Home > Desktop > Second beta of Opera 9 scheduled for release next week

Second beta of Opera 9 scheduled for release next week

May 18, 2006

Opera is gearing up for the release of Opera 9 Beta 2 of the desktop browser.

One Opera source tells Opera Watch that we can expect the release next week pending any major problems.

The first beta version of Opera 9 was released about a month ago (Read: Opera 9 Review).

Opera 9 Beta 2 will fix many bugs and introduce few new features. On the BitTorrent side, multi-tracker support was added.

Perhaps the most apparent change in the use interface (UI) from Beta 1 is the way Opera Widgets are handled. Widgets will no longer be displayed on a faded screen. A “Widgets” menu in the menu bar has replaced the “Opera Widgets” button, which used to be displayed on the top-middle part of the screen. Also new is a Widget management window, which provides options to add, open, and manage widgets.

The default behavior of Widgets has also been changed. When a Widget is opened, it is displayed in TaskBar. One problem I noticed with it, is that you can’t right-click the Widget in the TaskBar and close it, there isn’t even a close button on the Widgets itself, which makes closing the widget a bit difficult.


New “Widgets” menu in Opera 9 Beta 2
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Categories: Desktop
  1. EC
    May 18, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    One thing that I am bothered by is why Opera focused on developing widgets in the browser with this new version?

    Are they really so useful? And if they are, because you know the clock on the bottom of the screen isn’t enough – you need a fancier clock; or the weather doesn’t come to you quick enough through your various feeds etc – you need a widget to provide that information with a nice picture of the rain wind and sun; why is there a need for that to be integrated into the browser?

    I know that if I found some good use for a widget, I would much rather run it as a stand-alone application – something comparable to Yahoo’s Konfabulator. This way, even when I do not have the browser open, I can see my nice clock and beautiful weather images. I just don’t get it. If someone could explain it to me, that’d be great.

  2. Bill
    May 18, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    “One thing that I am bothered by is why Opera focused on developing widgets in the browser with this new version?”

    I asked the same question as I was concerned with enhancements to M2 not getting needed resources and was informed that only 1 full time and 1 part-time programmer was involved with Widgets and that it’s inclusion was not a hinderence to development in other parts of Opera.

  3. Stefan
    May 18, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Opera Software has to drop the widgets and improve the M2 client. I don’t think that the widgets should be part of a web browser.

  4. May 18, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    We’ll se a lot of useless widgets, that would be suited just as well as standalone applications – just like there are Firefox extensions in the same category. And just as those FF extensions don’t make the use of extensions in itself useless, widgets won’t be made useless just because of the clock widgets that are made.

    I haven’t had a look at all the widgets that are made so far. They may all be useless for all I know – for me. But I’ve read that others find some of them quite useful, for what they do when they use the browser. So it seems that widgets can be useful, no matter what I (or you) think.

    Good thing then, that widgets are something you only download if you have any use for them, and then only the ones you want. A way to tailr the browser even more to your own use. (Hmmm – sounds like a familiar concept…)

  5. Kc4
    May 18, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    I will probably run Beta 2 for week and then the next weekly will come out.

  6. May 18, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    In addition to what Svein Kåre said, given Opera’s commitment to mobile browsing, widgets seems like they’d be quite useful in mobile settings. Assuming of course, opera mini/mobile will support widgets.

    For instance-
    -A flight tracking widget.
    -a movie times widget

  7. May 18, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    I don’t know the requirements for widgets for both the physical memory and the memory need to run it, but I doubt it would be able to run on a typical mobile phone, let alone Opera Mini.

  8. May 18, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Why not? Isn’t it nothing but a glorified web page? Widgets on a handheld sounds a lot like “Opera Platform” to me…

    Opera Platform
    About
    Create and run advanced Web applications on mobile phones
    Make mobile clients for existing Web applications
    Reduce application costs, coding complexity and time-to-market

    Using state-of-the-art Web technologies, Opera Platform™ is a powerful and flexible application framework for mobile phones. With Opera Platform™ you can quickly and affordably create advanced mobile Web applications that give users instant access to online resources such as news headlines, weather forecasts, e-mails, sports results, auction bidding status, or bus schedules.

  9. May 18, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    Widgets are okay, but I still prefer Firefox Extensions. For example (Eddie don’t bash me saying Opera has a RSS Reader) if I want to view a raw XML page with Pretty Print etc etc.
    However Widgets are a nice addition, It’s a shame that they can only be ran when Opera is running.

    I still think Opera should be innovating in the browser field more. Do something similar to Firefox’s Places or add security BY ACTUALLY ADDING A PHISHING DETECTOR.

