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Opera Unite is a Hail Mary

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the go-long-opera dept.

The Internet 260

snydeq writes "Rather than view it as a game-changer, Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees Opera Unite as a Hail Mary bid for Opera to stay in the game. After all, in an era when even vending machines have Web servers on them, a Web server on the Web browser isn't really that groundbreaking. What Opera is attempting is to 'reintermediate' the Internet — 'directly linking people's personal computers together' by making them sign up for an account on Opera's servers and ensuring all of their exchanges pass through Opera's servers first. 'That's an effective way to get around technical difficulties like NAT firewalls, but more important, it makes Opera the intermediary in your social interactions — not Facebook, not MySpace, but Opera,' McAllister writes. In other words, Opera hopes to use social networking as a Trojan horse to put traditional apps back in charge."

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Hail first post..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374503)

...that is all.

Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (4, Interesting)

1sockchuck (826398) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374543)

Data Center Knowledge [datacenterknowledge.com] has a roundup that looks at some of the problems with this approach, including security issues related to running a server on a desktop app and bandwidth consumption. If your browser-hosted site gets busy, you think your ISP won't notice?

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (5, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374585)

In the UK, they begin capping your connections.

When ISPs start capping to the level of poor performance, I presume that Opera will use its already implemented BitTorrent implementation to keeps files downloaded by your friends distributed amongst them.

It seems Opera is well designed for this sort of thing. Imagine chatting over IRC with your firends using a build-in IRC daemon - with each friend being a split in the server. It's ingenius.

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (3, Funny)

improfane (855034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374597)

Although not my spelling of the word ingenious.

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374799)

If this works, it will be pulling us out of a hole that was dug over many years. The ISPs who use IPV4 dynamic IPs were sabotaging the network. The DNS organizations who decided to make having an entry in the registry something that costs an unreasonable amount of money were sabotaging the network. Microsofts decision to cripple the web server on every consumer version of their OS ever released were sabotaging the network. The cloud computing initiatives are ALL about sabotaging the network. So are the social networking sites.

It's a cynical view to say that Opera are attempting to set themselves up as intermediaries so they can leverage that control. It might be true. But it is also true that the network was designed to work the way Opera Unite is pushing it to work, and it doesn't because the organizations who were originally entrusted with the task screwed everything up and are already leveraging that control. If everything wasn't already so screwed up in the first place, Opera's opportunity wouldn't exist.

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375795)

" The DNS organizations who decided to make having an entry in the registry something that costs an unreasonable amount of money were sabotaging the network"

Nonsense.

$19/year is unreasonable?

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375379)

Can you imagine how horrible the netsplits would be?

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374993)

Not to mention maybe I don't want to use Opera as a browser? Why not make this a separate product?

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375643)

oh my god, then install another browser and use that when you want to....

Re:Not to mention security, bandwidth, etc. (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375485)

"Data Center Knowledge has a roundup that looks at some of the problems with this approach, including security issues related to running a server on a desktop app and bandwidth consumption. If your browser-hosted site gets busy, you think your ISP won't notice? "

I don't think you understand what it's supposed to be used for. If you want to "host a web site" in the familiar sense, you rent some webspace on a server somewhere. This is for stuff other than that.

free car?!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374551)

i thought this was about oprah

Re:free car?!! (0, Troll)

Antidamage (1506489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374727)

I'm pretty sure Oprah is some kind of tiny-fat-person Voltron, so it's understandable that you were confused upon seeing the word Unite.

Re:free car?!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375349)

It's over nine thousaaaaaaaaaaaaaand penises!

Epic Fail (1, Insightful)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374555)

What the hell were they thinking? "We'll do something that people won't understand and won't like if they do understand."

Re:Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375563)

Epic Fail

STFU!

Re:Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375879)

I was hypercritical of the idea at first. My main problem is that browsers are WAY too bloated (read: firefox)

Then it occured to me that if the web server were in a separate process, with separate memory usage and the applications were also separate processes.

This might be an extremely effective way of reducing bloat.

If you could make the bookmark features, configuration, etc.. as web services that come in and go away, they wouldn't need to be loaded in the main binary. The web server could, in theory, be used as a way for back-end browser features to have an interface without introducing a lot of bloat.

