Last night I went to Opera user gathering in Eslité Café to meet Andreas Bovens, Group Leader of Developer Relations at Opera Software. He is the person who lead a team of talents at Opera, creating wonderful documentations about web standard for web developers.
There are about 10 people showed up, and we discussed a lot of issues about the web, the Taiwanese market and users, and coming features of Opera. I showed Andreas how Telnet BBS works, and just like Gen he was shocked how come there are still people use this thing, and the biggest social network website in Taiwan is not even an website.
Vincent Li, VP of sales in Taiwan talked about how Opera provide a viable solution to mobile makers, compare to open source solutions like Gecko or Webkit. It turns out the rendering engine of Opera itself is design to be slim and fast, and all Opera has to do is to hire a lot of people to deliver different UI for different devices; this solution proved to be more successful than asking companies hires their own developer to modify source code of OSS browsers.
Jack Wu, the person contracted to translate Opera UI since Opera 7 also showed up. We had a little talk about how he gets feedback from users on UI names; currently Opera pass these information as a ordinary software company, with customer service and issue trackers, but Jack said he would like to see if it’s possible to build up an online forum of users.
Andreas introduced us some of the coming features on
Opera 10 , like round borders and border images; Opera will also support CSS transition on coming version. He asked us what browser features we would like to see for the Taiwanese users; Jack mentioned Traditional-Simplified Chinese conversion, and I simply went through the top extensions list on MozTW website, and discussed why people cannot leave IE6, IE shell, or IE Tab because of IE only websites and banking services, and how popular Telnet BBS is so people are tied to PCMan; that’s when I ended up demo BBS to him with Othree‘s Mac. We also discussed in great detail about mobile browsers and websites.
Peko Wan, Communications Manager in Taiwan, who held the event (thanks, by the way), talked about how she would like to bootstrap Opera community in Taiwan. With Bob, they also discussed about how can we join forces to promote web standards. She also told us Opera is going to announce something big next Thursday; they will hold a luncheon with the media in Taipei. So if you are an Opera user, stay tuned to her blog on these matter.
Opera is really successful among B2B market, for B2C, I do think Opera Taiwan and MozTW could do a lot of things together.
Lastly, didn’t I mentioned I am a Opera user too? As a locale maintainer, of course Mozilla Firefox is the choice of browser when it comes to desktop, but on a mobile phone, Opera Mini is the choice, yeah!