Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Jun 2009 10:15 UTC, submitted by zegenie
Opera Software A few days ago Opera launched a placeholder website which said they were going to "reinvent" the web, on June 16. Well, it's June 16, and Opera has announced Opera Unite, a technology which allows individual Opera users to connect to one another, turning every machine running Opera Unite into a web server.
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Comment by marcowxy
by marcowxy on Tue 16th Jun 2009 10:30 UTC
marcowxy
Member since:
2008-08-14

I would like to know how Unite messages passing through firewall or NAT in order to access peer's "web server"...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by marcowxy
by kragil on Tue 16th Jun 2009 10:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcowxy"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Opera supplies a proxy.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by marcowxy
by bugjacobs on Tue 16th Jun 2009 23:28 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcowxy"
bugjacobs Member since:
2009-01-03

I think they use UPNP. That might be a problem for some ?

And btw I really like it so far ! :-)

Edited 2009-06-16 23:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Interesting and cool, BUT
by kragil on Tue 16th Jun 2009 10:31 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

unless all browser makers agree on some kind of standard (highly unlikely) it will be hard for it to get any traction.

Maybe Opera should open up a bit more and work with Mozilla. Mozillas mission is not making a good browser, it is improving and opening up the freedom of the web. Something like OperaUnite might work for Mozilla.
As for Apple, Google and Microsoft: They are certainly not interested.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Interesting and cool, BUT
by invent00r on Tue 16th Jun 2009 10:44 UTC in reply to "Interesting and cool, BUT"
invent00r Member since:
2009-04-27

Actually,

All the basic components (and the services themselves) in Unite are based on existing or proposed standards, there is only a bit of glue here and there that is specific to our implementation of Unite (setting up DNS forwarding etc.) and that future competitors may want to do a bit differently.

Quoted from an Opera developer borg.

http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/2009/06/16/freedom?startidx=50...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Interesting and cool, BUT
by kragil on Tue 16th Jun 2009 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting and cool, BUT"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

there is only a bit of glue here and there that is specific to our implementation of Unite (setting up DNS forwarding etc.) and that future competitors may want to do a bit differently.


That "bit of glue" is likely going to kill them. An open solution that is supported by Mozilla might work a lot better.

Reply Score: 1

johnnysaucepn Member since:
2006-08-22

An open solution is an open solution. Opera are probably the biggest proponents of open standards out there. The Unite services are based on the W3C widget specification, same as their desktop widgets.

Reply Score: 8

v Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 16th Jun 2009 10:36 UTC
RE: Comment by Kroc
by kaiwai on Wed 17th Jun 2009 09:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I've made a few comments on Twitter and I shall leave it at that, there's no great insight I can bring to the table.

"The biggest problem with Opera Unite is perhaps that it requires the Opera browser.

This isn't for me. I'm an anti-social git and this is one sign-up form too many for a browser I don't even like anyway.

The distaste I have for this Unite thing is that in the Opera Labs article they hate on Facebook/MySpaces's data silos--

But I only see another one with Opera unite. Requires Opera to exist, yet-another-signup (no openid), and proprietary.

Google / Mozilla are progressing toward similar things in far more open and transparent ways (Wave / Weave). The browser is your identity.

(Though I will admit proprietary and now is more practical than open and later; but open will always win in the long run)"


You've said everything that I wanted to say about this new 'Opera Unite'. As soon as I saw 'Opera Unite', I couldn't help but feel a shudder up the spine as I thought of yet another MySpace/Facebook/Bebo/FaceParty/ad nauseum appearing on the scene. Can you imagine the cesspit that that the internet will further descend to as clueless people invade the last remaining space where the knowledge at one point was high enough as to weed out the unwashed masses.

I also ask why they are even going down this road - when their focus should be on address the short comings of their browser - like not properly support youtube (specifically I can't delete my messages my account area) or the lack of stability when it comes to loading very large websites or heavily graphical on a constrained environment such as a netbook. Instead of addressing the short comings of their product they instead are choosing to branch out and avoid the elephant in the room.

