Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Opera gets proactive and helps you fix your code

Category: Opera

<p>Opera is being very pro-active and have been hiring folk to give compliance feedback for sites that aren’t working well on Opera.

Nik Cubrilovic covered this on the new TechCrunch IT blog:

Opera Software is building a team of “web evangelists” whose job it is to find sites that do not display correctly in Opera and are not standards-compliant, and then email the site owners. They are sending emails with specific tips on how to fix HTML, CSS or other issues that don’t make sites compliant. Opera has always been a strong advocate for web standards, and this initiative is good for not only Opera but standards support on the web in general.

On the Opera jobs website, there are job listings for multiple web evangelist positions. They are hiring in Norway, China, South Korea, the Czech Republic and the USA – so it is a multi-lingual global effort.

How would you take the advice? An email like this:

Hello from Opera Software,

We have recently come to know that [retracted] is not displaying
properly in Opera. It stems from an Opera bug which we plan have resolved and should be out with the next release. However, till that time, it would be nice if you could tweak the site on your end to make it work with Opera.

Just add “overflow-y:visible;” to the “Body” of the web page in the CSS file. Or you can just put

  1. body {
  2.  overflow-y:visible;
  3. }

In the <style> section of the pages, and it should make the pages display with Opera perfectly. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us.

If it was for general standards as well as Opera specific comments, then I would be quite happy :)

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Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:34 am
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I’m afraid it looks like you’ve been hacked – there’s invisible spam text at the footer of this entry (it’s hidden using display:none but it shows up in Google Reader because that strips style attributes).

Comment by SimonWillison — June 26, 2008

Seconded for spam :(

Comment by fullman — June 26, 2008

That’s WordPress for you. -_-’

I swear, just the other day I heard WordPress is starting to become the Microsoft Windows of web frameworks, and I’m starting to believe it.

Comment by mdmadph — June 26, 2008

@mdmadph: If you’ve ever looked at the WordPress source code, its probably as bloated and poorly maintained as the Windows source code. It’s been ~2 years since I have, so it might be better now, but man talk about a clusterf***k of includes and stuff.

Comment by tj111 — June 26, 2008

Well, maybe it’s time for a rewrite! WordPress has such a good community behind it — it’s amazing that everyone can’t get together and fix the problems.

Comment by mdmadph — June 26, 2008

I remember when WordPress first started getting big it’s all I would use for 90% of small sites and blogs. Nowadays I hear (correct me If I am wrong) that an average page view may run several dozen SQL statements. Plugins such as WP-Cache have helped, but it’s like putting gum on a pipe leak.

That being said, I also believe WordPress simply wasn’t and isn’t written to be scalable commercial software.

Comment by matanlurey — June 26, 2008

Back on topic…

When I originally heard of this practice, I thought: Great! Its Opera, they’re all about promoting standards!

That was until I saw they’re also doing it for Opera-specific bugs – which, if anything, is against standards.

Now, if it were just for the standards stuff, I’d support it 100%. But with the Opera-specific bugs, its just another company trying to shape the web to try to get more marketshare.

Comment by Unfocused — June 26, 2008

@Unfocused
I think you’ll find that practically all websites work around browser bugs in one way or another, be it IE, FF or Opera. The difference is that Opera’s marketshare is a lot smaller and thus people don’t spend the time looking for ways to solve them, or may not even test in Opera at all.

It was a rather poorly chosen example though.

Comment by peroo — June 26, 2008

Wait one moment, here’s what I got out of that:

“Our software doesn’t work properly. So, we were wondering if you could add something to your standards compliant website so it displays on our buggy software properly.”

Comment by whyisjasontaken — June 27, 2008

No, not at all, it’s “Your web site is not standards-compliant. Our software will soon work around your flaws, but in the mean time would you please clean up the bad code that you plastered on the web and made our standards-compliant software look bad??”

Comment by stimpy77 — June 27, 2008

Umm.. I’m probably not updated..

Was it announced somewhere that to make a page standard compliant, it has to have “overflow-y:visible;” in the “Body”?

Could not find it as a requirement in W3C specifications.
Maybe you’re talking about a different standard?

Comment by moshe — June 27, 2008

Opera Software is building a team of “web evangelists” whose job it is to find sites that do not display correctly in Opera **AND** are not standards-compliant, and then email the site owners.

Comment by stimpy77 — June 29, 2008

Wouldn’t be easier for Opera to just add support and make all the no’s yes’ to this list:
http://www.opera.com/docs/specs/js/ecma/

Particularly for arguments.callee.caller

Comment by C4 — July 1, 2008

The article is right, but the example email is poor. The vast majority of the emails that we write to people is to point out that they’re coding to IE-only markup or quirks, and that if they change it to our suggestedc fix, it’ll work better in *all* browsers.

The initiative is called Open The Web, and is one of the responsibilities of us Web Evangelists. My job (as a teacher and accessibility wonk) also sees me teaching n00bs about standards and accessibility; others on the team speak at high-end web conferences. The aim is to promote use of standards rather than sell Opera (although we do gain in the long run if people use standards).

And, yeah, we’re still hiring. Any Brazilians or Russians reading?

Comment by bruceOpera — December 5, 2008

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