Opera 'reinvents the web' with Opera Unite

It seems that Opera have come out and unveiled their planned announcement about 'reinventing the web' in the last few minutes, with a project they have called Opera Unite, something which seems very promising.

So, what is Opera Unite? According to the press release, it is a new technology that consolidates any computer into both a client and server machine, which means it can "interact with and serve content" to other computers, disregarding any need for third-party servers. This is all well and good, but what benefits does this service provide? Well, apparently, for consumers it means you will be able to easily share data with any device that has a modern browser, all whilst having greater control of your private data. For the web developers, though, it means creating complex web services will be vastly simplified; Unite is based on as same standards as websites today, so now creating an advanced web service is as easy as making a standard site.

These are the current features, according to the aforementioned press release:

File Sharing:

Securely share a file from your personal computer without waiting to upload it. First select the folder from which you would like to share files. Opera Unite then generates a direct URL to that folder. By giving that link to your friends, you can share files without routing through a third-party Web service.

Web Server:

Run entire Web sites from your local computer with the Opera Unite Web Server. After selecting the folder containing your Web site, you can share and host it from the given Opera Unite URL. Opera Unite will automatically recognize index files and create the Web site as you designed it.

Media Player:

Rock out wherever you are by accessing your MP3s and playlists from any machine. After selecting the folder containing your playlist, use the Opera Unite direct link to play your tracks directly in any modern Web browser.

Photo Sharing:

Share your photos direct from your PC, without uploading them online. Once you select your photo folder, the photo-sharing service will create a thumbnail image gallery of your photos. Clicking the thumbnail will present the photo in its original resolution.

The Lounge:

The Lounge is a self-contained chat service running on your computer. Your friends can access the chat room via the direct link, which will not require them to sign into any service. Depending on your privacy settings, you need only provide the generated password to your service in order for people to log in to your chatroom.

Fridge:

Post a note on your friends' virtual refrigerators. By sharing the direct link to your refrigerator, you and your friends, family or colleagues can exchange notes securely and privately in real time.

Enough chat; how can you get your hands on this and test it out? First of all, download the latest build of Opera Unite from the labs website. After you've done that and installed it (you'll need a special version of Opera 10, available from the labs link available below), click the Unite logo in the bottom left corner of the browser and enter your Opera ID; you can use one you've previously set up, otherwise you will be asked to make one. Once you've done that, you're ready to go. Opening the Opera Unite panel of the browser, you can peruse the services available, and you can add more by going to the Unite webpage. Also, "Running a service will give you a direct Web address to the Opera Unite service on your device, for example: http://notebook.jondoe.operaunite.com/photo_sharing/, where "notebook" is the name of the local device serving content, "jondoe" is your username, and "photo_sharing" is the Web service being accessed. That link will also allow others to access the same Web service from your computer through their Web browser."

The CEO of Opera, Jon von Tetzchner, said, "Today, we are opening the full potential of the Web for everyone. Technology moves in distinct cycles. PCs decentralized computing away from large mainframes. Opera Unite now decentralizes and democratizes the cloud. With server capability in the browser, Web developers can create Web applications with profound ease. Consumers have the flexibility to choose private and efficient ways of sharing information. We believe Opera Unite is one of our most significant innovations yet, because it changes forever the fundamental fabric of the Web."

If you're unsure about anything, head to the support page for Unite, which has a wealth of content available. Additionally, there is an introduction to Opera Unite here.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows 7 build 7232 leaks, with new wallpaper

Next Story

Apple offers Snow Leopard upgrades for $9.95

224 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I am hoping that the installer for Opera remains slim as ever. Hopefully, the implementation will be similar to voice files, which may be downloaded whenever necessary. I don't particularly wanna use Unite. So I hope this is not bundled in with the default installer.

While there are some issues, I'm really interested in this honestly. I feel like it'd best be used for one-off things for now, most likely between family and friends and such. Not something you'd use to serve content to the general populace 24/7.

Also, I think that the current ISP business model kills it a little. Most people have a fairly low upload bandwidth cap. If this catches on, it'll hopefully improve this situation. I like the direction that this is going though, and as internet speeds increase I think this is how the internet will eventually evolve.

Edit: Just noticed this, but quite a few people are criticizing Opera Unite as bundling together stuff that's already been done. While that's true, which is nice in its own way since it simplifies it for end users, it looks like there's more to it. From what I can tell the whole thing is more of a framework where you can build all sorts of different web applications. It just happens to be that the defaults are applications that would be commonly used (i.e. file server).

hm am I the only one who think they haven't reinvented the web ? I mean there's nothing new in their release... running an apache locally on your computer you can do that already... photo ,files sharing cmon I mean a files browser does that ... files sharing into a browser who cares... so many on the market. Media player lol they copied the idea from Songbird nothing new here. Wow a chat room... pointless. I think it's too much by saying reinventing the web...
I hope some people agreed...