Edited 2009-06-17 09:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Comment by invent00r
by invent00r on Tue 16th Jun 2009 10:41 UTC
invent00r
Member since:
2009-04-27

Really nice and powerful feature. I've tried the few apps it comes with it, and they seem to do so little to the real potential of this..

I think in the future this Opera Unite will stand out. Oh, I can't wait!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by iliks
by iliks on Tue 16th Jun 2009 11:40 UTC
iliks
Member since:
2008-07-08

I thought 'reinventing' was related to a new Opera version...

Reply Score: 1

Sharing content easier
by Loki_999 on Tue 16th Jun 2009 11:58 UTC
Loki_999
Member since:
2008-05-06

<Quote>Additional application features might include:</Quote>

* sharing your pr0n collection

* sharing illegally downloaded films and music

* hosting viruses for unwitting users to get infected with (disguised as harmless content of course).

* Advertisements!!! - Profit!

Reply Score: 5

Comment by aacs
by aacs on Tue 16th Jun 2009 12:02 UTC
aacs
Member since:
2008-12-13

I believe Google Wave is much more interesting and at the same time very universal, extensible and accessible, with enormous potential. Unite seems just another placeholder for colourful widgets.

Reply Score: 0

sounds cool but...
by Darkelve on Tue 16th Jun 2009 12:03 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

- what about security concerns? (malware, etc.)
- will certain ISPs start to block or throttle Opera?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by iliks
by iliks on Tue 16th Jun 2009 12:07 UTC
iliks
Member since:
2008-07-08

The idea sounds incredibly stupid... I wish Opera would concentrate on Opera.

Reply Score: 3

The Web should always have been like this
by flypig on Tue 16th Jun 2009 12:39 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

I used to use Opera, then switched to Firefox when it became faster and more lightweight. Opera Unite might just make me switch back. Personally, I think it's a great idea.

The beauty of the web has always been that it's an active rather than a passive medium. I'd have thought giving everyone their own web server could really widen how people see (and use) the web. There's so much that could be done with this (some of those web-based OSes might finally become useful!).

Having said all of that, I've not actually tried it yet, so maybe I should hold back on the praise. At the moment though, I'm really quite excited by this news.

Reply Score: 1

Huilo Member since:
2009-02-21

Since when is firefox more lightweight and faster than opera? I lold hard.

Reply Score: 5

flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

That's a fair point, but just to clarify, I meant that I switched when Firefox became faster and more lightweight than previous versions of Firefox. My wording probably could have been better.

In my experience, earlier versions of Firefox appeared to suffer from serious memory growth. Firefox 3 was much better, at which point it became usable for me. In contrast, all of the versions of Opera I've used provided me with good performance.

Edited 2009-06-16 14:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Iran
by forte555 on Tue 16th Jun 2009 12:45 UTC
forte555
Member since:
2009-06-16

Imagen if they ran opera in Iran right now, then the Facebook etc block wouldnt be as bad.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Iran
by dragossh on Tue 16th Jun 2009 12:59 UTC in reply to "Iran"
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

They would just cut people’s access to the internet instead of blocking websites.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Iran
by unclefester on Tue 16th Jun 2009 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Iran"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

No they can't cut of internet access. The Iranian government needs to distribute their information too.

Reply Score: 2

vasko_dinkov
Member since:
2005-09-13

If I understand this correctly, a user would share all the resources (pictures, music, etc.) right from his/her computer without needing to upload them to any server. OK but this has a huge drawback - what happens when his/her PC is turned off or is offline for some reason?

It if all was that simple, for example, hosting companies would get much less clients than currently because it is very simple to run a web server on your home/office PC..

Reply Score: 2

dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

The idea behind Unite is that I don’t have to wait one hour for a large file to upload somewhere just to share it with another person. I can just start Unite and give the link to that person. It’s not supposed to host your website.