Bad summary (5, Informative)

csartanis (863147) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374567)

The summary makes it sound like Opera is making a last ditch effort to stay relevant, which is clearly not the case. Opera has always been in a dominant position in mobile browser marketshare.

Source [statcounter.com]

Re:Bad summary (0, Offtopic)

hoarier (1545701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374701)

No, we're supposed to hail Mary, who we learn is an operatic Trojan who between gigs is also "on the game" — [cough], the oldest profession, you know. It sounds like a remake of Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite. It might be good, but I'd guess The Brüno Movie will be much funnier and outstrip it at the box office.

Re:Bad summary (1)

atezun (755568) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375813)

No, No, No. We're supposed to hail Mary because she's full of grace. Also because she's with some aristocratic lord whatshisname. She's blessed among some group of feminists, and has something to with some Mexican guy name Jesus' fruit.

Re:Bad summary (2, Informative)

prakslash (681585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374733)

Opera is is in trouble. .
Its desktop share is less [w3schools.com] than even Chrome.
As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone.
See the arstechnica analysis of misleading statcounter results here [arstechnica.com]

Re:Bad summary (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374839)

No its not. Opera has never been number 1 in browsers and Chrome has Google's advertising, Firefox has the community, and both IE and Safari are pre-installed. The iPhone is a one-browser, one-phone, phone, when eventually a new smartphone takes over, Opera's mobile market will rebound.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374977)

They won't rebound because most of the new smartphones will have Google's or Microsoft's mobile browser installed on them by default. Google, Microsoft and Apple will take Opera's mobile marketshare without much trouble.

Re:Bad summary (3, Insightful)

Korey Kaczor (1345661) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375303)

I hope not. Opera is the best desktop web browser and I'd hate to see it go.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375261)

No its not. Opera has never been number 1 in browsers and Chrome has Google's advertising, Firefox has the community, and both IE and Safari are pre-installed. The iPhone is a one-browser, one-phone, phone, when eventually a new smartphone takes over, Opera's mobile market will rebound.

Mobile Safari is one browser one phone but the underpinnings - WebKit -- is the basis of the browsers of both Android based phones and Palm based phones.

Re:Bad summary (2, Interesting)

mehtajr (718558) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375311)

Opera's made a very good living on their Mobile version, but I think they're in major trouble there now, thanks to WebKit. WebKit is a very good browser core, and it's free and open source (plus, it doesn't hurt that it lets mobile phone makers imitate Safari on the iPhone, since they're all based on the same core).

Look at the players that have adopted WebKit-- Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, and Google for Android. In two years, it's taken somewhere between 50%-60% of the mobile browser marketâ" about half of that appears to be iPhone/iPod Touch.

Opera's problem is that, even if a "new smartphone takes over," if it comes from Palm, Nokia, or runs Android, it's going to have a WebKit-based browser on it, not Opera.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375509)

With Nokia, Google, Palm, and Apple all backing WebKit based browsers it is highly unlikely that Opera is going to magically "rebound" in popularity if the iPhone's popularity wanes. WebKit is open source so it can live past the interests of any of its corporate backers and performs really well even in the mobile space. Opera's mobile browsers require all sorts of tricks to give the appearance of good performance. Opera is better than older versions of mobile IE and RIM's horrible browser but that's not saying much.

Re:Bad summary (1)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375693)

I find that RIM's newer browser beats opera mini, and is comparable with opera mobile.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375719)

Except even RIM's browser is improving. Sure, Opera was more functional (albeit slower, more cumbersome, and poorly integrated) on older BlackBerry devices, but that's changed.

As of BlackBerry OS 4.6 and newer, the built-in browser is actually usable and capable, and Opera Mini no longer has a purpose on the phone.

Of course most people's phones are running BB OS 4.2 (or 4.3). Many of them could upgrade to 4.5, which is improved a little. But you need the latest models to run 4.6 or newer.

Re:Bad summary (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375627)

Safari, Chrome, iPhone, Android, QT, and Nokia all use WebKit. WebKit is free (as in GPL). WebKit is arguably the best handheld browser. How is Opera's mobile market going to rebound?