While I agree that it has been hyped too much, you have gotta agree that this has never been tried in any web browser before. I personally don't find any use for Unite, but I can think of plenty of situations where this will be very useful. Just remember that this is not intended to replace file servers or chat clients. It is just a different avatar, if you will, for these things.

And what about ISP's with TOS that prohibit operating any type of server? Does that mean I can sue Opera for offering a product facilitates me breaking the rules?
...I hope so.

And I want it bundled with IE8.

The skin is more refined too. And I like the drop-down button for the menu. Didn't try out Unite, but the build is great. Must be the longest change-log ever by Opera.

The skin is more refined too. And I like the drop-down button for the menu. Didn't try out Unite, but the build is great. Must be the longest change-log ever by Opera.

Does opera unite mean that direct downloads of illegal files will sky rocket since people will not have to use rapidshare/bitorrent..etc..? Would it be easier to get caught (uploading/downloading those files via opera unite)? What does this imply for future IRAA battles with music downloaders/uploaders?

LiGht07 said,
Does opera unite mean that direct downloads of illegal files will sky rocket since people will not have to use rapidshare/bitorrent..etc..? Would it be easier to get caught (uploading/downloading those files via opera unite)? What does this imply for future IRAA battles with music downloaders/uploaders?

RT @DownloadSquad Note to anyone trying out Opera Unite: Your data transfers are not encrypted in any way. That is all.

It's much harder to find files on Unite. With BitTorrent and such you have search engines. With Unite, you need to know the name of the server and stuff.

I have been using it for most of the day and so far it is looking good, but will it be good enough to make me switch from FF? only time will tell.

This service isn't for me, and surely isn't reinventing the internet. Also, it's quite fully to see the opera fanboys on high alert. Anyone whom doesn't like this product is of course 'whining', I love it.

It is most certainly reinventing the web. It reinvents the web by making your computer part of the web.

Yes, that was possible to do before, but not like this, and not this easily and with this flexibility.

(snipped)

I think it's great! Thanks to Opera's announcement today I found out that I'm a thick, childish, whiner that expects too much from a 'reinvented web.' And to top it all off, Europe gets Windows 7 without a web browser!!!

Thanks, Opera, for making our lives so much better!

(snipped)

Europe does not get Windows 7 without a browser. That was something Microsoft tried to do of its own free will, in order to game the system. It didn't work, and now they will have to bundle a few competitors, which is the normal thing to do in such cases.

(snipped)

I think the difference is that filesovermiles can be used only for a single session. If the sender has a dynamic ip address, the file can be sent only while the modem is still connecting via the same ip address. The primary key for Unite is the my.opera.com login. So, things shared in previous sessions remain available as long as the computer is on and the services are active.

Nice thing about live mesh (and not unite) is that my computer doesn't have to be on 24/7 in order for me to access my files.

Reinvention of the web? I think not. Just another file sharing service.

I would argue that you (and many others) are sort of missing the point. You wouldn't use this in place of Live Mesh or bittorrent or IRC, though I suppose you could.

I think by far the most interesting "service" is the jukebox service. You and some # of friends are all on IM or whatever, and hop over to your Opera Unite service. You get an instant chat room for all (unlike some of the limitations of AIM group chat the last time I tried). Then you can all have a "compare my current favorite music" weekly meeting for instance - you all pick some number of songs, and you hear the same songs together over the net. I can see this being a better, more personalized and social Top 40 countdown for individual groups of friends for instance. And as you listen, you can pop in and comment for all on the chat part.

Oh, and you can do this on your netbook or smartphone while you're waiting in the shop for your car to be repaired (for instance).

Another place I can see it is (and maybe live mesh does this, but I'm still putting stuff out there on someone elses server which might bother me) : I'm working on something with my co-workers and I'm on my smartphone in the doctors waiting room, lets say, and suddenly I need to see that excel file we're talking about. It can be a simple copy/paste into this and it's there. Now, there's other ways to do this, but for quick and *easy* setup and use, this seems very far out ahead to me. Now, perhaps right now, I'd use a Wiki, and maybe in the future I'd use Google Wave, but this is indeed interesting for ready to go, across platforms, and mobile in a way lots of the suggested replacements (apache?) won't go...

Of course, I'm also only sort of imagining what can be built by 3rd parties - the internet at large seems to come up with quite suprising and interesting functionality on top of various things like this.

Ok, so a combo of previously existing services into one thing is now considered reinventing them?

