Don't expect an Opera Next Linux build anytime soon
It is too early to tell if Opera's move to the Blink engine away from Presto is going to pay off in terms of overall users who use the web browser as their primary, or if the company has shot itself in the foot with it.
The company has received a lot of comments on the desktop team blog when the first Opera 15 Next version was released, with the majority of them critical of the move.
That's somewhat understandable, considering that Opera made a full U-Turn here and published a browser that is almost the complete opposite of the original Opera browser.
Consider this: A part of Firefox's user base is criticizing Mozilla for implementing the Australis design soon in the browser. Imagine this, but only ten times worse.
It needs to be noted that we are talking about test releases here, not final versions, and that Opera is working on improving the browser.
Yesterday's update brought a couple of additions to Opera Next, like proxy aware auto-updating, faster loading of Speed Dials and better sensitivity for mouse gestures.
The build has been made available for Windows and Mac only, and it appears that this is not going to change anytime soon.
Daniel Aleksandersen, the Opera employee who published news of the update on the Opera Desktop Team blog mentioned that there won't be a Linux version for the first release.
There will not be one for the first release. Our efforts are focused on the majority platforms for the time being. We want to offer really kick-ass quality to as many users as possible. That requires hard decisions and focus.
While not explicitly stated, it is likely that he is referring to the first official release of Opera 15. It is not clear when the first stable build will be released by Opera, but it is likely that it is going to take some time before this is going to happen.
If you are running Opera Next right now, you should receive the update automatically soon if you have not already. Note that Opera decided to not implement a "check for update" option in the browser to avoid users hammering the servers. The only way to install the update immediately is to download it and run it manually.Advertisement
I feel with Linux users for this snub. Then again, version 15 of Opera isn’t anywhere close to an everyday browser anyway, with all these many features missing. The worst of it is, they did away with bookmarks and not all Chrome/-ium extensions work in the Next release.
There’s much work that needs to be done, until Opera becomes more than a Chrome clone in a different skin. The way I understood their new release cycle and system, the Next channel will be for testing semi-stable features, that come from the labs developer builds. In the end, we’ll see new features in Opera 16 at the earliest, but that may be a drop in the ocean :(
How is it a Chrome clone? I don’t understand. Is any basic browser automatically a Chrome clone?
Opera 15 is just slightly more than Chromium. It’s based on Chromium, which means it uses Blink and V8. If you just subtract the Opera name and logos, Speed Dial, Stash, Discover and Offroad mode, you would basically get Chromium.
Actually, Swapnil, you will also need to remove the entire user interface because Opera made that from the ground up.
Martin, wasn’t the title supposed to be “Donâ€™t expect an Opera Next Linux build anytime soon” ? :)
Yes it was, and is ;)
Why “not any time soon” though? Maybe they are just waiting for 15 to be released before the first Linux build arrives?
“It needs to be noted that we are talking about test releases here, not final versions, and that Opera is working on improving the browser.”
Come on now … all browsers are in “test” with the frequency of the updates.
Fact is, Opera released what wouldn’t even called a beta by most and users have strongly reacted to the lack of features, lack of customization compared to the stable release.
What is most disappointing is that there seems to be absolutely no intent to differentiate Opera from Chrome, leaving the question, why bother?
If the intent was to generate buzz surrounding a browser with a tiny market share, they managed that.
Not all browsers are in test mode. Final versions are final versions.
Why people are reacting to a lack of features in the first version of a rewritten browser is beyond me. It’s impossible to add back hundreds of features in just a few months when you’re making something from scratch. These people who are reacting can use Opera 12 while they’re waiting for the new Opera to mature.
No intent to differentiate Opera from Chrome? What are you talking about? It already has Speed Dial, mouse gestures, Stash, Discover and more stuff like that which does differentiate it.
Wonder if Opera will bring NEXT to Mobile (Smartphones, Tablets), Home (TVs, Streamers..), Car multimedia system… as well.
I was immediately impressed with the gain in stability in the Next build – almost as much as with the loss of the integral mail client. Opera is being very tight-lipped about their road map. Again and again it seems they want to dissuade people from using their browser. For some of us, though, it’s a matter of the heart, for Opera has done many things right, and has constructed a browser that is in some ways perfect, as well as lovable.
I don’t know why the rush to go public with a product that is this sketchy. I trust that a lot of the features will be brought back on as resources permit. Obviously, things like bookmarks are not going to be a permanent deletion, so talk of future versions being limited by this initial one are inaccurate.
We simply need to give them more time. Meanwhile, O 12.15 is still working pretty well here. I won’t miss the Presto engine’s many core faults. I just hope the Operators can maintain the user configurability that set Opera apart, and that the move to Blink will allow them to return to their former position as a leading innovator, and not relegate them to being merely followers-on.
Sketchy? Please explain. Isn’t Opera 15 simply a basic browser? What makes it sketchy?
