Archive for October, 2006

Why Opera isn't planning on going Open Source

October 30, 2006 19 comments

Computer World magazine published an article today discussing why the Opera browser hasn’t been made open source yet and why there are still no plans to do so.

There are some heavy quotes from our CTO, Hakon Wium Lie (Father of CSS), in the article. As he pointed out, I think the main reason Opera isn’t open source is because there’s no business model for that yet.

Most open source projects that make a profit do so by charging for support service. Browsers aren’t that complicated to make users pay for a support service. And until we find a proper open source business model, going open source isn’t the logical step.

I’d love to hear what some of the big open source buffs have to say about this. What is their idea of a business model for Opera?

Categories: Uncategorized

New developer site to launch soon

October 29, 2006 6 comments

In the coming days we’re going to launch a new site on, which will contain developer articles and resources.

Article and tutorial topics on the site will include SVG, AJAX, JavaScript, Widgets, Accessibility, CSS, HTML, Networking, HTTP, and DOM. These articles will be written by both experts in Opera (the company) as well as other experts in the field – including some big name people.

We’re working on some finishing touches on the servers before the developer site is launched. Stay tuned.

Categories: Announcements

Flock’s Will Pate offers congrats on my new job at Opera

October 25, 2006 6 comments

Will Pate, the Community Ambassador at Flock (the social web browser based on Firefox), sent in his congratulations on my new job at Opera as a Technical Evangelist.

He also emailed me asking whether both the Flock and Opera communities can work together on some project. Sure we can.

I think what’s important to Flock and Opera users is that web developers follow open standards. Our communities could work on promoting better standards support to web developers.

I know David Storey, our Chief Web Opener at Opera, and his team are working hard on this issue – but there’s too much work for just a few people. We need do to more promotion of open standards support to web developers. We all benefit from it.

Categories: Compatibility, Standards

My first day on the job at Opera Software

October 25, 2006 7 comments

My first full day at Opera Software is over; it was mostly a busy one. I got to meet many of my new co-workers. It’s a big office, and it occupies 3 floors, so I couldn’t quite say hello to all employees (close to 300 people work in this office).

I finally got to meet many of the desktop developers and QA people who I see all the time in Opera’s IRC channel and those who are active in the Opera forums. I tried to meet as many people as possible in my short visit to our headquarters, but ran out of time – I’ll just have to come back for another visit soon.

I also had a nice talk with Yngve Pettersen, who is working on some of the URL and cookie security stuff. He’s been working at Opera almost since the beginning, more than 10 years ago. Yngve recently submitted three internet drafts to the IETF. He wants to change the way browser cookies are handled. There are apparently some big security issues with the current cookie specification, which all modern browsers implement. Yngve has a cure for the problem. Read his blog posts (here and here) for more about this issue.

Tomorrow and Friday I’ll be out of the office for a desktop browser seminar with a bunch of desktop developers, marketing people, and QA folks. I’m looking forward to learning about the new features and strategy for the desktop browser. I hear there are some big stuff down the pipeline.

I’m flying back to the United States on Monday – I’ll be working on the east coast.

P.S. I’ll be at the Webmaster World conference in Las Vegas (November 14 – 17). Opera is one of the big sponsors there. Our CEO (Jon von Tetzchner) is also giving a keynote address at the conference. If you’re planning on attending, make sure you stop by our booth. I’d love to meet you.

Categories: Uncategorized

Joining Opera Software as a Technical Evangelist

October 25, 2006 41 comments

Greetings from Opera headquarters in Oslo, Norway.

I’ve accepted a position at Opera Software as Opera’s first Technical Evangelist.

As part of my job, I will focus primarily on the desktop browser – particularly on the United States (US) market. The Asian and European markets have traditionally been the stronghold for the Opera browser, while the US market lagged behind a bit.

Being the capital of the world with respect to the Internet and communications, Opera recognizes the importance of the desktop market share in the US. An increased usage of the desktop browser in the US is essential for our success worldwide.

I plan on attending Opera user meetups and events, as well as conferences to meet and speak with Opera users and prospective users too. I’ll be at the Webmaster World conference in Las Vegas (November 14 – 17), Opera’s CEO will be giving a keynote address there.

One of the advantages of meeting and speaking to many Opera users is that I’ll get the feel of what features users want added or modified in the browser. I’ll have direct access to our development teams, and I’ll work hard at making sure those features that our users dream of, turn into reality.