Hmm, lets see, most if not all cell phones and computers come with some sort of IM client or MP3 player, so no use for it there. Don't know about other people but usually when I go somewhere that may require me to open some random document, I just pull out my flash drive and open it from there, so again..no use for it there either..hmm looks like covered just about everything.

Then you can all have a "compare my current favorite music" weekly meeting for instance - you all pick some number of songs

Honestly tell me who would actually do this? Or anything similar to it?

Well, it obviously won't help the way you work. What I'm thinking of is I've got my netbook. I have Opera installed (for me because it's my browser of choice). I need to get the odf file from my netbook to my PC. I generally don't have flash drives or use them, so I could

a) set up and configure windows filesharing on my home PC and try and use samba to mount that on my netbook. Haven't had much luck in the past, might just be me.

b) go find / buy a flash drive, format FAT32 (eeewww IMO... bad filesystem, but most likely to work I guess)

c) set up a new permission on my FTP server (only easy as I already am running one - how many people normally are?)

d) use something like this to easily move the file over. Now, I could use IM and I have in the past, but maybe I don't have an IM client on my netbook. Opera's hoping the users will have a browser.

As to the compare my favorite music... IDK, all my friends from highschool and college are far away now... I could see myself doing this to keep in touch with their music tastes, especially if it's easy to get going (as this aims / seems to be)... I mean, your argument is kind of like who'd actually use Facebook . . .

Also, you're judging this by what's in existance at it's alpha stage... Look at Firefox and extensions... I don't recall any interesting extensions at M18 release in 2001 timeframe... But I didn't claim that it was useless or entirely uninteresting.

I assume the "reinvention of the web" is just marketing fluff, on par with Safari's recent announcement or Microsofts playing up of their finally adding Tabs to IE7...

d_ralphie said
You fail at understanding what Unite is all about. Do you never actually bother to understand what something is about before you whine about it?

Oh I'm pretty sure I understand what it is. I just fail to see how its reinventing anything when things like it already exist.

The only reason I like mesh better is the absolute total unreliability of the wireless connection on my computer. With this, when my connection goes dead, with it go my files. With mesh I still have access to my stuff, regardless of whither my desktop is online or not.
(snipped)

SharpGreen said,
I just fail to see how its reinventing anything when things like it already exist.

What tings like it already exists? I'd like a specific example please. Yes, one single example of something which does everything Unite does.

The only reason I like mesh better is the absolute total unreliability of the wireless connection on my computer. With this, when my connection goes dead, with it go my files. With mesh I still have access to my stuff, regardless of whither my desktop is online or not.

But then Mesh is not like Unite, and Unite is not supposed to be like Mesh. If Mesh requires someone else's server to work, then it fails at what Unite is supposed to be doing. It is basically irrelevant.

d_ralphie said,
But then Mesh is not like Unite, and Unite is not supposed to be like Mesh. If Mesh requires someone else's server to work, then it fails at what Unite is supposed to be doing. It is basically irrelevant.


Unite requires Opera's servers to work. It's how they got around having to do router set up. Mesh allows you to share files directly without it storing on their servers in case you're worried about security or don't want to use up your space in the cloud with large files...

JonathanMarston said,
Unite requires Opera's servers to work.

Only to set up the connection, like a router or DNS server. The file goes directly.

Mesh allows you to share files directly without it storing on their servers in case you're worried about security or don't want to use up your space in the cloud with large files...

And download it directly from a browser?

Uhm.. turn the service off?

edit: this was supposed to be in reply to this.

What happens if I'm playing Left 4 Dead and a friend decides to click a link to a file that I sent him 4 hours ago? Friend gets file very slowly, laggy zombies win, I don't survive

It's good when you are online to start the service. If you want your files available 24/7 without interruption use a dedicated hosts. Unite is not meant to replace them. It's personal sharing. I see Unite as a new tool. It's not meant to TOTALLY replace things I use NOW.

Can pretty guarantee that this won't increase Opera's marketshare. While it's a cool idea, most people really don't care and really have no use for this. Not really reinventing the web.

Not reinventing the web? The traditional web structure is big servers serving content to lots of clients. With Unite, everyone becomes part of the web. Clients can connect directly with other clients. Again, over the web. That's a reinvention.

And people don't care about sharing data and connecting with other people? I see.

How does this article get 150 comments and you claim no one cares?

Oh because half of those comments are the same 3 people (d-ralphie) retorting to every non-enthusiastic reply made.

