Back then when we added the browser.js feature I heard some sceptical voices saying that fixing broken sites automatically was a bad idea because then the site had no incentive for fixing it themselves. The risk was that the web might become even more fragmented, with even worse examples of incompatible code because Opera would automagically fix things and cloak the faults of the webmasters.
Now call me an optimist, but we have about half a year's experience with browser.js and I'm seeing evidence of the opposite. Three good examples are allmusic.com, shockwave.com and atomfilms.com – they all had long-standing issues with Opera, they were patched successfully with browser.js and a few months after the patch, each site was fixed by the webmaster!
So perhaps, perhaps site patching does exactly what we hoped: increases Opera's ranking in site statistics by making previously unusable sites available to Opera users, thereby making webmasters more concerned about Opera compatibility (because such decisions are often based on browser stats) and eventually creating a more compatible web.
Of course it also helps that we always contact the website before or while we patch it.
Hey, some of the fixes in browser.js can even be cut and pasted into the site to solve the problem 🙂
Yes, I think site patching works – and every patch I can remove from browser.js is a vote for that conclusion.