Reply Score: 3

vasko_dinkov Member since:
2005-09-13

Well, I could start Skype or ICQ and share the file too without needing to first upload it to a remote server and I must admit, there is a bit higher chance the other person would have any of those installed already rather than Opera (although I personally use and prefer Opera for browsing)...

Reply Score: 1

boofar Member since:
2008-04-23

there is a bit higher chance the other person would have any of those installed already rather than Opera


You know, Opera isn't the only HTTP client around... ;)

Reply Score: 1

Huilo Member since:
2009-02-21

This ain't a drawback, this is an improvement. You are not forced to user rapidshare, or other online services if you'd like to share a song or some pics with your friends.

Reply Score: 2

j.blechert Member since:
2006-01-04

for me it would be a drawback because it costs my bandwith whenever I want to distribute a copy. if I upload it it is uploaded once and it can be downloaded many times with a much higher bandwith than with which I originally uploaded it. and really, for the stuff I only upload once any messenger service is more than enough.

Reply Score: 1

Oracle Powerbrowser
by fretinator on Tue 16th Jun 2009 14:23 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Does anyone remember Oracle Powerbrowser? It had a built-in web server (and I think FTP server also). I really like it but Oracle killed it not long after release.

IIRC, the last version of Mosaic had a "shared" mode where users could browse the web together.

Reply Score: 3

Opera is a browser correct?
by juvenile4909 on Tue 16th Jun 2009 15:47 UTC
juvenile4909
Member since:
2007-08-04

So they go from complaining to the EU to creating a service like this? they have alotta time on their hands, why not improve your standalone browser first?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Opera is a browser correct?
by Huilo on Tue 16th Jun 2009 15:51 UTC in reply to "Opera is a browser correct?"
Huilo Member since:
2009-02-21

You know companies got a skill, it's called "multitasking"

Reply Score: 1

juvenile4909 Member since:
2007-08-04

A jack of all is a master at none.

There are separate companies that provide such services and it's well worth the money.


Dedicated services >>>> Clouding of any Sort

Reply Score: 1

A few notes
by wossman on Tue 16th Jun 2009 17:10 UTC
wossman
Member since:
2009-03-20

Has anyone commenting here tried Unite yet? I just did and here are a few immidiate observations:

Firstly, I'm a Firefox user. That's just my personal choice. Not a religious statement nor an endorsement of the browser. I simply find it most conducive to the way *I* use the web.

So for me, Unite and Opera are actually one and the same application. If I were to develop a liking for Unite, I'd start Opera to use it then go back to Firefox which I've customized quite a bit with Add-ons I find useful.

So far I've started the File Sharing, Web Server and lounge services. When turning on sharing and the web server I was asked to provide folders to store the content for each service and I did so. Then I was ready to share some files but there appears to be nothing in the Unite GUI to let me add files to the shared folder. It seems I need to leasve the browser window and use my OS to copy files I want to share into the shared folder. (10 demerits)

Secondly, after turning on web sharing Unite displayed a messagge offering to create an "index.html" file in the site. I allowed it to. Then I wanted to edit the file but there seems to be no way to do so from within Opera/Unite and again there's no way in the GUI to add files. (20 demerits)

I have a WordPress blog that I self-host and I'm very impressed with the quality and functionality of the WYSIWYG post editor in version 2.7.x. Would it have been so difficult to implement similar functionality in Unite so users can create and edit pages in place? Again, the need to leave the primary interface (Opera) to generate or change content.

I haven't tried the 'Fridge', media player, or photo sharing yet because they don't initially interest me. But so far I'm very unimpressed.

Also, Opera would have been well advised to partner with an existing social network of it's choice, rather than to reinvent the wheel (not the web ;-)). Facebook has its shortcomings but its relevance in the web's ecosystem is undeniable and it's Facebook Connect platform could be a benefit to a service like Unite.

But in my humble opinion, Unite is yet another half-baked idea executed in a less than ideal manner. I don't see it gaining any more market share than Opera already has with their browser.

