Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Mar 2010 16:26 UTC
Opera Software Think of Opera what you want, but those Norwegian guys and girls know how to get publicity. The company has announced it has submitted Opera Mini to the iPhone's App Store, and it has launched a website with a count-up timer, following how long it will take Apple to approve it - if at all, of course.
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Interpreted on the server?
by toast88 on Wed 24th Mar 2010 00:23 UTC
toast88
Member since:
2009-09-23

Hi,

can someone just comment on this?

"This also happens to be the reason why Opera Mini may be approved where other browsers weren't: since no code is being interpreted (it's all done server-side),"

Does this mean that the whole HTML interpretation and rendering is performed on the server side and the client app is nothing but an image viewer (to say it that way)? I couldn't believe that this would be faster than Safari which runs natively.

Adrian

Reply Score: 1

RE: Interpreted on the server?
by HappyGod on Wed 24th Mar 2010 00:55 in reply to "Interpreted on the server?"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

Hi,

can someone just comment on this?

"This also happens to be the reason why Opera Mini may be approved where other browsers weren't: since no code is being interpreted (it's all done server-side),"

Does this mean that the whole HTML interpretation and rendering is performed on the server side and the client app is nothing but an image viewer (to say it that way)? I couldn't believe that this would be faster than Safari which runs natively.

Adrian



Yes, that's correct. And you're right in some situations, it could actually be a whole lot slower, depending on how it's implemented.

If you're looking at a fairly static page, like news pages, then Opera will rip along (which is probably why they selected a news page for their demo).

If on the other hand you looking at a dynamic javascript/JQuery heavy page, like Facebook or online booking forms etc. then this will run like crap, (unless they have built in a local js engine as well).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Interpreted on the server?
by whartung on Wed 24th Mar 2010 17:36 in reply to "Interpreted on the server?"
whartung Member since:
2005-07-06

Does this mean that the whole HTML interpretation and rendering is performed on the server side and the client app is nothing but an image viewer (to say it that way)?


Rendering HTML is not "interpreting" it. The whole interpreter limitation is to prevent executable code from being downloaded from the net running on the iPhone. The extreme case is a VM of some kind, and you would donwload a runtime, and talk to a completely separate "app store" (say, a Flash App Store). That's the primary driver behind the limitation.

Rendering HTML is no different from rendering XML, and there are a zillion apps the render XML, JSON, etc every day. Consider any RSS reader, that's all they're doing, "rendering" RSS.


I couldn't believe that this would be faster than Safari which runs natively.


It runs faster, especially low bandwidth conections, because the app makes a single connection to the Opera master servers. These servers then fetch not just the destination page, but all of their artifacts, using high bandwidth, low latency connections. The result is consolidated in to a compressed markup, which is then sent to the mini-browser.

For example, imagine a page that has a single paragraph of text, with a bolded word in the middle, but the actual CSS file used is the one common for the site, and is actually 50-100K of CSS. The Opera server can look at the HTML and discover only the actual CSS necessary to render this specific page, and send the compressed markup with only the CSS rules that the page needs, dramatically reducing the overall payload size.

Similarly, it can resize images to the scale necessary for the device. That 10MB jpeg that your browser normally scales to fit the 100x100 size box on the page, is compressed by the Opera servers, and drops from 10MB to 40K, or even better.

All of these combine in to making the browser much faster, particularly for low bandwidth, high latency connections.

With higher bandwidth availability, and faster processors, the offloading of the processing is less important and will have less of an impact.

Reply Parent Score: 4

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I think there's only an exteremely simple image and text layout engine on the client.
2 facts second that:
1. mini runs (as java midlet) on quite simple phones (like SE K750i) that struggle to handle html native way
2. Reorientation to landscape mode causes a roundtrip.

Basically, technologically mini is WAP done right.

Reply Parent Score: 2