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back to article Google misses Russian trick with Opera snubs

Opera CTO Håkon Wium Lie believes Google is missing a serious opportunity in failing to support Opera as a "top tier" browser, especially in Russia, where Opera is the leading browser with 30 to 40 per cent of the market. When Mountain View introduced its Google Instant, for instance, the "real time" search service was not …

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implausible

30 to 40 per cent of the market? 3 to 4 percent - maybe.

Yandex figure sounds about right, Opera's - not so.

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Boffin

A quick unscientific look...

...at our Russian-language site has 25% Firefox, 22.2% IE, 20% Chrome, 16.75% Safari and 15.75% Opera amoungst Russian users. Nowhere near 30%, but still more than I'd have imagined.

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Def
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Implausible

Do you really never believe anything that you don't like the sound of?

All you needed to do was follow the link in the story and look at the browser stats: http://www.liveinternet.ru/stat/ru/browsers.html?slice=ru

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Coat

You're probably right

It's probably mostly malware using Opera in its User-Agent header.

Getting me coat ...

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FAIL

Implausible?

"30 to 40 per cent of the market? 3 to 4 percent - maybe."

This is about RUSSIA, where it has significant market share (about 30% according to StatCounter). Pay attention, please.

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Linux

No no no!

I'm getting flashbacks to 1999, trying to get HTML and JavaScript to work correctly on multiple browsers and platforms. I got so fed up with the futility of it I decided to divert my career to sysadmin work.

Do I understand correctly that now, 12 years later the most (?) standards compliant browser actually requires hacks to make a popular site work properly?

* assume foetal position

* hug a penguin

* rock gently

Ah, happy place ...

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Yes, you do indeed understand correctly.

It's a living nightmare.

IE 9 is fairly close to standards; it has a few problems, but only as many as, say, Safari. IE 8 a bit less so. IE 7 at least supports most of CSS 2, which is more than could be said for IE 6. Oh, and don't forget 'quirks mode' - that adds another one (or two!) rendering styles to each browser. So, supporting IE *all by itself* means you're supporting a minimum of 7 rendering styles (and that's not including IE 6). Because you have no idea if someone is browsing the web with IE 9 in standards mode, in IE 7 mode, in IE 8 mode, or in IE 7 quirks mode; IE 8 in standards mode, in IE 7 mode, or in IE 8 quirks mode; or IE 7 in standards mode or quirks mode. I suppose you could use a complicated JavaScript routine to figure it out, but that's just nasty.

When a browser is unsupported - like Google, not supporting Opera - it's because there are a few bugs here and there. It's to be expected; even a written-to-standards browser will differ from another written-to-standards browser in a few places, simply because the standard itself is ambiguous. Supporting IE, however, takes so much time that almost any other browser falls to the wayside...

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Anonymous Coward

I was unaware that Google was under any obligation to Opera

or any other browser, come to think of it.

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FAIL

Not when you're so big*

You create something non-standard/non-compliant, and it's everyone else's problem to deal with it.

* Also see Microsoft, re. Internet Explorer.

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Grenade

Re: I was unaware that Google was under any obligation to Opera

I'd expect them to make at least a half-hearted attempt at supporting Chrome...

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Flame

@NogginTheNog

"You create something non-standard/non-compliant, and it's everyone else's problem to deal with it."

Actually, yes, it is. Customers can vote with their feet if they like, but that's up to them and you are under no obligation to make your products compatible with theirs.

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Silver badge

Not having Google Instant,

is one of the benefits of Opera, but I would like Google to pay a bit more respect, as Gmail doesn't play ever so nice with OperaMobile.

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Bjork!

Most of the time Opera is 100% compatible, it's Google that does the browser sniffing and doesn't server the advanced features. Instant work's perfectly with Opera if you change the useragent, as do the new fancy image search results page.

It's very frustrating, because I'd like to change the UA to get the newer features, but then my hit's will be showing up as traffic for FF rather than Opera.

Since Google got into the browser business things have gone down hill, serving less featured pages to competitors browsers harks back to the bjork day's of M$ and Opera.

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WTF?

what?!

You're deliberately harming your own browsing experience because it might imprive firefox's stats? Way to go! You fight The Man!

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FAIL

I can agree with him...

I go to a website that deliberately stops my browser from using it fully.

I (and many others) figure out that reporting my browser as a different browser makes it work.

The company reviews hits to its site, sees that my browser has a very low hit count, and thus continue to not support it.

Opera was the first browser to have user agent switching, and as such, will always be reported low; I don't know how low, it could be a dozen hits or a billion hits. There's really no way to tell. But it does have an impact.

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Stop

Hang on one second....

If opera is such a top-tier browser shouldn't it be standards-compliant and any changes google make not cause any problems? As far as I can tell any change google makes to it's website is standards compliant, so why does opera have any problems with it? Browser hacks in such a browser is an insult to any user and justifies google's choice.

