Interview with opera CEO: is open source really so important?

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags bug tracking system framemaker

Opera CEO Jon Stephen enson von tetzchner was born on October 19, August 29, 1967 in rejivvik, Iceland, and is now the CEO of Opera Software. He and Geir ivarsy were former Norwegian national telephone company and developed the browser software for multitorg opera. In 1995, Jon and Geir set up a new company to continue development, namely the current Opera Software ASA. Thanks to operaCommunityTranslation of invigorate, a member of the translation team

1) What does Opera open source bring to you? I know that you have said that open source will not bring any benefits to you. I just want to know if this idea has changed.-I am sure that if opera is open source, Linux and BSD users will be very happy.

Why is open source really so important. in our opinion, it is important to open standards. if we want to choose from open standards and open source, our choice will always be open standards. good: In most cases, open-source companies are happy to accept open standards, so there is no problem. but what we think is important is the open standards, because such people have a choice, you can change between different products according to your conditions.

The following is the open community. our community is very developed, and we often work with people above. I think we operate in a company, just like we are doing open source in many aspects. now, people cannot access ourSource codeBut they can communicate with us, they give us feedback, and test our products, so our communication with people is very open. The next question is

Why do we need open source? What benefits do we get from open source.

As I said, I have also made open-source projects myself, and I have worked on a project at Telenor.ProgramThis program can completely convert the content of framemaker into HTML. this program is open-source and very beautiful. but when I don't update the project, it will die, even though everyone is using it. it is currently the most common way to convert framemaker documents to HTML. very powerful. It can convert all the books produced by framemaker, including chapters, multiple documents, images, cross-document links, and indexes into HTML format. but when I no longer work on that project, the situation changes.

My feeling is that if we open-source opera, some people will be able to access our source.CodeThey may help us. but I think most of the work is done by us, just like some other large open-source projects. if you want to contribute to an open-source project, it is not that easy in practice. because someone is controlling this project. so, I'm not sure we will get a lot from it (Open Source), but there are some risks, some people may get our source code and run away.

2) opera often says it can run on almost all devices connected to the Internet. one of the benefits of this (open-source) is that the Community can help you migrate opera to different platforms for maintenance. for example, a Linux publisher can package the (opera) software on its release, so that you don't have to spend your time preparing it.

In fact, I think we need to do this job. at the heart of the Code is the kernel. We have made great efforts to ensure the consistency of our products. the workload we spend on code and integration is huge. because we are doing 100 different projects on many different operating systems at the same time. we hope to absorb and improve the knowledge from these projects. therefore, the complexity is enormous.

Many people helped me when I was doing open source. I did most of the work, but some people contributed to the code. most of the suggestions are-I didn't use CVs, but just combined the code hard-this will corrupt the code. this is also from new programmers.

As you can see, if you meet new people who do not know the code, they are likely to do something wrong. if you find a symptom but do not know the code, and you have not studied it for a long time, you may have corrected the symptom but not corrected its root cause. this is why most open-source projects start to be controlled by dedicated personnel when their scale is large. in addition, these "dedicated personnel" work is very important-to ensure that all the code is at a certain level. so I'm not sure we will get so many benefits from open source. in addition, I think it is highly risky.

At the same time, we all know that open source will have a discussion about the license to use. we have seen some open-source companies discuss which licenses to use. maybe we will select a license and people will soon complain about why it is not GPL, why it is not the third version of GPL, and so on.

Therefore, we will continue to work on open standards, and we will continue to work closely with people who are open source.

There is no problem with supporting Linux. we work with our Open Standards competitors and sometimes our peers in many ways to provide new standards. again, I don't think that open-source as a company is good for us. we have not found anything that allows us to do so and continue to invest in it. this is different from trolltech.

3) What do you think about the news of trolltech (acquired by NOKIA? What do you think it will bring? You choose Qt as your UNIX version of The wiget framework. Now QT is Nokia's. Do you think this will happen to you?

I don't think there is much change in this aspect. I understand that we can also work in the original way. we have cooperation with trolltech and Nokia. nokia is a partner and trolltech is also a partner. one partner has acquired another partner. I think this is not a big change for us. the message from Nokia and trolltech is that they continue to develop QT on their desktops and other platforms. I don't think this purchase will have a big impact on us.

4) when you want to decide what features to implement, will you study the standard support of other browsers? Are you positioning your future plans based on their products or do you have your own roadmap?

I think if you look at the history of the browser and make a comparison, you will find that we are the first to come up with new ideas in most cases.

Of course, if someone says, "Some other browsers have these features, why don't you? ", We will consider their suggestions.

But in general, we have always been committed to becoming the first. We prefer to be innovators rather than counterfeits. Of course, if someone has a good idea, we will also pay attention to it. The business is doing this.

