Having a bad day? Hungover? Rained on? Opera themes wont help with any of that, but they can certainly jazz up Opera and maybe make your day a little brighter.
With Opera 12 alpha we started supporting themes, a much more lightweight version of our existing skinning system. Today we're adding these to addons.opera.com and opening up for everybody to upload and share their themes.
Our existing skin section on My Opera will be discontinued and replaced with addons.opera.com/themes. Designers that have published skins on My Opera should re-upload these to addons.opera.com. In the new Add-ons catalog we will not make any differentiation between skins and themes. This will remain a technical detail for designers to consider, whether they want to use skins or the new and lightweight themes to enhance the look of Opera. The old skin system is of course very powerful, but at the same time complex and hard to ensure compatibility across versions of Opera and different operating systems. We will generally recommend designers to use the lightweight version.
Today we are announcing the beginning of the end for two of our current Add-on platforms. Starting with the upcoming Opera 12 release, Opera Unite and Opera Widgets will be turned off by default for new users. The two Add-on platforms will be completely removed in a later release expected before the end of this year.
Over the last six years we have learned a lot from our work on Opera Widgets and Opera Unite, and when we later built the extension platform for Opera 11 we benefited significantly from this experience. Our extension technology has been a great success, with millions of monthly downloads, and so far completely dwarfing the other platforms. Recently, Opera also shipped a labs version with extension support in Opera Mobile, investigating a fully cross-platform extension environment.
Moving forward we want to focus on one high quality Add-on platform across our products, rather than spending resources on maintaining legacy systems. The know how and and technologies from Unite and Widgets are already being reused in other Opera products. An example is the recently announced UPnP support in Opera Dragonfly.
To provide your feedback about use cases for Opera Unite or Opera Widgets you want to transfer other Opera products, please visit to our forum.
You might have noticed a slight change on addons.opera.com
Half a year of changes were released yesterday! Here are a few highlights apart from the completely obvious, and a bit more technical than what you can find elsewhere:
URLs no longer contain extension version numbers. This should eliminate a lot of dead links pointing to older versions of extensions.
Extensions are no longer filtered based on which browser you use. Everything is listed anyway, but you might see a message telling you that you need a certain version of Opera for an extension to work properly (for example Opera Next for upcoming features). This should also eliminate more dead links.
The ratings are now weighted against an average (Bayesian rating), providing a more sane ranking of the top rated extensions.
A few languages now receive special treatment in the search engine, for improved matching. The languages are Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, and German. In order to benefit from this, you need to change the filter language (the drop-down with the globe button) to one of the mentioned ones. (We are still working on improving things, here.)
For extension developers:
You can now attach any license to your extensions!
You can edit the name of your extensions as long as they are not public yet.
More good stuff and smaller improvements are to come soonish
It has been some time, but a new version is finally out! The highlights:
Optimizations! You might have noticed already that the site is much more responsive
Translations! You can find a drop-down for changing the page language at the bottom of the pages (more languages are in the works)
The links to the developer sections and for logging out, just below the main header, should be more obvious now
Developers can now delete their extensions from the catalog
A lot of smaller fixes
Regarding the "Show items in" drop-down, a fix for the duplicate languages should be a few weeks away from release. This will also include improved localized sorting of various lists throughout the site.
Our Desktop Team regularly publishes snapshots of Opera with upcoming features that are in development. They've just published one with a few updates that should be interesting to extension developers.
This snapshot is dedicated especially to all of those working on extensions. We have done a bunch of bug fixes, plus developer and discoverability enhancements.
As a developer, you can now drag and drop config.xml from unpacked extensions onto the main Opera window, and your extension will be silently installed in developer mode. Also the Extensions Manager will be opened, so that you can easily manage the extension. While you are developing your extensions, you also will be able to easily reload them. This can be achieved in several ways:
Press F5 in the Extensions Manager
Use the right mouse button menu on the Extension Speed Dial cell
Use the right mouse button menu on the Extension button on the toolbar
If you are working with extensions that use a toolbar button popup, you should notice that the popup window will not be closed automatically (in developer mode only). This will allow you to use Dragonfly together with your popups, making designing popup content faster and easier.
We have finally announced the winner of the Team Up competition: the excellent Timeline extension by Jon Packer. This extensions displays your Twitter stream in your Opera Speed Dial. Just log in once, get your token and see those latest tweets pouring in. Head over to Choose Opera for the official announcement.
Unrelated to the competition, below are a few other Speed Dial extensions that I've been using lately: From top left they are: Facebook Preview, Reddit, Gmail and Stocktwits. All kick-ass!
By installing extensions in Speed Dial (Opera's start page) you can get live information right at your fingertips, just a Ctrl-T (new tab) away. The above screenshot shows the extension in 'image mode' (left) and 'text mode' (right)
I've created an extension template that makes it easy to convert any RSS feed into an Opera Speed Dial extension. So if you have, or know of, a website you want to turn into a Speed Dial extension, this is a good place to start!
Open up the file background.js in your favourite text editor. Change _rssURL to point to the RSS you want to use
Open up the file config.xml and fill in wherever it says 'UPDATE' (the extension name, description etc).
Zip up the files and change the filename so it ends with .oex, e.g. 'myExtension.oex'. Note: make sure you don't include the root folder when zipping up - instead, select all the files (and images/ folder) and then zip!
Open up your extension in Opera by dragging it onto the Opera logo, or by using File > Open. When you're happy with the extension, make sure you upload it to http://addons.opera.com.
The files Here are two versions of the template in action, using the RSS feed from BollywoodHungama.com: