back to article Opera Software reinvents complete irrelevance

Last week, in a bold attempt at being relevant again, Opera Software unveiled Opera Unite, which is marketese for "web server inside a web browser." The less obvious news tidbit from the release is that Opera Software is evidently still alive, and it's only when you've been clutching that single digit market share for a decade …


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  1. andy 10

    Says the man who runs a price comparison website...

    Not exactly an innovator yourself...

  2. barth

    ... and you fail

    It may be the English tabloid culture, trying to make scandals out of anything, but I'm growing tired of your very one-sided coverage of several issues. I'm way past adolescent nihilism, and you need to grow up.

    Opera has been doing an excellent browser for a long while, and pionereed many ideas (tabs, gestures...). Sometimes, success is not simply a matter of market share, especially when you also have to contend with idiot journalists looking for a snappy headline and no research skills.

    They do have a tendency to try and do to much, and too differently, as their very weird mail client, and their very superfluous Torrent client show. I don't think Unite falls into that category.

    I personally find the Unite idea intriguing, basically trying to move all those social sites back to my own PC. Given how crappy/full of ads/... most social sites are, I'm thinking having an easy way to setup my own social site would be nice. It's not harder to access (one url per person), it will probably be as full featured as several sites put together (after a while: tweeter+facebook+...), and , above all, I get to keep control of my "content".

    Integrating that with the browser is a strange idea, but probably the right one to gently push a wider public into the "I have my own web server" age. I know I personally never got around to setting one up for me, and Unite might just entice me to try.

    I'd be interested in reading your self-review of your own oh-so-original and interesting website...

  3. shaunm
    Paris Hilton

    talk about over kill...

    It's a simple peace of software point and click easy as pie, granted not as ground breaking as the built up may have lead you to believe but still a good idea. I'm using it and so is my family. Great when your all in different countries trying to share photos and messages.

    It doesn’t cost tonnes of cash, no time hanging around for uploads it's just point and click nice and simple. Get over yourself!!

  4. Bart Tyszka


    Have to agree with a few of the other viewers as to the authors (and the Reg's) bias against Opera. IMHO it's the sleekest, most innovative browser, and what's wrong with providing a little more power to the people, in a form that is easily accessible and practical to set up?

    Opera seems to be a whipping boy on El Reg.

  5. passionate indifference

    it's like he's the antifanboy

    you know you're famous when dziuba takes a swipe

    For a troll though, his arguments are better phrased than the typical Get A Linux Live CD Brigade. I do feel though that he'd missed the focus of Opera publishing APIs to Unite - I thought they were there for novices to kick up a bit of clever functionality, rather than people to take particularly seriously.

    I'm not sure itself that Opera Unite is particularly innovative though - the having to leave it on thing would annoy the hell out of me as well as anyone else wanting to access it - I'm not sure there's really a critical mass of people who leaves a Windows PC on 24/7 who want this sort of behaviour who hasn't already implemented something to do this. I put photos on Flickr and Facebook, and I've got my mp3 player for music. The fridge thing is quite cool though, it'll save me a 20c text to tell my housemate to buy noodles.

    And Opera's market share is miniscule. Most people who aren't using IE are using Firefox, and a lot of them are just as clever as you. Good for you if you like Opera, but I think you're essentially outliers who have to be happy using it for your own purposes rather than thinking you're part of some sort of enlightened elite. It's good on mobiles though.

  6. Mick F
    Thumb Down

    Tried it - binned it

    Really not worth the space on my hard drive. Will stick with FireFox.

  7. John 27

    Crappiest story I've read in an age.

    Seriously, this was just pure tabloid dribble, I felt embarrassed to be reading it.

