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  • Back after a little hiatus... few questions...

    OK, My CAR PC broke a while back, and I had to put this hobby aside for a little while, and now I am back, and getting ready to plan my new system.

    I come on over to the forum, update to RideRunner (yes, I was still using RoadRunner) and load up my hAv1c+ V3.02 skin, and there have been a few changes to the code that have affected what I had.

    First, I had a Label with an "Exec" command in it to switch the menu.skin center image between album art and a flash speedo (as well as toggle a few other labels at the same time.) This label overlapped the Flash area, and worked fine in the Road Runner version. Now with RideRunner, the label (or any label) area that overlaps the flash image isn't transparent and blocks the flash image from showing. This is the same regardless of where in the .skin file it is listed. What changed that now labels aren't reacting the same way as in the older source RR?

    Btw, I originally did it this way because when a button was placed over it, it would do the same thing. Is this an intentional change? What's the best way to have an area in the same place as a flash image that executes a command (that's not coded into the flash itself) that will show the flash that's under it?


    Also, what is the point of preloading a .skin if it doesn't really do anything with it? For example weather... Preloading it doesn't tell RR to go check the weather. So the only way to get that loaded as/before RR loads is with the "onskinstart" command right? What is the benefit of pre-loading a .skin?


    I know it can be done with the RRStrings plugin (part of RRExtended) but is there an alternate way to have a piece of text display based on an indicator? Example: again, weather, I want to have the weather info on my menu.skin (that's why I want it loaded as/before the skin loads) but I want to use a custom font to display the weather icons that will change color with the font color. Since there are a lot of variables with the weather it's not a simple on/off kind of thing, otherwise I'd just use "BYIND". This way it integrates into the theme a little better.

    It will take a lot of coding to get it to work even with RRStrings, but it is possible, and would be nice if there were a quicker/cleaner way to do it. If not, is there a way to use multiple sets of images for the same indicator? (This way I could use the photo style images for the weather screen, and the smaller flat images on the menu.skin... if the font idea doesn't work.)


    Where did all the skinners go? I figured I'd come back to a bevy of new skins, or skins in the double-digit version range after being away for this long, but alas, DFX4 is still around, omega, teknik, etc, are all pretty much still here, and a lot of the new skins are abandoned before they're finished. Is it just because the main established skins work well? or are people scared of skinning? [nostalgic]I remember a time when there'd be 10 new skin concepts, and out of those 2 turned into a fully released skin.[/nostalgic]


    Also, why was carwings chosen as the default, it seems a little clunky and I was thinking the whole reason the name changed from Road to Ride was to avoid any copyright stuff, but isn't carwings a Nissan thing? I would have thought revamping BMV would have been the way to go...


    I'm revamping hAv1c+ with some changes that will hopefully make it look a little better, and still be the smallest mb and most stable skin out there, while still retaining some good functionality. What are some of the new things that everyone wants in a skin? What have I missed?


    Last, what happened to skincommands.txt? I still had my roadrunner copy to reference to, to re-learn some commands, but where is it for riderunner?

    Thanks in advance for all the help I am about to receive!
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
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  • #2
    I'm still using RoadRunner in the car.

    skincommands.txt is in the documentation folder.

    I agree on the Carwings thing but Mitch kinda steam rollered that one through.

    I've been busy with my plugins so haven't done uch skinning, although I should have some revamped iDrive versions soon, plus a Transparent one.

    Can't help with the labels and flash.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Enforcer View Post
      I'm still using RoadRunner in the car.

      skincommands.txt is in the documentation folder.

      I agree on the Carwings thing but Mitch kinda steam rollered that one through.

      I've been busy with my plugins so haven't done uch skinning, although I should have some revamped iDrive versions soon, plus a Transparent one.

      Can't help with the labels and flash.
      heeeeeyyyy, if I would have just opened my eyes and looked in the documentation folder...

