by November 3, 2010 0 comments

If Johannes Gutenberg, father of the modern printing press were alive today, he would be a very proud man. Because when he invented the press 500 years ago in Europe, he probably had no idea of the impact it would have on the world. The printing press made it easy to distribute information. And that’s what made all the difference. It helped bring about the renaissance and the industrial revolution in Europe because it was easy to print and distribute information uniformly, easily, and consistently. Similarly, the web has become a key source of information dissemination and sharing today. It will therefore have the same effect on the world as the printing press did to Europe. So going by the same token, you can be pretty sure that the web would also last for at least another 500 years!

This is the thinking of Hakon Wium Lie, CTO Opera Software, who’s also considered to be the father of CSS (Cascaded Style Sheets) on the web. In his presentation at Opera’s Up North Web conference in Oslo this month, Hakom talked about technologies that are going to take the web to the next level.

Hakom stressed on the importance of browser extensions. They’re idle to bring about standardization on the web and should therefore truly become a part of it. He also talked about how HTML 4 and CSS2 changed and defined the way information was presented on the web way back in 1998. In the future, presenting this information would become even easier and more feature with HTML 5 and CSS3. He said that the future web apps will be created using these two standards. HTML 5 will help develop applications for
the web, and not just documents. It adds local storage, so that the web application can store files locally on the machine so that even if you loose connection, you don’t loose data and can continue working on the application. The new CSS3 standard will let you do a lot more with text and images on the web than what CSS2 allowed. For instance, earlier, you were limited to using only around 10 fonts, but now, you can link to freely available fonts. Shadow effects on text are now possible without creating them in Photoshop, thereby taking the load off designers. So while earlier, any fancy text that had to be put on the web was put as images, it will now be possible to put it as editable text with CSS3. So it can be selected and put to other uses.

Future Predictions of the web
Hakom wasn’t the only key executive to give his views on the web. The CEO of Opera Software, Lars Boileson kicked off the conference with his keynote about what the web would be like in the future. Here are the key trends he talked about.

1. All apps to become web-based
The first prediction from Lars comes as no surprise, because that’s how most apps have been moving for quite some time now. Earlier, most local or network applications were made accessible over the web. Now apps are being developed purely for the web. The plethora of app stores that have followed the success of Apple’s App Store are a clear indication of this trend. Apps will therefore run irrespective of what OS you’re running.

2. No OS monopoly in mobile phones
There will never be an OS monopoly among mobile phones. Today, there are several different Operating Systems that are available for mobile phones, and there’s only one thing that can connect all of them together-the web. Therefore, according to Opera, the mobile OS market will remain healthy and vibrant with lots of different players.

3. Proprietary technologies will die
New open technologies will emerge that would be very easy to use, such as HTML 5. CSS 3. etc. These technologies will replace proprietary tech.

4. Mobile web to outgrow desktop web
By 2015, the mobile web will outgrow the desktop web. Most new users will come from fast-growing markets, such as India, and a majority of them will connect from their mobile phones. According to Opera, as of Sep 2010, 71 million people around the world are using Opera Mini, which is a web browser for mobile phones.

5. The OS will become irrelevant
For most people, the OS will become irrelevant, especially on the mobile phones. That’s because people don’t care about the OS, but how they access their applications on their device.

6. All you’ll need is a web browser ten years from now
Ten years from now, your device will only need a web browser. This web browser will do everything you need, including graphics, playing games, and managing your entire existence on the web.’In the end, all people want to do is share ideas’, said Lars. ‘That’s why Opera was created’, he concluded.

The Products
Besides new standards and future trends, Opera also talked about new developments in their own products. And the Chief Development Officer of Opera, Christen Krogh took the journalists on a round of demos to showcase the new products and their capabilities. He talked about extensions in Opera 11 Alpha (which was launched a few days after the conference), hardware acceleration in Opera Mini and Mobile, and even the availability of Opera Mobile for Android and even Opera for TVs.
To know more about these new products being launched by Opera, please visit and read the full article “Opera Browser Gets More Powerful” at

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