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Opera Widget Ideas

February 8, 2006

Opera added widget support in its latest technical preview release of Opera 9. Many Opera developers already pointed out that the widget support is still in its early stages and that with future releases it will be enhanced.

I like the concept of widgets, but I believe there are many ways in which Opera can improve on it and make it more useful. For example, there is no option to show widgets under a window, they’re always shown on the top.

The other problem I noticed (right away) is that there is no way to show only one widget at a time. For example, when I need a ‘currency converter’ widget, I would like to see only that widget on my screen, and when I need to see a calendar, I would like to bring up only the calendar widget. With the current widget configuration, you can either show all widgets or you can hide all widgets; there isn’t a way to show only a particular widget at a time (I believe).

I thought of an idea that would solve this problem. Users would have the option to set shortcut buttons for their top 10 widgets, for each widget a number from 0 through 9 would be assigned to it. Upon pressing the CTRL+WIDGET_NUMBER, the widget assigned to that number will show or hide. This way, if I only need the calculator widget, I don’t have to see the calendar or any other widgets on my screen.

What are the enhancements that you would like to see Opera implement to their widget support, please post your ideas to the comments of this post.

In addition to widget enhancements, what are some of the widgets that you would like to see? Do you have a nice or cool widget idea? Post them here.

Categories: Desktop, Editorial
  1. February 9, 2006 at 1:12 am

    I agree. At first, I thought there must be some little way to hide them that I hadn’t came across yet, but there really isn’t one except by turning them off via the F6 key. A solution to this could be providing an option via preferences, or prehaps even a widgets specific options menu, that allows you to specify how you want widgets to behave. I haven’t tried more than one at once yet, but I’ll take your word on the not being able to display one at a time thing. I’m not much of a shortcut key person myself, so it would be nice to see a menu that allows you to select which widget you want to display along with the shortcut keys. πŸ™‚

  2. February 9, 2006 at 1:42 am

    I’d like to be able to disable widgets on an individual basis. Even having a regular collection, if there’s something I only need occasionally, with 9p2 my only options are to leave it in the set, or remove it entirely. The files are still there in the profile directory, but the only way I can see to re-enable a widget I’ve removed is to re-install it.

    Dashboard (Mac OS X Tiger) has an auto-hiding tray at the bottom of the screen that shows all the installed, but inactive widgets on your system. It doesn’t need to be implemented the same way, but it would really help to have access to an installed-but-inactive widget set.

  3. Stahn
    February 9, 2006 at 1:51 am

    And we need widgets that doesn’t take the 35% of the screen to show a damn clock.

    Some minimalistic approach will be really appreciated.

  4. February 9, 2006 at 1:59 am

    Is it possible to make a widget for the Opera Mini Simulator? I know it’s a demo, but as I mentioned on my blog, the simulator could also be useful for testing webpages.

  5. Anonymous
    February 9, 2006 at 2:01 am

    I would like to see a Widgets panel and to be able to run only widgets I need at the time.

  6. February 9, 2006 at 2:52 am

    My dream is to be able to embed my application into Opera’s chrome. I know it’s quite opposite to the idea of a widget, which is chromeless.

    I’d like to implement some functionality in JavaScript as an add-on to Opera: add my commands to menus and toolbars, create my own tab and panel types (we already have “Browser”, “Mail view”, “Transfers” etc, I’d like to add to that). This is alrady partially possible with bookmarklets and locally stored HTML pages, but that’s only a halfway solution: bookmarklets are hard to write and they are quite limited, there is no installation/deployment mechanism like there is for widgets, and locally stored HTML pages can’t do xmlHttpRequest to any domain.

    As a user, I’d prefer a custom, JS-driven “LiveJournal client” panel in Opera rather than a shiny widget which isn’t even a fully manageable window (e.g. doesn’t maximize).

  7. Anonymous
    February 9, 2006 at 3:18 am

    Extension, extension, extension although i know it’s not possible but i hop it will be someday.
    I would like better download management and a webpage update monitor function.

  8. Anonymous
    February 9, 2006 at 3:42 am

    “For example, there is no option to show widgets under a window”

    What does that mean, and why would you want to do that?

  9. February 9, 2006 at 4:05 am

    hi there. there is a possibility to show only one widget. or even show only specific ones:

    add the widgets you like. then right click on the ones that you’d want to stay and “pin” them.

    after that you can disable the widgets and only the ones pinned will stay. the other ones will disappear.
    maybe this helps you πŸ™‚

  10. February 9, 2006 at 4:10 am

    You can show only one widget and hide the others, if you want:

    Show the widgets, pin the one(s) you want to see, then hide the widgets again. The pinned one(s) will stay put.

    As for the size of the widgets, you can make them larger and smaller with the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ keys on the numpad.

  11. February 9, 2006 at 6:17 am

    I have some ideas of really useful widget-functions. I don’t know wether it is already possible:

    1) WidgetControlWidget: Sounds like you need a widget to control widgets: I think those people who don’t want to use widget’s shouldn’t be bothered with widget-controls in the browser. So “just” make a widget to hide and show other widgets and maybe to assign even keyboard-shortcuts to the widgets (could use a mod-keyboard.ini).

