Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Jul 2007 19:50 UTC, submitted by juno_106
Opera Software "Back in January we added the ability to report usage of different features and preferences so we could learn more about how the browser is used in general. First we invited you, our weekly users to help us and in 9.2 we started asking one in 100 users if they want to participate. We would like to share some of our findings with you."
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Bit off topic...
by baadger on Fri 6th Jul 2007 20:40 UTC
baadger
Member since:
2006-08-29

..but I personally cannot wait for Kestrel and especially 64 bit QT4 builds for Linux.

I'm quite surprised the announcement of 64 bit builds and the move to QT4 didn't make OSNews

Reply Score: 5

RE: Bit off topic...
by Liquidator on Fri 6th Jul 2007 21:38 UTC in reply to "Bit off topic..."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Yes, 64bits is going to be a major milestone. I hope it's gonna be compatible with Flash plugin though.

Regarding Opera going open-source, It would be a plus for distro bundlers, but it would be risky for Opera Software ASA. They rely on their technology, if they start "giving it away", you know what happens. They have all their mobile market niche on which they make money, if they open-source Opera, and the next month they see 10 competitors showing up with a rebranded fork, they lose. And the technical benefits of getting contribution from volunteer software developers is not compelling enough to go opensource.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Bit off topic...
by vermaden on Fri 6th Jul 2007 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Bit off topic..."
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

they would rather not open source opera, and even if, then later then sonner, check this:
http://my.opera.com/jax/blog/show.dml/24238

Reply Score: 5

insteresting facts
by poundsmack on Fri 6th Jul 2007 20:46 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

and now we know!, and knowing is half the battle...

Reply Score: 1

v Just one more feature missing
by kajaman on Fri 6th Jul 2007 21:22 UTC
RE: Just one more feature missing
by Kroc on Fri 6th Jul 2007 21:29 UTC in reply to "Just one more feature missing"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

It's not like you Open Source _only_ people don't have a browser to use already. Why not improve that instead of badgering Opera to open licenced technology that they make a living off of in the mobile / console space.

Give us one solid reason why they should open source Opera, when Firefox and Konqueror already exist?

Reply Score: 5

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

They could dual-license it--put it under the weak-copyleft share-alike license (LGPL, MPL, CDDL, etc.) for noncommercial use only. They don't need to give up on their commercial licensing model. No worries about proprietary plugins and widgets. They'd probably cultivate a nice-sized development community.

Secrets don't help sell software. They don't prevent piracy, and they don't inspire the confidence of the device vendors Opera is targeting.

Yeah, we have open source web platforms already, and I don't particularly care whether Opera opens their codebase. But give me one solid reason why they shouldn't open it?

Reply Score: 2

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"But give me one solid reason why they shouldn't open it?"

Because as it currently is, it keeps a roof over their heads?

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Because the Mobile and Desktop browsers use the same engine. Open sourcing their desktop browser means it would be much easier for others to catch up on the mobile market and make a big impact on their revenue.

Reply Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"But give me one solid reason why they shouldn't open it?"

Give me one solid reason why they should open it.

Reply Score: 5

poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

ya know...does anyone thing the open source zelots are teh modern day hippies? back in the day they would have taken a fire hose to them.

heres what i think. its free. its fast. it has tons of great features. and its constantly getting better and better..... if it aint broke dont fix it.

Reply Score: 5

Voice
by WorknMan on Fri 6th Jul 2007 21:23 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

The only reason I use Opera is for the text-to-speech capabilities. (I just like having the web browser read web pages to me.) Otherwise, I probably wouldn't even have it installed, because I like Firefox better.

I know there's a text-to-speech plugin for Firefox (Windows), but I haven't heard a voice engine yet that sounds as good as the one in Opera. It is truly a 'killer feature' for me ;)

Reply Score: 3

Somewhat related...
by binarycrusader on Fri 6th Jul 2007 21:48 UTC
binarycrusader
Member since:
2005-07-06

It would be interesting to see this sort of thing applied to the various desktop environments available for free operating systems.

Reply Score: 5

i love opera
by 2501 on Fri 6th Jul 2007 22:38 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

I was using firefox and I liked it a lot but some reason I always go back to Opera. What I like the most is that I can email links to my wife and friends very quick and easy and the notes feature is awesome and I use it all the time. It has what I need + I can always change the style option to 8-bit style...old days!

-2501

Reply Score: 3

Some interesting revelations
by sbergman27 on Fri 6th Jul 2007 23:29 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

# A preference we added by popular request, the ability to turn on Fit to Width by default is used by 0.0%

Wow. Features most requested by users are not necessarily used, once actually provided. Now *that* is an issue worth looking into, and of significance to other projects, as well.

