But ours go to eleven…Opera 11

opera11-spinaltap

Opera 11 has been making a lot of buzz across the Internet today now that an alpha version has been released.

New in Opera 11 is support for the very much requested extensions! While there is currently a very limited selection of extensions available, I suspect this will quickly change. ;)

If you’re using Opera 11 already and you’re also using Ubuntu 10.10 with the Ambiance or Radiance themes, do forget to update you skin with my Ambiance and Radiance skins for Opera.

For those who are curious, you can find brief changelogs in the comments with the latest one being here.

If you’re not using Opera 11 yet and would like to, go get it!

Ambiance & Radiance Skins and Speed Dial Backgrounds

opera-ambiance-maverick

While I’m waiting for Opera in Linux to improve further (its already pretty great!), I’ve decided to make a couple of adjustments to make the browser feel a little more integrated.

Get the skin!
I’ve created a simple script that extracts the installed default skin and modifies it with all in one quick run. This is very beneficial for me since I like to update my slightly edited skins by merging my modifications with the latest and greatest default skin with only a double click. ;)

The only change to the skin (thus far) is the tab bar background which now allows for a smoother appearance between the tab bar and window title.

Ambiance Skin

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx
Install Skin (Opera 10.60+, updated 2010-12-16)

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 12.04 Precise Pangolin
Install Skin (Opera 10.60+, updated 2012-03-26)

Radiance Skin

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx
Install Skin (Opera 10.60+, updated 2010-12-16)

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, 11.04 Natty Narwhal
Install Skin (Opera 10.60+, updated 2010-12-16)

Previous skin versions are now available on page 3.

Get the Speed Dial backgrounds on Page 2!

I’ve moved them to page 2 since the main interest of this post is the on the skins.

Opera Google Wave Skin

opera-google-wave-skin

I’ve been using a new theme lately for Ubuntu that is based on the appearance of Google Wave. One thing that I hate about Opera in Linux is that it doesn’t automatically inherit the current themes appearance. The only way to make Opera match your current theme is to download a skin for that theme or to make one yourself.

I’ve decided to modify the standard skin by updating the background behind the tabs and changing the scrollbar images to match the rest of my current themes scrollbars.

There are still several more tweaks to make, but for now I’m very satisfied with the integrating feel that these small changes have made.

opera-google-wave-skin

I may upload this Opera skin later, but not while I’m still tweaking it. In the meantime, if you want this skin then just contact me and I’ll send you what I’ve made so far.

Ubuntu New Wave skin for Opera

opera-standard-new-wave-03

I’ve recently been flip flopping between two themes that are offered in Ubuntu 9.04 and I like to have everything integrate nicely.

So, I spent a little time putting this skin together, or modifying it rather, so that it helps give Opera a more integrated feel into the Ubuntu New Wave environment without sacrificing the graphics and layout that Opera has by default.

You can find this skin in the Opera section along with a few others that I’ve uploaded or simply take the direct link to the skin page.

You can also find out more details about the skin there as well as a complete change-log with previous versions of the skin.

opera-standard-new-wave-03

Click the images below to see a larger version.

opera-standard-new-wave-02

opera-standard-new-wave-01

Opera skin updates and Torrent stats

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I’ve updated the Opera 9.5 Standard – Lite Compact skin as I mentioned that I would in my last post. You can find the changelog on the download page. Most of the changes were just to bring the skin up-to-date with the latest standard Opera skin and a couple tweaks to improve the appearance.

Also, I’ve been seeding the Opera torrent files for a few days now. I’m not using the them at all, because the torrent download page only offers Opera for Windows in English and International versions and then a Mac install. I’m not sure why the Linux/Unix installs are not seeded.

Anyhoo, I’ve been seeding these three torrents just to help make sure that people are getting good speeds and doing my part. ;)

Here is a screenshot of the stats so far:

That’s 908.5 MB’s that I’ve uploaded in nearly four days. I think I’ll leave it running for as long as possible and see if I can hit a Terabyte (TB), haha. :D

I might setup my own tracker and start seeding the Unix versions from here, so if you think that’s a good idea just let me know in the comments. If I can get a couple people thinking it’s a good idea to seed those then I’ll set it up. ;)

An Opera Skin to Match the Ubuntu Dust Theme

opera-google-chrome-dust-skin-01

I’ve been using Ubuntu 8.10 for a while now, since the first alphas were released, and I’ve been watching the artwork for Intrepid Ibex develop.

Now I think I’ve decided which theme I will be using in Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and that is the Dust theme. You can get an idea of what it would look like on the Dust page, but I have mixed the dust theme with one of the proposed wallpapers for Intrepid Ibex that seems to mix well.

After mixing those, I realized that I couldn’t find a good skin for Opera to match the rest of the desktop so I set out to make my own.

I’m really not a big fan of the current default Opera skin, so I set out to find a skin that I felt was universally considered intuitive and easy to follow. That theme to me was the Google Chrome theme.