  10. May 18, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    I realize the above is a bit naive, but I mean…I can create a “web-app” with any browser.. ie, it’s just a web page with some interaction. And I tailor this web app to do something specific and desing it with “mobile/small screens” in mind… like say an RSS reader. Why can’t we have one of the many RSS reader widgets on a handheld? Most widgets are already designed with small, limited UI’s in mind anyway, it seems like a natural step to put those lightweight “web apps” on the mobile devices.

  11. May 18, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    Sairam- 🙂

    I’m not going to bash you… I don’t use Opera’s RSS reader either. I doesn’t meet my requirement… because that one I actually do need to have access to from multiple computers. So I certainly agree with you on those points. Although truth be told, I don’t think I was really disagreeing with you on the notes thing either.

    I will also agree with the above comments that we haven’t really seen any useful widgets, but like Svein Kåre mentions, that doesn’t mean the concept is bad. I truly hope there is a good widget developed to prove the concept. I’ve got a handful of ideas centered around the Opera community web site (using SPARQL) but I don’t know enough about either to actually get the ball rolling.

  12. May 18, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    …of course, two posts ago when I said “the above is a bit naive…” I was referring to myself (my post above Sairam). I was not referring to Sairam.

  13. May 18, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    That’s okay.
    Hope the RSS Reader, becomes at bit like Firefox 2 (Ability to subscribe to 3rd party things) and looking forward to an incremental updater and a phishing detector and maybe something similar to live bookmarks where you could just look at the headlines.

  14. May 18, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    Eddie, you make a good point with regards to the Opera Platform.

    Just to chime in on the RSS/Notes debate, I myself don’t use Opera’s RSS reader, since I need to read my news on multiple computers.

  15. Ryan
    May 18, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    Hmmm… I wonder if we’ll get a glimpse of the VOIP widget in the next beta. That is one widget that everyone could find useful (that is, if they don’t want to use any of the other services out there). Also, on the RSS/Notes talk, I just saw that the beta of the next Maxthon browser allows you to store your feeds, and then sign in to see them wherever the browser is installed. It’s basically an IE shell, but the browser seems to have many other great features. The article was on Techcrunch: http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/05/16/maxthon-gets-ready-to-face-browser-war/

  16. yearoo
    May 19, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Widgets in the taskbar, oh no…

    I think the widget could be useful since the era of Web 2.0 is coming, those widgets could take advantage of the APIs they provide and render those sites more like a normal application.

  17. May 19, 2006 at 8:28 am

    “I know that if I found some good use for a widget, I would much rather run it as a stand-alone application – something comparable to Yahoo’s Konfabulator.”

    You have to keep konfabulator open right? The yahoo widget is not stand-alone at all. Opera widgets are simple web pages, thus opera running is analogous to konfabulator running – both host widgets which cannot run alone. The benefit of Opera is that the engine does not duplicate functionality. Just press CTRL+H to hide opera when you don’t use it and your widgets will keep running.

    General: Just to reemphasise – widgets are just web pages. Opera does web pages (and web apps are core to Opera platform). No conflict of interest.

    “f I want to view a raw XML page with Pretty Print etc etc.”

    You can use user CSS and/or user js to do this IIRC.

    “Also, on the RSS/Notes talk, I just saw that the beta of the next Maxthon browser allows you to store your feeds”

    That is what Opera has always done! You can use opera’s powerful access point / search interface to dynamically mine feeds for data and much more. I generate meta-feeds for topics that interest me from lots of seperate feeds (and mailing lists / mails – unification of data) – really powerful stuff.

  18. Ryan
    May 19, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    “That is what Opera has always done! You can use opera’s powerful access point / search interface to dynamically mine feeds for data and much more. I generate meta-feeds for topics that interest me from lots of seperate feeds (and mailing lists / mails – unification of data) – really powerful stuff.”

    I think you misunderstood my words (or at least I could have been unclear). What I meant to say was Maxthon lets you get your feeds on any computer you have the browser installed on. You simply sign on to your account stored on their server. Opera cannot currently do this without you needing to subscribe to your feeds on other computers all over again.

  19. Sebhelyesfarku
    May 20, 2006 at 1:58 am

    Instead of this, what about HTML email sending and bugfree IMAP?

  20. Joel
    May 20, 2006 at 10:16 am

    It’s easy enough to hide the Opera window while it runs (Ctrl-H), but in the end the browser engine has to run to make the widgets work anyway.

    We don’t really know yet how useful widgets may or may not be, but they have been popular on some platforms. I believe Opera is also designed in such a way that users are expected to keep it open for long periods of time (or entire sessions), and so it’s a more appropriate feature than in other browsers.

  21. Sam
    May 21, 2006 at 3:59 am

    tried widgets, they’re ok, more of a toy and not really comparable to Firefox’s extensions.

  22. Devz0r
    May 21, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    @sam

    i really don’t think they were intended to compete with extensions

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