# You're not left-handed p: Well... the option to flip the buttons for mouse gestures is used by only 1% of those who enabled mouse gestures, which possibly indicates that many left-handed users prefer a right-handed mouse setup.


As a "left-handed" person, I would point out that few people are truly left handed. Most left handed people write with their left hands (which is pretty much the definition) and use whatever hand is convenient for most other things. When I was in elementary school, my mother used to insist upon getting me those damned "lefty" scisors for art class. Never could cut a thing with them and I often ended up borrowing someone else's normal scissors.

# JavaScript and Plugins are both used by more than 99% by default

As an advocate of web applications, I'm glad to see this. f--k people who turn javascript off. They should *expect* the modern web to be broken for them. Web developers should not waste valuable time and energy catering to them.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Some interesting revelations
by Kroc on Fri 6th Jul 2007 23:43 UTC in reply to "Some interesting revelations"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Excuse me? F--k me did you say? There's a reason I opt-in to Javascript.

* Intellitext. Ruining the whole concept of hyperlinks
* Slide in DHTML ads that cover the content.
* A million flash objects loading into the page locking your machine up
* Popups that manage to now and again get around the popup blocker

It's web developers who should not be wasting my time with their obtrusive natty scripts. I remember the web before Javascript. It was pretty good for the time.

Website designers who cannot create a site that can gracefully degrade, are just bad programmers, enough said. As well as techites like me, there's also disabled persons who may be browsing the web with browsers that either do not support javascript, or have limited support - and it's against the law to prevent them suitable access to e-commerce sites.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Website designers who cannot create a site that can gracefully degrade, are just bad programmers, enough said.

Or the very small percentage of people that don't have JS enable are not worth the extra resources it might take to work around lack of javascript. Some things are not so easy to degrace gracefully. Trust me, I have to deal with that at work.

Reply Score: 5

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Did I not point out that a few of those users, are lawfully required access to certain websites. In the UK there is a 20'000 fine for failure to provide adequate disabled access, this includes e-commerce websites. Read this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/3117050.stm

I manage fine supporting disabled users with almost no extra effort. Writing correct HTML, CSS and Javascript via event binding is not rocket science, you just can't be a lazy sod that thinks disabled people don't exist and will go away if you don't cater for them.

Reply Score: 5

algkalv Member since:
2005-11-04

I manage fine supporting disabled users with almost no extra effort. Writing correct HTML, CSS and Javascript via event binding is not rocket science, you just can't be a lazy sod that thinks disabled people don't exist and will go away if you don't cater for them


There are consumers of assistive technologies who are not disabled. A non-negligible (though not large either) proportion of users prefer text + color only. the reason is that they are after text, and are not interested in web applications; they also actively seek solutions to curb the onslaught of the irrelevant. The latter includes everything that the text they are after. Javascript has nothing to offer here, neither do plugins, cookies, multimedia apart from select images, etc.

It is not difficult to cater to those people from the point of view of the browser vendor. Defaults should have the appeal to the largest possible set of users, but that does not preclude options for those who need -or- want them. That is why there is opera:config, that is why there are FF extensions, etc.

example: http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/c4ead84cb5.png

Defaults are there to be changed ;)

Consumers of text+color, as I like to call them, and amongst whom I count myself, do not mind "broken pages", i.e. sites which are unusable due to content done in flash, navigation or content served via javascript. It is really not a problem. Since web apps are not even remotely interesting for them (us), and since we can get the text nearly always, and fine-tune the sites with site preferences in more than one browser, then the problem becomes non-existent. Personally, I have javascript turned on only for my bank, via site preferences. And vote with my wallet, as well as presence. If someone fails to cater t me, I go elsewhere if I cannot work around it. not really tied to a vendor ;)

Finally, as Kroc says, apart from a few isolated examples, it's fairly easy to cater to everyone, with responsible enhancement JS overlays. Most of the time, it is not the web applications that are a problem - it is the web pages written for IE, and only for IE, that are the real pain in the eyebrow, as are those which sprinkle their measly content with restrictive nonsense that prevents a huge portion of their potential audience from using their sites.

Disclaimer: I am an Opera employee (speaking for myself only)

Reply Score: 2

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Yeah, while I would be depressed on a plain black and white desktop like this: http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/c4ead84cb5.png (I'm more an Vista kinda guy!), I respect your choice. I think allowing you to customize your desktop, your browser and the web page rendering the way you want is a fundamental and legitimate right.

