Archive for the ‘Standards’ Category

10 years of SSL in Opera

April 30, 2007 4 comments

April 30th, 1997 was the first time Opera’s SSL implementation completed a full transaction.

Opera’s Yngve Pettersen (who is one of the first Opera employees) just blogged about some of the technical aspects of implementing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) support in the Opera browser. SSL, in short, is the means which provide the secure communications over the Internet.

In addition to the history on Opera’s support of SSL, Yngve also explains the future of Opera’s SSL/Transport Layer Security (TLS) implementation.

(Read more)

Categories: Desktop, Security, Standards

How Opera ranks with its SVG implementation? "Best native implementation"

April 23, 2007 10 comments

Jeff Schiller, a software developer, has done some nice work grading the support of Scalable Vector Graphics, otherwise known as SVG, in browsers and plugins.

Using the SVG Test Suite supplied by the W3C, he graded each of the browsers and browser plugins on their support for SVG.

Here are the results (score out of 100%):

Opera 9.10: 89.64%
Firefox 3.0 PreA4: 56.00%
Konqueror 3.5.5: 53.03%
Opera 8.5: 47.27%
Firefox 2.0.1: 45.82%
Firefox 44.55%

Browser plugins:
Batik: 92.18%
Adobe SVG Viewer 6 PR1: 85.82%
Adobe SVG Viewer 3: 82.73%
Renesis 0.5: 32.91%

“In roughly a year, the Opera browser went from being one of the least usable SVG implementations (no scripting/DOM support) to the best native implementation and achieved a higher score than the famed Adobe SVG Viewer”

It should be pointed out that Opera has greatly advanced its support for SVG since Opera 9.1 and 9.2. The Wii Opera-powered browser has a more advanced rendering engine than the desktop version of Opera 9 (The next major rendering engine update for Opera will likely be Opera 9.5). If these tests would be taken again using the Wii browser (with the newer rendering engine), Opera would score much higher. According to one internal estimate, Opera would score about 95%.

I was at a recent Mobile Monday conference in New York, where the day’s talks gathered around SVG. Opera’s implementation of SVG was lauded by most speakers as “top of the line.”

SVG allows you to create graphics and animations using text-only. One of the main advantages to using SVG is “write once, run on any screen resolution.” Since the graphics and animations are text-based, they can be easily adapted for any screen size.

SVG is very popular on mobile phones for this reason.

If you’re wondering why Opera is putting resources into SVG? Well… As I’ve mentioned before, Opera 9 for mobile phones supports Opera Widgets, and since Opera Widgets are written using common web standards, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript and SVG, you’ll be able to make complex and neat-looking mobile applications that will work on any phone with an Opera browser. Think of the possibilities.

(Learn more about SVG on

Categories: Opera Mobile, Standards

Opera, Microsoft, Mozilla (and Google) join for another panel discussion; say browser wars over

April 17, 2007 4 comments

no-war.jpgOpera’s Chief Standards Officer Charles McCathieNevile was on a panel discussion yesterday at the O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo along with Microsoft, Mozilla and Google. The panel, entitled “The Arrival of Web 2.0: The State of the Union on Browser Technology”, focused on how the browser can be advanced for the new generation of Rich Internet Applications (RIA).

ComputerWorld covered the discussion in an article published today.

“Instead of trying to trump one another by adding features in point releases, the companies that developed these browsers are instead intent on advancing their use as platforms for a new generation of rich Internet applications and for tackling the hurdles that will come along with that shift in strategy, the panel said.”

For addition panel notes, take a look here.

Update: eWeek also has a write-up on the event.

Categories: Standards

My video interview with Opera CTO Hakon Wium Lie

March 16, 2007 12 comments

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Håkon Wium Lie, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Opera Software, and do a short interview with him.

Among the topics we touched on were web standards and the Acid2 browser test. On this day two years ago, Hakon announced the Acid2 test in a Cnet column. We also talked about the progress of CSS3 support in Opera and other browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), and Safari. Hakon is of course known as the “father of CSS” after proposing CSS back in 1995.

Watch the video

Categories: Acid, Interviews, Standards

Why some sites render differently in various browsers?

March 13, 2007 10 comments

I just came across an elucidating article explaining why certain HTML tags display differently depending on the browser you’re using.

If you’ve ever tinkered around with HTML and CSS for the layout of a webpage AND you’ve tested in multiple browsers, you probably know how much of a pain MARGINs and PADDINGs can be. As the article points out some browsers have different default MARGIN and PADDING settings for say the <body>, <p>, <H1>, <H2>, etc.

I don’t know much about this subject and why each browser has their own set of default layout settings – are there any web standards for this already? And if there aren’t any, why not?

This sounds like an excellent topic for David Storey’s blog (he’s the Chief Web Opener at Opera). Hint… Hint…

Categories: Standards

Walmart didn't test their new video download website in Firefox – how ignorant can their developers be?

February 12, 2007 28 comments

I’m sure by now most of you have heard of the Walmart debacle. They released a new website for video downloads last week. It worked fine in Internet Explorer (IE) and Opera, and here’s the big “but” – it completely failed to work in Firefox. The page looked absolutely worse than horrible when I loaded it in Firefox.

As an Opera user I was appalled by their ignorance. Forget about web standards for a moment or the idea of testing in browsers other than IE. Don’t their web developers know that Firefox has a market share of around 15%? Are they not aware that by not supporting Firefox, they’re telling “no” to more than 100 million potential customers?

How stupid can Walmart be?

Now, I’m not sure about the specifics of the case, but it seems to be a classic example of ignorant, Microsoft-centric developer team leaders and managers who think they know the state of the web. If you’re a developer on a team, you most likely know what I mean.

As users of non-IE browsers we should stand up to Walmart and others that block alternative browsers. It’s time that they recognize us. We need to constantly push them to make sure their sites work correctly in Safari, Opera, and Firefox – no matter which of the alternative browsers you use. No longer should they be allowed to lock out more than 200 million users of alternative browsers.

In the past year we have come a long way in support for alternative browsers by heavily promoting web standards (to both browser venders and developers). As users, our message should be loud and clear “There shouldn’t be multiple webs depending on which browser or platform you use. Follow web standards and your site should work on the “web” – wherever the “web” may be. There is only one web.”

Categories: Standards

Chat with Hakon Wium Lie, father of CSS and CTO of Opera Software

February 6, 2007 Comments off

Hakon Wium LieIn this week’s Opera Web Developer chat we will have a special guest, Håkon Wium Lie. Hakon is the one who proposed CSS (and thus his nick “father of CSS”) and has also been one of the major proponents of the Acid2 test. At Opera he serves as its Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

Join us for the chat tomorrow (Wednesday – February 7th) from 5 to 6 PM CET at the webapps channel (irc://

(Tip: You could use Opera’s built in IRC client to log into the various Opera chat rooms. Go to Tools, Mail and Chat accounts… to create a chat account. Opera has two very active chat rooms, Opera – which is used for Opera support and discussions relating to the Opera browser, and the Lounge – which is a general chat place for almost anything on your mind.)

Categories: Standards