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(The Atlantic)   Why is Belarus the only country where the Opera browser is #1?   (m.theatlantic.com) divider line 27
    More: Interesting, Belarus, operas, Lukashenko, mobile internet, Soviet republics, browser wars, community manager, browser  
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2220 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Nov 2012 at 11:01 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-20 09:33:05 AM  
Because no one else even knows Opera still exists.

/just a guess
 
2012-11-20 09:54:45 AM  
Probably because "Opera" in Belorussian means porn or something.
 
2012-11-20 09:54:54 AM  
"One of the main reasons why Opera has a large market share in Belarus is because of the Internet infrastructure in the country; it was pretty bad a few years ago," Espen André Øverdahl, one of Opera's community managers wrote in an email, pointing to features that allow users to strip out images and other bandwidth-gobbling web extras.....
.....In short, Belarus's socialist regime made a browser that prized efficiency extra valuable. And although its competitors (especially Chrome) have now largely caught up, it also can't have hurt that Opera was an early leader in security features like encryption, useful in a police state."


It might also be useful to avoid governmental sensors and tracking.
 
2012-11-20 09:58:23 AM  
Why is the former Soviet republic a shining ruby of web browsing rarity? Socialism!

This author's not one to Minsk words...
 
2012-11-20 10:19:49 AM  
So basically, they use Opera because it has so few features that it works best with a weak telecommunications network? Big reason to use Opera there.

Oh, and don't call Belarus socialist. It's the last Western Totalitarian Dictatorship.
 
2012-11-20 11:06:45 AM  

GAT_00: So basically, they use Opera because it has so few features that it works best with a weak telecommunications network? Big reason to use Opera there.

Oh, and don't call Belarus socialist. It's the last Western Totalitarian Dictatorship.


The last bastion of Generalissimo Francisco Franco?.

/Or is he still dead?
 
2012-11-20 11:14:55 AM  
i use opera. (and am not in a baltic country) once upon a time opera was a speedy, no frills browser, that just worked. it was good and stable too, unlike firefox at the time. chrome didn't exist. opera also had the advantage of being pretty damn secure, and perhaps its obscurity still helps there. no one writes viruses, to exploit its flaws, its just not worth the trouble to totally dominate the web in belarus.

now however, it is suffering from the same bloat all the other browsers do. it's slow, and not compatible with a lot of sites that have been optimized for ie, or chrome or ff. sigh, time to change again.
 
2012-11-20 11:25:19 AM  

Nezorf: "One of the main reasons why Opera has a large market share in Belarus is because of the Internet infrastructure in the country; it was pretty bad a few years ago," Espen André Øverdahl, one of Opera's community managers wrote in an email, pointing to features that allow users to strip out images and other bandwidth-gobbling web extras.....
.....In short, Belarus's socialist regime made a browser that prized efficiency extra valuable. And although its competitors (especially Chrome) have now largely caught up, it also can't have hurt that Opera was an early leader in security features like encryption, useful in a police state."

It might also be useful to avoid governmental sensors and tracking.


Makes me wonder though -- why isn't Opera more popular in other authoritarian regimes -- China for example, or Vietnam, or (just to throw out a random country) Equatorial Guinea?
 
2012-11-20 11:32:25 AM  
Because Opera threw the Jew down the well.
 
2012-11-20 11:40:20 AM  
Doesn't the Nintendo Wii use the opera browser?
 
2012-11-20 11:46:36 AM  
Low bandwidth "turbo" mode? I still use it when tethered to my phone to reduce bandwidth usage. It is slower to go through the proxy, but it saves about half of my usage.
 
2012-11-20 11:58:07 AM  

doczoidberg: Doesn't the Nintendo Wii use the opera browser?


Yes, I the Wii browser is based on Opera.

Not sure about the WiiU though.
 
2012-11-20 11:59:37 AM  

GAT_00: So basically, they use Opera because it has so few features that it works best with a weak telecommunications network? Big reason to use Opera there.


community.us.playstation.com
 
2012-11-20 12:03:31 PM  
warthogbrewingco: once upon a time opera was a speedy, no frills browser, that just worked.

