Mozilla's Vice President of Engineering Mike Shaver has laughed off claims by Opera that its Opera Unite tool is Web 5.0, but praised the company for continuing to push the boundaries.

Shaver, talking to TechRadar ahead of the forthcoming Firefox 3.5 launch, admitted he'd had little time to play with Opera Unite, but despite his suggestion that talk of web 5.0 was hyperbole, he reserved praise for the rival browser maker

"I'd be surprised about that it being Web 5.0," said Shaver. "If you look back five years and see where we were then…but if it's five years ahead then that's a lab that I need to have a subscription to!

Experimental

"We've certainly had experiments with making people's data and extensions easier to share," Shaver added.

"There is certainly value in improving some of these things in the browser and I'm glad that Opera did the experiment.

"I don't at this point share their optimism that it has reinvented the web. Opera has a long history of doing very creative technical ideas – some of them work out well but some of them don't.

"Obviously we're certainly glad to see that people still see there is value in trying to do new things in the browser."

Web Standard

Shaver was keen to know if Opera were looking to standardise Unite, saying: "I don't know if their intention is to standardise it – they certainly developed it very quietly.

"They were very excited and they were looking to make a splash as much as make a difference initially.

"[Web 5.0 talk] is obviously hyperbolic but it's okay to be enthusiastic about your product. You should believe these things are great but you also need to adapt when these things don't work and be prepared to go in another direction.

"Our approaches to user data and hosted services are very different. We have a project called Weave in Mozilla Labs and that's something that's really biased towards privacy and the protection of that data."

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