Mein Brief an Jon S. von Tetzchner

Man wirft ja gerade in Weblogs gerne mit An- und Bemerkungen um sich, die an irgendwelche Web- oder andere Größen gerichtet sind und von eben diesen ohnehin nicht wahrgenommen werden. Man kann aber auch anders – und eine Nachricht an einen Software-CEO auch tatsächlich abschicken. Wie ich es mit der folgenden Nachricht, geschrieben nach dem vorhergehenden Eintrag in einer ruhigen Minute an Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO der Norwegerbrowserstricker Opera, getan habe. Und vielleicht liest er sie sogar selbst – womit ich den Norwegerbrowserstrickern vollends verfallen wäre…

Dear Jon von T. (or whoever reads this mail),

I’ve been – on and off – an Opera user since the days of Opera 3, I’ve paid for several licenses of Opera, and I’m now a user of Opera 8.54 on both my Ubuntu Linux and Windows systems. Although I find the idea of open source software irresistible, I also like Opera very much – so much that I accept it as the only major piece of proprietary software on an otherwise OSS system.

This having said, I begin to notice a disturbing development: People have started to steal from Opera. OK, that may not exactly be news to you; even Internet Explorer is said to have tabbed browsing in the next release (not that I would know…). Still, there was plenty of functionality that made Opera unique: As an email power user, I’ve tested many mail clients and ended using Opera’s M2. As an avid RSS reader, I’m using Opera’s RSS module. I also use Operas notetaking functionality.

Or so I did. Recently, I’ve noticed a strange behavior: Whenever I’m on the road, be it with my own notebook (and Opera installed on it), in an Internet café, or at somebody else’s computer, I’m doing my mail with Gmail. I started using a web-based RSS reader to have a consistent reading list, and del.icio.us for bookmarking. And now I’ve found that Google has launched a browser-based notebook function which seems to offer all that Opera’s notebook module offers – just on the Web and available from everywhere.

Now, I know that one of Opera’s core values is privacy and security. Still: If there was an easy and comfortable way to save my Opera settings (if not the entire .Opera directory) somewhere on the web, so I could access all my browsing and mail data from more than one Opera installation – that would be, well, not exactly heaven, but still great. And I wouldn’t have to rely on Firefox extensions (or Opera bookmarks) to comfortably work with all these services, be it Google or others.

Just a thought. Thanks for reading this.

Best regards

Konstantin Klein, Opera user