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Topic: Spreading the word across the web (Read 1630 times)

  • jim0214
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Spreading the word across the web
RC-6 has been doing just fine. It's been very stable for me. I've been posting comments and reviews on websites about our little browser.  I thought it would be fair of me to show what I have written.

{{{ I've been using Otter Browser for about a year and half now. Being a Opera user for about 18 years. I'm still hanging on to the last Presto engine with Opera 12.18. Just wish they hadn't gone and gotten all stupid, deciding to be Chrome's little brother. Call it what you want,,, it's Google! Most people don't know it, but the features that browser's have today, came from Opera. Multiple tabs, private browsing, saved sessions, popup/content blocker, mouse gestures and a great built-in e-mail client. There is more, just to many to list. Otter is the best browser holding on to the features and traditions that made Opera 12.18 great. Otter lets you customize it's look and feel any way you want. It's light and fast and has become very stable. In the past it was pretty buggie, but no longer is that the case. Most of the work on it has been under the hood. For that reason, Otter isn't the best looking girl at the dance. Going so far as to say, it has a face made more for radio. It's a work in progress that's coming along very nicely. After a coat of paint and hanging some curtains Otter will be everything Opera lost.}}}

Okay,  I'm a sales and marketing guy. I don't know jack about code, unless your talking about the code the wife and I use when we don't want the kids to know what we're talking about. I have written a little user JavaScript to get pages to work the way I want and knocked around finding that radio button someone did or didn't click to get the software working again. Along with knowing how to flash my Oneplus phone. It's better than most, but not great!
What I do know, is how to talk my ass off and get people to listen and I want this project to take wings and fly. If I can help in some way, let me know!

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #1
A good way for those who'd like to support Otter but don't know how is to have Otter's default user agent string on display, at least. And you just did it :up:

The project lacks manpower, that's coders. This is probably the most acute problem. This is where I cannot help.

I tried to help for a while with writing help pages and/or documentation, but I soon discovered that documentation is really something the developer must do himself. If another person tries to document what the developer is doing, the other person should be living in the developer's head and that's tough to do.

If/when someone else is writing help pages, it must be done based on documentation and, in an ongoing project, one must take the roadmap into account. So there should be a roadmap also. It would suffice if the project were done in reasonably human-readable coding languages (thus self-explanatory and even self-documenting), but since this is not the case, I cannot write even help pages adequately. I can only write what I dream Otter to be and this may easily wander off.

Is this the appropriate moment now for me to lay down what I dream Otter to be? Maybe another day.

  • exley
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #2
mmm dunno for other platforms, but on windows, Otter is quite glitchy, and freezes alot for minor reasons
until stability becomes 99%, to me Otter is not "prime time" yet

but is very close though

  • jim0214
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #3
A good way for those who'd like to support Otter but don't know how is to have Otter's default user agent string on display, at least. And you just did it :up:

The project lacks manpower, that's coders. This is probably the most acute problem. This is where I cannot help.

I tried to help for a while with writing help pages and/or documentation, but I soon discovered that documentation is really something the developer must do himself. If another person tries to document what the developer is doing, the other person should be living in the developer's head and that's tough to do.



If/when someone else is writing help pages, it must be done based on documentation and, in an ongoing project, one must take the roadmap into account. So there should be a roadmap also. It would suffice if the project were done in reasonably human-readable coding languages (thus self-explanatory and even self-documenting), but since this is not the case, I cannot write even help pages adequately. I can only write what I dream Otter to be and this may easily wander off.

Is this the appropriate moment now for me to lay down what I dream Otter to be? Maybe another day.

I completely agree with you. I was offer writing documention. I came up with the idea of using Opera's documention as template/guide. Thinking a little more about it, it would have the same effect as something that happens in the States now. After purchasing something made in China and trying to read the assembling instructions. Yes, it's written in english, but not by someone who speaks the english language. My writing would be the same, nonsensical and as clear as mud! Giving parts of documention to write could be delegated to volunteers, but they'd still have a need to be in contact with the coders or at least someone acting as the go between. Seems to me, a better approach, is to spread out trying to find coders willing to help. Even if they wrote only a partial of code, it's better than no code. Allowing them to not feel so overwhelmed and time consuming. After the task is completed, then write docs

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #4
I was offer writing documention. I came up with the idea of using Opera's documention as template/guide.
So did I. Great minds think alike :)

However, this idea presupposes that the developer's plan is also to methodically follow Opera's documentation as template/guide. For example, the plan of development could be to take Opera's list of commands and actions, see how they operate in Opera and then implement the same actions in Otter, and only make reasoned/discussed/documented deviations or *obvious* improvements. What could be simpler?