Re:Bad summary (4, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375339)

1. That was a horrible summary. Maybe the point is to generate some flamebait?
2. Every case you give to justify Opera's weakness are free-ish. As in something else (not the browser) is generating the revenue. Opera has to generate revenue through their browser and they have managed to stay in business despite other companies giving away different browsers. That suggests Opera is delivering way more value than the other free browsers. Good for them.
3. This idea will be copied because it is useful. It is a very long time in coming. It's a great feature that neither Apple or Microsoft can implement easily because they want their marriage to the media distributors to be a happy one.
4. To borrow from another post, hopefully consumers will latch onto this one to see the one of the grander purposes built into the Internet. Many powerful parties (ex. media distributors) would like nothing more than to maintain a one-way sh!t pipe of the current, common Internet experience. Consumers deserve to have all of the features of the Internet available to them.

No, I don't use Opera. I never particularly cared for it.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375365)

Ok, so Opera's market share is relatively small compared to other browsers.

Why do you believe that means they're in trouble? The browser market is huge; even a tiny percentage is still a lot. Do you think they're not making enough money off of what they do have?

Re:Bad summary (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375373)

Opera is not in trouble, their marketshare has only growth aswell when people have got off IE. And even so, it varies A LOT by region. In CIS regions (Russia, Ukraine etc) Opera has 25-50% marketshare [opera.com] , so in many of the countries it is actually the #1 browser, kicking both IE and FF far behind. And that is a huge amount of people using Opera.

Re:Bad summary (2, Informative)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375397)

As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone.

Maybe in Apple branded phones, but on all other brands they are way ahead ;)

Btw, non-Apple branded phones is more than 95% of the market even in the US, more than 99% of the market outside the US.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375433)

w3schools stats represent only their own site. What are you talking about?

Re:Bad summary (4, Informative)

demachina (71715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375453)

"As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone."

Opera is being challenged by WebKit, not exactly the iPhone. WebKit is the browser in iPhone, Android and a number of other embedded platforms. WebKit was spun off Konquerer and is also the engined under Apple's Safari browser.

WebKit is open source and free which is a key reason its a serious challenge to Opera in the embedded space. Opera browsers are free on the desktop but Opera in embedded applications is relatively expensive to license and closed source so its days are probably numbered in the one place it makes money. Maybe Opera can compete against it by offering better value in some areas to justify the price tag and the head aches of dealing with a proprietary closed source browser.... but in the long run.... I doubt it. Dealing with Opera in the embedded space has all the negatives you would expect from dealing with a closed source, proprietary, software company.

Re:Bad summary (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375925)

"WebKit is open source and free which is a key reason its a serious challenge to Opera in the embedded space."

I agree about the "free" part, but no so much the open source part. Opera has managed to be the most standards-compliant browser despite being proprietary. It's the intent and skill of the developers that matter, not how many there are.

Re:Bad summary (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28376007)

As for the mobile market, it is being surpassed by iPhone.

More generally, it's being surpassed by the KHTML-based Webkit, not just on Safari/iPhone, but soon on Nokia's Qt as well.

I'm kind of disappointed with where KDE has gone with v4, but even if it dies out, Webkit, DBUS, and LGPL Qt are all pretty amazing legacies.

Re:Bad summary (1)

frission (676318) | more than 5 years ago | (#28376057)

i wonder if those stats take into account the install base of opera on Wiis. http://my.opera.com/community/wii/features/ [opera.com] a lot of people got the browser for free, i think it's about $5 now (or however many wii points that is).

Re:Bad summary (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374775)

Opera has always been in a dominant position in mobile browser marketshare.

An interesting claim - got a citation?
 
The one you provide shows it roughly tied with the Iphone and Nokia not far behind. It certainly does not show Opera as anything resembling 'dominant'. The bar graph [statcounter.com] version makes that even more starkly clear.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375057)

But you have to take that information with a grain of salt though. There is no Opera for iPhone, so all iPhone devices along with iPod touch devices are effectively excluded and I don't see Apple approving Opera for the iPhone anytime soon. Nokia has their browser pre-installed on their phones so it takes an active download to download Opera. So, yes, while Opera doesn't exactly dominate, they sure have a high marketshare considering the amount of work needed to install it and the amount of devices that don't have Opera.

Bad Source! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375039)

The summary makes it sound like Opera is making a last ditch effort to stay relevant, which is clearly not the case. Opera has always been in a dominant position in mobile browser marketshare.

