Afternoon Opera Keynote Jon S. von Tetzchner

Brett is talking about how long he’s been using opera and how much he respects it for charging for a product the two other major competitors gave it away for free. He’s had over 500 computers and never run an anti-virus program, because he doesn’t run a microsoft email client and he uses opera.

Jon starts talking about what Opera does as a company. He says they’ve been doing browsers since 1994. They setup the first intranet in Norway. He says they take one piece of code and they make it run on any device. As opposed to pocket Internet Explorer Opera uses the full browser on all devices. People wanted them to make an OS, an office suite or cross platform, and they chose the third option.
He says the browser is the glue between devices.
Its a worldwide web so they’re a world wide company, they have office all around the world. People are coming from all parts of the world to work for opera.

  • 39 million people have downloaded opera on the desktop this year
  • 150 million downloads since 1996
  • 40 million cellphones shipped with opera preinstalled
  • 7 million active opera users
  • more than 500,000 community members

He says they work with many of the best vendors around the world.
They have 340 people in their company. He says they dream about browsers, its the only thing they’ve done for 12 years. Jon is one of the two founders, the other founder passed away in april.
He says “dedication leads to innovation”. They focus on what people want, tabs, speed, running on any (even very old, crappy hardware), sessions, zooming (opera did it in 96, ie is just doing it this year), mouse gestures and security.
He says “there’s only one web” so browsers should work the same on all platforms.
There is a trend that many new apps are coming out as web apps and practically all of these are based on AJAX. People are making widgets that will run anywhere there is opera and they’re trying to make their widget standards open with the w3c.
They are very pro-standards, they passed the Acid2 test, they support AJAX, SVG, and 3D-Canvas.
They are all about finding ways to protect you. They would rather error on the side of security.
They have cutting edge development tools. Viewing the mobile version of any page, and viewing the DOM tree.
They use the same code base on all their different platforms.
They do data compression in the opera mini to speed up browsing and cut down on bandwidth costs.
The ninento WII will ship with opera, as does the ninendo DS and the sony mylo and the nokia 770.

Questions:
Why do developers want to code for Opera?
Its based on standards so coding for opera is good for you, and they do have a siginificant about of desktop users, but especially mobile browsers.
They have a group of people who work with webmasters to make the sites work in opera, one of the biggest problems is “if (opera) do nothing” type code.

Where do you guys find the balance between standards and user experience and security? (brett uses styled forms as an example)
They try to err on the site of security, but they often try to find ways to make standards and user experience work. They’re working on high security certificates.

Firefox is gaining momentum and IE7 is coming out, is opera getting squeezed out?
They’ve outlived all the other browsers that people have said they couldn’t compete with.

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