Thank you and goodbye!
By Trond. Friday, September 15, 2006 1:14:47 PM
It's been a long ride and it has mostly been great fun, but as with so many other things in life, it has to end at some point, and I just wanted to say thank you and goodbye to our users before I leave, and spend a moment looking back.
When I started back in june 1999 I was supposed to port Opera to AmigaOS, but instead I ended up leading the design and UI development
of the Windows version, and later the Desktop version after we completed the platform independent UI kit for Opera 7. Looking back, I'm reminded about the fact that things often take a lot longer time than planned.
To show what I mean, here's a comparison between Opera from 2005 and a "this is how I want my Opera" mock-up that I made back in year 2000.
I'm usually a less-is-more kind of guy, and really wanted this kind of simple design for Opera back then, but for those that remember the old Opera versions, you know there were a lot of things that needed to change before getting there. Why did it take so long? Well, that's often the cost of changing an existing product instead of making a brand new one..
- Legacy. If you try to change too much at one time, current users will protest.
- Compatibility. Even if you change the default, you might need to support changing back to the old way.
- Technology. I had to develop the platform independent UI kit first. (We didn't dare to use HTML for UI at that point because of performance and platform compatibility issues)
- Focus. Before Opera became ad-free, the focus was more on feature-richness to make a certain niche market willing to pay for it.
With Opera 9, things are pretty decent, but there's still a ton of things I would have wanted to change,simplify and extend, but it's time for me to move on and let others take it further.
I'm off to make music while I think about what to do next..
So thank you and goodbye!
Trond Werner Hansen.