W.

Reply Score: 1

RE: A few notes
by FealDorf on Tue 16th Jun 2009 18:47 UTC in reply to "A few notes"
FealDorf Member since:
2008-01-07

The technology is "beta" -- which means that; yes - it's "half-baked". I personally feel a sense of prejudice from you - you're rejecting the idea before you give it a try.

Yes, "Unite is Opera" because it's a technology embedded in the browser - that's the very concept. I wouldn't be surprised if I see a plugin replicating it on Firefox as with any technology you find on other browsers.

I haven't used web-server yet; but as it's obviously intended to be a simple webserver it'd require only the index.html...

Lastly it *does* count as "reinventing the web" cuz the fundamental concept in itself is different; it's not a social network it's a web-server in your browser.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A few notes
by wossman on Tue 16th Jun 2009 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE: A few notes"
wossman Member since:
2009-03-20

Rejecting the idea before I give it a try? Have you read my post entirely? I've only commented on the parts I *have* tried and I've stated that fact. I'd hope that any group embarking on a project like this would give more thought the user experience before even going to into beta.

The interface as is doesn't strike me as one aimed at power users. Power users can find their way around accomplishing the same goals and usually don't mind (in fact they take pride in being capable of) the extra effort. This seems to me to be a service aimed an unsophisticated users. And to that end, usability is lacking.

I'd imagine that there's a lot riding on this for Opera and the more effort they put into keeping the user captive in their GUI, the stickier the service will be. And that'd be a good thing for them.

All told, what you're sensing from me is actually, disappointment, not prejudice. It doesn't matter to me whether Mozilla or Google released this service. My findings are the same.

But as you aptly point out, it's only a beta and a brand new one at that. Let's see how well they improve it in time.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A few notes
by FealDorf on Tue 16th Jun 2009 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A few notes"
FealDorf Member since:
2008-01-07

Interface was never a strong point for Opera; if you ask me it's one of the major reasons for its small market share (the other being issues in rendering non-compliant webpages). Nevertheless - like I said; I think it's clear it isn't intended for people serious about hosting a website; as such it doesn't need to be versatile. Nevertheless I can read that you have "tried" it but I'm referring to using it for more than a try with expectations of a different sort. That's what *I* felt because you expected them to be decoupled or so.. Nevertheless, I'm not entirely impressed myself but I admire the idea enough to delay my judgement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A few notes
by stainlessstealrat on Tue 16th Jun 2009 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A few notes"
stainlessstealrat Member since:
2007-12-12

It's an alpha, not a beta.
From http://labs.opera.com/news/2009/06/16/
download the new Opera Unite alpha builds

Also;
The initial applications offered by Opera Unite are just simple demos

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: A few notes
by FealDorf on Wed 17th Jun 2009 03:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A few notes"
FealDorf Member since:
2008-01-07

Oh yea; i forgot. They need to update the "opera:about" page I guess..

Reply Score: 1

RE: A few notes
by WorknMan on Tue 16th Jun 2009 22:15 UTC in reply to "A few notes"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

So for me, Unite and Opera are actually one and the same application. If I were to develop a liking for Unite, I'd start Opera to use it then go back to Firefox which I've customized quite a bit with Add-ons I find useful.


See, that's the thing. I don't really see them as the same, even though they are. But does that mean they should be? Why release this as part of the browser? Seems like it would be smaller and lighter if it were standalone. It just doesn't seem to be a good fit. Kind of like throwing a photo editor and CD burner into the same application.

Also, a couple of other issues I see with this:

1. LogmeIn and its ilk have file sharing services like this, but they charge $ for them. How does Opera intend to keep it free and still profit? Will it be ad-supported?