    2) Widget with browser controls: make Opera fullscreen and have just the controls you like or need in a widget. The final stage would be fully customizeable in size and structure with all possible Opera-buttons/features. Make it possible to have multiple of those widgets, so there can be one with navigation-buttons, one with email-stuff etc.

    3) Upload-Widget: User customizes his account-settings and can drag+drop files on the widget that will be transfered to the online-storage. Although a mighty ftp-widget would be stunning, it would be already cool to have specialized widgets for single online-foto-collections with html-upload.

    4) Preview-Widget: as mentioned by lawmune a preview-option of pages with small-rendering could be very useful. Is good for web-developement (also in full size-rendering) and for desktop-based pre-selection of useful sites for later use on pda.

    So far for now

  12. February 9, 2006 at 7:46 am

    I would like better download management and a webpage update monitor function.

    Ditto to both of those requests. I use a now defunct application called C4U that montored webpages and preented the changes in red. It is abandoned now and is not rendering the latest page styles properly (or able to check them, either). I’ve tried other such apps and they all are overloaded with functions or clunky in practice.

  13. Anonymous
    February 9, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    Here is how I want widgets to work –

  14. Anonymous
    February 9, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    I’d like to see some “special” widgets that can somehow interact with the Opera browser itself..some kinds of widgets that can directly interact with Opera so they can work like extra extensions like firefox…..so that they can add features to the Opera browser..instead of being totally separate..i’d like them to be integrated into the browser..once that is doen..firefox is beat for life.

  15. February 9, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    Here are some things I would like to suggest
    1)Have a mode where Opera can be run and hidden in the background (something like ctrl+h), still have the widgets displayed and operating on the desktop, and then somehow make Opera not use as much memory during this mode since it would be only on “widget mode”.
    2)A widget that acts like a newsticker whereby your newsfeeds scroll.
    3)A widget that interacts with delicious and provides functionality such as posting and viewing your bookmarks.
    4)A widget that controls and interacts with your media player
    5)A widget that allows one to place post-it notes on the screen
    6)A widget to post to a blog
    7)A widget that shows Bible verses

    Well thats all I can squeeze out of my brain. Hope that was useful

  16. Anonymous
    February 9, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    I personally find the widgets useless. Why would a browser support widgets? It doesn’t make sense. This should be the operating system’s job or an extension there of.

    What I’d really like to see is extensions for Opera. This should be the developers’ top priority if they want to catch up to FireFox.

    Just my $.02

  17. Luchio
    February 9, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    Some widgets suggestions I’d like to see:

    Scientific calculator
    HTML color picker
    Post-it notes
    Weight/Distance/Temperature convertors
    Currency convertor
    Customizable RSS feeder (any feed)
    Quote of the day
    Word translator
    Dictionnary definitions

    Any, feel free to steal all of these ideas, they are free! πŸ™‚

  18. Luchio
    February 9, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Oooh! I just saw that Opera posted currency and unit convertors, and also a dictionnary tool. I guess they were obvious tools for widgets.

  19. February 10, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    At first I sided with the “widgets are useless” logic, but I am coming to see they’re use now.

    If someone were to make an FTP widget, then I could drop firefox entirely (FireFTP extension). Until then, I am going to try making my own and make due switching between Firefox and Opera.

    One question for everyone, can i assign a hotkey for the widgets on MacOSX so as to achieve the same functionality as f6 on opera:windows ?

    Daniel DeVaney

  20. February 10, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    @ Daniel DeVaney

    Yep. You can chang any shortcut in Opera by going to Tools > Preferences > Advanced Tab > Shortcuts > Next to Keyboard Setup Click Edit… > In the quick find box type widgets > I’m pretty sure you can figure things out from here on out. πŸ˜‰

    Hope this helps

  21. Anonymous
    February 11, 2006 at 3:38 am

    I think tabs thumbnails list widget will be great.

  22. Stahn
    February 11, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    Opera already has a customizable RSS Feed, just click the icon on your URL bar πŸ˜‰

  23. Luchio
    February 12, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    Stahn: Of course, but it is not in sweet widgetty form!

  24. Anonymous
    February 14, 2006 at 3:31 am

    Adblock, thats about it.

  25. Stavros
    July 18, 2006 at 4:31 am

    I want to copy 100 widgets from my office to my home PC. do I have to reinstall them??? can I just copy them all from my office? where is the widget folder?

  26. July 18, 2006 at 9:02 am

    Stavros, it should be in your profile directory. The profile directory is either here: C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_NAME\Application Data\Opera\Opera\profile\widgets or C:\Program Files\Opera\Profile\widgets.

    P.S. There’s no need to post the same comment/question in multiple posts πŸ™‚

  27. stavros
    August 11, 2006 at 5:46 am

    a) Thank you daniel

    b) you are right πŸ™‚

  28. Tarobs
    September 18, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    I just wish that Opera would support the new features of Yahoo! (Like the auto-address toggle feature) and StumbleUpon. If anyone would come up with a widget for StumbleUpon, then that would be a GREAT help!

  29. kcleworth
    November 8, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    just to say in response to requests, ive made a little opera version of the bible with random verses!

  1. August 2, 2006 at 2:10 pm
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