There's a reason we have servers. Some examples are bandwidth, always-on, always-connected. It sounds really great to have your files shared out to yourself and/or others but can't get to them because the Internet is down, power flickered, the wife decided to save power...etc. For laptops (which are the most common PC these days), this is basically useless as you must not only have it on, you have to be in a hot-spot.

d_ralphie said,
Not reinventing the web? The traditional web structure is big servers serving content to lots of clients. With Unite, everyone becomes part of the web. Clients can connect directly with other clients. Again, over the web. That's a reinvention.

And people don't care about sharing data and connecting with other people? I see.


Whatever dude. You keep living in fantasy land and I'll just keep lookin at things realistically. It's probably more likely that Opera goes belly-up in the next few years than this thing taking off in that time. I don't think either will happen, but I'm just trying to get it through your head how non-penetrating this thing is going to be in the market.

JonathanMarston said,
There's a reason we have servers.

Yes, because bandwidth was expensive and normal computers limited. Now a lot of people actually have the bandwidth to run something like Unite.

always-on, always-connected

At the cost of being forced to hand over your data to strangers.

For laptops (which are the most common PC these days), this is basically useless as you must not only have it on, you have to be in a hot-spot.

(snipped)

Of course it's for IE browser only, that is why they are forcing users to hate Opera. Those features are not new anymore and they are not going the change the web that way. What a loser!!!

That's kind of a good idea. You can share things from your own computer without having all the crap and ads of third party sites, and it can be all in one place instead of having to go to multiple sites, such as MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, and whatever else. That seems like the best part. You can access your data without having to first upload it, awesome. You can manage all the data from your PC without the lag of having to manage it on someone else's server. You can use as much disk space as your PC has. Any PC with a browser can display it. It makes your PC more useful than a lot of web services out there. If anything, those web services will have to compete with this product for functionality, so it's useful even to those who still want to stay on those services.

It should be some sort of other app that's not integrated with a web browser though, but we'll see how it works out.

HalcyonX12 said,
It should be some sort of other app that's not integrated with a web browser though, but we'll see how it works out.

That will be swell.

Meh...I have Live Mesh, Live Messenger, Live Photo Gallery, and Facebook already, thanks. And my upload bandwidth is too slow to be usable as a web server anyway.

* I don't want extra services running on my machine, and I don't want my bandwidth eaten up by an app running in the background. Fail.
* If I try to use this on my laptop, I send a link to my friend and I go somewhere that doesn't have Wifi, my friend can't use the link. Fail.
* What happens if I'm playing Left 4 Dead and a friend decides to click a link to a file that I sent him 4 hours ago? Friend gets file very slowly, laggy zombies win, I don't survive...all kinds of fail.

It's much better to upload the file when I want to a remote server so I can control my limited upload bandwidth.

Reinventing the web? More like copying what everyone else is doing on the web and calling it yours...

So basically, you have lots of different applications that put together can't even do what Unite does?

And yet you don't want extra services running on your machine?

Wait... So what you are saying is that you have lots of extra services running on your machine to do what Unite (one service) does?

(snipped)

And no reinvention? The traditional web structure is big servers serving content to lots of clients. With Unite, everyone becomes part of the web. Clients can connect directly with other clients. Again, over the web. That's a reinvention.

d_ralphie said,
So basically, you have lots of different applications that put together can't even do what Unite does?

And yet you don't want extra services running on your machine?

Wait... So what you are saying is that you have lots of extra services running on your machine to do what Unite (one service) does?

I run Photo Gallery when I want to use it, I run Live Messenger when I want to use it, I open Facebook when I want to use it, I run Live Mesh when I want to use it.

All of these apps (aside from Live Messenger, since it's by design "instant") allow my to put stuff on the web, close them and go do something else (like, I don't know, turn my PC off? go down to my friends house who doesn't have Wifi?) and everything I've shared is still available to whomever I've shared it.

With Unite I have to always leave my computer on, connected to the Internet, with Unite running, for my friend to be able to get to the stuff I sent him a link to the day before.

JonathanMarston said,
I run Photo Gallery when I want to use it, I run Live Messenger when I want to use it, I open Facebook when I want to use it, I run Live Mesh when I want to use it.

And you run individual Unite services when you want to use them. Your point being? You still can't get away from the fact that you whined about too many services, and then you're using even more services than Unite :D

All of these apps (aside from Live Messenger, since it's by design "instant") allow my to put stuff on the web, close them and go do something else

Which means that you had over your data to someone else. You don't have to do that with Unite. Two different approaches.

With Unite I have to always leave my computer on, connected to the Internet, with Unite running, for my friend to be able to get to the stuff I sent him a link to the day before.

Or just send them the link while they are online.
(snipped)

The time Until an individual accidentally publishes confidential information to the internet, in 3.............2..............1......

With this, they're just eliminiating the need for a FTP client, since most (average?) people have no idea how that works. This could make it easier for many.... I'm definitely interested in the concept though

The traditional web structure is big servers serving content to lots of clients.

