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Opera Software Co-Founder Passes Away 145

worb writes "One of the two founders of Opera Software, Geir Ivarsoy, recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. His funeral yesterday was attended by Opera employees who paid their last respects to their former lead programmer. While Opera hasn't had the same success as Firefox on the desktop, it has had considerable success in the mobile phone market due to its speed and small footprint, combined with excellent standards compliance and innovative features."
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Opera Software Co-Founder Passes Away

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  • by lanc ( 762334 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:12PM (#14948447)
    Though I am no opera user - thanks for the effort supporting an alternative solution. The possibility to choose is well appreciated.

    • by blastwave ( 757518 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:17PM (#14948467)
      An excellent browser that runs well on old Sun Solaris sun4m hardware all the way up to the latest builds. I have been using Opera for years and bought and paid for the licenses. It is a real loss to see a brilliant creator pass. I surely hope that his legacy lives on in world domination of the mobile browser market.

      Dennis Clarke from Blastwave.org
      http://www.blastwave.org/ [blastwave.org]
      • by lanc ( 762334 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:26PM (#14948510)
        sun4m, right.
        but not only that - If you want to download it, ofcourse it exists for linux, but it is not merely usual that there is a prepackaged version for Debian, and highly unusual that you can choose packages for:

        Debian Unstable (Sid)
        Debian Testing (Etch)
        Debian 3.1 (Sarge)
        Debian 3.0 (Woody)
        Debian 2.2 (Potato)

        it exists for Mac, QNX, FreeBSD, it runs on a pile of mobiles. That I call userfriendly, supportive.

        • In addition... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by arafel ( 15551 ) *
          I just went to the download site, selected Ubuntu, and there are packages for 5.10, 5.4, and 4.10. For most places, you're lucky to get "Debian-ish, if you're lucky".

          Making packages for Debian unstable and testing is definitely something most companies wouldn't do, though. Above and beyond the call of duty.
        • for all the fish
    • I use Opera as my primary Web browser, and I certainly appreciate the ability to choose. Most people believe that IE is the only Web browser, so it's definitely disappointing whenever a product such as Opera tends to go largely unnoticed by the general public. Opera 9 looks great.
      • What amazes me is its incredible speed. I wonder why Firefox programmers have not been able to make Firefox at least closer to Opera's speed. When it comes to memory, I wouldn't mind that much since memory itself is very cheap these days.
      • by quanticle ( 843097 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:12PM (#14949020) Homepage
        Not only does Opera 9 look great, but it passes the Acid2 test as well, something that Firefox has not yet achieved.
        • Acid2 is about worthless. Passing just shows that they took the time to make that page work, it doesn't say anything about the standards support of the browser.
          • That discussion doesn't really belong here, but in a web design thread. But apart from cheating (treating the test page specifically), which would be easy to spot, taking time to make Acid2 work means taking time to make the CSS implementation work, there is no "quick fix" to Acid2.

            Acid2 doesn't cover everything, far from it, but a poor CSS implementation won't pass Acid2 so if an implementation passes Acid2 it must be a good one. Additional tests will be needed to see if it is a great one. It will be much
    • Although many of us use different browsers than Opera, the influence of Opera on the browser war is (and was) undeniable. When Microsoft was telling the Dept. of Justice (and americans in general) that they were the real innovators, Opera was out there proving them wrong. Features that were introduced in Opera were later adapted into Mozilla and, I'm confident that many features in future versions of IE will have their roots in Opera.

      I hope that Geir Ivarsoy is remembered as being an innovator well after t
    • RIP, Geir.

      It's grown a bit since the early releases, but Opera is still an example of tight old-school code in a world of bloat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:12PM (#14948450)
    Silent Post
  • damn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by popeguilty ( 961923 ) <popeguilty@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:20PM (#14948479)
    The alternative he provided created much-needed freedom to leave MSIE back when Netscape couldn't get its act together. Rest in peace.
    • In general, we need to discuss what can be done, to improve cancer screaning, and treatment, using open source technology. We need a slashdot or similar site which deals with genetics, technology, medicine, and health research and related topics.

      Cancer is a threat to us all, and while we discuss Netscape vs IE, or Linux vs Windows, we ignore the fact that we arent using open source technology or ideas in healthcare. I think we should discuss personalized-medicine, and ways to lower the cost of cancer scree
      • Have you ever seen the movie "And the Band Played On"? It's about the principal players who originally researched AIDS and discovered HIV. What's fascinating about the movie is not its depiction of popular reaction to AIDS but of the vicious infighting between the groups of researchers, particularly one doctor who lies, cheats, and steals to make sure his name is the one attached to "discovering HIV." It's a fascinating movie, and it's chilling to note that the same things are apparently happening surroundi
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Yes, because Slashdot's done so much to advance the computer industry. If you want progress fighting cancer and other disease, then try removing some of the religious nutters that get in the way (particularly in the US). A bunch of geeks wittering about the latest cool development that they don't understand isn't going to help.
      • No, Cancer is a threat to those who don't know about vitamin B17.

        http://curezone.com/foods/laetrile.html [curezone.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:21PM (#14948489)
    Thanks for all your work, Mr. Ivarsoy. The innovative features in Opera have had a great amount of influence in the browser market and beyond.