I had checked weeks ago on Opera Skins and found that no one had made a Google Chrome theme yet. Fortunately, this time I found one and it was done pretty well.

I grabbed the skin Chrome 1.92 and extracted the contents. Then the fun part began. All I had to do was replace a couple of images to make the header tie into the Dust theme title bar and desaturate the rest (or a great deal of them).

After that, zipped it up and tested it out. Here is what I got:

Opera is on the left, compared to Firefox on the right with a theme that was developed by someone else to match the Dust theme.

I will most likely make a Dust skin from the default Opera skin as well, but for now I’m enjoying the Google Chrome-Dust theme. :D

I’ll upload it to the rest of my Opera skins soon. I just need to polish up a few graphics and implement the Dust scroll bar (as seen in Firefox) for consistency.

UPDATE (2008-10-08 @ 6:06 PM):
The “Opera Google Chrome Dust” or “Dusty Chrome,” which ever you prefer, is now available in it’s initial release:
http://www.kyleabaker.com/goodies/opera/skins/opera-google-chrome-dust/

Opera 9.5 gets improvements after feedback

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Today the Opera Desktop Team released improvements to the new skin which was released only yesterday! The improvements come from an amazing 300+ posts by users like you and me in just 24 hours. What makes that even more incredible is that this is a beta and snapshot blog, so it’s typically just a small group of people who participate…but not this time!

The new skin has brought the Desktop Team a great deal of attention! If you have a digg account then you should help digg this!

http://digg.com/software/Opera_s_new_modern_UI

The improvements to the skin are aimed at correcting issues that were reported by the majority of the visitors yesterday. More improvements will come shortly (maybe Monday!), but for now the changelog consists of the following:

  • Improved contrast between active and inactive tabs in the tab bar
  • Higher contrast for the text on inactive tabs to increase readability, especially on laptops
  • Brighter background in the panels
  • A tiny bit more color: We added the Home button as default by popular demand
  • We tuned the color intensity of the color themes (Tools: Appearance: Color scheme) to be more usable with both this and other skins. Try it out again!
  • Improved visibility of the scrollbars
  • Buttons no longer grow wider when you press them
  • Nicer background for security status on https pages

To use Opera with the new improvements and test them out, you can go to the latest post or you can use the links I’ve posted below for you:

If you find a bug or an improvement to the skin or this build then help us all out by posting it here:
http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/2008/06/06/turtle-wax

This post is an update to the initial Opera 9.5 skin improvements post from yesterday. To read more about this, you should read the post from yesterday.

Opera 9.5 just got a face lift!

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Good news today for Opera browser fans! The Browser received a much needed face lift today. The desktop team has (on a side project) put together a new skin for the browser to enhance it’s appearance, improve functionality and bridge the gap between a few more cross-browser usability issues.

The new skin is now installed by default in the latest Opera 9.5 snapshots from the Desktop Team’s blog. However, if you need some time to get used to the new skin, they have also packaged the previous skin in the installer as well and it is called the Opera Classic skin.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go download this bad boy as you continue reading the rest of this post! You can grab the download from the original post (which is here), or you can just use the links I’ve gathered below for you. ;)

Now that you’ve got the download process going on in the background, I’ll tell you a little bit about the changes that you may notice.

The new skin has replaced all of the old icons that you may be used to and with glossier and shinier new ones. The back, forward, refresh, stop, etc. buttons are all easily recognizable, but different.

It didn’t take me long at all to like the new skin! I actually liked it from the instant I restarted Opera!

One thing, however, that I used quiet often that has been changed is the panel toggle button that extended up the left-hand side of the window. You could click the talk and narrow button to show or hide the side panel and it’s windows.

A new button has been placed to the left of the tabs that does the exact same thing now. I’m still getting used to it, but I think it’s a good change..as many of you may not have known about the older button in the first place. :P

The New Tab button is now moved to the right side of the row of tabs. It moves as the tabs row grows and is designed..or placed there to be more conveniently placed. This change is also one of the areas that Opera is working to bridge the gap between usability in Internet Explorer 7+ and Opera.

If you’ve used Internet Explorer 7 or 8 (beta) then you known that the new tab button is on the right side of the row of tabs and follows the tabs. Well, this is the same behavior as Opera now. :D

The panels icons are also new. Although they take a little more time to get used to than the navigational icons, they are still a much needed update!

One thing that I’m not in favor of is the background color of the windows in the panels tab. The windows are, in my opinion, too dark and slow for the eyes to glance through.

I’ve spoken with some of the developers and they have told me that the skin is by no means finished. They are taking feedback from everyone, tweaking the theme, releasing it and then taking feedback again.

If you have any suggestions or feedback at all for them then you should go post it in the blog so they hear your voice! You can make a difference in the development of Opera!
http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/2008/06/05/looking-sharp