Feeds

Opera to take web back to the old days

A server in every client

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Opera raised the browser feature ante today by announcing Opera Unite - placing a web server in every client and encouraging end users to share content from their own desktop with the world.

Rather than compete with the cloud-based services that are currently so popular, Opera is proposing, and enabling, a return to how the internet used to work: everyone runs their own host device, with their own applications running on their own hardware, which can then be accessed from anywhere using any web browser.

All this functionality is intended to be rolled into the Opera browser, and is currently available in a Beta release, along with a few applications to demonstrate the kind of functionality Opera thinks could become standard fare.

File sharing is the most obvious example: just select the files you want the world to see and there they are. More interesting is Opera's idea of a Jukebox that allows you and your mates to select 10 tracks each, before combining them to produce a playlist that's shared between everyone. A Lounge provides a chat area, while the Fridge provides space to leave each other notes. Everything then vanishes when your computer is switched off, obviously.

None of this is actually new - running your own web server isn't technically difficult and many geeks do it for their own entertainment, but by bundling an easily-managed server with the browser, Opera is opening up the option to everyone else.

Routing is handled by servers at Opera, and the computer on your desk is addressed as "unite://computername.username.operaunite.com". Where possible connections are peer-to-peer, in just the way that the internet was originally envisioned, but much routing will be through the Unite proxy. Conspiracy fans have long posited that the proliferation of NATs and Firewalls is part of a process to divide the internet into "publishers" and "consumers", and Opera is happy to play up their part in reversing this process:

Opera is hoping developers will create their own Unite'd applications, and provides extensive documentation to help them do so.

But the real concern to most technically-minded users will be the security implications of allowing every Opera user to run their own addressable web server - even if everything is being routed through Opera's servers. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.