Wishlist: Wishes for Opera..

Recently I blogged about my top 5 wishes for Opera as a part of a tag game that has been going around the net quiet heavily lately. Now I’d like to make a list of wishes that I have for Opera in a more general form. These wish items have no specific priority and are strictly based on my opinions and thoughts. Some wishes will be repeated from my previous top 5 wish list.

So, to ease your anxiety from waiting..here is my list:

  • [done] -> [link] Auto-Update system to make updating Opera to the latest and most secure version painless for new users as well as us fanatics. Similar to the auto-update feature that Mozilla currently has.
  • [done] -> [link] Developer Tools. It is true that Opera currently has a decent set of developer tools, however, these current tools (in version 3122) do not come close to competing with other available developer tools for competing browsers such as Firebug for Firefox. Many web developers (even Opera enthusiasts) turn to Firefox to developer their sites instead of Opera and this is where Opera is letting us down. With such high standards support one would assume that a cutting edge developer tool kit would be available for the browser, but it just isn’t there yet.These have now been released. You can find more information about the Opera Developer Tools, named Dragonfly, at http://dragonfly.opera.com! Dragonfly is now available in snapshot builds of Opera 9.5 and will be available in the final release as well!
  • [done] -> [link] In-line Spell Check is a common wish among Opera users. The current spell check method (using Aspell) is in my opinion out dated and not the best method. Many Opera users turn to user javascript to try to meet their needs. There is one such script that I have found to be very useful for spell check called In-line OSpell Checker, but a built-in In-line spell checker would be preferable to me.
  • [done] -> [link] UI upgrade. I think I speak for many when I say that I’d love to see the user interface revamped. ‘As is’ it is a great theme and interface, however, some of the layout designs seem to need a little work and the theme could use a little tweaking to appeal to more people. I know there are plenty of other skins that can be applied, but I personally like to keep default skins as they are most often optimized the most for a wide range of users.
  • [partially done] -> [link] Extended widget and user javascript capabilities. Originally I had mentioned extended capabilities for widgets in my top five list, but after reading another top 5 list I realized that user javascript could be very beneficial as well if they were to allow more interaction with the browser itself as well.Widgets now have File I/O privileges (still no userjs progress ๐Ÿ™ ):
  • [done] Icon upgrade. Many people have mentioned the Opera logo icon. I too wish that a more appealing icon could be used in place of the outdated O. In the mean time, if you didn’t know already, you can change the standard icon that Opera uses in the config settings. Just click or type opera:config into your address bar and search for ‘Application Icon’. This setting may not be available across all platforms, but it is available on the Windows platform.
  • XUL. I would love to see support for XUL, which is a User Interface Language. I’ve seen some very cool web applications designed using XUL. However, to the best of my knowledge the Gecko engine is the only engine supporting XUL at the moment.
  • User Javascript manager user interface. There are plenty of add-ons that you can get for Opera (tool bars, menus, skins, buttons, panels, etc.) and for the most part these all have ways of managing them from with in Opera. User Javascripts do not have any means of management in Opera. All modifications are to be done out side of the browser and manually downloaded and stored.
  • Separate email accounts. I’d like to see an option in the future for separate email accounts. In the past I have had Opera checking two of my email accounts, but the messages that I received seemed to be mixed and mingled into one single account.
  • [done] -> [link] HTML email composing support. I’d like to see support for composing HTML style email messages from with in Opera. It is already possible to receive these messages since they can easily be rendered with the browser engine, but composing these messages is not yet possible in Opera as it is in most other major email clients.
  • Thumbnails in the windows panel. I made a suggestion several months ago to include thumbnails in the windows panel (side bar panel) in Opera, but I was told that they are not capable of adding these thumbnails to the windows panel at the moment. Apparently this is on their list of things to do for the future. So I suggested adding thumbnails to the tool tips that are displayed when hovering the items in the windows panel. You can thank me for the suggestion, hehe, but you should really thank Mitchman for the work. He spent long hours getting that to work flawlessly and he did a great job.
  • IRC upgrade. I’d love to see the IRC chat client upgraded and updated with many new features. It seems to be bare bones. I use it often when chatting with other Opera enthusiasts, but am disappointed with the simplicity of it. Sure simplicity is important, but when it is so simple that it lacks many important features there is a problem.
  • Domain name highlighting. Firefox 3.0 Alpha 7 Pre recently added an anti-fraud feature which dims all text in the address bar except for the domain name. Look here for more details. I’d love to see this implemented in Opera for added support!
  • [done] -> [link] Bit Torrent enhancements would be great. I’d really like to see more options to control my torrent downloads in Opera. BitTorrent support in Opera has seen several improvements so far, from expected stability improvement to adding support for the BitTorrent peer exchange protocol, which is compatible with libtorrent and ยตTorrent.
  • Feed reader enhancements. Like the M2 mail client, the feed reader to me is just so out dated looking and boring. In my opinion it really needs to be revamped along with the mail client since they are basically tied together.
  • Line numbers for the source code viewer! This is long over due. Honestly, how hard can it be to add line numbers to an input field? Well, I can cut them some slack since they have been so busy working to reach various goals with Opera 9.x, but soon after the initial release of the source viewer it was abandoned and has been since! There could be many improvements to the source viewer. A wrap/nowrap button, line highlighting, search/find box (the pop-up box gets in the way), wysiwyg as you type option…so many more, please work on this! This is an important part of the developer tool kit to me! I use the source viewer daily and lots of times throughout the day!
  • Calendar. I think a calendar in Opera would be very useful. It would of course have to have the ability to sync with other calendars such as Google Calendar just so you could check it from anywhere, but I could really use one just to keep up with classes, medications, dates, tests, quizzes, work, dental appointments, surgeries, birthdays, etc. It could also easily be integrated with mail and feeds to show the number of messages/feeds received on a particular day or list your friends/contact’s birth days so you don’t miss their special day!
  • Jabber. Opera already has support for IRC which is a great method of chatting online, however, jabber offers so much more and could just as easily be integrated into Opera just as IRC already is!
  • Message alerts for IRC. IRC is great, but it lacks simple things such as notifications when you receive a new message. Currently the only notification that you receive is a highlighted tab (it appears the same as a page that has finished loading in the background so all that is different is the text color on the tab).
  • Hide Individual Windows. I find myself using ~20-30 tabs per Opera window and I usually organize my tabs among different windows depending on the type of environment I’m in. That can range from mail and social networks – web standards and web design – school related research and homework – news and blogs – videos and entertainment – random unfitting tabs or just a window from a friend to use so my other tabs aren’t lost or closed by accident (I know about the lock tab feature :P). With the ability to hide individual windows instead of just always hiding Opera all together with Ctrl+H I could manage my tabs and windows much more easily and have plenty of room on my task bar which easily gets cluttered with explorer folders, ftp clients, instant message chat windows, windows media player (even when docked to task bar), text editors, etc. So you can see how this feature would greatly improve workspace and productivity.
  • FTP Client. Opera has the ability to log-in to ftp servers and browser their directories, but there is literally no functionality to manage an ftp server via Opera. I must always use another third party application to upload content to my server and edit it. Built-in FTP support would greatly increase Opera’s popularity among web developers since they would have a great standards based browser with ftp already built-in and hopefully soon a stunning web developer tool kit.
  • [done] Search field for the Blocked Content box. This would make managing the Blocked Content so much easier. When the list grows it becomes hard to search through and pin point entries that you may want to edit or entries that are causing problems on a specific page. This wish may be implemented sooner than the others. I spoke with a developer in the Opera IRC chat a while back and he told me that they already had this feature internally, but there is no telling how long it will take for this to reach the public. ๐Ÿ˜‰ A quick find is now available in the Blocked Content box for Opera 9.5.
  • [done] Ability to disable Blocked Content on specific pages or just individual entries for all or specific pages. This could help eliminate problems when content gets blocked on pages that you really don’t want the content to be blocked on. Blocked Content can now be managed on a per site basis. Right click on the page -> Edit Site Preferences… -> Content -> Enable content blocking.
  • Firefox style download manager. I really like how the Firefox download manager pops up externally and is very small. Opera’s download manager is very handy sometimes, but I think that an added option to have it pop out like Firefox does would we very wise since it would make the transition for Firefox users to Opera that much easier while giving existing users more flexibility at the same time!
  • [done] Media Player. I know that doesn’t sound very feasible for a web browser, but I would love to have a small tool bar somewhere that allows me to either control existing media players on my PC or that just uses codecs that are already on the PC to stream media for me and have a playlist in a tab. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think that could be a very good selling point for some web surfers. Most people I know chill and listen to music while browsing the web so why not merge them or at least create a link so we don’t have to pop up the media player all the time and cut out time from browsing to play the next track or skip through.