      I'm not trying to say anything bad about carwings, but it doesn't seem very well developed for the average RR noobie user. BMV actually was pretty easy to understand and use, I know they probably went with carwings because it was more visually appealing than BMV, but still....
      2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
      Car PC Progress:
      Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
      Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
      Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
      RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
      View my
      Worklog
      Road Runner Skins
      Website
      Favorite thread EVER!

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      • #4
        well... actually because someone stepped up and volunteered to do the work to add the screens I required... and it is lightweight and simple to use...

        Thanks to Fixerofallthings for his graphic work
        -Thanks
        Mitch
        www.rush2112.net

        "Did you test it in carwings??"

        Sun, Come shine my way
        May healing waters bury all my pain
        Wind, Carry me home
        The fabric of reality is tearing apart
        The piece of me that died
        Will return To live again

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mitchjs View Post
          well... actually because someone stepped up and volunteered to do the work to add the screens I required... and it is lightweight and simple to use...

          Thanks to Fixerofallthings for his graphic work
          Thanks!

          So.... what about the other questions I had in the first post?
          2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
          Car PC Progress:
          Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
          Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
          Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
          RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
          View my
          Worklog
          Road Runner Skins
          Website
          Favorite thread EVER!

          Comment


          • #6
            First, I had a Label with an "Exec" command in it to switch the menu.skin center image between album art and a flash speedo (as well as toggle a few other labels at the same time.) This label overlapped the Flash area, and worked fine in the Road Runner version. Now with RideRunner, the label (or any label) area that overlaps the flash image isn't transparent and blocks the flash image from showing. This is the same regardless of where in the .skin file it is listed. What changed that now labels aren't reacting the same way as in the older source RR?
            There was a lot of re-write done to support Unicode and to provide extra label styles. We should be able to make a work around for your issue -- I'll check on it.

            Preloading screens are merely a way to speed up the transition of common use screens (i.e. so the screens shows faster when you press the AUDIO button to go into music).

            BYIND is probably the only way to do anything according to an indicator status (unless you write an extention plugin) -- but if you can propose a better way to do this, we're definitely open to implementing it.

            Regarding the number of skins, I think the more features, the more screens need to be made -- which may affect the "completion" of some skins. Other than that, it could only one of a few things: 1-The Ride/Road name change, 2-The involvement of a company with the project, 3-Bash talking from ceratain FE's supporters -- Despite of the continuous and steady improvements made to RR since those things happened.
            Ride Runner RR's Myspace

            "Being happy is not about having what you want, it's about wanting what you have."
            "The best things in life are always free - but that doesn't mean money can't buy you good things."

            Comment


            • #7
              Also, what is the point of preloading a .skin if it doesn't really do anything with it? For example weather... Preloading it doesn't tell RR to go check the weather. So the only way to get that loaded as/before RR loads is with the "onskinstart" command right? What is the benefit of pre-loading a .skin?
              Funny that you picked the weather when asking about the preloading. When i pulled weather out into a plugin, I also added some extras to it. One of those extras was the ability to grab the weather data from the net when RR is starting up. Look at the weather skin commands.txt in the same loc that you found the other documentation in and look for the "WeatherUpdateInterval" setting...

              Ya, I too have noticed the slow down of both concept and WIP skins as well....
              RideRunner...The #1 FE, PERIOD.

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              Next in line: RRMedia v2.0

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              • #8
                Originally posted by guino View Post
                There was a lot of re-write done to support Unicode and to provide extra label styles. We should be able to make a work around for your issue -- I'll check on it.

                Preloading screens are merely a way to speed up the transition of common use screens (i.e. so the screens shows faster when you press the AUDIO button to go into music).

                BYIND is probably the only way to do anything according to an indicator status (unless you write an extention plugin) -- but if you can propose a better way to do this, we're definitely open to implementing it.

