Just in time for Halloween, Opera, the makers of one of my favorite mobile browsers, is announcing MAMA, a research project designed to show people the gooey icky insides of web pages. It may be a small niche of people who care how many pages use Flash (33.5 percent), or how many sites use cascading style sheets (80.39 percent), but that doesn’t mean that widespread use of such a tool won’t help end users. MAMA began as a research project aimed at tracking more URLs than previous web page categorization efforts, and will eventually open to the public as a search engine.
It’s relevant information for those who build web sites, for example, to know how many web pages use AJAX (3.2 percent); ditto for the folks who build browsers. By using MAMA, which stands for Metadata Analysis and Mining Application, they will see that the majority of web sites still use tables and ensure that their browsers render accordingly. And that means we all get a similar web experience across an array of operating systems, browsers and devices. With more and more applications and services being delivered via the web, access to such a knowledge base could come in handy.