If this were the case, writing help pages would be almost as easy as replacing the word Opera with Otter in http://help.opera.com/desktop/ and anybody would be able to do it. But if the plan is not to (largely) clone Opera Presto, then we would need to know what the plan is in order to be able to help.

Seems to me, a better approach, is to spread out trying to find coders willing to help.
And this also presupposes some things, such as

- You know where idle/willing/knowledgeable coders can be found
- There is a pre-existing plan of action that you can point out for the coders to follow

Probably simplest it is to show such coders the list of issues https://github.com/OtterBrowser/otter-browser/issues and to communicate with the head developer as to what the current priorities are.

  • jim0214
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #5
Probably simplest it is to show such coders the list of issues https://github.com/OtterBrowser/otter-browser/issues and to communicate with the head developer as to what the current priorities are.
[/quote]

I'm thinking off the top of my head as I write this, so bear with me. First thing, let me apologize ahead of time, if I've hurt someone's feeling's to what I'm about to write. That is not my intent.
There are some main issues that need to be address before going forward.
1. Organization sucks! I've seen sock drawers better organized. There are things that are now being under utilized. One being social-media exp.(FaceBook, Twitter). My guess is, it's a time thing. It would be understandable given that there so many hours in a day. Using media better could rally the troops sort of speak. They don't need to tech heads, just people getting the word out. This builds interest and curiosity. There needs to be a reason (Theme) for Otter and there already is one. Taking Back What Was Lost or Stolen! Opera caved in for easy money. We're saving the day by making it better than Opera and it's all for you, the user. Firefox did it and so can we. I can't think of a better way to enlisted support. Who doesn't like fighting for the underdog? By putting an edge to it, would draw younger people. Instead of trying to brake into the Pentagon, a couple of 15 yr. olds sitting in their bedrooms may want to help on coding. There is no better warm and fussy feeling than, We Did This. Vivaldi is using it effectually, so can we. Side note; if Vivaldi is Opera 12 then a Etch a Sketch is art. When I was writing reviews, I notice the press wasn't be used very well. Press releases should be done at least weekly, if not daily. After doing a search, Cnet doesn't even know of Otter's existence.
2. Commitment to the project, because one man band is doomed. If someone would like to volunteer to the project, asking them for two hours a week would not be much to ask. That's a little over 15 min's. a day. I myself am willing to give a couple of hours a day to this endeavor. Maybe a little more on weekends. Whomever is trying to put a face to this name, needs to be in constant contact with head developer and/or coders. Updates are very important for the volunteers and press releases. This would be a good starting point, with a ton of crap waiting behind it. The most important fact is, this is a product and a product needs an audience!!!
Lastly, if someone wants my real email, ask I'll give to you.

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #6
You being a marketing guy, you see this as a marketing problem. But I think that geeky software projects are by their very nature unmarketable. Even Opera, with an actual corporation behind it, was destined to be a niche product.

To get into marketing in earnest, we should have a product with some eminently marketable features. You mention "Taking Back What Was Lost or Stolen!" which would be appropriate if users would, upon opening Otter, feel like they opened Opera 6 or 9. This is arguably the case, somewhat, but I'd like it to be more so. Perhaps every user of both Opera and Otter has a pet list of missing/incomplete features in Otter and so do I. If everybody has a list like this, it unfortunately takes away from the credibility of the slogan. For example:

1. A bunch of freely un/selectable CSS styles and user/author mode to render the whole web the way the user wants to. This is not there in Otter. In Otter, we can insert one (1) CSS in some slot in the settings and to remove the CSS goes the same way, like in IE or Netscape. Lots of point-and-click for a remote resemblance of something that used to fly in Opera by keybind, button, menu item,  mouse gesture, extensible by hacking INI etc.
2. Links Panel. This was not just a list of links in the open webpage. There was a search slot to filter the link items and you could do operations on them either individually or by Select all and Download all. This made Opera browser into a versatile downloading machine. Not there in Otter.
3. Online repository to share user configurations. Up to some point, Opera forums had a section to share INI files so users could try out different menu, toolbar, keybind, and mouse configs. In my perception, when the repository became consciously promoted by the company with items that made Opera look like Firefox or IE, the popularity of the browser gained momentum.