                Regarding the number of skins, I think the more features, the more screens need to be made -- which may affect the "completion" of some skins. Other than that, it could only one of a few things: 1-The Ride/Road name change, 2-The involvement of a company with the project, 3-Bash talking from ceratain FE's supporters -- Despite of the continuous and steady improvements made to RR since those things happened.
                Thanks guino, that answers a few questions.

                If/when something is done with the non-transparent-over-flash labels, I'll look out for it. It's not that big a deal, but since I haven't touched my skin since my CAR PC went down, anyone using the skin would have those issues.

                For the indicator thing, I was going to use rrstrings to remove the file path and extension from the filename (so "C:\Program Files\RideRunner\Weather\17.gif" ends up just "17", and in the font create each image to match up to that indicator using setvar and byvar, so for this example, "17" will refer to "G" in the custom font (0-9 + A-Z + a-z, 62 images without including special characters)

                This is a very complicated solution to being able to have color matching weather icons, but little details like this make a skin a lot nicer. As far as a possible way to make it easier? Well, maybe a code that reads the filename without the extension or folder path and creates a new variable, that's the only thing I can think of.


                Sorta noob question, I know indicators can blink, but if I have a label displayed based on an indicator status, how do I make the label blink? Example; in hAv1c+ I have a label that shows when the audio is muted, but I want to blink that label along with the paused label.

                For the preloading part, I was wanting to pre-load the weather labels so I could display little icons on the menu.skin without having to first load the weather.skin. Right now, I have it set to load it on skin start, then cancel back to the menu.skin.

                Last is there a way to code a global label or button, something sort of like /define, but instead of just the code in the button or label, having the entire line coded. This way skins that have audio controls in the same spot on every screen can change one line of code rather than having to go into each .skin and changing it.



                As far as the number of skins, there are some good, solid skins available, but I remember a couple years back when you'd see a bunch of new concepts, and a couple would make it to fully developed skins, and the known skinners would always be trying to think of new things to improve what we had available, like color changing text, overlay screens, etc.


                I know this isn't necessarily the place, but for a future feature request, I think it would be nice to have overlay skins, very similar to what the OVERLAY plugin allows, but would be nice to have full code support (indicators, labels, resizing with skin, etc.) If this were coded into the source, this might allow a little more flexibility for skinners to design overlays for GPS menus, OSKs, etc. Also, with this feature, you could have pop-up commands, and menus that are transparent that don't shrink the image to the size of the menu or pop-up.

                Again, thanks Guino, I appreciate your help!
                2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
                Car PC Progress:
                Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
                Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
                Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
                RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
                View my
                Worklog
                Road Runner Skins
                Website
                Favorite thread EVER!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blue ZX3 View Post
                  Funny that you picked the weather when asking about the preloading. When i pulled weather out into a plugin, I also added some extras to it. One of those extras was the ability to grab the weather data from the net when RR is starting up. Look at the weather skin commands.txt in the same loc that you found the other documentation in and look for the "WeatherUpdateInterval" setting...
                  Well, cool, that fixed it. I guess I should look through the documents in the documentation folder to see what else I've missed. Changing that to 1 fixed what I was trying to do for loading weather right away.

                  Originally posted by Blue ZX3 View Post
                  Ya, I too have noticed the slow down of both concept and WIP skins as well....
                  hmmm.
                  2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
                  Car PC Progress:
                  Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
                  Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
                  Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
                  RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
                  View my
                  Worklog
                  Road Runner Skins
                  Website
                  Favorite thread EVER!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What's the max value for weatherupdateinterval? I tried =5 and rr freezes on the loader screen... 1 works fine...
                    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
                    Car PC Progress:
                    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
                    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
                    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
                    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
                    View my
                    Worklog
                    Road Runner Skins
                    Website
                    Favorite thread EVER!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by monkeyracer View Post
                      Thanks guino, that answers a few questions.

                      If/when something is done with the non-transparent-over-flash labels, I'll look out for it. It's not that big a deal, but since I haven't touched my skin since my CAR PC went down, anyone using the skin would have those issues.