    Opera Unite is great, for its target market, people like my mum and other family members who aren't totally clued up geeks running their own apache server. I had installed this for my mother already this last week and she loves it, she can very quickly share some photographs with her sisters and skip the hassles of uploading them. Especially as I knocked up a quick nautilus script to resize and copy them to the share folder. The Fridge feature is a neat and fairly well implemented idea, its novel and fun to use. Its not going to replace an IM, but its a great way for people to leave a fun note after viewing photo's for instance.

    Opera Unite gives normal uses the convenience of a server, wtf more does the author of this shitty hatchet job of a story want?

  8. Adam White
    Thumb Up

    10 Stars ********** will read again

    I know nothing about Opera Unite or Javascript but that was good stuff.

  9. jake Silver badge

    There is a fine line ...

    There's a fine line between satire and a business plan ...

    Congrats to Ted for crossing it twice, and in both directions.

  10. Gordon Ross Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Probably the worst article in the world ?

    Is this the worst El Reg article ever written ? It feels to me, to be more like a bloggers rant, rather than a skilled journalistic work of art. There's little discussion of "facts", just sarcastic innuendos. No looking at the story from different angles, just criticism.

    I understand that this may be an opinion piece, rather than a normal story, but surely even opinion pieces have to have some basis with facts ?

  11. Saucerhead Tharpe

    I've been paid for reviews and articles

    In print and on the web.

    So, Ted, as a colleague of sorts, grow a pair.

    Mocking is too facile. You come up with something considered, balanced and, you never know, constrctive and I might take you seriously.

    As it is you lack a Beavis to your Butthead.

  12. Arse Face
    Thumb Down

    one sided

    Foul language. Very biased opinions. Sarcasm.

    A quality piece of journalism.

    Well done.

    Personally I think its a good idea for non-IT family and friends to catch up on eachother without the hassle of having 'Mafia Wars' and other crap facebook/social networking apps forced down your neck every time you go to have a look at pictures of cousin Tommy. And what's more, you won't have to put up with friends requests from old acquaintances who you actually hated back then and still hate now.

    I'd be interested to know what your opinion of the software would be had it come from a firm you actually like...?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera and ranting Americans

    Nothing wrong with Opera, it has always been an excellent and easy to use browser.

    The main problem which this article demonstrates is the ranting of arrogant Americans

    who don't know any better. Having only recently discovered (and perhaps being forced to

    admit) that there is a great big, non-American world "out there" - aproximately 95% of the

    global population, they are now feeling very insecure and resent the fact that there are global standards which for some reason do not conform to that mish-mash of US "standards".

    Take measurements for example - let's have the rest of the world give up the metric system

    and convert to the old Imperial standard, known in the USA as "English Standard" - ooops !

    Yes, even that was invented by foreigners, except that Americans got some of the units wrong

    so the US gallon is only 80% of a normal gallon , and there's the ton, and so on and so on....

    Yes people Americans ARE a minority now and if only they would be silent too!

  14. James Howat
    Thumb Down

    How old are you, exactly?

    'Hur hur Opera is still around?' was mildly amusing six years ago, now it's just boring.

    As for (badly) arguing a Javascript application should definitely be using a PHP or Ruby-based web framework for pages, that's just hilariously bad.

  15. Kenny Millar
    Dead Vulture

    @Ted Dziuba - Not journalism

    This is a rant, not journalism.

    I really detest such negativity in so called journalism.

    If you can't present something in a neutral and balanced way then just shut up.

    You may well be correct that Opera is not being relevant, so you should present the facts, and your opinion, but to moan like child is just unprofessional.

    I wish El Reg would let us filter on author.

  16. spider from mars


    So every Tøm, Dîck and Hårry can host their own photo album at their own url? someone's missed the goddamn point. You'd have though that in these days of social networking and content aggregation that the idea of returning to the days of Geocities would be buried at a crossroads on a moonless night with a stake through its heart. Sites like Flickr are powerful because everything's in one place. That's the point. I don't have to visit a bajillion "democratised" site to see photos of whatever. Plus there's the added bonus that with "undemocratic" sites there a limit to how badly the end user can screw it up. Do we really want to return to multicoloured text, tiled background images and animated gif clip art?!