    You can actually control Foobar2000 through a panel which some what ties it in with Opera.
    Also, Opera Unite fixed this as well.

  • Import and Export Mail and Feeds. There is already an option to import/export feed lists, but that is not the same to me. Feeds are stored on your local hard drive and can be retrieved while offline if needed, same goes for mail. However, exporting your feed list does not export your actual feed items which is exactly what I would want. The option to import/export mail is LONG OVER DUE. This should have been implemented years ago. I hear that they are looking into this though, so maybe we will see something better with Kestrel since they are improving the mail client.
  • Extensions. Yes, although I’m about 90% against extensions I still believe they can be very beneficial. They can provide us with features that the Opera developers don’t want to spend time on or just don’t have time for. They can give us Google tool bars (which I loath, but apparently most people like them). We could have page rank extensions, chat clients (so we could finally have built-in instant message support in Opera), media player extensions, developer tools, etc. The list could go on and on for the endless possibilities of extensions. The down fall to extensions is that they are not always written securely or optimized which boils down to problems. Honestly I can’t see extensions becoming a part of Opera (at least not for a while) since they just released widgets with Opera 9.x to supplement extensions. On top of that, I can’t see Opera compromising their security record, small memory foot print and speed with extensions. Only time will tell, but if everyone keeps begging they will eventually give in..just like they have apparently done with composing HTML email messages (they told us that Opera would never have support for composing HTML email messages, now just recently they have mentioned some experimental internal builds with this support, lol).

This wishlist may or may not be appended to over time. I will do my best to update the list to let you know when any of the wishes I’ve listed have been implemented in Opera. Stay tuned!

And to Opera…Give the people what they want, haha, or continue to do so. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Keep up the fantastic work!

Last updated 2008-12-04

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