Last updated: January 23, 2013
Welcome to the Opera Software Desktop Team FAQ! This list of Frequently Asked Questions should help provide answers to many of the questions the Desktop Team receives.
The Desktop Team is a group of developers and testers that develop Opera Software's desktop browser suite.
The Desktop Team blog is a place for the Desktop Team to post news, plans for new features, and pre-alpha-quality releases of Opera for Desktop for experienced testers to use.
A snapshot is a glimpse into the next major release of Opera for Desktop. They contain experimental and incomplete implementations of new features, as well as work-in-progress on bug fixes. Snapshots are:
A snapshot is not a substitute for a final release, so those that use snapshots should expect to find numerous problems, some of which may cause Opera to crash or to lose/corrupt your data. Before each snapshot release, builds go through minimal smoke testing. Users are advised to make backups before installation of each new snapshot, in addition to normal periodic backups.
No, that's not true. Alpha and beta releases have higher quality standards than snapshot releases. They also go through much more extensive testing and approval processes. In order to meet the higher quality standards, riskier changes may be postponed until after an alpha/beta release. Thus, quality after an alpha/beta release may drop dramatically when previously postponed changes are introduced.
Snapshots are typically, but not always, released every week. Though snapshots were released on Fridays in the past, Friday releases are unlikely in the future due to limitations in the auto-update infrastructure. Note that there may be weeks—if not months—without snapshot releases. The Desktop Team will generally not notify users about the snapshot release schedule.
After a major feature release, snapshots may be absent for several months while initial feature development and bug fixing occurs.
The Desktop Team generally does not disclose release dates.
Builds are typically made on a daily basis. Sometimes builds from certain operating systems or architectures are missing or have major problems. Rather than skipping the snapshot release, such builds are simply left out of the release.
The Known Issues list included with some snapshots is put together by the Desktop QA Team. The list usually contains two types of issues:
The Known Issues list does not track all known bugs for a particular snapshot release. Opera Software maintains an internal bug tracking system for that purpose.
The Desktop Team is most interested in two types of feedback: constructive criticism on new functionality and notification about new bugs. They do not need to know that certain bugs have not been fixed for several weeks. Opera Software has a bug tracking system for that very purpose.
There are several places to give feedback and discuss problems with the current snapshot:
Unfortunately, this information is not publicly available. Fixed bugs are typically described in the changelog for each snapshot. It's possible that the fix will not be listed, so periodic retesting is advised.
Unfortunately, this information is not publicly available. Each snapshot release contains bug fixes, some for bugs introduced the previous week. Other bugs take much longer to fix.
Users sometimes hypothesize that it should be easy to fix certain problems. While this may appear to be the case, it often is not true. Bug fixes are often not trivial and may have ramifications in other places that need to be taken into consideration. It's impossible to tell how easy it is to fix a bug without looking at the code in question.
At other times, the fix may happen very quickly, but then take a long time to make it into a snapshot. Opera Software performs code review and uses an automated regression testing system to try to prevent regressions. Fixes may be delayed in either the review or regression testing process.
Additionally, the Desktop Team must prioritize their work. Bug fixes are often scheduled for future releases to prevent the release currently being developed from being postponed indefinitely.
Feature requests should not be made in the Desktop Team blog comments unless they address a feature currently under development. Otherwise, feature requests should be made in either the Desktop Wish List forum or the opera.wishlist newsgroup (also available via Google Groups). While feature requests are routinely read by employees, the Desktop Team does not comment on the likelihood of a request being integrated into a future Opera for Desktop release.
If you believe you've found a new bug, please use the following procedure for reporting the problem:
Though parts of a snapshot may be newly broken, other parts have seen improvements. There is always something new to test, though every user won't find something interesting to test in each snapshot. Users should carefully consider whether the changes in a new snapshot warrant an upgrade from the previous snapshot they installed before upgrading.
It may not always be clear to users why things break. During development, many changes occur behind the scenes. For instance, implementing a new feature may require seemingly unrelated refactoring and/or rewriting. Such refactoring/rewriting can introduce new bugs. Architecture changes, which can lead to unexplained problems, are also common in major releases.
Information about logging mail server connection issues is available in the article Activating e-mail logging in M2.
For more information about which Linux/UNIX build to download, please see the article Selecting a Linux or FreeBSD package and installing it.
There are typically two Windows builds: "Windows" and "Windows Classic". The only difference between these releases is the installer: the "Windows" build uses an MSI installer, while the "Windows Classic" build uses a WISE installer. If you don't know which one to use, we recommend the "Windows" build.
There are typically two Mac builds: "Macintosh (Universal)" and "Macintosh (Intel-only)". Universal builds are larger, but should run on any PowerPC- or Intel-based Mac. Intel-only builds are smaller, but only run on Intel-based Macs.
See the article Running Multiple Versions of Opera on OS X for details.
See the article Testing Opera under UNIX/Linux, without changing your main profile settings for details.