This. Until the last couple of versions, Opera's performance utterly shredded every other major browser for the things I actually use the internet for. Recent versions are still pretty good -- compared to IE, Firefox, and Chrome. But not compared to older versions of Opera.


now however, it is suffering from the same bloat all the other browsers do. it's slow, and not compatible with a lot of sites that have been optimized for ie, or chrome or ff. sigh, time to change again.

Most of those sites, meh, I keep a 'major' browser just to run Netflix and YouTube, but that's enough. I'd rather skip the other fancy-ass stuff out there than bother with them. Chrome is incredibly unresponsive and resource-hogging. It's great if you use it for the stuff that it's optimized for, but in my opinion it's a terrible general purpose browser. Firefox used to be pretty good, but good god did they break it. IE is IE.

So I still use Opera for 95% of my internet whatnot. It's no contest. But I wish they'd release a 'lite' version that stops trying to guess what I want, blah blah blah.
 
2012-11-20 12:11:36 PM  
Hi!!!

*posted from a Droid using Opera Mini

*not from Belarus
 
2012-11-20 01:00:26 PM  
Opera has a built-in BitTorrent client.

This may not be coincidental.
 
2012-11-20 01:16:19 PM  

RandomAxe: So I still use Opera for 95% of my internet whatnot. It's no contest.


This.
 
2012-11-20 01:26:13 PM  
Well I still love Opera. it uses so little memory when watching big videos, it uses for 4 hulu vids the same amount of memory as 1 of them on Firefox or IE, and I love Opera. (used Firefox for years but don't like it since 3.6.2, hate the new layout and even with mods, you can't get it as multi-task friendly as the old version.) Opera is great for videos
 
2012-11-20 07:27:40 PM  
I have one question regarding Opera. Why, when saving entire sites (in these days of yard-long filenames), does it do so with filenames in 8.3 format? If they're longer than eight characters they're truncated. If they're shorter than eight they're padded with zeroes. What-the-unholy-fork is that all about?
 
2012-11-21 05:44:17 AM  

unlikely: Because no one else even knows Opera still exists.

/just a guess


You know the "paste and go" context menu item which recently showed up in Firefox? Guess where it came from. How about CSS support, integrated search, popup blocking, bittorrent support, and, of course, tabbed browsing?

Somebody knows it still exists. And they keep on knowing every time they write another version of whatever browser you happen to use. Perhaps someday the guys doing Firefox will take another cue and fix the massive memory leak which they've been ignoring for the better part of a decade or develop a usable bookmarks menu. Perhaps the Chrome guys will eventually give their program a basic level of functionality for people who do more than drool at Facebook. Heck, maybe the others will eventually give you guys the ability to save browsing sessions so that you can pick up where you left off after a reboot - Opera guys have enjoyed that for sixteen years.

That said, I'll drop them like a hot potato if I upgrade from 12.00 and they've continued the recent trend of forcing a Google search every time I type a web address or irrevocably disappearing the menu bar. I have no sense of loyalty - only a sense of practicality. At the moment Opera is the only browser out there which fits everyone's needs, and more importantly to me, it's the only one which fits my own needs.
 
2012-11-21 10:44:07 AM  

Mr. Ekshun: Heck, maybe the others will eventually give you guys the ability to save browsing sessions so that you can pick up where you left off after a reboot


So... about that. Firefox and Chrome have both had this for... a VERY long time. Chrome for at least the last 17 versions, Firefox since I used an add-on to do it in Firebird and stock since at least 2 something.

While Opera is a good browser and has a lot of innovative features, including the best version of tab grouping, it has not proper ad-blocking stuff like Adblock and Ghostery that legitimately worked... ever. I keep trying it every few months, and am usually back off of it in a matter of days.
 
2012-11-21 10:52:32 AM  
I forgot to mention it has terrible proxy support. We have to use one at work (I'm a contractor on a state network) and Opera is the only "major" browser that doesn't work with it.
 