  17. Anonymous Coward


    I hate Opera (the company not the browser) but this article is utterly pathetic. The simple fact that someone who calls himself a programmer can't type "ø" on a computer removes any credibility from his analysis of Javascript or the price of bananas.

    Also it's good if you pick up your dictionary and check the meaning of semantics because it has nothing to do with spelling.

    And by the way humour on american bombs is not funny.

  18. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Knights of the Opera for that Walk on the Wild Side of Lives.

    "Opera seems to be a whipping boy on El Reg." ... By Bart Tyszka Posted Monday 22nd June 2009 06:08 GMT

    Just as well that it is so Tolerant of the BDSM torrents then, Bart, an Accommodating Flexibility for Streaming Use which make Opera XXXXStreamly Well Suited to Private and Pirate/Rogue/Go Ahead Channels into Pioneering Markets for Capitalisation and Population........ aka Universal Management/Cosmic Factoring.

    A Browswer which acts as a Server of New Content for Real and Virtual Placement for an Imaginative Novel Creation with AI, rather than merely supplying just Any Old Data and Duff Information/Yesterday's News and Biased Subjective Views, would be a Major Quantum Leap Forward/Small Major Step for Mankind, in Virtual Operating Systems for FailSafe Security.

    If IE is Ford, Firefox is Audi/VW/Porsche, is Opera Koenigsegg and/or Bugatti or BMW.MSport .... and a Driver Browser for Operating Systems? Or it can be so, and therefore will also be, as Field Intelligences are Remotely Applied. Input is Supplied.

  19. Evil Graham
    Thumb Up

    Another Ted classic

    Well you guys seem to be expecting some kind of Pulitzer prize-winning prose. Maybe you haven't read any Ted before, but it made my Monday morning.

    Some highlights:

    "petting zoo animals"

    "local bands that remain unsigned for a reason"

    "drown myself in a toilet"

    Don't tell me you read that and didn't even raise the hint of a smile?

  20. W

    Whassup Ted? Did the big boys steal your Playmobil?

    This is almost enough to inspire me to check out that greasemonkey malarkey to see if it will let me set up something that will automatically filter out this column from El Reg.

    Same for Cade Metz' Google 'chocolate factory' stuff.

    Cynicism is all well and good. It keeps us on our toes. But it works best when accompanied by wry humour rather than unfocussed belligerence.

    Nowt wrong with a good cuss either. Nothing at all. But when it detracts from the ability of the reader to follow the flow of the article, it's a hinderance.

    It wouldn't be so disappointing if there were actually a point underneath all the faux-invective. But all I can glean from this article is that Opera aren't from where you are from and they haven't done things the way you would. And...?

    Other Reg hacks seem to be able to deliver a critique without resorting to cheap tricks.

    Whassup Ted? Did the big boys steal your Playmobil?

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. fontaine
    Gates Halo

    There is more to killing than Negative Publicity

    As said, they could have used ASP. And by the way, maybe Opera 10 is good at acid 3 tests but the activeX support is seriously lacking.

  23. Kraggy
    Thumb Down

    Andy10 got it right

    I'm not an Opera 'fanboi', I've used it on and off since version 3 (back in the days when people actually PAID for it!) and think there's a lot to like about it.

    However, in the modern world of the Internet most of my browsing is done in Firefox+NoScript+AdBock, if only Opera provided the functionality of NoScript I'd probably switch over to that far more.

    As Andy pointed out, Opera pioneered, if not the concept then certainly the implementation of several features of 'modern' browsers, some still not available elsewhere: I like how I can sync. my bookmarks etc. across multiple systems within the browser and not have to use a third-party site which I probably don't trust.

    This 'review' is atrocious; loved the way Andy pointed out the writer's credentials! A bit of sarcasm is perfectly okay, I enjoy the odd snide remark when appropriate, but the entire piece was one long rant.