                      For the indicator thing, I was going to use rrstrings to remove the file path and extension from the filename (so "C:\Program Files\RideRunner\Weather\17.gif" ends up just "17", and in the font create each image to match up to that indicator using setvar and byvar, so for this example, "17" will refer to "G" in the custom font (0-9 + A-Z + a-z, 62 images without including special characters)

                      This is a very complicated solution to being able to have color matching weather icons, but little details like this make a skin a lot nicer. As far as a possible way to make it easier? Well, maybe a code that reads the filename without the extension or folder path and creates a new variable, that's the only thing I can think of.


                      Sorta noob question, I know indicators can blink, but if I have a label displayed based on an indicator status, how do I make the label blink? Example; in hAv1c+ I have a label that shows when the audio is muted, but I want to blink that label along with the paused label.

                      For the preloading part, I was wanting to pre-load the weather labels so I could display little icons on the menu.skin without having to first load the weather.skin. Right now, I have it set to load it on skin start, then cancel back to the menu.skin.

                      Last is there a way to code a global label or button, something sort of like /define, but instead of just the code in the button or label, having the entire line coded. This way skins that have audio controls in the same spot on every screen can change one line of code rather than having to go into each .skin and changing it.



                      As far as the number of skins, there are some good, solid skins available, but I remember a couple years back when you'd see a bunch of new concepts, and a couple would make it to fully developed skins, and the known skinners would always be trying to think of new things to improve what we had available, like color changing text, overlay screens, etc.


                      I know this isn't necessarily the place, but for a future feature request, I think it would be nice to have overlay skins, very similar to what the OVERLAY plugin allows, but would be nice to have full code support (indicators, labels, resizing with skin, etc.) If this were coded into the source, this might allow a little more flexibility for skinners to design overlays for GPS menus, OSKs, etc. Also, with this feature, you could have pop-up commands, and menus that are transparent that don't shrink the image to the size of the menu or pop-up.

                      Again, thanks Guino, I appreciate your help!
                      I'll take a look at the flash over label issue as soon as I have a chance.

                      Regarding weather, we could probably add a "weatherpathoverride" setting or something like that to allow the skin to change the default weather path with one provided by the skin itself (That way you could just set a variable and be done with it). This should be a relatively simple change to do on the weather plugin.

                      Regarding your /define for controls on the same spot on many screens, I think the best thing for you is to make an include file -- many skins use this concept. Basically you make a file such as "bottombuttons.txt" where you put the definitions for all the buttons you have across the bottom of the screen (on many screens), then instead of repeating the code for the buttons on every .skin file, you just add: INC,bottombuttons.txt to each .skin file you'll be use those bottom buttons. Then whenever you want to change something of that section, you just need to edit bottombuttons.txt and it will automatically take care of all .skin files using it. Note that you CAN use /define in the include file as well, making it even more flexible.

                      The overlay feature has been in consideration for quite awhile. Right now, only "menus" can be shown on top of other screens, and they disable access to the screen behind it. Generally speaking this was done to avoid issues with performance and screen navigation, but we definitely have plans for adding this at some point.

                      Please notice that it IS possible to make a menu popup that looks transparent to the background WITHOUT "shrinking" of the image (with the CURRENT RR versions). I have done proof-of-concept tests and it works well, I just haven't posted an example to show it. But basically you can make a full size screen (to be loaded as a menu) and just clip off the areas around the menu itself (using the "C" definition). How transparent you make it just depends on the transparency from the empty layer of the screen behind the menu -- compared to the empty layer of the menu itself. I've been meaning to post an example on this, just haven't found the time to do it.
                      Ride Runner RR's Myspace

                      "Being happy is not about having what you want, it's about wanting what you have."
                      "The best things in life are always free - but that doesn't mean money can't buy you good things."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by guino View Post
                        I'll take a look at the flash over label issue as soon as I have a chance.

                        Regarding weather, we could probably add a "weatherpathoverride" setting or something like that to allow the skin to change the default weather path with one provided by the skin itself (That way you could just set a variable and be done with it). This should be a relatively simple change to do on the weather plugin.

