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Opera 8.0?

December 17, 2004

One user on Opera Forums has posted about the interesting user agent found in an email that was sent by Rijk, a senior Opera Software Employee.

It had the following user agent:

User-Agent: Opera M2(BETA1)/8.00 (Win32, build 7384)

Note the user agent is 8.0 and not 7.6, the purported next release. Does this mean Opera wont be upgrading to Version 7.6 but rather to 8.0? After all the hype of firefox, releasing Opera 8.0 would definitely be a better PR plan. However, this would also mean that if you have a paid version of 7.X you would have to pay to get 8.X.

After a little research, I found that Rijk has posted a reply in response to a proposal to upgrade to Opera 8.0. Here is his reply:

But if such features are planned in June 2005 or December 2006 or whenever, does it really matter what the name is we give to major releases that contain important added features? It has been two years now since 7.0 was released.

The developers just keep working, sometimes on things especially for the desktop (customizable UI), sometimes spinoff from mobile/tv (ERA, resize your window after enabling Fit to width, or use print preview) or external contracts (Voice) or core browsing develoment (important parts of DOM3, which means Gmail can work). Technically speaking, the basic browsing core changed drastically in these ‘versions’: 2.0, 4.0, and 7.0. The UI changed drastically in 4.0, 6.0, 7.0 and 7.5. Support for major webtechnologies (Scripting, CSS, Unicode, DOM) reached new heights in 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 6.0, 7.0 and what you now test as 7.6 previews.

At a certain point, it is time to change the number before the dot. But if you look at supported features, you can’t distill a clear line on when a ‘major’ upgrade should be declared. The use of numbers gives a false sense of logic here, and I can appreciate that for example Microsoft has stopped using them to market Windows versions ten years ago.

One user on the forum pointed out that the build # in the user agent is 20 builds higher then the latest public build. Opera 7.60 Preview 4 is build # 7364.

UPDATE: Opera Watch has contacted Rijk for a comment, but declined, saying “I’m not an official spokesman for Opera Software ASA. We have a marketing and sales department for such things. I just test the browser :)”

(Thanks to Exclipy for the tip.)

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Anonymous
    December 18, 2004 at 7:09 am

    WHOAH!

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