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Author Topic: Is reverse engineering the Opera Presto Engine an ok start for a lone newb coder  (Read 4269 times)

Paul Keith

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The more I try to learn some small quibble about coding, the more I stray towards the end product.

I say this because it just seems like the gap between newbie code and "programs I want to use" seem so distant that I've been trying to settle on a finished "something" as that end goal and fuck the complexity I'm heading here cause I can't catch up. I just want a software that would be closer to an engine that would restrict all I have to learn in one neat bordered down circle without trying to move to the new thing.

In a way it's an extension to this Stack Exchange post I wrote that was considered too broad.


Basically my story is that I've decided to dedicate my life to developing a casual text editor and then branch it towards a different niche such as novel writing/outlining/to-do lists.

Despite my lack of coding knowledge, I get nightmares when I read posts like this:

nvALT’s fast note creation and retrieval got me hooked years ago and it didn’t wear off. >The application didn’t slow down even a bit when my archive grew to 3000 notes. I know >that ResophNotes coughed heavily at 1000 notes when I tried it.

A bit of context for those who don't know the app. nvALT is an alternative to Notational Velocity which is a Markdown outliner on a Mac as far as I can tell. Resophnotes is a windows program that just syncs the notes.


Fear #1: How do I get the intuition to know that I'm not headed (learning-wise) towards a software design that would choke. It's like that question about scale for websites only I fear it's extra hard especially if I someday decide to move onto desktop version of a web application.

I know there's got to be a coding specific question to this but looking at the state of open source software, I just don't see how baby stepping into a coding language would get me to figure this out by stumbling into it. After all, most open source software on text inputs are either basic or memory hogging and there's been more innovation done in text editors like WriteMonkey and Sublime Text but equally these software aren't focused on casual usage.

Fear #2: The Mac/Apple effect

I just don't get how there are more casual to-do and note software for the Mac and IOS than there is for Windows.

I primarily use Windows so there's that fear that I might somehow end up with an end program design that's limited like the Windows version of Scrivener instead of something full like the Mac edition

Fear #3: Feature un-creep

The thing with a casual audience is it's tricky to pursue a feature. For example: Some like markdown, others don't. Then there are innovations now focusing on variants of the same feature.

My worry is that I don't know how to research the future of text and I'm worried that I just don't know how to figure the coding paths to get to those features.


There's only 1 Outliner 4d and I don't know it's development history.

There's only 1 Scrivener and I don't know it's development history.

There's only 1 Workflowy and I don't know it's development history.

The conscious part of my brain says I shouldn't ask until I get to know how to code but the concept part of my brain screams:

If these were answers I would eventually learn as I dig deep into coding then why aren't there copycat features of these programs considering the bulk of programmers out there?!

Ok on to Part 2:

I'm picking Presto because it can handle tons of browser tabs which means it can handle tons of dynamic screens that can do what MakaGiga does minus the Java hog.

It already supports panels for notes and it would be a minor tweak to turn it into an outliner which it already coincidentally supports with the window menu except only for tabs.

It already has built in rocker gestures, mouse gestures and smart paste from note features which simplifies but is a good alternative for wiki-linking.

Speed dials built in means it can support Trello like boards but at the same time the MDI means you can create cascading outlines, tiled notes, sessions and it already supports an extension base.

The one con about leaving it in the dust seems to be the web browser which a PIM/To-do List/Outliner don't have to deal with except by opening in a new browser which ironically is possible seeing as Presto is still more lightweight than heavy Java programs.

In the end though, it's the fact that I have not seen any other full blown multi-purpose desktop software that can support so many features without eating up the memory. It was feature creep without the feature creep memory hog engine. All this just seems to add up towards the last hail mary end goal for a productivity software with my needs. I just don't have the knowledge yet to know if it's viable and why or why not. Can anyone steer me in the right direction? I know there have been pleas for open sourcing the engine and some Firefox extensions can mimic Opera but the overall look is just not the same as the overall capability of the Presto engine to be light to middle hogging the computer.


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Fate intercedes............. :D
If you are to become another Bill Gates, or the other guy what ate the apple, whatever?, I don't think you can do it by improving, adjusting, revising, whatever?, someone else's product!

You have arrived, with your lust for knowledge, at the perfect time.
What the world needs now is a program to reverse the common web page to deliver the message that the original author presented.
A Rev-editor to remove the two cents worth added by everyone following the author that attempts to make the page prettier, more attention getting, and profitable.
Yea, and Google adds a nickel's worth, not satisfied with their two cents worth!  >:(
Just think what the Cloud providers will think of you when you reduce a web page from 120kb to 6kb before sending it to them for storage. Wow  ;) A chance to become the third big wheel in the computer world.  ;D
No mean feat but I'm sure you can do it! Give it a go.......... and give up on the idea of becoming the guy that added another tab.  :D