I think Javascript, being supported by most browsers that I heard of, is a great solution for snappy and responsive applications or web sites. Form prevalidation using javascript is better than only server-side validation, it's faster (use both client and server-side validation for security). Javascript is IMO 100s of times better, lighter and faster for webapps than Java applets, Flex and Flash in general.

Reply Score: 1

CrimsonScythe Member since:
2005-07-10

This is one of the reasons I love Opera. I disable features such as cookies, plugins, and javascript by default, and add the features back on a need and trust basis using the "Edit site preferences" option on the right-click menu. Not only does that make the browser snappier, but one can avoid all of those annoyances in your list. Also, I'll have to say it's surprisingly rare that I actually need to use that menu.

PS. Can't wait for Kestrel! ;)

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Website designers who cannot create a site that can gracefully degrade, are just bad programmers, enough said.
"""

To put it bluntly, that's just stupid. Increasing the complexity of a program by doing everything 2 ways, first the convoluted way for people who refuse to use modern technology, and then the simpler and cleaner way using the capabilities of the browser that 99% of people have turned on (according to the article) and leaving both code paths in is *not* good programming practice. (Unless you get paid by the hour, of course.)

If it means that assistive technologies need to get smarter and deal with the fact that browsers are smart clients and not dumb terminals then so be it.

P.S. I would hardly call the programmers behind Google Docs and Spreadsheets "bad programmers".

Edited 2007-07-07 01:13

Reply Score: 5

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Javascript is not a secure and reliable solution for form validation. Validation has to be done server side as well before going into the DB. Therefore accepting a form only by javascript is dumb, when you can fall back to the action attribute on the Form to submit the same data through post and validate with the same code.

It is not increasing the complexity of everything by two, that's a total over exaggeration. I manage absolutely fine with a well written validation class that can accept both methods equally.

And people still don't understand. 99% of people may have Javascript on, but those disabled people who don't - have to have access by law. Can I say that again, as this is the third time someone has failed to realise that. It's the law. Not supporting graceful degrading (something that's been possible since 1996), is not worth 20'000 to me, comprende?

Edited 2007-07-07 01:18

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Javascript is not a secure and reliable solution for form validation.
"""

Duh? Of course not. That's not what I'm talking about and you know it. But just to clarify so that I don't get more words put into my mouth, I'm not talking about fancy effects, fade ins, glows, beam ins and beam outs, or any of that silliness either. Nor am I talking about abuses of javascript by advertisers. (Though I find that adblock handles all that admiriably without throwing the baby out with the bathwater as turning off javascript does.)

What I *am* talking about is actual functionality. I am talking about web *apps* as opposed to web pages, as I mentioned in my original post.

By all means, code within the local laws, though. Even the poor ones that miss the mark.

But outside of the letter of the law, I really can't see banning web applications simply because assistive technologies need a kick in the pants.

Edited 2007-07-07 01:33

Reply Score: 5

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Google Docs and Spreadsheets is a very good point ;)
There's no reason an e-commerce site cannot be accessible to disabled people. However, Google Docs and Spreadsheets have to dynamically update content in cells and perform live calculations. This can't be done without Javascript.

That's not to say that degrading gracefully on e-commerce sites is irrelevant, but that web2.0 apps that try to mimick their counterparts are struck by the limitations of using barely appropriate languages and technologies to create something that looks like a spreadsheet when a real Excel spreadsheet would be accessible to disabled persons through the OS support (like Windows Narrator).

It's going to take a looong time (especially with IE trailing behind), but eventually these web apps will be accessible through improved accessibility hooks in browsers, and new Javascript standards.

Reply Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
web2.0 apps that try to mimick their counterparts are struck by the limitations of using barely appropriate languages and technologies to create something that looks like a spreadsheet
"""

Javascript, despite its reputation, is really not a bad language. It's well designed and even rather Python like in its own way. (Brendan Eich likes Python.) It suffered from premature standardization, and could use some extra oomph in the area of performance, though. (Maybe there is a VM in its future. :-)

And many people who "use" it do so in a "recipe" fashion, pasting in snippets from Google searches without really understanding. I expect that many people are surprised that O'Reilly's "Javascript: The Definitive Guide" is a thousand pages, thinking that Javascript is mostly about back buttons and onchange form submissions. :-)

P.S. Sorry if my previous post came off as abrupt. I could have worded a few things better. I'm very excited about the potential of web applications.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Ok, we're kinda talking about 2 different things then. I'm not saying we do everything in javascript and if it doesn't work for people, oh well. Things that make sense to be done in JS are done in JS. They are not necessary features. Things like drag&drop, opening/collapsing menus (menu is open by default).