2012-11-22 02:19:40 AM  
for all it's little flaws
i like Opera the best

even if i have to use other browsers
for different purposes
 
2012-11-22 05:04:13 AM  

Quantumbunny: I forgot to mention it has terrible proxy support. We have to use one at work (I'm a contractor on a state network) and Opera is the only "major" browser that doesn't work with it.


I've never had the slightest trouble with its proxy support.
 
2012-11-22 12:38:49 PM  

Quantumbunny: Mr. Ekshun: Heck, maybe the others will eventually give you guys the ability to save browsing sessions so that you can pick up where you left off after a reboot

So... about that. Firefox and Chrome have both had this for... a VERY long time. Chrome for at least the last 17 versions, Firefox since I used an add-on to do it in Firebird and stock since at least 2 something.

While Opera is a good browser and has a lot of innovative features, including the best version of tab grouping, it has not proper ad-blocking stuff like Adblock and Ghostery that legitimately worked... ever. I keep trying it every few months, and am usually back off of it in a matter of days.


You mean like this and this?

And custom-blocking elements is trivially easy with the built-in blocking functionality and stuff like Content Block Helper.

Other than when I've set a deliberate exception, I rarely see ads in Opera. What function are you looking for that you're not finding?
 
2012-11-22 05:21:52 PM  

Isildur: Quantumbunny: Mr. Ekshun: Heck, maybe the others will eventually give you guys the ability to save browsing sessions so that you can pick up where you left off after a reboot

So... about that. Firefox and Chrome have both had this for... a VERY long time. Chrome for at least the last 17 versions, Firefox since I used an add-on to do it in Firebird and stock since at least 2 something.

While Opera is a good browser and has a lot of innovative features, including the best version of tab grouping, it has not proper ad-blocking stuff like Adblock and Ghostery that legitimately worked... ever. I keep trying it every few months, and am usually back off of it in a matter of days.

You mean like this and this?

And custom-blocking elements is trivially easy with the built-in blocking functionality and stuff like Content Block Helper.

Other than when I've set a deliberate exception, I rarely see ads in Opera. What function are you looking for that you're not finding?


I've tried the Opera adblocks. They don't seem to work in some scenarios. Ones really important to me... like blocking ads in Flash. I didn't know for years that Youtube or Pandora had ads within the streams... until I left Firefox. That said, I saw other ads, but that was awhile back, I could give it another shot, It's likely they improved. Chrome had the issue with their blocking until about 9 months ago.

I'll try again, but I'm skeptical.

Also, at work, Opera is out due to proxy issues I mentioned. I may have to come back and post them since others don't believe, but a lot of Opera connects to opera crap, like the development tools connect to dragonfly.opera.com or something... which the proxies at work won't allow.
 
2012-11-23 02:57:24 AM  

Quantumbunny: I'll try again, but I'm skeptical.


I probably should mention that I also use (occasionally updated) HOSTS files in place on my computers, which probably also contributes to me not seeing many ads.

Opening up the Dragonfly dev panel does cause it to open connections to dragonfly.opera.com if that's accessible, but the Dragonfly console generally seems to continue working fine without any connection to that address or even the outside internet at all (I just double-checked, to be certain).

Opera also, of course, connects to opera.com for things like its optional "Turbo" page-processing mode, "sitecheck2.opera.com" to check against fraudulent sites, autoupdate.opera.com, etc.

These can be disabled in the prefs dialog or by going to opera:config (suggestion: enter "opera.com" in the setting search box) if for some reason even making the request is problematic under your circumstances, although I have difficulty imagining why Opera's making the request would be a problem, if the requests are just failing quietly due to some limits set by your proxy.

My experience with using proxies in Opera has mostly been to use HTTP/HTTPS proxies for accessing various academic journal sites that require institutional subscriptions. I've never had a problem with that, as far as I can remember, either with manually set proxy addresses or with automatic configuration scripts. Perhaps for some other sort of proxy uses problems are more common; I can't say.
 
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