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:
Good news everyone! The ongoing Team Up contest has already received its first 10 Speed Dial extensions! Like we promised, it pays to be first. The following extensions authors are being rewarded with Opera laptop sleeve and stickers.
First 10 Speed Dial extensions
If the links below do not seem to work, it is likely that you are not using Opera Next, which supports extensions in your Speed Dial.
To celebrate we decided we would give away a gift certificate worth USD 500 to one lucky person. All this person had to do was blog on My Opera or set a status on Twitter on which extensions he/she liked the most.
After collecting all the entries from over the world, we used Random.org's random number generator to pick one winner.
An idea can change everything. Especially if it gets executed.
In Opera 11.50, Speed Dial will come alive with support for installing extensions as Speed Dials. We want to have a rich catalog with a lot of really great extensions, and we have a contest in mind...
Wait... Repeat that for me, please
This is the challenge:
Come up with the best idea for a Speed Dial extension.
Make the best development of that idea.
This means that "normal" non-developer-people can also win something along with the developers.
How to get started
Not a developer? - List your ideas below in the comments section, and hope to be teamed up with a developer to execute it.
Developer? - If you see an idea from a user you think that you can create, send him a private message and ask to team up. If you got the idea on your own, then nothing is stopping you from starting to develop it.
It pays to be first! The first 10 Speed Dial extensions that get submitted and approved into Opera Add-ons catalog will get an Opera laptop sleeve and stickers - each for the developer and non-developer.
At the end of the contest, the best extension as picked out by members of the Opera jury will win the grand prize. The grand prize is $1000 USD for the developer, and $250 USD for the user who suggests the idea and is partnered with the developer. If your team has multiple developers and users, the prize will have to be shared between them.
Boom! Just like that and Opera is again breaking new ground: you can now install extensions in your speed dial:)
Opera have just released Opera 11.50 Alpha which introduces extension support in speed dial. Please note that this is an unstable, early build which purpose is to collect feedback on the new functionality.
We already have a couple of examples for you to try out in the extension catalog. Note: you need to be using Opera 11.50 in order to see the speed dial extensions in the catalog.