The first two features were self-evident to me as an Opera user and I would happily see them reincarnated. The third point could certainly add to marketing and help find more contributors to the Otter project by virtue of making more users interested in looking at the browser from the inside, that is from the developer side, and they just might like it and learn to contribute, but it would be more doable if the learning curve with the config files were smoother. Current config files are not easily human-readable, they require "correct" line breaks and nested brackets, so the contents is illegible, editing is error-prone without samples and documentation.

Not to brag a lot, but this-here forum section for Otter was my personal idea, even though I did not lift a finger to create it. Otherwise project contributors and users chat on irc #otter-browser at Freenode. If a config-sharing repository were doable, it would promote the project greatly, I think.

Some features of Opera are unreproducible due to different behaviour of the rendering engines or interface frameworks. Other features remain missing due to lack of manpower. Still other features for the reason that the developer himself is not familiar with the true power and nature of Opera the way earlier adopters are.

With some pushing, I have achieved the implementation of some features like Remove Tooltips, True Fullscreen and True Detach, all of which were present in true Opera and therefore should be natural givens. But I had to push and in the long run it is not constructive to push a lot.

What is there in Otter to especially promote right now? Maybe Notes? But time goes on and alternatives appear. Vivaldi also has Notes now, and they have added a neat markup rendering capacity, which definitely kicks ass among geeks, I assume. How to beat it? Probably add the capacity to launch an external editor from inside the note item (and why not from any webform, obviously). Opera did not have this, but it was consistently requested on the forums and would have made perfect sense given what Opera was.

If Notes could launch a user-selectable external editor, I would have composed this forum post in Notes. For example Luakit is a browser that can launch an external editor and it's so much better for it.

This is actually fun to discuss. Let's brainstorm some more :)

  • Frenzie
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #7
What is there in Otter to especially promote right now? Maybe Notes?
I'd say website preferences is the main thing. But then I was never much of a notes user. The "Windows & Tabs" panel isn't half bad either even if it still needs some work.

The bookmarks panel and nicknames are decent.

Fast forward is there.

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #8
@Frenzie
Yes, I agree with your list. Except the Windows&Tabs panel, because this is nowhere near the level of Opera and also Vivaldi is ahead on this point. It badly needs drag-and-drop capability.

Website preferences is pretty unique and even expanded from what it was in Opera. Bookmarks with nicknames (and the little launcher dialogue for nicknames) are as good as in Opera. And Fast Forward is indeed there, even though I liked the way Opera enabled it just by hitting the spacebar when you reached the bottom of the page.

...a neat markup rendering capacity...
...that be markdown in Vivaldi Notes.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #9
It badly needs drag-and-drop capability.
True, ideally it would gain feature parity with Tree Style Tab. Vivaldi copied Opera's method where you're limited to three levels, while Tree Style Tab lacks search and multi-select. Otter is currently like the worst of both worlds. But hey, start small. ;)

  • jim0214
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #10
Everyone has made very good valid points. Brainstorming is 60% of how I make a living. It was asked, what is there in Otter to especially promote right now? I look at it in a different way. I try to promote interest in something that some times, isn't very interesting. Watch a info commercial, then you'll get the idea of what I'm talking about. Try to come up with campaign for replacement windows for your house. Software is no diffrerent, look at the idiot scamming people with the Fix Me Stick. I'm not suggesting doing the same thing. I like being able to sleep at night. What I am suggesting, is getting people interested and involved. Would it be slow and hard in the beginning, with days asking, why am I doing this? You betcha.

Puting all that aside for moment. In the short time I've been on this forum there is one huge plus I've notice in our talks. There is a lot of brain power among us and each of us have a part that can help make a whole. Don't get to warm and fuzzy because, my question is, where do you want or see Otter going and do we try to work together on this? It would definitely be a trial, since neither of us know each other. Think about it. I'm willing to try! :o :D

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #11
There is a lot of brain power among us and each of us have a part that can help make a whole. Don't get to warm and fuzzy because, my question is, where do you want or see Otter going and do we try to work together on this? It would definitely be a trial, since neither of us know each other. Think about it.
Think about what? What's the plan?

For me, it gets back to what I dream Otter to be. I would like it to be a clone of (approximately) Opera 9. For several reasons. First, because it's Presto, obviously, for its functionality and the way it operates. Second, because of the general availability of how it functioned and operated. Third, because cloning is a simple concept, so that even if nobody else agrees with the idea of cloning, everybody still knows what the idea is and therefore understands the plan and the task. Etc.

  • jim0214
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #12
Your right, This is not ready! I tried to fill in a form to the BBB in San Diego Ca. Otter failed badly. Couldn't copy, cut and paste or select all from the page. Even went and tried to save the whole page as a text file. No luck. I have Otter setup to open new windows not tabs. I freakin hate tabs!!! Click new window icon to open a window, I get a tab. Tried closing the tab and the BBB page was lost and all the input I had on there. If it's not able to do a simple cut and paste, yes it's still a garage project and I was wrong. I used Opera 12.18 to write this and you the sad part about that? I have a kid in the second grade of school and all the versions of OLD Opera 12 are younger than her.

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #13
Otter has two backends and those determine much of the experience. Then again, both backends may be affected by some issue in the shared cookie tray. This has prevented Otter from becoming my housekeeping browser (i.e. log in to bank sites and state offices for frustrating transactions that must be done carefully without fail), while it still is a home browser to some extent (home browser = automatically log in on startup to a bunch of forums and such).

Before opening Otter, I hype myself into geek mode. When I am in geek mode, I am not in housekeeping mode. And I don't know of a browser that can handle both functions simultaneously. Even old Opera had eternal trouble with banking sites and such, so it was not a good housekeeping browser.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #14
Curious about the failure to c/p though. Perhaps a simple CSS don't select property applied by the page?

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #15
Yup. To properly determine the nature of the issue, always try with multiple browsers. And of course it's pain that it has to be so.

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #16
Here's a detail I like very much about Otter. We can call it video-plugin-to-window-size.

YT and some other video websites (such as the national broadcaster website in my country) offers a fullscreen button in the video frame. In Otter, when selected, this fullscreen does not go immediately all over the monitor, but fills the browser window as follows.



(This is a complete Otter window with minimalInterface enabled, i.e. all toolbars hidden.)

Then I can resize the window as I like and the video resizes accordingly. In the example, the true proportions of the video are 4:3 and I resized the window accordingly. I can drag the window bigger and the video becomes bigger too, always fit-to-window.

This is how all video websites should behave in every browser/app, but they behave this way only in Otter as far as I have tried.

I'm not sure how it works. I have not found this in any other browser and everybody knows I use many browsers, so it should be something specific in the way Otter handles (some) video plugins. I hope it stays this way, because it's a very nice feature to have.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #17
This is how all video websites should behave in every browser/app, but they behave this way only in Otter as far as I have tried.
They used to do that in Opera and possibly early versions of Firefox. You wouldn't believe the number of complaints they got about it.

I got used to the new behavior since but I always thought the distinction between maximize video and going fullscreen from the early days of HTML5 video was fantastic.

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #18
They used to do that in Opera and possibly early versions of Firefox. You wouldn't believe the number of complaints they got about it.
Indeed, I don't believe it.

As for myself, I had much trouble with videos on my computers back in the old days, so I mostly avoided video. In Opera, I had all plugins turned off. Not "on demand". Completely off.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #19
I'm talking about the early HTML5 Ogg video support without plugins.

  • ersi
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Re: Spreading the word across the web
Reply #20
And I'm talking about the fact that I never visited YT with Opera. I tried at some point, it failed, and then never again, because I found nothing sensible to do there anyway when it was in its early days. And now it's useless to try.