Also, what do you mean by “rush to go public”? Why should they NOT go public as early as possible to gather feedback and get new users (that don’t care about features) onto the new and more compatible browser?
What’s needlessly sketchy is the road map forward, concerning what features and degree of user configurability will be offered. I don’t see the benefit to releasing a browser that will look little like its final version. All that engenders is a whole lot of premature speculation.
I work on the Desktop product in Opera.
I know that many users feel Opera Next is too basic right now, and thus you get questions and comments such as these. However, the by far biggest bleed of users we have is when sites do not work optimally or even correctly in Opera. This happens quite a lot, and earlier being in the Core Presto team I know how every big Gmail or Facebook update had us scrambling to fix sitecompat issues and potentially fix problems in our engine. Quite often it was done with some channels directly in to the companies, where they fixed their code to run better on Opera, but that didn’t stop that we had to do priority 1 code fixes almost every week.
When stuff didn’t work, we were losing lots of users by the day. Also, we have internal statistics saying how much different features are used, and even though we did have an extreme amount of features, many of them (even huge ones, like Mail) were almost not used at all. Quite unlike many of us who actually work in Opera, and quite unlike many of our fans. The vast majority of Opera users are very basic users (like my father and my girlfriend).
So, why say all this? Because when to release is a trade-off. It’s the big numbers, or the small very vocal fan base. In fact, we will not autoupdate people on 12.15 to 15 when it arrives. We’ll let those that want to stay on 12.15 that option until it should be hopefully a bit easier to switch to the next generation.
Another thing to remember (or maybe just know, because I’m telling you ;-) ), is that we’re changing how we release, by having three streams. Opera Next is the beta-stream, and we will have a strict time based schedule where we promote the beta to stable. This is similar to Chrome and Firefox.
Opera 15 will be a basic release. It will be a solid foundation to build our new browser on top of. We want to get it out to the users who are hurt by Opera 12 having site-compat problems. Or those that are enticed by the higher quality we will strive to provide with the next generation.
Also, yes. Developing features take time. Lots. And at the quality level we are now aiming at, we will rather focus on making new features rock solid and well thought out rather than rush it.
Personally, Opera Next is at a level where it is usable for me, I use it at work. I’m a Linux user at home though, so I’ll be staying on Opera 12 for the time being there ;-)
Thanks for voicing your opinion. I think that Opera Software needs to work on the company’s communication if that is really the case. I mean, how hard can it be to let the vocal fan base now what is planned in detail.
Will you bring bookmarks back for instance. If you’d say yes, you’d silence many of them right away. I do not think anyone would mind if you’d add it in Opera 16 or 17. The fact that it is coming back is what matters.
Of course there’s a benefit to releasing early. You get more testing early on.
People will speculate no matter what. It’s pointless to try and prevent it.
Opera is not a free software (in the freedom, open source sense), it’s a proprietary one.
Its presence in Linux was only a tradition. They may perfectly stop developing it in Linux.
They already said the’re releasing Linux later.
New Opera being a Chrome clone, I see no reason to use the new versions, neither on Windows nor on Linux.
I don’t entirely agree. It doesn’t really correspond to my needs (I use a lot of bookmarks) and that’s right it is no longer the former Opera but they tried a new experience of a very light and fast browser and I find it interesting. If it were totally unuseful, it would not exist…
I am sorry they seem having abandoned the 64 bits oopp Windows edition.
I need to use my browser, not figuring it out because some out of touch devs decided to do away basic things because it’s not different enough to what they’re basing on.
@Nebulus: What makes it a Chrome clone? Suddenly any basic browser is a Chrome clone, as if Google invented the basic browser? Laughable.
@anon: They didn’t remove anything. They made a new UI from the ground up, so it’s the other way around: They haven’t added all features yet.
Folks – why all of the whoopla over Opera anyhow. It’s sitting at 1.6% of the market share (a slow and steady decline in 2013).
Like I said previously, if their intent was to get attention, they certainly did. The decision to get around to linux is understandable – Linux only has 1.26% of the desktop market so they can hardly justify the cost to gain a few points.
In short, a browser on the way out makes a last gasp effort to revamp itself. Perhaps this explains the half-baked “next” version – nothing to lose at this point.
Oh I dunno, maybe because they actually use the damn thing and the company decide to do away with it?
I mean if you’re unaffected by this then great, all the power but don’t assume that those 1% (which consist of millions) won’t lift the fork.
You got the wrong impression I think.
The company has got to do what makes sense, first and foremost for its sustainability. Whatever they do, there is really not much they can lose.
If current users (like yourself) become disenfranchised, there will be new ones.
Will there be enough new interest to counter the users who switched? The gamble being taken by Opera.
> The company has got to do what makes sense, first and foremost for its sustainability.