5) the following problem occurs: in many cases, opera and Firefox may have the same bug or error in the rendering engine, once these bugs are submitted to the Firefox BUG Tracking System, opera will soon fix them. in the next version of opera, there is no such problem. do you think this is a coincidence or will you monitor their bugs?

This is a coincidence. you may find that sometimes when people report bugs, they report them in opera and Firefox at the same time-especially security bugs. in many cases, when you find someone reports a security bug, people will try and report it to different vendors in different browsers at the same time. in addition, we often release our updates only after Firefox fixes, even if we fix them faster. I think this is an unwritten rule. People will announce it after fixing the problem, not before it.

6) are you considering adding a general extension interface for opera? In this way, users can add personalized JavaScript, and many users want a more open interface.

We have evaluated this issue many times. we will do something in this area in the future. Now we focus more on Widgets. widgets allow applications to run outside the browser and can be created based on network technology. in terms of expansion, we have always focused on "creating more features in browsers as much as possible so that people can choose from them ". therefore, we create and continuously innovate in a highly integrated manner. we have done a lot-you mentioned that through the extension of user JavaScript, we have made it through the CSS method and we have been searching for new methods. it is obvious that the Firefox method is more scalable now, but in the near future we will launch a simpler method to increase Opera's functionality.

7) you mentioned the built-in functions. As we all know, opera is a military browser. in addition to the browsing function, opera also contains an email client, IRC client, and BT download. what are the following and what are the main features you intend to add in the future?

Will certainly have more features. what we do is try to find out what people want. we think that everyone can get what they want, so what we do is to implement these features while keeping the amount of code small. we will continue to control programs smaller than our competitors, and we have more features. this is what we have been doing. in opera9.5, we added some things, such as the history query function, which means that users can find everything. if you only search for one word, you can find all documents containing that word. if your disk cache is large, you can save history records that last for a month or longer and find any content you have browsed. so this is a very powerful function. we have also introduced the opera link function. You can synchronize your opera bookmarks to the network, so that you can synchronize them through other browsers.

Innovation is what we have been doing, but the focus is on improving browser code. I think there are more things happening on the browser than before. html 5 is coming out and there are many other things. therefore, it is very important to continuously improve the browser code. this is not just about adding new features; browser requirements are also constantly increasing. there is a major change in the network. I think the network is becoming more and more powerful. the network may become a new platform, which is feared by Micrsoft to some extent. we have reason to believe this will happen in the future. this is why we strive for open standards. networks are so important that people can get endless information from them. this will change in some countries where information is controlled, because people can (through the network) obtain information from other countries. in some countries, they do not have fixed lines or it is difficult to build fixed lines. It is very useful to obtain information through mobile networks. we can use opera Mini to help people access the internet.

8) Are there any plans to exit the voice control interface on platforms other than windows?

We need to work together. We need to persuade IBM or other companies to provide this function, because the module is provided by IBM, and we cannot do it independently.

9) Do you want to do it?

Of course. For example, if we want to implement this function on Linux, we will try to persuade IBM.

10) Will the Default User Interface in the 9.50 beta version change when it is finally released? What kind of feedback have you received about the default layout?

Generally, yes. it may change. We have been receiving feedback. but in general, the feedback in this regard is supportive. for all users who use personalized methods, we have been seeking a balance between introducing or changing new things and completely abandoning old things.

11) If you are asked to select a feature, will it certainly cause a great response or will it require a lot of improvement?

I think they are the same sometimes. there are many things that can be improved all the time, and I am a person who always wants to do things better, because I think you can do better. I used opera to do a lot of things, and I implemented some functions using the original version. I made some UIS, So what went wrong was what I did, the normal thing is what our employees do. the last time I compiled some of the code, they took six months to find the bug that was caused by me, so they asked me not to change the code any more.

Opera has a perfect Multi-Window Interface and session management functions. I think this is not available in most other browsers by default. if I use a browser without session management, it will be very difficult. this is an aspect.

Single-key shortcut. this is what we have and I think it is very important. we disable it by default because some users encounter certain buttons and do not know what is going on, but for me this is part of ease of use. there is also a quick dial, both of which are. A user named Brian Campbell wrote something for me. he has muscle disease and lives in Canada. he gave me feedback to make sure that the browser can be used by him. this is a very important feature for me. I think this is very efficient. when I have to use a browser without this function, it will be very painful.

If you like to use the mouse, the mouse gesture will be extremely important. I often use mail. I have more than 50 thousand emails in my inbox and need to quickly find the emails I want. I can search for any keyword in the email. if you send me an email and I want to find all my emails, you can find my emails by pressing one key. then I can check my email. very efficient. one extension of mail is the new history query function. it seems that users can search for more and more contents through a database interface. I think we are processing more and more data. This is a natural feature that people need.

Another aspect is bookmarks. I think many users are not using this function. You can add an alias for your bookmarks. in this way, you can enter this name directly to the website without having to enter the website address or search for it in the bookmarks.

