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February 7, 2006

Opera Widgets: easy to create small applications

Opera 9 now features Widgets: Small web applications that run outside the browser, directly on the user’s desktop. These widgets, unlike a regular browser, has cross-domain features, so it’s an ideal platform for delivering Web applications that interact with multiple online services at once. Opera Widgets are cross-platform, and run both on Windows, Linux and OS X.

A widget is a small Web application, and making a widget is just like making a web page, except it functions like an application and lives directly on your desktop.

Opera can install and open these widgets, and show them directly on the user’s desktop. Widgets are so-called chromeless applications and will display them without regular user interface elements such as the normal browser controls, like the back button or address bar.

When run, a widget may appear like the clock widget below:

An Opera Widget is a regular zip file, renamed to use the extension .wdgt. All the files related to your widget should be stored inside the widget file. A typical widget contains the following elements:
* A widget configuration file. This file holds information about your widget, including its size, name, author, and security information.
* HTML document. This document is the skeleton of the widget. Widgets can also be created using content that Opera handles natively, such as SVG or XML files.Images.
* JavaScript files.
* Stylesheets.