With Unite, everyone becomes part of the web. Clients can connect directly with other clients. Again, over the web.

That's a reinvention.

I think its good for the following reasons:
I read a few of the developer docs about it.

Let's say you need to share something that is too important to put on a remote server controlled by other people.
Or you need to share a file quickly, syncing a file on a remote service like drop box takes a long time, first it has to sync all your stuff to the server then someone has to download it, so you have to wait for an upload and then a download.
Let's say you don't have a dropbox account, and you have 5 minutes to share something before you go somewhere, start opera, choose directory, start service.

As for the comments on energy conservation and leaving computer on all the time, when you close opera it stops working, so I see it as a fulfilling the need of a quick temporary server, for small quick jobs.

Another scenario where this is useful is let's say you need some file from a relative/friend who doesn't know very much about computers, this is not that difficult to use. The concept of dropbox actually scares people when you tell them they are putting their stuff on some computer somewhere, some people like their files to be kept personal.

As for security, its only meant for temporary servers for quick stuff or for new ways to interact with your friends when you happen to be online, not to host the entire planet 24/7.

Also it uses a proxy to serve the content by redirecting it to your account, this helps, because you don't have to explain to someone how to open ports in a router, and is much more secure.

You won't be able to serve .php files, it has it's own server side sandboxed javascript language, with a helper library with events for server requests etc and data storage.
The javascript and html files are not accessible, unless you put them in the public_html inside the unite gadget.
I for one trust the security of Opera more than downloading some freeware ftp program that someone wrote in their spare time, and if there are security holes there is a greater chance that they will be fixed.

If they allow you to store small pieces of data on opera's servers, you could probably write things like bookmarking services, or atleast test out your idea for a new type of service that requires syncing.

I don't know if it has a future, but it certainly has interesting applications, and I foresee it coming in handy for myself.

Also, some/most file sharing services put a limit on how big the file you can share can be.

I don't know how well the widget that comes with unite for filesharing, serves large files, but it could be very good.

sookyboo said,
I think its good for the following reasons:
I read a few of the developer docs about it.

Let's say you need to share something that is too important to put on a remote server controlled by other people.
Or you need to share a file quickly, syncing a file on a remote service like drop box takes a long time, first it has to sync all your stuff to the server then someone has to download it, so you have to wait for an upload and then a download.


Live Mesh already does this as well as other services.

briangw said,
Live Mesh already does this as well as other services.

Except Live Mesh is nothing like Unite because the former requires you to set up and connect to a separate server, whereas the server is part of Unite itself?

d_ralphie said,
Except Live Mesh is nothing like Unite because the former requires you to set up and connect to a separate server, whereas the server is part of Unite itself?


Still, with an ISP like Comcast limiting bandwidth per month, it's not feasible to have Opera setup unless those restricitons are lifted.

But that's equally the case with Live Mesh, so the point is moot. Comcast limiting bandwidth isn't a problem with Unite in itself either.

d_ralphie said,
But that's equally the case with Live Mesh, so the point is moot. Comcast limiting bandwidth isn't a problem with Unite in itself either.


Not necessarily. Unite does a lot more things and offers more bandwidth intensive services. Plus, am I reading correctly that it's running both up and down online, so that if it's not doing anything, it's still broadcasting? Live Mesh doesn't call upon anything unless you or someone else tells it to.

Uncontrolled peer-to-peer data sharing from a browser = immediate blocking on my company network - big fail.

I don't think it will be part of a standard opera install, but more like a plugin for opera.

In any case they will probably let us know how to block it on a network.

I really wish that a lot of you would look into how to use Unite, the services have to be enabled by you, that includes the web server and file sharing services.

All we've learned today is that Opera has no idea what "reinvention" means. Perhaps one of their competitors can help them out.

Actually, it is you who has no idea. (snipped)

The traditional web structure is big servers serving content to lots of clients.

With Unite, everyone becomes part of the web. Clients can connect directly with other clients. Again, over the web.

That's a reinvention.

d_ralphie said,
Actually, it is you who has no idea. (snipped)
Clients can connect directly with other clients. Again, over the web.
That's a reinvention.

Really? I'm pretty sure I've seen this before...

Wont ISP's have something to say about this, especially ones that don't allow this kinda stuff, I think there are ISP's out there with those kinda TOS's.

I'll be ok unlimited bandwidth theoretically but if it got a lot of use you'd get STM'd and sent to a crawl.

As I stated in a forum posting, this could cost some people their Internet connections as it basically turns their machines into servers, by definition. Most ISPs specifically forbid such actions - and yes I'm aware that most people don't give a damn about it, but even so...