Source [statcounter.com]

Gee, that's odd, your source doesn't even put IEMobile up there. I guess no one's using it. Also, when I switch your source to United States only, Opera disappears [statcounter.com] . I am so sick and tired of people linking to that site and treating it like it's the authority on worldwide usage of everything when it's clearly got statistical data issues that don't make sense.

Re:Bad summary (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375091)

Traditional apps back in charge
That is my favorite part. Lets go back to tape and punch-cards. I think we have forgotten all the pain of the good old days of your PC full of crappy Apps. Sorry but these Web Applications independent on the web browser has made life so much easier for us. Windows users who's system isn't full of random crap. Linux/Unix/Mac users who have access to a slew of services that we wouldn't otherwise.

We need lighter Browsers that are more standard compliment then heavy ones adding new features that we don't need.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375359)

That'd be a relevant response because this Unite thing is part of their mobile browser, right?

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28376045)

I sincerely hope all of the staff are able to get good jobs with the competition. We win if they take their talent to their competition.

Yes... (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374583)

Because a very good browser needs a hail mary to stay in the game. Seriously, Opera is good enough on it's own, this is actually a very useful tool. I personally don't use it, but my friends use the music sharing capabilities and file/photo sharing. The only reason I don't use it is because I already have an FTP server to do this for me.

Re:Yes... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374907)

The road of technology is littered with excellent idea, technology, and devices that didn't make it.

sad but true (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375009)

has anyone tried Opera Unite, is it good? Is it useful?

Re:sad but true (4, Interesting)

nkh (750837) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375187)

I can't speak for everyone, but it's good enough for my family to share our photos for a few hours between other members of the family. No more need to setup a permanent account on Flickr, just point the folder where your photos are located and it works (there are still a few bugs to iron out but it's less than beta). It's easy for my relatives, we'll keep on using it as long as it's available, and I hope more "widgets" will be written to do more stuff with it.

excellent news (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375717)

I always like it when a company comes up with a winner.

Forgive my ignorance but.. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375155)

A "Hail Mary" is something Catholics do, right? What's the meaning of it when used in a metaphorical sense?

Re:Forgive my ignorance but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375255)

There's these awesome sites I found out that may answer your questions! Google (that's google.com) and Wikipedia (that's wikipedia.org). Have a look, it's even more efficient that asking questions on Slashdot!

Re:Forgive my ignorance but.. (3, Informative)

silent_artichoke (973182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375291)

Think American football. A desperate throw to try to make a touchdown from an area of the field where you should really be focused on gaining a first down.

For examples, see any football movie involving a slow-motion throw in the last second of the game from too far away that the main character catches against all odds to win the game for Sunnyville High (or whatever) with cheesy music playing in the background.

Re:Forgive my ignorance but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375329)

It is a balls out term referencing a play in American football.

Web Developers (2, Funny)

CosmicRabbit (1505129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374619)

This will be a blast of a tool for web developers. Imagine developing your work anywhere on your laptop, regardless of availability of internet connection.

Re:Web Developers (4, Insightful)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374645)

Yes, just imagine.

It would be just like we had a copy of Apache installed on our laptop, but without having to lug a server around with us.

Oh... wait... hang on a minute.

Re:Web Developers (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375405)

Interesting advances in technology come when it's easy, not merely possible to do.

Re:Web Developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375517)

So... Apache is the interesting advance in technology like GP says.

Re:Web Developers (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374897)

This will be a blast of a tool for web developers. Imagine developing your work anywhere on your laptop, regardless of availability of internet connection.

Chances are, you aren't going to use the app you are working on in production with Opera's built in server, so why develop or test it using it, when you can just install whatever server you actually need to develop against on the laptop, instead?

Re:Web Developers (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375283)

Does anyone even know if the opera server will support server side scripting of any sort? Without some sort of server side script support it would pretty much be useless for me to even build a proof of concept on. Especially not when I can easily install apache, mysql and php on my macbook.

Re:Web Developers (1)

CosmicRabbit (1505129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375219)

NOTE TO SELF: Maybe I should have made the sarcasm in the post a little more obvious?

Brown orifice security hole will be back (-1, Offtopic)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374635)

Back in 2000 Netscape did a despo gamble like this and its implementation of some java classes was bad. It allowed websites to create classes derived from the server side of the browser and access all the info in the hard disk.

