding edge right now.

Edit: for clarity

Godivine10 karma

Is the Mac version any good? I have not tried it yet, and I feel adventurous.

ruario18 karma

Go wild!

A lot of work was put in from the 10.50 snapshots onwards to make it more native and I think we have come an awful long way. We still have an ongoing "Macification" project so if you have thoughts on what we could improve let us know.

I would also add that producing something that really feels native is a big focus for the desktop team generally. In the *NIX desktop team (where I work) we have also made a big effort. If you run Opera under Gnome we skin Opera to look like other GTK apps and under KDE to look like KDE apps. However we are not dependant on Gtk or KDE libs, if neither are present Opera runs using only its own toolkit (Quick).

We have also started configuring fonts settings based on which environment is running (more on that here: http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/more-unix-font-work ).

Indeed I think we make more effort than most in trying to be native at all times. Our efforts might not yet be perfect but that is what we are aiming towards.

P.S. Sorry for talking more about *nix than Mac. ;)