Opera has been making everyone itch the past few weeks after announcing that they’re about to announce something radical, revolutionary on the 16th (that was today for us in Australia). Well now we have it, and I’m not too sure what to make of it. Its Opera Unite.
So what is Opera Unite? In a nutshell, Opera Unite is a collaborative technology that uses a compact server inside the Opera desktop browser to share data and services. You can write applications — in the form of Opera Unite Services — that use this server to serve content to other Web users.
Why is this exciting? Well, it allows you to interact with contacts, sharing data and services without the need for any third-party Web sites/applications to be involved at all. Think of the possibilities:
- You could play games and chat to your peers directly using the service
- You could share photos and videos with peers, straight off your hard drive, without needing to use third-party Web applications
- You can work collaboratively with others on files such as data and images (think wikis or drawing applications), and then work with those files offline if you wish, before sharing them again at a later date
- You could even start creating some crazy hacks, like an application that controls a remote car across the Web (I’ve seen a rough prototype in action)
The above is from the Developer documentation, so essentially, the next major release of Opera will ship with a web-server that will allow you to serve up some content and share files, photos and notes. Theres also a primer on the Unite Developer area that helps you build a Blog engine. Theres lots more in their Opera Unite Services catalog.
From what I can gather at this stage, its Opera pushing us to control our content, so we dont need to put our doggy pictures on Flickr, upload your cool videos to Youtube, instead you host your own content.
This all sounds reallly radical and exciting – we’re essentially throwing the word cloud around round about now… But then you realise something. You have to leave your computer turned on for your stuff to be seen to others. Everything is also routed through their Unite Proxy as per the developer documentation.
To me it looks like Opera is trying to grab all this Web 2.0 Social sites by the balls and stick it into a browser – like Flock but lighter. This is exactly the thoughts – plus a lot better analysis by Chris Messner, an avid open-source activist.
Go on, get onboard the rage – download an alpha and try it out. You’ll find alot of people Flocking to it soon.
Whilst on the subject of Opera, whats with them a bit cheesed off at Microsoft’s decision to not offer Internet Explorer 8 for European users – they clearly pushed for it, but now that they’ve got it, they’re not happy jan.
Seems to me that whilst MSFT may have been anti-competitive in the past, the EU is just milking MSFT from its big utter and they want the butter for free. What about Apple, un bundle Safari, get rid of iTunes. I want to be able to use Firefox. OPEN UP THE GOD FAWKING API’s so we can make some decent software for Windows to manage our iPods and iPhones. Why are we locked into using smoking pile of poo that is iTunes? (dont deny it!)
Yes, I have issues. But I digress bashing Apple yet again, go checkout Opera Unite.