    The bit about Yet Another Template Language I agree with, it's so typical of the Internet world that developers always know better than those that went and solved the problem before, and while obviously some innovation happens sometimes, mostly this effort is copying for copying's sake; I think Markup is probably that.

    However, the whole 'Unite' thing has potential for the audience it's intended for, something that Ted Dziuba clearly doesn't see.

    So to you Ted I throw your snappy little sub-head back at you: "Fail and You"

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Its an Ø you uncultured monkey

    As for the "article". Was it actually supposed to be put on the Reg cause it looks more like a blok entry for facebook or something. This is pure jurnalistic dung. You might be right in your assesment of the Opera thing but i couldent be bothered to dig deep enough into the dung to find the point of the "article"

    Seriously take some valium or something and try writing it again.

    A conserned reader.

  25. Tommy Pock

    Oh good, Monday morning finger exercise


  26. Ed Vim

    Far too judgemental

    I have to agree with the previous commentators -- this article has 'prejudice' throughout. Opera's Unite might not be something I'll be signing up for but I still see it as another innovative idea to add to Opera's already long list of accomplishments.

  27. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down


    The day I install Opera will be the day they release the Source Code.

    In the meantime, Konqueror does exactly what I want on the browser front. I'm surprised more people don't use it.

    And I was running my own Apache server since I had a dial-up connection, although that was mainly for pre-deployment testing of my home-written CGI scripts. I didn't think 500 errors reflected well on my ISP.

  28. Chris Harden


    So I have to admit, the only reason I use Oprea is on my laptop because on rubbishy wifi it whips any other browser out there for speed.

    But saying that, I'm intreagued by this Unite thinggy - while if its API is in Javascript I have to agree (pretty much in the same tone of the article) that is a bad thing, but you have to give them props - its a ballsy idea - and if it takes off (in a way that dosn't give people a domain and an insentive more than botnets to normal insecure computers) a really good idea too.

    Now....I don't usually bitch about El Reg's articles but c'mon this one soundes more like a rant on 4chan than The Register - whining about not being able to type a guys name on your keyboard? You know there are OTHER countries outside of the US&UK don't you? If you got the guys name I assume you got from a website? Yeah? You did? Well done, all you just prooved is that your incapable of copy and pasting the name Hans S. Tømmerholt and not that the guy is so damn inconsiderate to have a non-US/UK name (damn foreigners! I bet he lives in Iraqistan!)

    Have a least a little bit of respect for the guy.

  29. Christopher P. Martin


    ...although it's ludicrous, in the UK, ripping CDs that you've obtained legally is illegal under copyright law:

  30. Patrick O'Reilly


    I have to agree with the other readers, your pieces are overly harsh. Opera is a well respected and innovative company that has a list of contributions to the fabric of the web well above it's weight.

    Although I personally question if Opera Unite actually revolutionise the web, the thinking behind it does, in the current Web 2.0 climate, stand out as revolutionary thinking. Everyone is shifting their info out into the cloud, handing over control to the GloboMegaCorp's of the world, the concept of holding on to your content and sharing it out for yourself is a massive shift in thinking for the general web population (those not fortunate enough to know how to reuse their 3Com Audrey to run Apache on their homebrew OpenBSD port).

    And quite frankly saying Opera was making "a bold attempt at being relevant again" is ridiculous. You obviously don't use a portable device to browse the web, otherwise you would know that without Opera's Mini and Mobile products the majority of people who browse the web on the move would be stuck with a browser that'd make WAP on an old Siemens S35 look slick.

    Read the sign, stop with the amature dramatics.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evil Graham's got it.

    This isn't the pinnacle of journalism, but it's something amusing to drag you out of your Monday Blues.

    Bravo Ted, got a few chuckles from me! :D

  32. IHateWearingATie
    Thumb Up

    Amusing as ever...

