Opera Interview; Opera v8 beta; XmlHttpRequest

Opera Watch (The Unofficial Opera Blog) has An Interview with Opera’s Berit Hanson. It’s a good read. It sounds like Opera plans to stay true to themselves, and if you read between the lines it sounds like they have some cool things just around the corner. Opera has always been the most innovative company and browser, so this comes as no surprise.

XmlHttpRequest support coming

Professional web developers will be glad to hear that the XmlHttpRequest object will be supported in Opera 8. Here’s the relevant part of the interview:

Opera Watch: In version 8 beta of Opera, you introduced support for the XmlHttpRequest object, made famous by Gmail. Considering that it is not part of any standard, why did Opera decide to implement it? What are your thoughts in general on features not based on public standards?

Opera: In Opera’s case the support for XMLHttpRequest was built on top of our (pioneering) support for the W3C recommendation Dom Level 3 Load and Save. XMLHttpRequest is offered for backwards compatibility with existing Web sites.

XMLHttpRequest started as a proprietary extension to MSIE, then added to Mozilla but with a slightly different initialization since Mozilla didn’t support Active-X.

Opera supports both ways of initiating the XMLHttpRequest object, but we DO NOT SUPPORT Active-X, it just looks that way for the Web application, so we can work with existing Web pages written for MSIE. Active-X is not used internally, so you are not exposed to any of the typical risks with Active-X.