Don't cry a river if you end up getting the plug pulled for using this particular application, it could and probably will happen.

Hey, I was right afterall but their server is bombarded right now, I guest they do need to reinvent the web afterall

Tried it, uninstalled it. If I want to share stuff I'll do that online where the content is always available and doesn't use my bandwidth. This is especially true when it comes to web hosting, if it's important I'll pay for hosting, if it's not I'll use the free hosting that comes with my broadband deal. Really don't see the point.

The point is that you don't have to go through someone else's servers, and it's much easier than having to mess around with lots of different services and applications.

Sharing with someone is as simple as sending them an URL, and it works in any browser.

I know - it's a plan to unite Opera with Microsoft's money through EU litigations!

;)

I know... but I could not resist...

BigBoy said,
I know - it's a plan to unite Opera with Microsoft's money through EU litigations!

;)

I know... but I could not resist...


Yeah, Opera is going to sue MS due to the fact IIS is integrated into windows server and Opera can not compete with a business class web server......... I can see it now.....

BigBoy said,
I know - it's a plan to unite Opera with Microsoft's money through EU litigations!

(snipped)

Never mind the fact that Opera never even sued MS (it was just a request for the EC to look into Microsoft's business practices)(snipped)

Is this an epidemic coming about? It seems less and less people read a story and fully understand what they're reading before commenting. It clearly states any modern browser can access the services.

lord_xenos said,
Is this an epidemic coming about? It seems less and less people read a story and fully understand what they're reading before commenting. It clearly states any modern browser can access the services.


yes, but you still need opera to set up the services, so perhaps my comment should have been "..., even if you have to use opera to set up the services."

So whow does this work. Is Opera suggesting that consumers leave their PCs running (consuming energy) when the owner is away just so they can have access to their files without including a third party? Maybe I don't quite understand the concept but if thats what they are suggesting it totally disrespects the idea of consuming less energy.

Maybe the owner can remotely use WoL (Wake on LAN) it sends a magic packet to the PC and switches it on ready to use! I discovered it the other day but I think it would be harder to achieve over the net rather than from inside your LAN!

This Opera Unite looks promising to me! I like it already

NPGMBR said,
So whow does this work. Is Opera suggesting that consumers leave their PCs running (consuming energy) when the owner is away just so they can have access to their files without including a third party? Maybe I don't quite understand the concept but if thats what they are suggesting it totally disrespects the idea of consuming less energy.


The point is that you don't have to use the web server service, it isn't enabled by default anyway. None of the services are, you have to enable them yourself.

NPGMBR said,
So whow does this work. Is Opera suggesting that consumers leave their PCs running (consuming energy) when the owner is away just so they can have access to their files without including a third party? Maybe I don't quite understand the concept but if thats what they are suggesting it totally disrespects the idea of consuming less energy.

You don't have to leave your computer on for YOURSELF. You can, but you don't have to. Most people will probably use it to share data with other people, people who are online at the same time anyway.

Everyone is a client, and everyone is a server. Does no one else see that this was the goal of original WWW two decades ago?

Information sharing from your own computer, no need to upload anything to third-party services or host files elsewhere.

I for one am excited.

GP007 said,
Till your ISP slams you for uploading too much or otherwise being a webserver. That'll be very exciting indeed.


I agree. Comcast has imposed bandwidth limits. I think I'll pass on this unless Opera can persuade Comcast to drop the limitations.

So Opera is bloatware now. I am still waiting for web server based on torents where you can specify static content source for example image as src="torrent://" or set list of alternative locations with meta tags (for compatibility reasons).

It is if you don't want to use all that stuff. Many people just want a browser, which is why Chrome is getting such a large uptake in users over time.

Bloated means any software that's packed with features that the majority of users don't use and thus go wasted. Now though, it's sorta morphed into any software that uses lots of resources for no reason.

At the end of the day though, what's bloatware or not, is up to each user.

d_ralphie said,
If you don't want to use it, just ignore it. It won't get in your way.

Yet the UI is loaded up with stuff you don't use. Which does get in the way for a lot of people.

Chrome is an utter failure. It hasn't even put a dent in Firefox's dominance as an alternative browser.

Chrome has been out for how long? Not even a year? Opera has been around for many years and Chrome already surpassed Opera in marketshare.
So by your definition that makes Opera an Epic Fail.

[< snipped > - Calum]

k7of9 said,
Yet the UI is loaded up with stuff you don't use.

Actually, it isn't. Things stay hidden until used/activated.

Chrome has been out for how long? Not even a year? Opera has been around for many years and Chrome already surpassed Opera in marketshare.
So by your definition that makes Opera an Epic Fail.

