Here are the 5 things I'd like to see in Opera:
- Attention for advanced users
- More transparent development process
- Extension API
- More extensive UI
- Better Documentation
Attention for advanced users
Many features and a lot of development time seems to go into making novices happy and comfortable. All of the additional clients (torrents, mail, rss, irc) lack advanced functionality. It is common knowledge that they are there just for light usage. This trickles over into other areas.
- Web Developer tools: A firebug killer
- Improved source viewer: line numbering, ability to jump to lines, syntax highlighting
- Opera sponsored/hosted Userjs repository: Userjs was a part of Opera way before widgets, but widgets are glorified like they are the coolest things since sliced bread.
More transparent development process
- bug tracking system: The bug tracking system is sometimes referred to as a black hole. You can literally report a bug and never know if and when it's fixed or otherwise closed. That is not remotely user/community-friendly. It makes the whole bug reporting process leave a sour taste in my mouth. I've actually considered applying to work for Opera since Quality Assurance is my profession. Although I would possibly have access to the data I wanted, the problem would not be fixed. Opera tries to portray the image that its very community centric but still I can't even get an email when my bug is closed, marked as invalid, or fixed. That seems rather unfair. People are putting their time and effort into finding and reporting bugs and some of us go the extra steps of making test cases and what do we get in return? A virtual kick in the teeth. [Side note: Instead of saying I 'filed a bug', I say I cast a stone into Opera and the BTS of Secrets TM]
- more extensive change logs: As it has been said time and time again, the change logs (both for weeklies and official releases) only contain a small percentage of the changes that actually take place. It has been said a few times that not very many people are interested in this and would not read it. That is so very true. I'd like to think that I and my nerd kind are still important even though we are not large in numbers.
- 'Feature Request' added as an option in the bug report wizard: under 'What kind of problem is this?'. The current option 'Other Problems' portrays the message that if its not a 'Spec Violation', 'Security Issue', or 'Crashes Opera', then it should be thrown in the bucket with all the other bugs. EDIT: Having the feature requests reported to an external source sets a precedent of low priority and inferiority. "Don't clutter our important issues with your petty requests". I have used mantis, jira, bugzilla, trac, bountysource, and whatever sourceforge uses but never before have I seen feature requests/improvements reported outside of the bts. I'm aware it is named a bug tracking system but all of the creators of the software included 'feature requests' as an option on purpose and for a good reason. I'm sure internally there is an option in the bts for feature requests. I know this would create a big influx of traffic but unless Opera is struggling to make ends meet they could increase QA staff or someone just to weed out dupes, etc.
I don't know what to say here. This is a hot button. People always cry about performance loss and security issues. I have faith that Opera devs can development an extension api that outperforms mozilla's and is more secure. Userjs can steal passwords and log keys just like an extension would but I've not seen anyone campaigning to remove userjs from Opera. Perhaps, like many other features, Opera could make it hidden unless you take advantage of it (mail, bit torrent, widgets (sort of)). Firefox extension api keeps it ahead of the pack in many aspects. Opera came out with a brand new feature, Speed Dial. A week or 2 later, firefox has a more customizable version of Speed Dial. Many Opera users are still requesting more customization options for Speed Dial still today. The playing field is not level. Firefox and extensions are in the lead. Besides MDI and performance... Anything Opera can do, Firefox can do (better?). Many Opera-originated features have been copied or emulated by Firefox extensions. The Top 150 Popular Firefox Extensions and Opera is a good example. You'll notice Opera is trying to set itself equal to the extensions of Firefox. (The less than 100 desktop team members compared to the work hundreds (thousands?) of extension developers... not just these extensions). You'll notice there is not a list in reverse where Firefox is trying to make itself equal to some functionality in Opera (not to my knowledge at least... feel free to correct me). Virtually anything Firefox wants from Opera can be copied, emulated, or improved on with an extension.
More extensive User Interface
There are too many things that require manually editing .ini files. In the forums, it is not uncommon for noobs and novices to be told to edit xyz.ini to change some feature or setting. Opera:config is a good start but it still has a way to go.
I don't understand why it is necessary for users to reverse engineer Opera's capabilities to get it documented. Does Opera have a documentation team? Have they considered hiring one? I've been using Opera for quite some time but Google, myself, and various staff members still don't know if and how Remote Script Debugger works. Is it enabled and lying dormant? Did it ever work? Does it require a special server? protocol? (These are not rhetorical questions btw.)
EDIT: I'd also like incremental updates with the ability to update to weeklies.