There are also scaling and window-friendly features. in many cases, users need to scale a site. when I use a computer with a relatively small screen, some web designers use 1024 resolution, which is not suitable for small screen display. I can use the window function or narrow it down. if someone's comment on the forum is too long, I can adjust it without scrolling horizontally.

There are many other features that I will not talk about.

12) What features do you think are lagging behind? What is opera missing?

Debugging. currently, Firefox debugging tools are better than opera tools. we have a plan to improve it. similar to firebug. we know that developers complain that opera has nothing to compare. we are solving this problem and we will definitely improve it.

Then there are some people who need extended functions. we may add something similar in the future. we try to make developer work easier, but focus on widgets. we think widgets are more important in some aspects because they can be used across platforms. this is more about converting a template (paradigm) than simply writing a program.

In general, all functions of opera can be improved. the reality is that we can sit here easily and then do something easier on the other, but sometimes small things are more important than big things.

13) How do you coordinate Opera development across the world? What communication tools do you use internally?

You will find that we use many other tools. this is also the complexity I mentioned earlier. when you want to run 100 different projects in a year and grow, your staff are in different places, and the complexity is very high. we use all available tools, including irregular staff meetings and emails. We also use cvs. We also use Skype and chat tools-including many different communication tools. we also communicated through the bug tracking system. therefore, we use many different systems for effective remote work.

14) What is your local market strategy? Do you have different strategies for different regions around the world? If I want to visit opera offices in India and Santiago, what is the difference?

There are differences, but we try to keep something the same in office. but it doesn't mean they will look the same. if you visit our offices in different regions, you will find that they look very different. we try our best to create a good office environment. this is the focus of our offices in every place. it includes the office structure, lighting, so that you can work comfortably, you can do well in team writing, etc. you will find the same passion for work in different office locations. our employees like to work in opera, like their work, and are committed to creating new products. I think this is good.

In some countries such as India, we can outsource as long as we are willing to. It is very important to establish our offices in these countries. This is the opera entity, and we hire those people. it means that we are all family members. therefore, I think this is an important reason for our strategy. It is also because we do not rely on outsourcing.

In view of the complexity of our code, we need very smart talents. we won't win by quantity. the key to the problem lies in absorbing smart people rather than hiring more people. if you hire a lot of people who are not good at writing code, it is very likely that a good program will become a general program.

15) A few years ago, have you seriously considered the acquisition of opera by Microsoft or Google?

Purchase is not what we are pursuing. our focus is to create a company. if we wanted to sell the company, we would have been able to sell a good deal as early as 10 years ago, with only me and Geir (one of the founders of opera ). we just wanted to expand the company and there was no planned change. now we are on the market. If all investors decide to sell, we have no choice. but that is not our purpose. we want to develop our company and launch our products. This is the focus.

16) What kind of resolution Do You Want To submit to the European Commission for Competition against Microsoft in March?

This is a good question. we don't know what resolution will happen. I mean, obviously, we think that the case of Windows Media Player shows a result, but we also believe that the committee will work at their pace. therefore, we hope to get something positive as soon as possible. however, I believe that no matter what happens, there will be positive significance. this shows the importance of standards. I don't know whether there is any association between them, that is, Microsoft announced in a few days that they will support acid2. but unfortunately, they said they won't fully support it later. this is another thing.

In my opinion, it has a certain impact, and this is the positive effect of this matter. we will continue to ensure that network standards have become the backbone of the network and users can freely choose different browsers. whether you are using opera, Firefox, Konqueror, or Safari-you can select these browsers as long as the browser complies with network standards. this is the purpose of doing this and provides users with more choices. I think it is useful in this regard.

However, when will the Committee reach a first-level resolution, such as "OK, we agree" or "second-level compensation measures"? We will wait and see.

17) you mentioned the September ruling, which can be said to be a precedent for the case where Ie is bound to the Windows operating system, which means that the complaint may win. so how much hope do you have for the second part about standards? Do you think the committee may make a decision in favor of you?

If we don't think there is a high probability, we won't propose it. we know there are risks and people will say we are not good. however, we think this issue is too important. the future of the network we are discussing now is worth fighting. we are at risk in doing this, but I think this is a huge benefit for the network as a whole and for the network community. We must try it. frankly speaking, I would be surprised if we didn't get positive results from this incident.

18) which of the two main revenue sources of opera has more profits? Desktop or embedded?

In my opinion, they are equally important. if you investigate, only 20% of the revenue is from the PC end, and the rest is from the embedded part. at the same time, they are closely linked because our desktop browser plays a role in demonstrating our technology.