Google for Netscape and Brown Orifice for more details.

http://www.securityfocus.com/news/70 [securityfocus.com]

Such a security hole is waiting to happen. It is really a dumb idea from Apple. One of the biggest plus point of MacOS is that, it is safe and it does not have vulnerabilities. To put that reputation at risk by allowing the browser to dish out data to the outside world is really really a dumb idea.

Yes, there are security features. Yes there are things the user must enable for it to work. Despite all this, having server code loaded up in the memory of a browser is stupid.

Re:Brown orifice security hole will be back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374725)

One of the biggest plus point of MacOS is that, it is safe and it does not have vulnerabilities.

Giggle.

Re:Brown orifice security hole will be back (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374779)

One of the biggest plus point of MacOS is that, it is safe and it does not have vulnerabilities.

Giggle.

yeah, it does look funny. Anyway what I meant to say was the biggest "sales pitch" but messed up. oops.

Apple? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375153)

Is this really an idea from Apple? I skimmed through the article and saw no mention of "Opera as webserver" being Apple's idea.

Citation please?

Re:Brown orifice security hole will be back (3, Informative)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375849)

Back in 2000 Netscape did a despo gamble like this and its implementation of some java classes was bad. It allowed websites to create classes derived from the server side of the browser and access all the info in the hard disk.
Google for Netscape and Brown Orifice for more details.

http://www.securityfocus.com/news/70 [securityfocus.com]

These were Java bugs from 2000, not something Netscape intentionally allowed. A desperate gamble, WTF?

Such a security hole is waiting to happen. It is really a dumb idea from Apple. One of the biggest plus point of MacOS is that, it is safe and it does not have vulnerabilities. To put that reputation at risk by allowing the browser to dish out data to the outside world is really really a dumb idea.

Yes, there are security features. Yes there are things the user must enable for it to work. Despite all this, having server code loaded up in the memory of a browser is stupid.

From Apple? Who is Apple? Opera? Are you lost? It was Apple's idea? WTF?

Have /. mods gone completely fucking insane?

To what extent will Opera really intermediate? (4, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374671)

The main purpose to the servers that Unite can provide, is that they the most common type of computer connected to the Internet (one that does not have its own static IP, and cannot accept connections due to either a home router or a firewall) can act as servers. I've yet to find out much about the technical workings of Unite, but from what I can tell the main role Opera's servers perform is to allow the location of and the connection to a computer which would normally permit neither. Once a client has found and connected to a Unite user, does Opera still continue to act as an intermediary, in the same way a cloud service would?

Re:To what extent will Opera really intermediate? (1)

ThiagoHP (910442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375199)

Once a client has found and connected to a Unite user, does Opera still continue to act as an intermediary, in the same way a cloud service would?

No. Opera Unite supports UPnP (enabled by default) so that users can bypass Opera's proxy service. More details here [opera.com]

Using "Trojan Horse" around geeks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374707)

Opera hopes to use social networking as a Trojan horse to put traditional apps back in charge

He know's what he's doing with his double meaning. But it's a double fail.

Computing version of trojan horse

A Trojan horse, or trojan for short, is a term used to describe malware that appears, to the user, to perform a desirable function but, in fact, facilitates unauthorized access to the user's computer system

Greek version of trojan horse

The Trojan Horse, from Greek mythology, was a giant hollow horse containing Greek soldiers, used to overtake the city of Troy during the Trojan War.

It has since become a metaphor for any person or thing that appears innocent and/or harmless, but actually presents danger or harmful intent.

So he's implying that "traditional apps" are either "malware" or a payload that has "danger or harmful intent". Wow. This styling reminds me of that one troll Roland Piquepaille...

Re:Using "Trojan Horse" around geeks... (1)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374823)

(PBUH)

OPERA DOESN'T NEED A HAIL MARY (1)

Element119 (1237726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374755)

in my opinion opera is already the best browser, they dont need a hail mary. opera unite is optional, and my guess is the majority wont use it. i left mine disabled because i have no friends to share with :(

Re:OPERA DOESN'T NEED A HAIL MARY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375173)

in my opinion opera is already the best browser

...but it's not. So yeah, they need a hail mary.

Re:OPERA DOESN'T NEED A HAIL MARY (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375989)

What about us Baptists? If the Roman Catholics can have a browser...
Oh, I forgot: "The GUI is a factory for idols, and that's why we have lynx [isc.org] ."