    Come on people, haven't you ever read failandyou before. It's meant to be a blog type rant!

  33. Lu
    Thumb Down


    Well, given that every other browser out there religiously copies just about every Opera innovation as soon as they're released, it won't be long till Chrome, Firefox et al are implementing these features too.

    So, will it still be a Fail then? Or is it cool if Firefox does it?

    Btw, that was a poor article. Really not up to the standards of writing we're used to on El Reg. It's cool to have a Fail column, but if you can't think of anything to write, don't force it. You just end up churning out garbage.

  34. Chris Thomas Alpha
    Thumb Up

    Ted Dziuba

    This guy is hilarious!!!

    even when he is wrong, you can't help but laugh

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Wot, no "Ø"?

    Oh dear, teh kind of da internets not likely der multi-byte characterz! Oh woes!

    Actually, handling multi-byte characters is a total piece of piss so long as you a understand a tiny bit about string representation, Unicode, are consistent and vaguely competent.

    There are, of course, certain technologies you should avoid and I would suggest avoid any the dear Ted may have been involved in as he clearly does not have a clue. Nor does he have an customers in (say) Russia, the Middle East, Japan or even Germany.

    Mood against activity:

    ☺ - Before reading Ted

    ☹ - Whilst reading Ted's emo-tastic diatribe

    ☠ - After reading Ted

    (Some basic UTF-8 in there, if it doesn't show up we can probably assume that Ted "helped" with this site)

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Get øver yøurself Ted!

    Here's a question Ted... you didn't like the markup language because it was new.

    And you didn't like the way they used Javascript either - because it was old.

    Would you have preferred it if they had invented a new langauge instead? Would it have been better if Javascript was used for all markup? Tell us what you really thought and why - you can't just say "I didn't like it because it used Javascript, sob sob".

    Did you share any files? Did you look for files that someone else had shared? Did you use the browser? (or did you just look through the documentation and then write the article???)

  37. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Come on commenttards...

    Come on guys, have you not read Ted's stuff before? He's a startup whore who thinks that just because he runs a few web two point oh sites he's also some sort of mover and shaker. He pretty much does blog posts on here rather than articles and some of them are funny (in the laughing at him rather than with him way).

    Don't worry about him, he'll go away soon enough when someone has a great idea for a startup and he's lucky enough to be involved enough to make some cash off of it.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surely people cant be stupid enough to take this seriously.......oh wait! Opera- Fail, Opera Fans- Fail

    A long time opera Fan here btw

  39. Chris Harden
    Thumb Down

    price comparison website

    "Says the man who runs a price comparison website... "

    Buahahaha didn't see that before....that says alot.....

    To all the "it's supposed to get you up on a monday morning" comments - There is funny, then there is xenophobic ignorance, which is two steps away from racism.

    And thats not funny.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    The Opera Pulpit

    What's with all the Opera apologists and people parading their non-ASCII "skillz"? A bit short on the sarcasm "skillz", if you ask any regular Fail and Ted reader.

    Meanwhile, Ted doesn't mention the beast by its name, but the file-sharing mediated by central servers stuff, coincidentally involving music files, is really Napster reloaded by a "nice" company who probably won't get sued by the opportunists in the music industry immediately because the case will be made that it's "democratising the Web" (and that suing the most famous remaining independent software vendor in Norway will make the local music cartels look like bastards).

    Making it easier to publish content in the way envisaged back in the early 1990s, when you didn't need to think twice about exposing services on the Internet, is a nice idea that isn't exactly the revolution that Opera make it out to be. Expect similar stuff from Mozilla and friends that improves on the concept without the Opera services lock-in.

  41. Kim Rasmussen
    Gates Horns


    Did some smug Norwegian point out to you, that chocked on non-ASCII chars?

  42. Spirantho
    Dead Vulture

    Is this the standard these days?

    This is the first El Reg article I've read in a while - I used to read it all the time, but kind of drifted away.