Chrome has been out for 9 months, and Google has spent tens of millions of dollars on massive advertising campaigns, including spamming it even on the google.com front page.

Opera still has a higher market share than Chrome:

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-dail...01-20090616-bar

Remember, Opera has only been free for 3.5 years.

d_ralphie said,
Chrome has been out for 9 months, and Google has spent tens of millions of dollars on massive advertising campaigns, including spamming it even on the google.com front page.

Opera still has a higher market share than Chrome:

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-dail...01-20090616-bar

Remember, Opera has only been free for 3.5 years.

Yes, it's got a clearly higher market share, and if you look at Europe, it's even significantly higher:

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-eu-dail...01-20090616-bar

Opera: 7.46%
Safari: 2.43%
Chrome: 1.63%

Not really seeing how this reinvents the web... but anways... web server? that's going to **** off a LOT of ISP's because most residential ISP's TOS's prohibit this

Lots of people leave their PC on 24/7 regardless. Mine is on and is mostly downloading some stuff or often just idle. If you don't care about noise and the electric bill, it's nothing to just leave it.

But the point is valid, ISP's don't like you serving loads of stuff, and limit upload like crazy. Download is sometimes capped as well, but the majority of ISPs don't care if you download much, it's all uploading they hate.

It reinvents the web by making your computer part of the web.

Yes, that was possible to do before, but not like this, and not this easily and with this flexibility.

I can understand how this is may be innovative in that they are making these collaboration services easy to to create and use for average users. For instance, your average user does not know how to install IIS let alone manage it. On the other hand, though, I'm a little confused as to why anyone needs this. I agree they are creating a solution to a problem that does not exist yet. I don't think anyone has any issue using services like Photobucket. They store and host your pictures for free. Why would I want to use my own bandwidth to share my photos? That's just one example of one feature that I don't see a need for; the same goes for the other features. This kinda just leaves me " "

I could really care less what Opera does at this point. If I could find something that would blip out all content related to Opera I would. They are going to be scrambling to try and patch their reputation at any cost and that is even releasing buggy software prematurely and calling it Revolutionary, and Reinventing the web. They have done niether...

Night Prowler said,
even releasing buggy software prematurely


It's a lab release, dude. That's like pre-beta or even pre-alpha. Lighten up.

So basically the revolutionised internet is a simplified web server? The services are already available in most cases, and then some services like Google Wave will do these things and far more. Not very revolutionary in my eyes. Its about as useful as a torrent client in your browser :P

The only feature I like the sound of is the refrigerator, but most people I know put their PC into hibernate/sleep when they're not on it, so how will I leave them notes? They'll have to leave their PC on 24/7...

d_ralphie said,
Actually, Google Wave requires a server.

Wave could be implemented as a Unite service, though.

As does Unite. Without Opera's proxy server, Unite is useless.

The problem with all this is that I don't need a web server hosted at home, and I already have programs that do the rest of the stuff

nunjabusiness said,
Have to agree - this is a fix for a problem that really doesn't exist. Plenty of free ways to use your PC as a server.

Easily sharing data privately and securely is "a problem that really doesn't exist"?

Maybe there are plenty of free ways to set up a server, but none are as easy and streamlined as this, and you will get thousands of services to choose from, whereas setting up something on your own web server would require you to write the code yourself or at least fiddle with some other people's code.

Ambroos said,
So you have to leave your PC on all the time? Then I'd rather just keep on using Mesh actually...

You'd rather keep on using Mesh if you want to quickly share a file with someone there and then, or for example set up an ad hoc chat session with someone you discussed with on a forum?

Tsk tsk.

With Unite, all the other person needs is a browser.

JonathanMarston said,
All the other person needs with Live Mesh or SkyDrive and Facebook Chat, or Gmail Chat is a browser...

And it all goes through someone else's server, and you need whoever you are communicating with to sign up to lots of services to achieve a fraction of what Unite can do.

Often servers are more about the amount of throughput they can offer rather than anything clever in terms of software. I think its a fairly natural step to offer this kind of thing but its not really anything new or something most of us couldn't set up ourselves. The secret will be, as other users have pointed out, if they allow the flexibility and ease for the average user without compromising on security

I can't help agreeing with some of the other posters who state that this is a security issue waiting to happen (if it hasn't already). I'm all for meshing the Internets and getting us better connected, but there are ways to do it securely (GoogleWave for example) and ways to stay clear of (Operaunite from what I've heard thus far).

Wiggz said,
I can't help agreeing with some of the other posters who state that this is a security issue waiting to happen

It's sandboxed. It's no more of a security issue than Firefox extensions. In fact, Unite probably has less access than extensions to your computer.