SupraBrowser=Opera Unite+Google Wave (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374763)

I released an open source web browser called SupraBrowser [sourceforge.net] a while back. It has very similar characteristics to Opera Unite, in that it's designed to act as both a client and server at the same time (we called it a "servant") :).

This was more of a research project, as in fact, it was designed as a research and collaboration system for financial services companies and is currently used heavily by several very large financial services companies. It's almost like a combination of Google Wave and Opera Unite, in that it's based on a secure real-time messaging layer (xmpp/jabber wasn't stable or mature enough when we started....if we were doing it over today we might use jabber, but we also had the need for a lot of queuing and persistence that jabber wouldn't have provided), where all communication is completely encrypted using 3DES and a zero knowledge authentication. It supports email, mailing lists, group posting boards, link sharing, workflow, and a bunch of other really innovative features.

That said, I don't know how to manage an open source project and generate a community around our efforts other than posting to various blogs every once in a while when I see something related. Even still, its' frustrating because we actually went far down the road of trying to do kind of what Opera is doing, but without a middle man/trusted third party (hence the requirement for SRP Zero Knowledge auth). We want to build a personal cloud collaboration environment where data becomes user-centric and controlled, where other services federate from that single point of truth owned and controlled by the user.

Given that it's a research project, there are also some very innovative ideas, and I have yet to see anyone implement tagging better or provide a better way to manage personal information. I have over 25,000 bookmarks and files that are all full-text indexed (on Lucene), and tagged so that I can easily get back to stuff and correlate it within my existing cloud of data.

This I think is one of the real weak points of the open source model. If there is something very innovative, it generally requires sales and marketing to shove it down users' throats given their natural tendency to resist change. When the users are the developers are the users, the self selection process tends to restrict certain things. I can think of no other explanation for why releasing 4+ years of effort has been almost completely ignored. If someone can point out why the open source community has ignored SupraBrowser I would be all ears!

If anyone has any ideas or feedback, please reach out to me! suprasphere ____ @ ___ gmail.com

David

I don't think the fellow has a point... (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374803)

It is true, I am a fanboy, Opera is my browser of choice for many years now. It had tabbed browsing before Firefox had it's potty training, it had a torrentclient (which i hate and disable) before Chuck Norris had a torrent client, it passed the acid test before it was known you could get high on that stuf... They had an actually mouse-gesture driven interface that worked before we knew how to grow on ears on mouses... And even today it's the only implementation of those gestures I know that actually enricht the experience... Sure, opera isn't that big on in numbers on the PC stats, but remember, there are quite some big sites that work perfect in opera once you set browserrecognition to IE of FF. But in the mobile world and on the pc Opera is where the new stuf has been happening and implemented the last 6 years. Truth to be told, I'm not to fund of that whole webserver in your browser idea, but I would not call it a 'last attempt'to survive...

Re:I don't think the fellow has a point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375513)

Whilst we're listing Opera's various attributes, what's that one called where it drops every carriage return and various random alphanumeric characters from whatever you type?

Thats off the mark. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374811)

The Opera proxy server will only be used when Opera isn't able to open up your router's ports via UPnP or if you haven't manually forwarded it. Otherwise it is always a direct connection and Opera's servers never come into play. Read the faq( http://unite.opera.com/support/ [opera.com] ) before irresponsible reporting.

Re:Thats off the mark. (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375541)

"Read the faq( http://unite.opera.com/support/ [opera.com] ) before irresponsible reporting."

You must be new here. Welcome.

Pffft... trojan horse (2, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374835)

Yeah right. If Microsoft had done this first it would have been hailed as revolutionary.

Re:Pffft... trojan horse (1)

Korey Kaczor (1345661) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375347)

I like how the knucklehead in the summary tries to make out what Opera is doing as somehow insidious. Opera is a free web browser, and the best one; why shouldn't they try to innovate in order to remain profitable?

Re:Pffft... trojan horse (1)

Freetardo Jones (1574733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375471)

why shouldn't they try to innovate in order to remain profitable?

What is innovative about this? Netscape did this almost a decade ago.

Re:Pffft... trojan horse (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375835)

>

No. If Microsoft had done it, Microsoft and hundreds of paid employees, consultants, analysts and the like would have hailed it as *innovative*.

