Monday, 30 January 2012

Soup Up GNOME 3 Desktop using Opera Widgets

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 This article is about customizing your GNOME 3.2.1 desktop on openSUSE 12.1 . Since GNOME 3 desktops doesn't have any desktop icons the desktop real estate is free to be taken over by widgets , screenlets ,docks etc. I propose using  Opera widgets to decorate your GNOME 3 desktop as well as make it a place where you can read news , get weather updates , track stock market updates , play games, maintain your to-do lists , listen to online radio stations, maintain virtual aquarium and do a host of other things.
GNOME 3 Desktop With Opera  Widgets
Opera
Opera is a modern browser which supports all major web standards currently in use, like CSS 2.1, XHTML 1.1, HTML 4.01, HTML5, WML 2.0, ECMAScript, DOM 2 and SVG 1.1 tiny.It's main focus is on speed of browsing . Its page load speed is pretty good even on dial up connection. It has a lot of neat features like:-
==>Supports browser Add-ons / extensions.
==>Supports desktop widgets.
==>Has an in built torrent client.
==>Has an inbuilt mail client
==>First browser to introduce speed dial first
==>First to introduce syncing for bookmarks and other settings
==>First to introduce tabs concept in browsers
==>Inbuilt RSS reader
Install Opera on openSUSE 12.1 / GNOME 3.2.1
One can use this 1-Click Install to install GTk version of opera on GNOME 3.21 / openSUSE 12.1. The installer / YaSt screens / wizard will guide you through the various steps in the installation process.You may need to type in admin password / passcode when prompted.You may also need to click "accept" / "Trust" when it prompts for accepting  the repository key
Use Opera Widgets
There is no need for installation of a separate widget manager. It comes built into the browser . Once can download the widgets here.Opera defines widgets as "small web programs running outside the browser. Widgets can be both fun and useful, like games or development tools. They float on your desktop for quick and easy access to information or services". For those who are UN-initiated ,starting from version 10.10  Opera provides the ability to run the widgets as standalone applications. After the installation, the widgets can be seen as applications in the GNOME menu as an icon . The widgets on installation create link  under "/ home / <Profile> / bin" .There is no need for the Opera browser to intervene. The widgets run as a separate process.
Each widget can be rearranged according to the need on the desktop.
Widget Launch Links in Bin Folder
Launch widgets Along with OS / Add widget to GNOME startup
To add the widget to the start up on needs to launch "gnome-session-properties" through Alt+F2 command quick launch window.Then add an entry for the required widget in "Add Startup program" pop up windows by clicking add button in "Startup Application preferences". This will essentially start the widget when the gnome session starts up.
Launch gnome-session-properties" through Alt+F2
Add new entry for widget in Gnome Session Startup Manager
Hide The widgets in GNOME window switcher
 When one presses the left windows / Super key on the keyboard (OR) on moves the mouse cursor over "Activities" label in the top panel then the windows switcher can be accessed in GNOME 3 .Through the window switcher one can switch-over from using one application to the other application. In order to hide the widgets from appearing in the window switcher one can right click on each widget and set position" to "always below"
Before hiding widgets they appear in window switcher
Set to Always Below
After Hiding widgets they don't appear in window switcher
Widgets on My Desktop
The various widgets shown here in this post are:-
==>Analog Clock
==>BBC Headlines News
==>dotoo: To-do lists.One more upgraded version of too exists here
==>Stock Monitor
==>Weather forecast.This is a cool tool and has multiple display mode like 5 days forecast , compact mode etc.The display modes can be toggled by clinking on the widget.To set the city one should click the search or magnifying glass like thing on the widget and search for the relevant city and choose the  required city in the search results. The tool also allows users to set the display  of temperature to either Celsius or Fahrenheit
Weather Widget city search

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