The Ashes

Technology, Science and other news
June 16, 2009

Opera Unite: P2P in the browser with a services model

Posted by : admin
Filed under : General

Opera has been leading us on to a bit product launch, and it came today in the form of Opera Unite a product which extends the Opera browser to contain a Web server inside allowing you to talk P2P between browsers (via a proxy at

On the one hand, skeptics have argued that this has been done before. We have things like the Plain Old Web server and P2P extensions. However, it is nice to see it packaged cleanly, and we have the advantage of more standard APIs (HTML5 APIs, Widget APIs, etc). At Mozilla (disclaimer: remember I work there ;), we also have something that overlaps with this work in Weave.

If you check out the developer primer you will quickly learn that to create a service you simply whip up some JavaScript, XML, and call it good. It is definitely interesting that the “web server” is a server side JavaScript implementation too!

John Resig noticed that from looking at the examples you miss a decent storage API:

Reading the Opera Unite primer. Opera really needs client-side SQL

I believe that there is room for the browser to do more, and to truly be your “User Agent”, thus I agree with some of the core tenants of what Opera is trying to do here. That being said, I worry that for all the talk of freedom, are we locked into Opera? 🙂 It would be great to get this out to the community and work on getting multiple implementations and clear licensing of the protocols behind this.

What do you think?

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