Being that I will work out of the US (east coast), I’ll also work on helping out with new US product launches, such as Opera Mini, Nintendo Wii, DS browser, Sony mylo, etc. Maybe I could even get my hands on some of these new products to demo to people I meet. It would be cool if I could get the new Sony mylo when it comes out.

I’m sure many of you are wondering what will happen to Opera Watch. Well, Opera Watch will change – for the better, of course.

Although I won’t be able to talk about company secrets (it wouldn’t be constructive if our competitors find out our strategy or details of an unreleased feature), I will, however, talk more openly about the non-sensitive information that Opera users would like to know about. My goal is to make Opera, the company, more blogger-friendly.

What about objectivity? Rest assured if there is something I dislike or disagree with, I wouldn’t lie about it. If something is not okay, I won’t tell you everything is fine.

There are multiple outsider blogs that cover the Opera browser, such as Avencius and the Opera Lover blog (see more Opera blogs at the Opera Planet). This may also be a great opportunity for you to start an Opera blog of your own, now that my blog has become an insider’s blog. I’ll help you get started, if you’d like.

I feel fortunate and lucky to be in the position where I am now. When I started the Opera Watch blog over two years ago, I had no idea (or desire) that it will eventually land me a job at Opera. I started it merely as a way for me to keep up with Opera news and happenings.

I owe much of my success to you, the thousands of RSS subscribers and to those who linked and/or posted comments to my posts. The links and comments are what kept me going here on Opera Watch. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks to those at Opera Software who believed in me, in particular Dean Kakridas, one of Opera’s VPs. Over the last few months I’ve had the privilege of a close working relationship with Dean. He is one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met, who really wants to see Opera become the dominate browser. Dean is truly an asset to the company and to us Opera users.

Tim “Junyor” Altman was also very helpful to me with his advice, including his last minute call a few hours before my flight to Norway. Thanks.

There are lots of challenges and obstacles that lie ahead for Opera. I look forward to my future with Opera, and doing my share in making Opera a better browser (than it already is) and more popular.

Let the fun begin.

Categories: Announcements

Opera Mini now available for the Blackberry and Palm Treo

October 24, 2006 6 comments

Opera today added Opera Mini support for the Blackberry and Palm Treo mobile phones.

With the new support for these phones, Opera is giving away a free Blackberry or Treo in a contest for the one who best describes how Opera Mini would change their on-the-go web lifestyle. See the contest page.

Categories: Opera Mini

Opera 9.1 to include Real-Time Fraud Protection

October 18, 2006 20 comments

At the Opera Backstage event in London today it was revealed that Opera 9.1 will include built-in Fraud Protection for fraudulent sites.

Opera’s Fraud Protection will work differently than Firefox and Internet Explorer’s (IE) anti-phishing protection. In Opera, when you type a URL in the address bar, while the page is being requested from the web server, Opera will simultaneously access Opera’s database to check the legitimacy of the site you want to visit.

If the site is determined to be a fraud, Opera will instead display a warning and block you from visiting the site. You’ll still have the option to bypass the warning.

Unlike Firefox, which by default only checks against a pre-downloaded blacklist of fraud sites, Opera does the checking in real-time so you’ll be protected against new fraud sites that pop-up each day.

Opera gets the site fraud/legitimacy information from a database supplied by GeoTrust, a company with a long experience in anti-fraud solutions.

For those concerned about privacy, Opera will send only a limited amount of information to Opera’s server in plain text, so that you can inspect yourself the information Opera sees about your browsing details (if you feel paranoid).

Speed should not be affected, according to Johan Borg – Opera’s Desktop Manager, since everything is done asynchronously and the content load is really minimal.

The warning box looks pretty simple and should definitely catch your attention. The current warning box (see screenshot below) and icons are still under development; I hope it doesn’t get too complicated to use for the average non-techie user.

You can read some more technical details on how it’s implemented, and why Opera didn’t opt to implement it like Firefox and IE on the official Opera blog post by the desktop team.

Fraud and phishing protection in the Opera browser has been one of the more requested features that Opera users have asked when Opera solicited feature/requirement requests a few months back. It’s good to see Opera paying attention to its users.

Internal-build screenshot of Opera 9.1
Categories: Desktop