    • I never met Geir Ivarsøy, but I use Opera every day. I use it because it makes my life easier. I'm sure there are millions of other people who do the same thing.

      Clearly, Geir has made life just that bit nicer for a lot of people, all over the world.

      I, for one, will think of him every time I open Opera. My thoughts are with his family.

  • Opera is a great browser, with many unique features. I use IE, Firefox, and Opera everyday. It is sad to see anyone go, let alone someone who you know had a huge part in something you come to take for granted.
  • by tinkertim ( 918832 ) * on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:30PM (#14948532) Homepage
    I hope, when I die I've left behind something that inspires. The desire to create I believe comes from somewhere deep within and is a capacity that clings within you despite what life tosses your way .. it never seems to fade. For him, it never will, people will take the best part of him, what he was able to dream together and make it their own.

    I think that's truly immortality, when you stop and think about what shapes your creativity.

    Didn't find his age on the blog? Wow he looked young. Opera hasn't seen the real fruits of his efforts and creativity (just yet, but starting to .. ) , I'm sad that he won't.
  • FSM (Score:2, Funny)

    by TallMatthew ( 919136 )
    May His grace be with you alfredo.

    Oh, and thanks for the great browser.

    Oh, I guess you're dead and can't read this.

  • And now... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Atmchicago ( 555403 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:38PM (#14948559)

    He will be known as the Phantom of the Opera!

    Sorry, that was in poor taste. My regards to someone who helped contribute to the diversity in web browsers.

    • It could have been worse, you could have asked if he was creamated (since he liked compact code), you could have asked if the funeral arrangements all fit on one floppy, or you could have asked if he passing was standards-based.

      Either way, this dude was a maverick, a pioneer, and the dude obviously knew how to code. Where he is now, he can write raw assembly without ever compiling.... he's ok now. It's his family I send my well wishes and condolences to....
    • I was wondering how long it would take someone to get a 5 funny in a somber post like this. Twenty nine minutes is not bad. I take off my hat to you good sir.

    • I bet his wake didn't pass the ACID2 test...
    • Actually, if you wanted to be in bad taste, you should have used a "Netcraft/ICD confirms it..." style post.

      But that would have just been sickening./p?

    • In a way he was. He never was much for self-aggrandizement, so outside Opera and a select few other circles people didn't know who he was as a programmer or as a person. But his work had an impact beyond Opera. We do need the people who talk, but we also need the people who do.
  • rest in peace (Score:2, Interesting)

    by trybywrench ( 584843 )
    From too much love of living,
    From hope and fear set free,
    We thank with brief thanksgiving
    Whatever gods may be
    That no life lives forever;
    That dead men rise up never;
    That even the weariest river
    Winds somewhere safe to sea.
    - swinburne

    Rest in peace, thanks for making a difference.

  • Beyond any doubt, I would have concluded the ceremony with a Fat Lady, singing.

    That aside, this is pretty sad news. Better times on the other side, man.. and my personal condolences to his family, friends and colleauges at Opera Software.

  • Thanks for the Hope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snap E Tom ( 128447 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:51PM (#14948601)
    I don't use Opera now, but I used it very briefly. Opera rose at a very dark time. IE had just won the browser war with Netscape 4 being a bloated, happy, piece of crap. Opera gave us hope when us anti-IEers were most down. Although I use Firefox now, the conditions for Firefox's success should be creditted to Opera.
    • Indeed. And let's not forget that it was Opera that embraced and kept alive the respect for standards compliance and openness in internet-related projects that we all admire, respect and appreciate so much. For that reason alone we owe Opera oh so very much.
  • My #2 Browser (Score:1, Interesting)

    by chivo243 ( 808298 )
    The loss of a loved leader in a group can have either of two outcomes:

    1. Everyone falls apart, and the group with it.
    2. The group rallies, and is spurred on to greatness.

    I use three browsers through out the work day, and personal night.

    1. Camino-Super fast, great for our intranet php based apps.
    2. Opera-Pretty fast, but has the option to open to last page viewed at launch.(The option that sets Opera apart really!)
    3. Safari-Solid performer, secure.
    4. Firefox-odd man out really, but do use it to test sites on
  • Remembering Geir (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lawmune ( 260527 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @01:58PM (#14948613) Homepage
    Here is a remembrance of Geir Ivarsøy from someone at Opera Software who knew him: Death in the Family [opera.com]
  • by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @02:13PM (#14948650) Homepage
    It's probably not the right time to rant about this, but... could people *please* take care to actually spell names correctly? It's Ivarsøy, not Ivarsoy; you'd think that at *least* his Slashdot obituary would get this right.

    It's not difficult, either. If you can't type the ø character directly, use a HTML entity, &oslash; (ø), or &#xf8; (ø) - it's really simple.