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Bronze badge

"As far as I can tell any change google makes to it's website is standards compliant"

And you're vouching for that? Whilst spelling "its" with an apostrophe? You do not convince me, I'm afraid.

...not that any browser implements a standard perfectly and unambiguously: particularly the latter: there's always something that can be read in two or more ways.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Opera is complient, but

google does browser sniffing and sends a different page to Opera then to "first tier" browsers. Google specifically feeds Opera crap, and there really isn't anything else Opera can do about it. If you set the page to Firefox, it renders just fine.

Personally I think this is like if ford bought BP and started started selling higher quality petrol, but only to Ford owners. Would ford suddenly be the best automobile? Google (and anyone else using UA detection) are asshats who need bound and quartered.

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FAIL

Re: Hang on one second....

"If opera is such a top-tier browser shouldn't it be standards-compliant and any changes google make not cause any problems?"

You are assuming that Google's pages are standards compliant. They aren't.

"As far as I can tell any change google makes to it's website is standards compliant"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... please stop.. you are killing me!

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Rerun of Microsoft IE6 incompatibility ?

Some years ago Microsoft damaged the prospects of other browsers with a raft of incompatible extensions and features that only worked in IE6 etc. (though ultimately this backfired).

I hope Google aren't trying a similar technique to try to kill off the smaller browsers.

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<drumroll>

Boo-gle.

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Anonymous Coward

Speaking as a developer...

Opera's claims to being "the most standards compliant" are slightly misleading, yes, it complies with the standards but does a judicious amount of creative interpretation of those standards, particularly where ECMA-Script comes into the mix.

There are times I find it easier to support IE6 and up (and everyone else) than trying to make it work right in Opera!

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FAIL

When did Opera make that claim?

When did Opera claim to be "the most standards compliant" exactly? I've never heard any Opera employee make that claim.

And no, it does not do any more "creative interpretation" of standards than any other browser.

And your IE6 comment just is just silly.

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Opera mobile...

... has been the bane of my existence. The main reason i no longer use it is because i couldn't post comments here always returning an uknown request. So , on my blackberry, I'm stuck between the native browser's memory impotence and opera's haphazardness.

Opera (esp. mobile) leaves a great lot to be desired :-(

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WTF?

Works fine here

Opera Mobile works fine here. Odd.

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Anonymous Coward

Opera?

Is that thing still around?

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Thumb Up

Still around?

Oh yes, the only browser we use in this household.

Fast, live syncs all the PCs including the Linux one, so whichever PC we use it has the same face - I believe that Firefox can also do this now; better late than never I suppose.

Also, I only have one window open with all the family's email accounts and the browser at the same time.

And I don't care if google supports it or not.

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Flame

@A.C. -- Yeah, and it works better than anything else too.

When Firefox fails, such as its failure to print certain sites (a regular occurrence)--a bug it's had since at least version 2--then Opera comes to the rescue and just works.

Opera's down-loader is more reliable than anything else and it saves MHTML (.MHT) files natively whereas Firefox hasn't a clue about such things (yet even IE does).

That's for starters (can't be bothered restating more of the bloody obvious to the blinkered).

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Anonymous Coward

"yet even IE [supports MHT]"?

Microsoft invented invented the evil that is MHT in IE5. It's probably not been adopted as a standard in the 12 years since RFC2557 was proposed for a reason. MHT is nothing but trouble in my experience.

And as one of "the blinkered", I've tried Opera- several times- and I fail to see the magic. Maybe I just haven't got the gift of faith to see its holy light.

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WTF?

The magic?

There's no "magic." If you like it, fine. If you don't, that's fine too. But why are you so concerned about Opera users expressing that they like and use the browser? You don't see anyone bashing the Chrome fanboys who can't stop going on and on and on about Chrome.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually...

I've not noticed any serious Chrome fanboys- point me to a post from one and I'll reconsider! Opera fans do seem to be the most vocal of the bunch for some reason... it's them that seem to think it's magic. I only object to them as much as I object to the sort of evangelical Christian that insists on trying to convert me. I just find it a bit annoying.

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Bronze badge

Real time search

Annoys me so I would prefer they didn't add it to Opera (Unless the option to disable it was there and stayed disabled like I asked), nothing wrong with typing my keywords and hitting the enter key.

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strange

I never understood that Russian anomaly. It's been going on for years.

Anyway in an ideal world nobody would use Opera.

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WTF?

No, in an ideal world, nobody would use IE.

Opera may have a few quirks, but as compared to the hellhole that is IE, those quirks are a bed of roses.

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FAIL

An ideal world...

Why would no one be using Opera in an ideal world?

Apparently your "ideal world" is a fascist world where people are told what they should be using.

The great thing about the world as it is, is that you get to choose. Some choose Opera. If you don't like Opera, that's fine. But being a nazi and basically saying that Opera users should be killed is too stupid for words.

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WTF?

Simple - It's not invented here syndrome

Simple really. It's not invented here syndrome.

Still, I use it.

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