We do have things that require purchasing on our sites, and those work completely w/o javascript, because it makes no sense to use javascript in those cases.

In summary, we use javascript for enhancements to the page. Things that aren't necessary to view the page.

Edited 2007-07-07 12:12

Reply Score: 2

Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Now this is ridiculous. If you ban Javascript, you left the webapps bandwagon. 99% of web applications these days use Ajax (javascript), here's what you can't use: Gmail (fast version), Google Docs, Zimbra, Yahoo!Mail (Beta version), and the fast-increasing number of web sites that use Ajax. At one point there will be so many web sites that will be broken on your computer that you may end up giving up. Javascript is basically Ecmascript, which is a web standard (http://www.w3.org/DOM/).

This remembers geeks in the 90's who said they would ban CSS because it didn't add to the web. They all use CSS these days and they don't complain anymore. If the owners of the web sites you visit use Javascript to display ads, they probably have good reasons, they need to make money. You also probably whine at TV commercial like I do, but we end up watching TV (well I don't very often!). If bloggers couldn't place ads with Javascript, they would use plain XHTML coding and it would be no better for you. And to go back to web applications, if there wasn't Javascript, web applications would turn server applications, where everything is run on the server. These days, half of the cde of webapps are run on the client desktop and with Ajax they are less sluggish than they used to be. You should be thankful.

Edited 2007-07-07 09:59

Reply Score: 5

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

# A preference we added by popular request, the ability to turn on Fit to Width by default is used by 0.0%

Wow. Features most requested by users are not necessarily used, once actually provided. Now *that* is an issue worth looking into, and of significance to other projects, as well.


Heh. Now there's a link to save for the next time someone pops into a Haiku comment thread to steadfastly insist that "Haiku must include ______ feature/functionality or it will never succeed!!!"

As an advocate of web applications, I'm glad to see this. f--k people who turn javascript off. They should *expect* the modern web to be broken for them. Web developers should not waste valuable time and energy catering to them.


That situation probably wouldn't exist if javascript wasn't mis-used so frequently. I constantly see things done with javascript that could easily be done with straight (X)HTML, or should be done with a server-side scripting language. With the web development work I've personally done, JS has been largely a "last resort" that's only used if I can't find a way to do something with XHTML or PHP/ASP.

Reply Score: 2

xhtml
by renhoek on Sat 7th Jul 2007 09:44 UTC
renhoek
Member since:
2007-04-29

the xhtml error page makes opera a keeper for me. the display anyway and position of the fault and context are really handy compared to ff or ie. ie and ff display only one line with the error and you cannot see your page anymore.

Reply Score: 1

A modest proposal
by rover on Sat 7th Jul 2007 16:02 UTC
rover
Member since:
2005-08-07

For those who opt-in to this thing they should randomize the preferences and keep statistics of how many change them and to what.

Reply Score: 1

Fit-to-width by default
by shykid on Sat 7th Jul 2007 18:57 UTC
shykid
Member since:
2007-02-22

A preference we added by popular request, the ability to turn on Fit to Width by default is used by 0.0%

Really? Wow. I always turn Fit to Width on by default. It usually doesn't mess up site layouts for me, and when it does, I just turn it off for the time being. It'd be a shame if Opera took this feature out based on this survey.

Edit: The option to "Open windows instead of tabs" (SDI if you like) is the *least* popular of all the tab options, which tells something about the popularity of tabs...

I see why this isn't popular, but I always turn it on. It's useful for keeping my ADD in check; a flood of windows in my taskbar annoys me, but I won't notice a flood of tabs in my browser until I got so many of them open it'd be faster to just close all of them. Also, this option makes it easier to bring up the transfers window when I'm downloading something and have Opera minimized.

haahah, I am the god of esoteric preferences. I'm uber-picky and hard to write software for, no doubt.

Edited 2007-07-07 19:04

Reply Score: 2

RE: Fit-to-width by default
by Dave_K on Sat 7th Jul 2007 23:44 UTC in reply to "Fit-to-width by default"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

I see why this isn't popular, but I always turn it on. It's useful for keeping my ADD in check; a flood of windows in my taskbar annoys me, but I won't notice a flood of tabs in my browser until I got so many of them open it'd be faster to just close all of them. Also, this option makes it easier to bring up the transfers window when I'm downloading something and have Opera minimized.


One of the main things I like about Opera is that I can use it without really worrying about the number of pages I open. I'll often flood Opera with multiple pages, using the Links panel to open several dozen interesting links in the background, despite already having a stack of open pages that I'm planning to look through.

