Opera, an Open-Source Browser?

I honestly do hope I am not hereby embracing Betteridge’s law of headlines. Please believe me.

Ever since the switch to Chromium away from Presto, I have eagerly waited for the first public snapshot. I expected to get my hands on the code by then.

It is their right to not give direct access to the code, though. The fact that they chose to use that right should not make me suspicious. All I had to do, after all, was email their open-source address, . What happened then was rather odd.

But let’s get the facts as they happened. I sent them a mail on May 30th.

Good morning / afternoon / evening / night,

I wish to get a copy of the source code for Opera. May I? Thanks in advance.

Yours sincerely, Thaddée Tyl.

They answered later that day,

Dear Thaddée Tyl,

We have received your request, and information on how to get access will be sent to via email as soon as we have source package ready.

– Kind regards, Haakon Opera Software http:</http:>

And I waited. Two weeks. Then:

Good morning / afternoon / evening / night,

I am unsure what the situation is on your side related to my two-weeks-old request, so I decided to ask you. Is the process of preparing the tarball of Opera’s source ongoing? Have you lost my email address?

Yours sincerely, Thaddée Tyl.

Their answer:

This is the mail system at host smtp-new.opera.com. I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below. […] : User unknown in virtual alias table

Sure, their old FAQ still insists that they are not planning to go open-source. From a legal standpoint, they can. Chromium is released under the BSD license, which allows them to keep their fork proprietary — at least, that is my understanding. But then, don’t say you went open-source!

UPDATE: Opera responded. They didn’t delete (phew!), but they are moving mail servers. Also, they are still working on packaging the source for the desktop.