This interview is dedicated to discuss Opera's latest technology feature: Opera Unite.
Choose Opera: Welcome to Opera Talks Navjot, could you please introduce yourself?
Navjot: Hello & Namaste! I joined Opera over 3 years ago as a Web Evangelist in India. After preaching Web Standards for some time I moved to Oslo and have been working as a Product Manager for Opera Unite for almost a year and a half. I am an Indian who eats meat, drinks beer and not a big fan of cricket. Very confusing for my friends.
I micro-blog on Twitter and experiment with photography at Flickr. I invite you to connect with me whereever you find me.
Choose Opera: Opera Unite is currently unstable... What are you doing to fix this?
Navjot: When we were working on Opera Unite, we decided to release it as a Labs (alpha) version as we wanted to reach a certain level of quality before we will make it a part of the desktop browser. An alpha release was needed to make sure we find out and fix all the bugs, if any, by getting it tested by as many users as we could.
Our alpha version of the proxy started showing problems after the launch and all the testing helped us gather essential information to fix it. Last week we released an update to the proxy and it's been working very well. We plan to release more updates and finish the work on the proxy before Opera Unite becomes a regular feature of the desktop browser. To follow these updates, I would recommend subscribing to our Opera Unite blog.
Choose Opera: There has been a lot of noise about security related to Opera Unite. Could you help us clarify if there are any security issues?
Navjot: As an Internet products company, we realize how important privacy and security are for our users. Over the past decade we have maintained a very consistent reputation of being one of the most secure platforms to browse the Internet with. With Opera Unite we have worked to deliver nothing less.
At the same time, as software developers, we are well aware that no matter how expert we might be at writing code and no matter how much we test our products, claiming that our software is without any bugs is only foolish. Our QA teams really do hate security issues with a passion and they don't take any problems you might report lightly. Having said that, there are currently no known security issues with Opera Unite (That means nothing to the QA team though, they won't rest till they find some and fix them).
Choose Opera: What if someone detect a security issue? What is done to prevent this?
Navjot: We need all the feedback we can get at this stage. Users can go to our Bug Report Wizard to report bugs or simply drop a comment on our Opera Unite Forums.
You can also simply write to our twitter account @opera.
If you have absolutely anything to say about Opera Unite, let us know. Really, if I could, I would give away a doughnut for every valid bug reported!
Choose Opera: What kind of services can we expect in the future?
Navjot: I wish I knew! I hope to see services that we at Opera haven't even been able to think about. Everyone has a different need and a different use. Opera Unite is a very powerful and open development platform and we know that our imagination is only limited as compared to the hundreds of brilliant web developers out there.
We're working on improving the current services we offer at http://unite.opera.com and introducing some more that demo the power of Opera Unite. I shouldn't be saying much but it's hard to resist mentioning that there is a surprise for My Opera users on the way.
Choose Opera: Opera Unite and illegal file sharing? How will the music industry react?
Navjot: As I said, the uses of Opera Unite will evolve based on what works for people. It's quite easy to see though, that it is quite a powerful platform to share files and collaborate with others. In these times, when on line freedom and liberty are being expected as basic rights, it's essential to realize that all this comes with a big responsibility.
We respect artists of all kinds and we hope our users do the same. We sincerely hope that our users only share content they have the rights to. In case some artists do discover that their art/content is being shared without their consent they can report to us and on their request (and careful verification) we can shut down the My Opera accounts in question.
Choose Opera: What can we expect from Opera Unite i 2-3 years?
Navjot: To answer that question is the same as being able to predict the coming of ipods when the first music tapes came out. Opera Unite is our representation of a vision. A vision to take us towards complete online freedom, privacy, security and independence.
We said, we want to reinvent the web, we're still sticking to that vision.
Choose Opera: Additional question: Alright! Any tips/tricks for the users?
Navjot: I'll share another one of my favourite features that we have just released with the last snapshot. If you have two or more computers running Opera Unite on the same network, click on the Opera Unite icon in the bottom left side of the browser. You should see all the other computers listed their, click on their names to get to their services.