Apart from Opera's speed and stability advantage, the main reason that Opera can cope with that kind of punishment, is that Opera uses full MDI, rather than just tabs. Personally I turn off the Tab Bar completely, and just use the Windows panel and MDI window management to keep track of all the open pages. That way Opera remains usable even with over 100 pages open in a single window. A row of tabs become worthless with a fraction of that number of pages.

Opera's MDI adds so much more flexibility, for example being able to display popup windows at their intended size without requiring a separate browser window. Or the ability to view a couple of sites side by side in one window.

It also allows a form of spatial organisation; if I want to put a couple of pages to one side for a moment I just move them partially off screen, if I'm not planning on looking at them for a while I'll minimise them away, while the page I'm working on can be resized to fill the window.

SDI offers some of the same window management advantages, but of course it quickly clutters the taskbar, uses more screen space, and in my experience SDI uses more system resources. It also prevents certain Opera features from functioning, such as the ability to restore recently closed pages.

Both SDI and basic tabbed browsing just feel crippled in comparison. It's a shame that the browser usage statistics don't show whether anyone else uses Opera the same way. I suspect I'm in a very small minority; it's nice that there's a browser that caters for my needs anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Fit-to-width by default
by cerbie on Mon 9th Jul 2007 22:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Fit-to-width by default"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

"That way Opera remains usable even with over 100 pages open in a single window. A row of tabs become worthless with a fraction of that number of pages."

You know Opera has plenty of options, right? ;) Last time I fired up Opera, it restored over 250 tabs, and I use only the tab bar. Just turn off text labels, keep track of the icons, and it works great!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Fit-to-width by default
by Dave_K on Mon 9th Jul 2007 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Fit-to-width by default"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

You know Opera has plenty of options, right? ;) Last time I fired up Opera, it restored over 250 tabs, and I use only the tab bar. Just turn off text labels, keep track of the icons, and it works great!


The 'keep track of the icons' bit is the problem. A lot of sites, blogs for example, don't have unique icons. I often have multiple pages open from a particular site; again they would all have a single icon, with nothing to identify the individual pages. Then there are all the sites that I don't visit often enough to be able to recognise their icon at a glance.

Having to move the mouse over multiple tabs to find a particular page is painfully slow and frustrating. To me tabs without titles are practically worthless.

With the Windows panel in the sidebar I can see the pages listed with their titles displayed. Another advantage is that it doesn't take up extra screen space like the Tab Bar, very nice on a laptop with a small screen. Overall it seems like a much better option for anyone who opens many pages.

Reply Score: 2

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Sure. The point was simply that Opera does in fact have options that make the tab bar far more useful for those of us who have a sense for it. I can't use your interface any more than I can use gestures (I move my mouse as I read!); but Opera basically has everything there, somewhere, to do it another way, except inline find and intuitive text drag&drop (two of a small handful of things that keep me using multiple browsers). With a few skins, I've even solved my default Fitts' issues with Opera.

While many sites have no or the same icon, there are enough different ones to see where one site's tabs start, which is how I can do it. I do the same in FF with Tab Mix Plus, but it lacks in quality session saving, and bogs down with fewer tabs open. IoW, if there's a momentary power outage, I have a 1 in 3 or so chance of losing *all* saved sessions (or, using FF's internal ones, the actual session from the reboot), as there's no redundancy to the extension nor FF proper...I don't know if Opera has versioning for them or not, but I've yet to lose any from it, and it has suffered those restarts as much as FF.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had one browser, that everyone used, that had every feature we'd need, set up just right, and...oh, wait, we'd get the old Internet Explorers or Netscape 4 over again then, wouldn't we? ;)

Reply Score: 1

help please
by djames on Sun 8th Jul 2007 08:58 UTC
djames
Member since:
2006-04-18

"A lot of people hardly use bookmarks at all (30 bookmarks and less). A lot of people use bookmarks a lot (300 bookmarks or more)."

would someone please tell me what the statement means? it's like "a lot of people use condoms and have babies. A lot of people use condoms and don't have babies"

Reply Score: 1

RE: help please
by sappyvcv on Mon 9th Jul 2007 03:14 UTC in reply to "help please"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

For example, 45% of people use 30 bookmarks or less and 40% use 300 or more. Only 15% use 30 - 300.

Reply Score: 2

RE: help please
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 11th Jul 2007 09:29 UTC in reply to "help please"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Probably easier to represent as a graph - picture an upside down distribution curve (if my hazy memory of statistics/distribution graphing is correct).

Reply Score: 2