    I sincerely hope this article isn't representative of the quality of the Reg's articles these days because if it is I don't think I'll be bothering again. Where was the impartiality? Where was anything useful actually said? The humour's not bad but the beauty of The Reg is the ability to get a serious point across in a humourous way, not to rip on the little guy.

    I shall now point my browser (Opera, incidentally) to another site and I sincerely hope it's not the puerile mockery that this article displays.

    Opera may only have less than 10% share of the market but who cares? Kudos for Opera for continuing to exist and to try new things, much anti-kudos to ranting "journalists" trying to be funny.

  43. Tom 9


    Who is this cheese dick?

  44. Nuno trancoso
    Thumb Down

    Why the bashing...

    While not a fan of Opera (not by a longshot ...) i see no point in bashing it like this.

    So, ok, its just BBS/Hotline meets DynDns client meets Web2.0GoodnessTM all bundled together in a way even clueless (l)users can get it going.

    Not being NewTechTM doesnt award a bash, and makes this "Opera series" of articles reek of PersonalVendettaTM.

  45. luxor
    Thumb Down


    That is all.

    Opera FTW.

  46. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Hear, hear

    "Come on guys, have you not read Ted's stuff before?"

    My thoughts exactly. Surely everyone who frequents this site gets to know the styles of various regular contributors. Anyway...

    To Ted: I know you can't be arsed to use CHARMAP, but if you are reading something that tells you the guy's name then you can just select, copy and paste into your "review". You can copy and paste, can't you? (Actually, copy and paste is the *preferred* way of getting someone's name into your own document. It avoids typos with hard-to-spell names, like Dzuiba.)

    Oh, and to everyone else, I've recently had the pleasure of creating a multipart MIME-encoded file containing some XSLT and XML. Opera navigated the MIME, applied the XSLT to the XML and rendered the resulting HTML. Firefox choked on the MIME. (Apparently they consider MIME's multipart/related content type to be a proprietary Microsoftism. Maybe they should talk to the Thunderbird people.) IE8 just gave me a blank page but wouldn't tell me why. (I'm glad I'm not a web developer. How the hell do you debug a blank screen?) I couldn't be arsed to try it with other browsers, since it's only for internal use. Still, I was a little disappointed at the results. There's nothing here that wasn't standardised in the last millenium.

    So, yeah, Opera rate pretty highly in my book. I wanted to save programming time by bolting together a simple combination of established technologies. Opera worked the way it should. The others didn't. As I said, I'm not a web developer by trade and this is an internal tool, so it wasn't my job to figure out why or devise some incantation to get the others working. I have the option of slagging off the others and just using Opera for these reports, so that's what I've done.

  47. Andrew Halliwell
    Thumb Down

    Oh deary me...

    Who woke up a grouchy grumpypants this morning then?

    No sunny delight for you, it's obviously got you overexcited.

  48. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    How much does The Register pay.....

    for this stuff?

    Until I read this I thought that MP's expenses were the easy money. Now I know different.

  49. A J Stiles

    @ Christopher P. Martin

    It may be illegal in theory, but it's unprosecutable in practice.

    If it got as far as a court of law, you could claim your actions were "fair dealing". And as long as there were two people in the jury who have ever taped an album to listen in the car, or converted a CD to MP3s, you would be acquitted; and, perhaps more importantly, you would set a precedent.

    No individual has ever been prosecuted for format-shifting for private use -- however, home-taped cassettes *have* been used to obtain warrants to search for evidence of other crimes (just never mentioned on a charge sheet).

  50. Anonymous Coward


    I loved it, nothing like letting off steam and having the odd chuckle. I can imagine the author, peuce with rage, sweating so much his keyboard stopped working!

    STFU to lot! No one made you read the article if you had strong opinions about the item in question. It's called having an opinion and going against the grain to stir up a discussion.

    Looks like you lot had fun-ectomy's over the weekend!


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