What Does MAMA Mean for Programmers?

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-10-15 Print this article Print

Wilson built the search engine to answer general questions such as "how many sites are mobile-ready?", "how many sites use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)?" or "how many markup errors does the average Web page have?" Wilson said MAMA enabled him to prioritize bugs and justify adding support for new technology to help Opera make "product decisions based on what it could tell customers about what the Web actually looks like."

Wilson also envisions MAMA will be useful to Web standards bodies, such as the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), giving Web authors an important voice. The W3C can use the data to measure the adoption rates of technologies.   
MAMA is hardly ready for prime time. Wilson has not set a time frame for a launch other than in the coming months. He told me he needs to improve MAMA's scalability performance, which wouldn't satisfy the majority of QA testers.

He also wants to integrate new features programmers request and do a full recrawl of MAMA, which is the last domino to fall before Opera spins out a public version of the search engine.

What's interesting to me about MAMA is that it's a project that won't conflict with Google, Yahoo or Microsoft in top-line search. I can't imagine any search vendor would harass Opera into a sale.

If MAMA becomes a smash in the programming community whenever it's released, I would expect a software vendor with a QA bent, such as IBM's Rational group or HP's Mercury team, to come calling for a possible buy. Most likely, it will be left alone.

MAMA is part of a crop of search engines targeting a specific information niche on the Web. Paglo and Splunk, for example, are search engines that helps IT find the tools they need to improve their jobs.


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