Opera University Tours

Opera LogoYesterday I went to a talk on HTML5 that Opera Software presented at San Francisco State University as part of its University Tours program. There were about 30 other attendees, almost all of them students. Opera’s Anne van Kestern was the main speaker who spoke on HTML5 which is now a draft W3C standard and has partial support in all the major browsers except IE. HTML5 has a lot of cool stuff like the open standards video player built into browsers that support HTML5 and other features that should make web coding easier, improve performance and increase cross-browser compatibly.

HTML5 is interesting stuff and while it’s not a mobile web standard per see, Opera will support it in their mobile browsers. There is already partial HTML5 support in Opera Mobile 9.5. This is in keeping with Opera’s philosophy that there is only one web, and that the concept of a separate mobile web is a dead end. I’m still on the fence on the One Web vs Mobile Web debate but I have to admit that Opera’s browsers do an amazing job of making the whole web available on any device.

You can read more about HTML5 at the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group’s site at WHATWG.org.

Anne’s presentation was followed by an appearance by Opera CEO, Jon von Tetzchner who spoke briefly about the company’s products, goals and philosophy. According to Jon, one of Opera’s goals is to make the Web universally available to all the world’s population. Opera Mini is an important piece of that strategy. According to Jon, only 20% of world has access to web connected PCs but 50% have mobile phones. That is why Opera builds modern, high performance browsers that run on as many platforms and devices as possible including obsolete computers and entry level mobile phones. Opera Mini has 20 million users and that number is growing rapidly. Jon bragged that Opera Mini on an low-end phone on a 2G network loads web pages faster than the 3G iPhone.

Opera University Tour Events are free and are well worth your time. The tour continues in California next week at:

University of California, Irvine Nov 3, 2008 17:00 – 18:30 Calit2
University of California, Los Angeles Nov 5, 2008 18:00 – 20:00 Eng IV, 57-124
University of Southern California Nov 5, 2008 TBC TBC
University of California, San Diego Nov 7, 2008 TBC TBC

More Opera University events are also scheduled for next week in India, Japan, Russia:


Jaypee Institute of Information Technology University Nov 5, 2008 11:00 – 12:30 TBC


University of Tsukuba Nov 5, 2008 16:00 – 18:00 Laboratory of Advanced Research B, Room 0112


Far East State Technical University, Vladivostok Nov 5, 2008 12:00-15:00 Pushkin theatre, Pushkinskaya str. 27
Tomsk Polytechnical University Nov 6, 2008 15:00-18:00 Main building, aud. 209
Novosibirsk State Technical University Nov 7, 2008 15:30-18:00 V building, stream aud. 7
Ural State University, Yekaterinburg Nov 8, 2008 12:00-15:00 Assembly hall, Lenin’s avenue, 51
Ural State Technical University, Yekaterinburg Nov 8, 2008 16:00-19:00 6th educational building, Radio engineering institute, aud. R-217

Opera’s Campus tour has additional events scheduled for Russia, Indonesia and Germany through the end of November. after that the tour will visit the Ukraine, Brazil, Poland, the UK and France. There is more information, a complete schedule and sign up information at Opera Education. Most of the events are open to both students and the general public, check the site for details.

Jon also announced that Opera is offering paid internships, including airfare to Norway, to promising university students. Details are on the Opera Education site or find out more by attending a campus tour event.

One thought on “Opera University Tours

  1. Well, I would include Internet Explorer 8 (in beta) in the “partial support for HTML 5” camp. I know of a couple HTML 5 features implemented in IE8 right now:

    * client-side storage API
    * cross-document messaging
    * window location back/forward mapping

    There’s some other minor APIs implemented and IE8 has no problems with the HTML 5 doctype… though I believe they’ve stated they aren’t implementing any new elements outside of the ones in HTML 4.01.

    This isn’t to say that Microsoft doesn’t have a long way to go (the lack of support is going to hurt them, imho) but it is time for the community to take notice that IE isn’t standing still anymore.

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