I think the writing was on the wall with the version 12 roll out. I have never seen a more inept piece of professional software. Apparently it made sense to bring the engine in ready made, and then focus available resources on the features. I think it will be good in the long run, but I hope mail is reintegrated.
@Paul B.: Opera 12 works fine here.
@Rick: 1.6% market share (which is a false figure) apparently translates to tens of millions of active users.
That, and Opera is big on mobile. They have more than 300 million active users on desktop/mobile by now, and growing. Hardly on the way out.
Half-baked version? It’s the first version after a complete rewrite. Your tech know-how must be really terrible if you think it’s possible to build a browser with tons of features in just a few months.
Opera developers are doing all possible to lose even the small market share they still have.
As usual, they do not listen to those who still use Opera.
One of the major developers (I can’t remember his name right now) left the company about a year ago because he didn’t agree with the new course to self-destruction. Mimicking Chrome is not only a shame, it is utter stupidity and absurdity- those who like Opera will not accept the Chrome clone, those who prefer Chrome will not switch to Opera because it has become as stupid, feeble and nonfunctional as Chrome.
If Opera kept listening to hardcore nerds they would have gone down the drain. Opera’s problem is that they actually listened, and added tons of features and options which made for messy maintenance:
It’s good that Opera follows its own path instead of letting a small, vocal minority of nerds dictate the future of the browser.
Well, only if you and others like it minimalstic without much customizations, this does not mean it is the Right way to have it that way.
Browsers should be different and not looking like Chrome, Chrome is not THAT important. As a Firefox user i know of what i am speaking, the Mozilla plans for Australis will be similiar to Opera Next, the only difference that Mozilla so far decides not to use Webkit/Blink – But i would be willing to bet a big amount of money that Blink/Webkit Switch will be also upcoming in the Future.
There should be a middleground between Customization and Speed, at least it should be possible to change something of the Browser chrome, like rearranging menu elements or having at least a side bar or Status Bar.
If people like you do not like that, fine, but stop forcing on the rest of us your ridiculous love for miminalistic behaviour – Customization is not a thing of the past, no matter if you do not like the fact :D
I’ve so laughed at “sign-up for our free newsletter or RSS feed” in the end of the article because the features for removing which Opera was criticized the most are those same RSS and mail (integrated client).
You can still use RSS in the separate email client. Apparently hardly any Opera users actually use the built in mail/RSS, but those that do are very vocal. I don’t understand their problem. They don’t need it integrated into the browser. It works fine separately.
Oh go away! Its because of fanboys like you that we are now having browsers with 1-2 functions and OS-es for facebook and mail with big tiles for fingers. Jesus,i am starting to feel like a monkey in front of a candy machine with 2 buttons YES and NO. Pathetic. It seams like we lost 20 years of evolution
Sure, there may be more overall users on MSWindows, but a “technology preview” is more likely to be downloaded/used by advanced/sophisticated users, and those are more likely to be Linux users. The audience for a technology preview is not necessarily going to correspond with the general public.
Dear Ugly new independent Scandinavian subdivision,
first, sorry for my English,
I want say real big fat Thank You for CIA mode neutralizing true Opera and deepest introducing me to all these amazing MS things like x64 IE 10 which fast light and with free AdFender Ã¼bercool, outlook.com, SkyDrive with syncronisation and free online MSO 2013 which has not need of special assistance like a cripple Uglydocs.
I’m using Opera Next at work on my Windows machine. I always used next in work in my previous jobs.
The one is super stable and I love that it works with almost all internal websites where as the previous one based on Presto did not. Where it fails is on the internal sites that only work in IE and barely at that… There is a big effort to get rid of those applications in work because they are pushing firefox/chromium inside the company for everything.
Personally I prefer Opera and love the new stash and the folder speed dial. I didn’t much use the other features though I miss the excellent download manager which was way better than Chrome’s so I hope this can make a come back soon as I often showed it to people and it made them try Opera when they could resume downloads in Opera that they couldn’t in Firefox/Chrome.
However at home I duel boot OSX/Ubuntu. I use Ubuntu more than OSX so it is a bit of a pain not having the same browser at work/home. I use Chromium in Ubuntu and I use Opera-Next in OSX and found a similar stable experience.
it is extremely easy to use and I think a focus should be on trying to be as touch friendly as possible.
Why is it that Windows users gets the first shot at the new browser? Adobe used us to polish it’s 64 bit versions of it’s Flash Player, then dumped us. The only way to get a current Flash Player on a Linux OS is to have Chrome, it’s included in the latest build.
With the growing unpopularity of Windows 8, some are becoming Linux converts. We are a growing community that shouldn’t be overlooked. Remember, Bill Gates was fighting for a mere slice of the computing pie in 1984. We are the next in line for solid growth.
Opera, being a joke as far as Windows usage goes, lower than Safari, needs us Linux users more than Windows ones.