Ask MAMA what the Web is

Opera spearheads project to understand and evaluate how the Web is structured

Oslo, Norway – October 15, 2008

Opera Software has led a first-of-its-kind project to create a search engine that tracks how Web pages arestructured on the World Wide Web. When released publicly in the comingmonths, this engine will help browser makers and standards bodies worktowards a more standards-driven and compatible Web.

Opera today announced results from its MAMA (Metadata Analysis andMining Application) search engine, a brainchild of Opera engineersthat indexes the markup, style, scripting and the technology usedwhile creating Web pages. From the beginning, Opera has been a leadinginnovator and MAMA is proof of the company’s deep understanding of theWeb.

The MAMA search engine scours 3.5 million Web pages, and the resultingdata can answer questions such as “can I get a sampling of Web pagesthat have more than 100 hyperlinks?” or “what does an average Web pagelook like?”-a dream come true for Web developers.

“The Web is fragmented, complex and always evolving. MAMA’s vastdatabase provides us with detailed information about how Webtechnologies are used,” said Snorre M. Grimsby, Vice President ofQuality Assurance at Opera Software. “This is key in our efforts totest and ensure high-quality compatibility, stability and performanceof our products, and we want to share it with our peers, so they canbenefit from it too.”

MAMA will help Web developers find examples of usage of features andfunctions, look at trends and gather data to justify technology totheir clients or managers. This will also encourage standards bodiesto take into account developers” suggestions about what is happeningon the Web in reality and will eventually raise the quality andinteroperability of specifications, the Web and browsers.

MAMA can also respond to queries as general as “how many sites use CSS(Cascading Style Sheets)?” (80.4 percent of MAMA’s URLs), or “how manymarkup errors does the average Web page have?” (47), or “how manycharacters does an average Web page have?” (16,400), to more specificqueries such as “what country is using XMLHttpRequest, a criticalcomponent of AJAX, the most?” (Norway, with 10.2 percent, withinMAMA’s URL set).

MAMA is up to the task of tackling vague questions that don’t haveeasy answers, like “how many sites are mobile-ready?” or “howprevalent is Web 2.0?” Defining a page as being “Web 2.0” can cover avariety of sub-topics, including the use of micro formats, RSS, JSON(JavaScript Object Notation) and AJAX among numerous other criteria.MAMA is ready to provide the complex answers to indistinct questionswhere simple answers do not exist.

MAMA is an evolving project, and it will continue to providestatistics such as the ones above to help monitor trends and providereal-world, practical samples of the Web developer’s “art,” forinspiration and instruction.

For more information on Opera’s MAMA project, please visit: