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Opera introduces Widget Generator

July 19, 2006

Opera is making it a bit easier for the rest of us to create Opera Widgets. Today it introduced an Opera Widget Generator, which allows you to easily and quickly create widgets of your blog’s feed. (Download the Opera Watch Widget).

There are two hurdles that Opera faces with popularizing widgets. First, it needs to show that Opera Widgets can actually be useful. And second, creating widgets shouldn’t be rocket science. These two go hand in hand. Once creating widgets are easy, including for the non-technical users, eventually we’ll see useful widgets.

Opera’s Thomas Ford recently wrote an article for Opera Watch detailing why Opera included widgets in the browser.

If Opera is really serious about widgets, I think it needs to create more of these widget tools, which help users easily create all kinds of widgets.

As of this time a total of 448 widgets have been uploaded by users to Opera’s Widget Center. Opera is running weekly and monthly contests now that promotes the creation of widgets by users. Opera is giving away a Mac pro valued at $2500 (USD) for this month’s winner.

Today news came out that StumbleUpon, the popular Firefox extension, will now be available to Internet Explorer (IE) users too, and will run as a plugin. I’m not sure if this is possible, but a StumbleUpon Widget would be nice.

I’m still waiting for that one big widget that will blow me away.

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Categories: Desktop
  1. July 19, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    That’s great news. It would have better adoption (the Widget creating tool) by Bloggers if Opera had a bit more market share. But it doesn’t hurt to try, does it 😉

    Anyway know if there’s a good Cricket(Sport) Widget

  2. sc
    July 19, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Wow, that page is pretty cool!

  3. July 19, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    Daniel, you can make the OperaWatch widget discoverable by using widget autodiscovery.

  4. July 19, 2006 at 12:19 pm
  5. July 19, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    Arve, good point. I read your post the other day about this auto-discovery feature. I wonder why Opera didn’t make this public until now.

  6. Wajo357
    July 19, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    Well, it seems like Opera is using the auto-discovery feature for their desktopteam website: http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/

  7. Benjamin
    July 19, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    Daniel, you ask if a stumbleupon widget is possible, yes but it would have very limited interactivity with the page.

  8. July 19, 2006 at 1:49 pm

    I had emailed SU about a month back requesting them to provide support Opera taking advantage of its widgets. I didnt get any reply from them. So I believe that they arent interested.
    In my blog I had suggested using Spurl as an alternative of SU. I have get quite a few hit in my blog from Google for search terms like “StumpleUpon for Opera”, which suggests that a lot of Opera users want to see SU for OPera.

  9. July 19, 2006 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks Arve.

  10. July 19, 2006 at 2:59 pm

    Arve thanks for the tip about Autodiscovery feature 🙂

  11. MrL
    July 19, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Oh great. Now you can create those useless widgets easier!

    There are 448 of them? I browsed through all of them
    and found a total of 0 interesting.

    Stupid widgets. Useless technology. Waste of time.
    Shame on you Opera.

  12. July 20, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    MrL, if you don´t like widgets it doesn´t mean for other people the widgets are useless
    Shame on you, MrL

  13. strawberry
    July 22, 2006 at 1:35 am

    I don’t want to be negative and discourage the introduction of new technology but … the implementation of widgets just doesnt work for me right now. Widgets get their own window, and thus get far too much presence within my screen estate. To me they resemble some ancient technology: the channel push functionality that was once introduced with windows 98 and was soon forgotten.
    They don’t deliver high value right now although i’m not sure if thats caused by lack of uninspiration or by some other limitations.

    Also: the user interaction with widgets should be more standardized: new technology should be made available in a way that is familiar as much as possible: using a seperate window by default just feels ‘dirty’: i choose opera because of it’s tabbed browsing.

    Also
    – add standard configuration methods for widgets (including screen coordinates, or let them snap to the widgets panel.)
    – provide ‘living space’ within opera, not within windows, put them in a dedicated screen estate location: next to widgets panel.
    – or.. create a widget tab that tiles all widgets into ‘one’ webpage, similar to the http://www.google.com/ig site. I find most widgets similar to the google page content blocks anyway.
    – come to think of it: provide a way to embed widget-code to my google.com/ig page directly.

    I doubt that widgets in their current form will become accepted by early adopters since they simply don’t provide enough added value and take up too much handling time.

  14. MrL
    July 25, 2006 at 7:44 am

    el_esponjoso:

    As I said many times before, what I want from
    Opera team is to stop producing useless eyecandy
    “things”, stop loosing functionality and speed
    from version to version, stop introducing half-done
    tools. Focus on refining tools that are already
    in Opera, focus on fixing bugs (which make Opera 9
    unusable for most users I know).

    They don’t want to provide html-email, because it’s
    useless nonstandard eyecandy, right? But they
    happily introduce useless nonstandard eyecandy
    “widgets”.
    And what stops them from fixing thousands of bugs,
    of which some are years old? Is it working
    on genius concepts like “widgets”? Or do they spend
    all of their time on marketing and praising their
    own work?

    Yes, this is my own subjective point of view. I don’t
    care how much others love “widgets”.

  1. July 19, 2006 at 12:20 pm
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