    But don't just substitute another letter that looks vaguely similar. Would you like it if somebody whose native language doesn't have a "d" substituted a "b" in your name for it because the two letters look quite similar? Of course not. So please, do the same thing and try to spell other people's names correctly. With HTML entities, it's not hard, and it's a sign of respect - doubly so on an obituary.
    • "Would you like it if somebody whose native language doesn't have a "d" substituted a "b" in your name for it because the two letters look quite similar?"

      I bolded the part that explains why it wouldn't bother me.
    • It's probably not the right time to rant about this, but... could people *please* take care to actually spell names correctly?

      Speaking as someone whose name is almost NEVER spelled correctly, and (almost) never pronounced correctly (I had exactly one person do it on that historic day), I've learned that it just doesn't matter.

      And anyway, this is an English web site. We use the English alphabet. The spelling was correct as an anglicized version. Is a Chinese person supposed to be offended when we don't u

      • And anyway, this is an English web site. We use the English alphabet. The spelling was correct as an anglicized version.

        Actually, the correct way to handle ø if you don't have it is 'oe', so 'Ivarsoey' would be more correct.
      • It's a good thing to adapt pronunciation to the local language in everyday life, but it doesn't harm to write it correctly. Suppose I wanted to know more about this person:


        Google 1 [google.com]: Results 1 - 10 of about 173 for geir ivarsoy.

        Google 2 [google.com]: Results 1 - 10 of about 10,300 for geir ivarsøy.

    • It's ignorant to only consider the superficial aspect of what someone is trying to say, so please don't only consider the spelling but the actual message. It's the information, feeling, and sentiment that makes communication important, not the syntax.
  • RIP (Score:1, Insightful)

    I love Opera!

    Rest in Peace, Geir Ivarsoy.

  • While Opera hasn't had the same success as Firefox on the desktop

    I'd like to see some trustworthy figures backing up this claim.
    • By "figures" I mean numbers (statistics), not "persons".
    • I don't know whether or not the parent was intended to be sarcastic, but it is a notable point. I keep Opera set to spoof IE (#5, not #3, for those who understand what that means). In fact, my cell phone provider's website won't let me on unless I'm spoofing (and then it works perfectly...).

      But, on the other hand, the people that calculate such comparisons seem to be able to tell the difference somehow. Also, it is notable, the MSupdate is not fooled by the spoof (though, as I understand it, it used to b
      • Interesting. Thanks for the link. However, note that Opera users has been cloacked by default for years (they identified themselves as IE).
        • Nearly all browser stats programs detect Opera properly, even when cloaked as IE. Even Chuck Upsdell, who compensates for the fact that Opera is likely undercounted, puts Opera usage at around 1% and Mozilla browser usage around 11%.
          • Opera had two strong and FREE competitors. Even if it had only 1%, it would be absolutely incredible achievement for a commercial program. Now that Opera is free, all they need is time and Google's support.
            • Opera has been free (as in beer) for years. It had a tiny little barely noticeable ad banner at the top of the window, but they removed that last year. According to reliable web stats sources, Opera usage has not increased noticeably since then. How much time is it going to take for Opera to get above 1% usage share? All I hear about Opera is excuses, excuses.
              • > Opera has been free (as in beer) for years.

                No, it was adware. That's not exactly free as in beer, is it? At least, not what most people label freeware.

                However, on my site, AWStats report that 7% of all visitors use Opera. My site is technology related with 5000 unique visits daily.
  • All your better deeds Shall be in water writ, but this in Marble... Thank you for Opera - Philaster, Beaumont and Fletcher, 1611
  • by mnemonic_ ( 164550 ) <jamec@@@umich...edu> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @02:56PM (#14948773) Homepage Journal
    Even if he was from Norway.
  • I know this is Slashdot (News for ners etc.) but someone passed away. Is it really appropriate to talk about the marketshare of his programming work?

    I've had this discussion with people many times, but I personally think that people, even programmers, are worth more then the code they write. And I would personally perfer that people don't talk about my code when I pass-away.
    • I'm pretty sure people won't talk about my code when I pass away! And if they do, they won't be talking very nicely about it anyway ;)

      To Ivarsoy: thank you Sir! I'm a opera user for years now, and I'm really happy with it, saves a lot of nerves, so you're even helping my health I guess! Furthermore, you helped to make a lucrative business idea using free (though not "open") software, which is an example to others out there, it's possible!

  • > While Opera hasn't had the same success as Firefox on the desktop, it has had
    > considerable success in the mobile phone market due to its speed and small
    > footprint, combined with excellent standards compliance and innovative
    > features."

    Plus the fact that there's a commercial organisation behind it, pushing it, as opposed to some other software being out there but with no motivation on the part of the programmers to actually get it put onto any devices...
  • Thanks for the excellent browser. RIP

  • Sad news and my thouhts to the family.

    But the good news is there's still time to buy banner space on his casket!
  • RIP
  • oddly enough, I decided to install and run opera for the very first time the same day the news story was released.
    Article:(Friday, 17. March 2006, 09:01:15)
    Install stamp: (Friday, March 17, 2006, 8:42:51 PM)
    I was very impressed with the software, as many are, and am now sad to hear of this loss.
    I also recommended opera to my sister, who uses MSIE over Firefox because the favorites button has a shiny star. I kid you not.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.