2. If it becomes an avenue for piracy, this service will probably last about an hour before it is shut down by the entertainment/software industry.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A few notes
by bugjacobs on Tue 16th Jun 2009 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE: A few notes"
bugjacobs Member since:
2009-01-03

They should definitively make an option where OperaUnite could run as a tray application when the Opera browser was closed. And a small editor for the webserver and filestore .. Maybe they could partner with Coffeecup software :-)

Reply Score: 1

As expected
by FealDorf on Tue 16th Jun 2009 18:36 UTC
FealDorf
Member since:
2008-01-07

Opera's new concept as I expected was received with more scepticism than optimism. Were this to be some firefox's innovation or of Google; it'd be received very differently. Take Wave; it's more complicated than "revolutionary".

Anyway; this IS an important innovation. Me able to access my music over my cellphone is definitely useful; plus personalized chat software would be quite useful.

One important thing you should understand is that the user is in control of data here; this is not just a privacy issue -- I prefer sharing pictures over Y! Messenger than Flickr or online-slideshows because it's many times simpler and quicker.

Reply Score: 4

Security
by mweichert on Tue 16th Jun 2009 19:35 UTC
mweichert
Member since:
2006-03-23

I hope it's an optional component and not shipped with Opera, as that would violate our security policies - and I like to have Opera around for web compatibility tests.

Reply Score: 1

v Too bad it's using qt
by bunglemeister on Wed 17th Jun 2009 02:09 UTC
RE: Too bad it's using qt
by soonerproud on Wed 17th Jun 2009 03:05 UTC in reply to "Too bad it's using qt"
soonerproud Member since:
2008-03-05

You left out two other major distros that also default to gnome.

1. Debian (I know Ubuntu is essentially Debian, but they are different enough to merit being separated in a case like this.)

2. SLED and Open Suse. Novell switched the default to gnome a few years ago.

Edited 2009-06-17 03:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Too bad it's using qt
by warhoon on Wed 17th Jun 2009 04:45 UTC in reply to "Too bad it's using qt"
warhoon Member since:
2006-11-19

I don't know which GNU/Linux you are using, but if you are using Ubuntu then there are no problems what so ever to download and install a Qt application. The necessary libraries are all there to run it even though you are using the Gnome desktop.

I have had no problems using Opera with Ubuntu. Works the same in either Ubuntu or Kubuntu. Just download, install, run it and enjoy!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too bad it's using qt
by Johann Chua on Wed 17th Jun 2009 04:53 UTC in reply to "Too bad it's using qt"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Because Opera is multi-platform. The developers think Qt is the best toolkit for the job.

Reply Score: 3

p2p?
by Darkelve on Wed 17th Jun 2009 09:41 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

How about a p2p-style network with openID-based signup (or something similar, or no sign-up).

I believe KDE already is doing something similar with their social semantic desktop idea, you do not need Opera but of course do need KDE desktop environment. There should also be by some kind of 'circle of trust' (e.g. '4 of my friends trust Y 100%, so let the software also trust person Y 100%').

Take sharing a file for example. You could share a file through a widget/applet/gadget/... and then it gets distributed through certain protocol (http, ftp, bittorrent, ...) to friends in your 'trust' circle. E.g. one action could be 'show my vacation videos to every friend with highest trust rating - optionally: use encrypted bittorrent protocol for transfer'.

Edited 2009-06-17 09:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

great idea
by po134 on Wed 17th Jun 2009 15:03 UTC
po134
Member since:
2009-05-15

It's a very great idea, even if most of the new "service" are useless, although file sharing and web hosting one seems promising for very narrow usecase (because of bandwidth concerns in canada/usa/mexico, this problem isn't present in Europe or asia).

For me this is most about the fact that they showed us their browser will now support "inside program" which can be a lot of things and I can see numbers of new innovative things we could do within this browser !

I don't know if putting everything inside a browser is a good idea or not, time will tell, but the fact that I have a file host/web server (with upnp to auto-set my router !!!) 2-3 clicks away is a great improvement over anything available right now, at least that I'm aware of. Lots of potential there.