The little things matter more (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374883)

Opera has always tried to inovate, they have an excellent product, with lots of good features and I couldn't believe how fast the pages loaded in comparrison to firefox. Its the little things though that destroy its market share and preventing it from gaining more. In opera on my hardware middle click doesn't map to scrolling or even as any default middle button action. It never has in all the years it has been in development. I am always impressed then disappointed . I know if I wanted to I could probably find the problem, but how many of your non-tech friends would try to fix it - I know my DAD would just say " This doesn't work, where is my old browser?"

A little phobic, OP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28374947)

I've been using Opera Unite and it's incredibly useful. It's a quick and easy way to pirate.

No, I'm serious. I can put whatever I want on my file server and give it to my friends. If I archive it and put a password on the archive, who will know it's an album or movie? Not Opera.

There are all kinds of uses (3, Interesting)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375019)

The author may be right in the sense that Opera is attempting to find a way to distinguish their product from the competition, but I think he's missing a few points.

There are many reasons why you might want to run a personal web server on your local machine. It can act as a proxy for example. Since it is fairly easy to program it with scripting languages it can do a lot of interesting things. Granted all that functionality could be built into the browser itself, but if you can tap into a lot of existing code and also create a more organized stack for this kind of thing it could be useful. You could do most of the things people use things like Greasemonkey for now, except probably better.

It could be highly useful for web app developers. With some specialized tools designed to help with things like AJAX debugging it could represent a significant draw. This is maybe not a huge market for the bigger browsers, but if Opera can get a bit of penetration into the dev tools market this way it could provide them with a new revenue stream.

It could be highly useful for collaborative web based applications which feature interactivity. For example it makes more sense to send a copy of every event the UI needs to process to a queue on the client side than to force repetitive performance-destroying polling across the net. Now the app need merely check a local queue using a local HTTP request, probably using AJAX. It could also be used to allow processing resources at the clients to be harnessed to do a lot of the work, possibly in parallel.

This is not a new concept, but nobody has really rolled out a useful version of it before. There are going to be issues like NAT firewalls etc, but there are various ways to approach solving them. Afterall, people play online games all the time that require them to open ports, etc for bi-directional communications. All this is doing is extending that capability to the web.

Personally I don't think it will catch on simply because Opera has too small a market share to make it worth people writing a lot of software that depends on it, but the concept itself is not bad. Perhaps Mozilla will experiment with this too, then it might go somewhere, finally.

Opera Unite is a Hail Mary (4, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375027)

Never again will opera, football, and computers come together so succinctly.

Re:Opera Unite is a Hail Mary (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375089)

Never again will opera, football, computers and Catholicism come together so succinctly.

You know you haven't had enough coffee when... (1)

smcn (87571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375029)

...it takes you a full 30 seconds to realize a story on Slashdot isn't talking about "Opera" as in a theater production.

Cloud = silver lining (2, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375243)

ensuring all of their exchanges pass through Opera's servers first. 'That's an effective way to get around technical difficulties like NAT firewalls,

Well, ever since broadband came in people could run home servers if they want - OS X comes with a built in web server and the world hasn't ended. Lots of NAS boxes today include click-and-drool webservers and you can get dynamic DNS if you don't have a fixed addresss.

However - I've got a better idea: why don't they just store the stuff the users want to share on the central servers? I mean, hard disc space is about fsck all per megabyte these days, the servers can run 24/7, have a super-fast connection to teh interweb (not an ADSL line with lousy upload speed) and have the latest security patches applied daily by dusky, nubile virgins (well, 1 out of 3 ain't bad). Even if the server does get hacked then it doesn't affect the end user. Much better than leaving your PC on all the time, or having someone suddenly trying to download a video when you're in the middle of a networked deathmatch...

Then there would be loads of material on the servers, so people would actually want to visit them. Hey, they could even attach comments and stuff to people's photos, videos, news articles and things to say whether they liked them.

You could call it MyCRT, FlipR, ArseBook or ColonPling or something...

Should I patent this, perhaps?

Re:Cloud = silver lining (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375555)

I don't think that's the point. This ArseBook of yours would be controlled from a central place, just like every other site out there. That makes a star-shaped network between people that will crash and burn with the core, instead of a spontaneous and arbitrary one.

