Just recently, Opera software, the creator of the Opera web browser announced that they are dropping support for FreeBSD.
As one would deduce, this is a very smart move on the part of Opera as the FreeBSD port of it’s software has always been a huge waste as maintenance is far higher then any other port (due to FreeBSD’s vast and growthing POSIX incompatibility) while it’s usage is an abysmal 0.03% that of Linux ports. Opera staff and developers have noted that FreeBSD usage isn’t just growing slowly or stagnating but it has been shrinking. With the FreeBSD port now liquidated, Opera can invest more man power into increasing the quality of their software.
As for FreeBSD, the repercussions are grave as a survey shows that around 90% of people who actually use FreeBSD is a desktop, use Opera. As Opera becomes usable on FreeBSD, many of these users will eventually jump ship to Linux thus accelerating the shrinking of BSD usage which in turn encourages more software projects to drop BSD support. Many BSD zealots know the implications all too well as they squabble about it an FreeBSD forums (link below).
The case of Opera abandoning BSD is not the first time that a software project ceased BSD support. There is almost CPanel. Also, almost all Free and Open software projects (like Firefox, GNOME, Xfce etc.) develop and compile their software for Linux leaving BSD porters to do all the work. This results in the latest BSD versions of the software being grossly out of date and full of know security vulnerabilities thus adding to BSD’s already appalling base system security woes. In the case of Opera, there will be no future version of it in BSD as Opera is a proprietary product with BSD components (the irony of the BSD license).
FreeBSD 10.0 is out!
Thanks for the heads up, we have a friend that’s running and assessing it right now. His report will be published in an up coming article.