Sunday, February 10, 2013 6:33:25 PM
I keep getting mails asking for my Opera skins, Z1-Ultra and Z1-Glass. It's nice to see they are still liked, thank you! But I'm lacking the time and the ambition to maintain them any longer, so I decided not to move them to Opera's new skin repository. The old one seems gone now, so they can't be downloaded from there any more.
I uploaded them to my webspace for you. They are provided as they are, the final versions. I wont fix any bugs or develop them any further, so no need to ask for it please. If you still want to use them, here you go:Z1-Ultra Z1-Glass
I expect them to become more and more "buggy" in the future, as Opera will move on. If anyone wants to develop them further, feel free to do so.
Saturday, June 1, 2013 11:24:32 AM
At the announcement of Opera's switch to the Webkit/Blink engine, I really liked that idea. Given how low Operas share of the browsermarket was, I thought it wouldn't make much sense developing an browser engine like Presto only to employ a bunch of people fixing the web for it. And after all it's a war of ecosystems now, especially with smartphones but via syncing of bookmarks or tabs this effects the traditional pc environment too. So I supported the move to Webkit/Blink actually.
But now that Opera 15 is available to test as Opera Next release, I have to recognize the change is much bigger than I thought. It's really not the Opera I was used to for so long anymore.
I don't think it's all bad. It feels rock solid and reliable. The new speeddial and stash are beautiful and useful. I still like it more than Chrome.
But it doesn't feel like Opera and I'm missing most of the features I loved and that made me use Opera despite the problems it had. I would name the bookmark handling including a right sided panel, the snappy UI, mousegestures that work on a panel too, and the whole customizability of the UI including menus, buttons, positioning of elements etc.. Contentblocking, customizable search engines, UserCSS/UserJS etc. Maybe those are desires from a different age of browsing? So be it, some of my browsing habits are from the last millennium actually..
I also much underestimated apparently how much the engine determines the look and feel of the browser. I never liked the feel of Chrome (Firefox neither), that's why I used Opera.
Riding dead horses is not for me. Changing browser, relearning a workflow, is such a pain. If I have to do it, I'll do it right now. So I ran Opera 15, IE10, Firefox and Chrome these days, setting them up, trying what is different and what I like. For me it will be IE10 on Windows 8. The customizability is really bad and the options menu is by far the worst, but it has a very nice and snappy (browsing) UI and where it connects to Windows like file saving it's an entirely different league. It's network abilities are super fast, so despite it being so far behind in engine testing benchmarks, it still loads pages like Twitter or Google+ way faster than the others after startup. And after all I cannot see myself use anything but a Windows Phone system from Nokia anymore when it comes to smartphones.
There's no point in being angry at Opera devs for the change. I want to say a big "Thank You!" for all the work that helped me so much over the last 13 (I don't know exactly) years. I'll keep Opera Next installed to see where it is going. But for now my journey with the Opera browser is over...
Monday, June 27, 2011 6:38:10 PM
New Opera versions usually offer new possibilities or ideas for custom skins. Opera 11.50 "swordfish" is no different. Especially the new icons from project "featherweight" along with the idea to reduce clutter in the browser window let me move into a very welcome direction. After updating Z1-Glass
to v4.00 upon a complete rebuild of it's skin.ini, I felt I could go even further with the "featherweight" idea. Using only Z1-Glass for about 18 month now got me a little bored too while still loving the basic idea. So I decided to finally follow what many would have liked earlier and took out all of the solid gray textures and made the window even more transparent, minimal and naked. The result is the new Z1-Ultra
skin, now ready to download:Download from MyOpera: Z1-Ultra
Obviously that much transparency has usability drawbacks if used with a crowded desktop. You may be limited in your wallpaper choice too.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:37:08 AM
Last weekend I made a wallpaper for my personal use. Maybe someone likes it:Download colored_bubbles_41 (1920x1200)
Friday, September 24, 2010 1:12:29 PM
After some months of not caring much about my browser and skinning, the release of Internet Explorer 9 beta
got me thinking again. Microsoft did a fantastic job with it's new reduced UI. Browsing should indeed be about the web and not the browser.
In Opera, a one-toolbar-setup can only be accomplished using the tabbar with it's parts tabbar head and tabbar tail used for controls and buttons. I had to learn quickly that tabbar head is not the best replacement for the addressbar since it will move up and down when (un-) maximizing the browser window. Tabbar tail can do the job better. To make it work, some skin changes became necessary which are (with other redesigns) included in version 2.70+ of my Z1-Glass skin. You can get it here
The one-toolbar-setup has one huge (and currently unsolvable) problem in Opera: The addressfield will reduce to minimal width when placed in tabbar head/tail. You can type still fine then, but you can't read a lot of the address and (even worse) the popup below will be also limited in it's width. I strongly suggest to the Opera devs to make it possible to resize the addressfield when placed in tabbar head/tail, since maximized space for the page is a very valuable goal and IE9 set the bar a lot higher than before. If you would like to support my suggestion, I made a wish-list-forum posting
Anyway, if you can live with the drawbacks, here is how it can be done in Opera:
Sunday, March 28, 2010 7:59:19 AM
In version 2.40 Z1-Glass
got new close buttons and new indicators for active and attention states: Download Z1-Glass @ MyOpera skins
I choose a rather simple design that may not be everyones taste. But lilmoder
was kind enough to make his own close buttons with a different design:
If you prefer those (or just want to test them): The necessary mod of Z1-Glass is super easy to make.