Reply Score: 1

here we go again
by minusf on Wed 17th Jun 2009 20:13 UTC
minusf
Member since:
2009-06-07

sigh. i am not surprised at all about the comments coming up about unite, it's the same dance more or less as with the 10 beta.

while the news post doesnt make the same annoying mistakes as the slashdot summary it doesn't communicate an awful lot either.

i am an old time osnews reader and i never understood the hostile stance against opera. i am not going to repeat all the stuff opera made that are taken for granted now, everyone keeps forgetting anyway. opera is a great company, giving away an amazing product for free. why do you need more?

the problem with unite is, that few people try it, and even fewer realise what it's really about.

no, it is not a 24/7 hosting solution, or a replacement for apache, or a heavyweight p2p sharing solution.

it is an open and flexible framework. it is also alpha software.

if you tried it, you know that it does not need opera at all if you are on the receiving side, you still benefit from it.

lets look at the most talked about feature: i can easily send you a link to a page showing a playlist you can listen to without actually having those songs in your computer. you can open that page in any browser. the number of steps falling away to show you e.g. 5 songs each some 20 megabytes is astounding: i dont have to: compress the files into an archive, upload it to a sharing site (alternatively i can rsync them to my "proper" server, then after you confirm the download i have to delete them again). mail is already out of question, as attachment limits are normally way bellow 20 megs. and it takes ages. you dont have to: wait for the free download page to count down cause all the slots are full and you are not a premium user, maybe even enter a captcha, wait for the files to download, get them from the archive, put them on your playlist, listen to the songs and delete them cause you dont like them anyway. with unite you'll be finished with the songs even before the others packed up the album. i know because i have done this all the time. it is a brilliant shortcut to play some tunes to some friends.

or i can share out a subdirectory of small to mid-sized miscellaneous, ephemeral files you need to copy off of me without all the time sink i already described above. it's a terrific timesaver.

or i can host a chat with my parents without them needing a google account or an icq account or jabber account or any extra software (i am not there to install for them anyway), anything at all but a browser.

or i can share my private pics i want to share only with you, and just for the 2 hours while we chat.

sure, there are better programs with more features for all these tasks. but nothing is faster then this for basic mundane tasks i do every day. unite lets me do all this and much more in the future without downloading, learning and using any other software. i spend my whole day in the browser anyway so why not take advantage of it? it's fast, it's easy, and i can use it no matter what the other side uses as a browser. i couldn't care less -- it makes my life easier.

with unite, the keyword is "instantious". its services are like the minigames in a game. why use extra programs, services, accounts when all you need is to share a couple of files until your friends/collegues download it? no more NT shared directories.

you bet your glasses ie and ff and chrome will scramble to come up with something like this.

and so what if you need another account? it's not the first neither the last one you will have on the internet. if you have a password manager (wand) like the one in opera you won't even care. but the fact is, that by using these services you can actually cut down on the number of accounts you use. i am sure there are services that let you upload music, convert it to a stream and send it off as a url. or for the other stuff unite can or will be able to do. but i am also sure many of those sites need you (the sender) to sign up.

and, Kroc, and Thom? i start to twitch every time i see your names as posters. when it comes to opera, you are ignorant, prejudiced and incompetent news twisters. i just thought i might let you know.

Reply Score: 3

RE: here we go again
by Kroc on Fri 19th Jun 2009 14:01 UTC in reply to "here we go again"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Ignorant, I will certainly admit to—and it is why well thought out and concise comments such as your own are of such benefit to us. What you have presented is indeed a line of reasoning I wish to bring up in the next podcast. The actual notion of interlinking browsers this way is very creative, and a natural progression on to better things—I feel that Opera themselves are going about it in perhaps not the best way.

Edited 2009-06-19 14:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

great idea and the competition will win
by 2501 on Sat 20th Jun 2009 17:07 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

Great idea from Opera but this ideal will be stolen by the competition and Operal will fall again. I see Firefox and of course Microsoft doing something similar.
-2501

Reply Score: 1