And, by the way, desktop revenues increased rapidly last year. so I think both are important. We treat them as a whole. some people always ask us, "Why did you give up the desktop field and focus on the mobile part? "Or other similar problems. in our opinion, there is only one network and one network in the world. what we do is to provide you with a good network experience on any device you use. you need a PC segment, Yes, you need a mobile part, TV, or media player. we try our best to allow you to access information and services on various devices. this is our goal. the advantage is that the same code can be used on all devices. therefore, desktop and embedded are not competing but mutually beneficial for us. when we get users in the desktop field, we can become users on mobile devices, and vice versa.

19) You have some shares in opera, but not most of them. Would you like to give us some investment ideas? What kind of company are you interested in? Are you a conservative investor?

All my investments are in opera. I was one of the two founders of opera, so at the beginning I had a 50% stake. after that we had other investors, we assigned some shares to our employees, and we offered them the right to purchase, so my shares began to decrease. but this is not because I am selling it, but someone else joins us as much as possible.

I put all my eggs in one basket. This may not be a wise investment, but I did it. all my investments are in opera and I don't want to change it.

20) if you knew the current situation of Opera when you started opera, what would you do differently?

There are always some things you can do better. when I was creating a company, we were computer scientists from Telenor research, not real businessmen. so there are always some things you can do better, but you don't always know. i'm glad many things haven't happened. i'm glad we didn't sell this company. I'm glad we didn't immediately attract investors-we're actually very close. I'm really glad we didn't do that. some of these events are luck, but I'm glad they have never happened. some things can be improved, but I have to say that I care more about the future than the past. I will learn from the past, but I will not stay in the past.

21) on the other hand, which of the following strategic decisions do you think is very good?

I'm glad we chose a cross-platform product. we have made many decisions over the past few years that people think we will make different choices, including investors. for example, investors want us to do WAP. we do not believe in WAP. We believe that the same network can be deployed everywhere, so we only added support for WAP Standards for opera, but we did not make a WAP browser. for a while, many people have been paying attention to push technology-browsers that don't need to be browsed. You just need to watch the Internet on the TV. we didn't follow suit. We didn't implement that function. you can now use a browser, but we do not think people will passively look at the network. unless you watch a movie, it's another thing. we do not consider passive browsing as the mainstream.

We have also selected some outstanding platforms. for example, we chose to support the BEOs platform. BEOs is a very beautiful Technology Platform. Although it is not outstanding, we are very happy to have done it. we started Symbian very early. Before Symbian was created, it was Psion. people say that what we do is crazy, but I'm happy with what we do. so we have made many decisions over the past few years. supports Linux and Mac. we can actually do more but have limited resources. insufficient funds have always been a problem. we are growing and don't have much money to spend on other aspects. even if we thought about investing more resources here or there, we didn't actually choose. now we have more options and our employees are increasing. This is a good thing.

22) are you planning to turn the opera Prague branch into another development team or do some special activities for the Czech market?

At the beginning, we planned to establish a technical team here, and we also hoped to add local people's attention to opera through this team.

I think some time later we will have employees focusing on the Czech market. however, the first step is to establish a technical office. this is the same as what we do elsewhere. at the beginning, they were both a marketing or technical team. so this is what we plan to do here. it would be reasonable for someone to make a market this year.

Tor odland: The Czech region is very centered. We already have an office in Poland, but it must be a development office. Maybe it is, but not necessarily.

Jon S. von tetzchner: Sometimes it depends on people. We always need smart talent and we will try to recruit them everywhere.

23) there is a huge demand for developers in the Czech Republic. What do you plan to provide to your future employees?

Opera attracts many people. browser is the most common application in the world. if you work in opera, your work will be used by thousands of people around the world. you will get a lot of feedback. I think this is the dream work of every programmer-if you are really interested. if you only want to write code and take money, you are not the one we need. but if you want your code to make a product that many people use, or a product that you will get a lot of feedback, please join us. in some ways, I think many people like our ideas. We are committed to opening up standards and making as many people as possible access to the Internet. this is the talent we need.

24) in addition to Prague, Brno of Moravia is also a popular development center mainly because there are many Polytechnic Universities there. Why do you choose prague?

This is basically decided by some people. now these people are from Oslo. this is our consistent practice. in opera, We have 44 employees of different nationalities. every time we decide to start a new office, what we often do is to dispatch employees-Sometimes they want to go there. I think this place is what they want most. prague is very centered and a very beautiful city with convenient transportation. there are flights directly to Oslo, which I think is a good thing. I think it is not difficult to choose Brno, but Prague is a natural center.

25) I know that you like swimming in cold water. Have you considered swimming in the Vltava River in Prague?


This problem.

Will people swim in it? Clean the water.

Well, it's not the cleanest river in the world, but you can swim in it.

I have a friend who used to swim in the akerselva River in Oslo when he got married. he swam through a tunnel, black holes, and there was something in the river moving, maybe a mouse. so I used to swim in Oslo. It was really cold, but the water was still clean.

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