I'm sure a company like Opera would have looked at the security issues and found ways to prevent them before unveiling this technology

Calum said,
I'm sure a company like Opera would have looked at the security issues and found ways to prevent them before unveiling this technology :)

They already have widgets, and I don't think there has been a single security breach there. So they probably know what they are doing.

Opera Unite only shares what you explicitly give it permission to, and unless you are stupid enough to grant it permission to use files you shouldn't there isn't a problem

Hmm this sounds pretty sweet, doesn't look like the webserver allows php index files though I'll have to tinker around with it some more.

Lets not jump to conclusion. Espcially keeping in mind that if we consider the last 5 year track record Opera will probably trump Fx and IE by quite some margin.

And if it doesn't use any third party web service, surely users with NAT on their routers would have to forward a port specifically to use it?

If so, u might as well just install IIS on ur PC with directory browsing, Windows Authentication, a self-signed certificate and open a port for HTTPS for security, and make a virtual directory that points to a folder you want to share on your filesystem.

Of course IIS is only available in XP pro, Server 2003/2008, Vista Business and above, and probably the equivalents on 7. And the big colourful IIS management console may be a bit daunting to new users.

smooth_criminal1990 said,
And if it doesn't use any third party web service, surely users with NAT on their routers would have to forward a port specifically to use it?

If so, u might as well just install IIS on ur PC with directory browsing, Windows Authentication, a self-signed certificate and open a port for HTTPS for security, and make a virtual directory that points to a folder you want to share on your filesystem.

Of course IIS is only available in XP pro, Server 2003/2008, Vista Business and above, and probably the equivalents on 7. And the big colourful IIS management console may be a bit daunting to new users.


IIS is on Vista Home Premium as well, not sure if its a cut down version though, but it is there.

Pallab said,
Lets not jump to conclusion. Espcially keeping in mind that if we consider the last 5 year track record Opera will probably trump Fx and IE by quite some margin.
f

And probably gain an overall 0.01% of market share. :P

You do have a point though, I don't see how this is different than just running your own webserver like some have for years now. Be it IIS or Apache or some other small and lite thing.

I guess the only main difference is that Opera has automated much of it and made it easier for end users. But all this file sharing and directory sharing has been done to death through other apps as well.

It all looks nice, but I wouldn't exactly call this groundbreaking.

bluarash said,
Maybe you can use the personal file sharing in Opera to send IE to end-users in Europe.


No...it only works with browsers. Windows 7 E doesn't have browser...

So it's a personal web server. Well, that has both its share of advantages (full control, share photos without uploading, build your own services, your hard drive forms the server space, and so on), and disadvantages (security, server availability = your computer's availability, running into upload caps, visitors slowing down your connection).

In the US, the fundamental issue is asynchronous transfer rates of ISPs. I'm on 15/2 and the reason *I* upload to my own server is that clients and friends can download the data faster from the commercial server (full bandwidth) than if they all have to pull from my crappy (but still light years ahead of most US users) home account.

As a P2P function, this could be intriguing (since the bandwidth is shared across multiple slow connections to create one fast net connection), but as my own web server?

Yawn.

Of course it's for Opera browser only, that is why they are forcing users to hate IE. Those features are not new anymore and they are not going the change the web that way. What a loser!!!

CarlosMiguel said,
Of course it's for Opera browser only, that is why they are forcing users to hate IE. Those features are not new anymore and they are not going the change the web that way. What a loser!!!

What? You can access it from any browser.

Pallab said,
Spoken like a true fanboy. Blissfully ignorant of the facts.

So true. Those creeps are going on my nerves ever more and more.

Anyway, great job on this, Opera.

jingarelho said,
this smells like a future big security hole!


Have to agree with that. Of course Opera is pretty good at covering it's own butt.

cork1958 said,
Have to agree with that. Of course Opera is pretty good at covering it's own butt.

Yes, and I think their services like "The Fridge" will be OK too as they're professionals on these things. BUT... Dark cloudy skies if you configure that web server component and start using various scripting languages without knowing what you're doing, since it's all running on your computer.

Not only that, but most ISPs prohibit TCP/IP connections to residential IPs. In other words, you're not allowed to run your own webserver. So I can see this as a big problem for most ISPs.

jingarelho said,
this smells like a future big security hole!

Yeah, already tried it, didn't another program already try this..?

jingarelho said,
this smells like a future big security hole!



I agree then Opera will whine to the EU to get to view Microsoft's Source Code

jingarelho said,
this smells like a future big security hole!



I agree then Opera will whine to the EU to get to view Microsoft's Source Code

They can access it. I've had both Safari and Firefox crash once while browsing an operaunite folder, though I'm not sure if it was caused by the service or some other tab I had opened.