Re:Cloud = silver lining (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375557)

Because you don't really want to store something on some hell knows where server?

Re:Cloud = silver lining (1)

johnnysaucepn (1263108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375671)

However - I've got a better idea: why don't they just store the stuff the users want to share on the central servers? I mean, hard disc space is about fsck all per megabyte these days, the servers can run 24/7, have a super-fast connection to teh interweb (not an ADSL line with lousy upload speed) and have the latest security patches applied daily by dusky, nubile virgins (well, 1 out of 3 ain't bad). Even if the server does get hacked then it doesn't affect the end user. Much better than leaving your PC on all the time, or having someone suddenly trying to download a video when you're in the middle of a networked deathmatch...

Joe Public shouldn't need to know about uploading, or hosting plans, or bandwidth caps, or service contracts or the like. Opera open, files open. Opera closed, files gone. Like opening and closing a window.

Rumours of their death are continually exaggerated (5, Insightful)

johnnysaucepn (1263108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375257)

Yep, I'll bet that a profitable browser company that continues to expand and make more money year after year is definitely in trouble. People have been predicting the death of Opera Software for over a decade now, and yet they're still making huge waves in the internet market. When will people start to realise that you don't need to be the most popular product on the market to be successful? The browser market is absolutely huge, remember. Even 1% of the entire market is millions of satisfied users. The only thing that matters is that open standards are implemented, then we all win.

I would love this service (1)

bestadvocate (816742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375385)

I was eager to see if this would automatically work, but none of it seems to. It seemed like a nice risk-free way to share files with friends and family. I also could not fine any real help on their support pages. Great potential, zero functionality at least for me. When it gets patched or the support pages get a little more helpful I'll try it again, until then I'm sticking with good ol' 3.5

opera is relevant and will stay relevant (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375477)

why?

because we are nowhere near an endgame on internet-related innovation

the whole field has a long way to go before the technology is mature, and opera could capitalize on all sorts of missteps by competitors, and has plenty of chance to change the game itself. of course this observation also applies to all other game players, and some that don't even exist yet

if the internet were railroads, the year is 1840, and we're still arguing about track gauge and still using steam engines

lots of history yet to be written folks. beware anyone in drama queen mode declaring the imminent end of anything. a few years ago, internet explorer looked like it was on an inevitable path to complete and permanent dominance. then what happened?

anyone who is certain of anything about what will happen in internet innovation is basically telling you they are ignorant. anyone truly wise on the subject matter knows enough to wait and see

Re:opera is relevant and will stay relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375887)

To use your analogy...

Do you know what happens to rail lines that service ghost towns? They disapppear.

If people don't use Opera it will fade into obscurity and die.

Way around net blocking? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375549)

I saw someone talking about this recently and said it would be a good way to get around things like net filters and help with the spread of information (like with the current mess happening in Iran).

I mean, that is until they all start blocking Operaunite.com, right?

I thought we were against cloud computing? (3, Insightful)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375669)

Is this Slashdot? Is this the Slashdot that use to have every user complaining about having their files and information being held in "The Cloud"? The place where people use to complain about the security and privacy of their pictures if they were on Flickr,their Email and their Docs if they were all located on Googles servers??

What happen to all the 'get of my lawn' types that said, "I'll never put my information in the 'Cloud'. They can take my physical hard drives when they pry them from my cold dead fingers!!"

Now you are provided with (one of many) alternatives to have your files on YOUR computer AND the advantages of them being in the cloud (like you can access your files no matter what location your at and be able to share files with other people)

This seems like a case of you can't please any of the people any of the time kinda thing.

Re:I thought we were against cloud computing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28376073)

we are all here, hating on the cloud. I don't put important data in sketchy networks, and get off my damn lawn.

eDonkey (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28375695)

The article's ending and the summary put an emphasis on traffic having to go through Opera and this being a way to compete with Facebook and the likes. Sounds a lot like another blog I read yesterday. What Unite does, is use Opera's servers as a fallback solution. It works the same way on the eDonkey network.

http://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/2009/06/17/responding-to-unite-misconceptions [opera.com]

No need to worry about security (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28375789)

I doubt a dsl line would support the traffic that would demand that security be implemented. That said Opera is not really a web browser anyways. Its a suit of tools like the article said that people tend to use online when they don't have to.
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