In October 1997 we started Project Magic, an initiative to gauge
user interest in Opera for operating systems other than MS
We asked them to express their interest, how much they'd be
prepared to pay for it, and if they'd be willing to prefund the
Five months after the start of Project Magic, we closed the
'voting station'. Although the figures as of 30 November 97, the
first official cut-off, were compelling enough, we decided to leave
the 'voting station' open for other enthusiasts to post their
Over those weeks, thousands of delighted users pledged their
support. In return, we started looking for 'solutions'. We have
found some, but we have also stumbled across a lot of hurdles,
resulting in some OS still being in discussion rather than under
development. This is because we have NOT asked for the prefunding,
making things a lot more difficult than if we had the money to just
hire programmers ourselves.
We are committed to bringing Opera to the most popular
platforms, while at the same time appreciate your support and
patience while development is under way.
I'm sure our customers would like to know just where you are
at with the Opera for Linux code. Could you give us a few details
to go along with this screenshot regarding
how the Linux browser is progressing?
JVT: We are making some definite progress with
the Linux version. It still has some way to go, but at least the UI
and the new cross-platform core are working together. Interestingly
the work on this version has created a side-effect in a text only
browser which is very small and fast. This may become a product in
itself for use instead of Lynx as well as a base product on
machines with limited capabilities (Mobile phones, etc.). There is
a lot of capabilities in a very small package.
Will you be releasing a beta soon?
JVT: We do not want to say any date at this
time, but yes.
The text browser looks pretty interesting, will Opera for
Linux then come with a console mode (text only)?
JVT: The text version is more likely to come as
a separate product. We are considering the interest in it at this
time. In any case it is a great cross- platform base.
How do you view the text browser as fitting in with the
Opera product line?
JVT: The text browser is a result of our work
to make Opera a truly cross-platform product. It actually works
just as well on Windows as on Linux. Off the top of my head I'd say
a small footprint, cross-platform browser could do quite well in
the market today and fit in nicely with some emerging technologies,
plus a good number of people are using Lynx at this time and we
believe we can provide a kind of super-Lynx, if the interest is
Will you be releasing the text browser soon as a beta
product for testing?
JVT: We're conducting market studies now and of
course, as always, we're listening to our users.
Back to Opera for Linux, do you envision it being a stable
browser? How will it compete performance wise with Netscape for
JVT: We aim to keep the high standards we have
set before on stability and then some. Our aim is that users should
be able to use Opera continuously without any problems at all.
Speed has always been a major thing with Opera and the Linux
version is not going to be different. In fact our tests have
indicated Opera for Linux is a lot faster than Netscape. However,
you will soon be able to test this for yourself.
What will Opera for Linux cost?
JVT: $35 for a single license.
Will those who have purchased Opera for Windows get a
discount on Opera for Linux?
JVT: This has not been decided upon. These are
two different products, but we appreciate the question and are
evaluating what to do.
Will Opera for Linux be based on the new QT2.0 from Troll
How soon after the release of Opera for Linux will we see a
JVT: We aim to support any UNIX/Linux platform
where there is real demand and Qt is available.
Well, thanks very much for taking the time out to answer my
questions Jon. It looks like the Linux port is progressing well and
it must be a very exciting time for Opera.
JVT: Yes, thank you, its very exciting to see
how well the Opera for Linux port seems to be working out, we're
extremely pleased with it.
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