Using the Opera Widgets SDK - fast-track guide
Table of contents:
- Prerequisite knowledge
- Getting started
- Debugging your widgets
- Opera Widget optimization across devices
- Other useful documentation with which to get started
The Opera Widgets Software Development Kit (SDK) helps you to do this by providing tools, libraries, documentation, and examples, but it can be a bit daunting to use if you are new to widget development. Therefore, we have created this fast-track guide to help you get up to speed quickly. The main resource index is available at the Opera Widgets SDK homepage. This guide will link to some of the same resources you will find there, but it will do it in a more structured way for the benefit of those less experienced in using the SDK.
You can also get help in the Opera Widgets forum.
You should also know that Opera Widgets are distributed as ZIP archives (with a
.wgt file extension and a MIME type of application/x-opera-widgets) and run using an instance of an Opera browser. Widgets are supported by Opera desktop for Mac, PC, and Linux), Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, and Opera for the Nintendo Wii. You can find lots of examples of Opera Widgets at the Opera Widget homepage, which can also be accessed by selecting “Widgets > Add Widgets” from the main Opera Desktop Menu. Try a few out to get familiar with the way they work!
Creating a widget is a little bit different than creating a normal Web page, but you will soon get used to it; the basics are all explained in Creating your first widget.
Once you have created a widget, you will want to package it up and deploy it, so that others can download and make use of it. This is covered in Packaging and deploying your widget.
Debugging your widgets
index.html file in the Opera Dragonfly main drop-down menu. For more on how to operate Opera Dragonfly, check out our Introduction to Opera Dragonfly article.
It doesn’t stop there either – you can connect your running Opera Dragonfly instance to any browser that contains the Scope protocol (for example Opera Mobile 9.5) and debug widgets running on other devices. You can find out how to do this in the article Remote debugging with Opera Dragonfly
You can also run your widgets inside our Widget Emulator, which will show you how they look on different devices (different screen sizes, etc). To learn how to use this, read our Widget emulator article.
There is a useful article available that gives you a workflow for debugging Opera Widgets using Opera Dragonfly and the Widget Emulator together – check out Debugging widgets using Opera Dragonfly and the Widget Emulator.
Opera Widget optimization across devices
Since one main focus of Opera Widgets is to provide applications that run across platforms, we have created resources to show you how to optimize your Opera Widgets so they run better on mobiles, game consoles, etc. as well as more familiar desktop environments.
Opera Widgets: cross-platform applications is the best place to start here – it outlines basic issues to be aware of when creating cross-platform widgets. You can then go on to read an extensive array of practical cross-device development tips at Cross-device development techniques for widgets.
Mobile development process advice provides you with a useful workflow for creating mobile Opera Widgets.
Other useful documentation with which to get started
Some widget features are supported in some Opera browser instances, but not others. Check out the Opera Widget support notes to find out what the caveats are in this respect.
The Opera Widgets Preference Store is also worth knowing about – it’s a specialized widget data storage system, which allows you to persist information after an Opera Widget restarts.
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