                        Regarding your /define for controls on the same spot on many screens, I think the best thing for you is to make an include file -- many skins use this concept. Basically you make a file such as "bottombuttons.txt" where you put the definitions for all the buttons you have across the bottom of the screen (on many screens), then instead of repeating the code for the buttons on every .skin file, you just add: INC,bottombuttons.txt to each .skin file you'll be use those bottom buttons. Then whenever you want to change something of that section, you just need to edit bottombuttons.txt and it will automatically take care of all .skin files using it. Note that you CAN use /define in the include file as well, making it even more flexible.

                        The overlay feature has been in consideration for quite awhile. Right now, only "menus" can be shown on top of other screens, and they disable access to the screen behind it. Generally speaking this was done to avoid issues with performance and screen navigation, but we definitely have plans for adding this at some point.

                        Please notice that it IS possible to make a menu popup that looks transparent to the background WITHOUT "shrinking" of the image (with the CURRENT RR versions). I have done proof-of-concept tests and it works well, I just haven't posted an example to show it. But basically you can make a full size screen (to be loaded as a menu) and just clip off the areas around the menu itself (using the "C" definition). How transparent you make it just depends on the transparency from the empty layer of the screen behind the menu -- compared to the empty layer of the menu itself. I've been meaning to post an example on this, just haven't found the time to do it.
                        I'm familiar with the include file, but I guess I didn't realize I could include the entire code. This is how I came up with the text color changer back in the day (with a little help from you and maybe one or two other guys) using the /DEFINE code. I guess I didn't do it this way so I could use the SkinEditor to move and edit the buttons and labels that are common to all screens, but I can move it to where I want and copy the code into a .txt...

                        Edit; as I was typing this I wanted to check if that would work, and I have my text color defined in my color.txt file, but this INC file isn't reading those variables, so the labels that I have in my common.txt file just show black instead of whatever color I chose. Can I not have a variable referenced in the .txt with the # wrapped around it... Example:

                        Code:
                        L201,679,11,121,32,#FRed#,#FGreen#,#FBlue#,26,"BankGothic Md BT","=exit","CENTER"
                        .
                        This is part of what I want to do with the revamp, for one someone wanting customization of my skin, they have the flexibility to decide what button they want where. This will also clean up the skin files a little bit, and make them a little easier to mess with. (If it works)

                        For the label over flash issue, would it also be possible to look into making a press and hold exec code? (Or is this another thing that I've missed since I've been back?)

                        For the menus though, even with clip it won't let you press the buttons on the screen behind it right? So for a NAV overlay, elcosmenu is still the way to go for that right? Too bad it doesn't have full support for code, but the code it does have is great. I think with some of the other features that have been implemented that are memory hogs (rrearth, dimmer, etc) this feature would have found it's way in...


                        For weather, I'd want to have two sets of images, so in the weather.skin and the detail skins, I want the higher res photo-looking pics, but on the main screen, I want the smaller sized flat images, but also be able to change their color (why I wanted it to be a font.)


                        Again, thanks!
                        2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
                        Car PC Progress:
                        Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
                        Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
                        Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
                        RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
                        View my
                        Worklog
                        Road Runner Skins
                        Website
                        Favorite thread EVER!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          here is how the define works

                          /DEFINE <DEFINITION> <WHATTOREPLACE>

                          The above allows for common definitions to be used along the current file (does not apply to include files, which can
                          have their own definitions if desired. This should be used at the top before any occurrences of the definition, and can
                          also be used from a INC,file. For instance:

                          /DEFINE FONT1 "Arial:B" (or could also be: INC,mydefs.txt -- which should contain this line inside it)

                          Lxx,xxx,...,#FONT1#,...




                          what i do is INC the color def in inside the bottom.txt INC

                          example

                          here is my top.txt file

                          Code:
                          INC,COLOR.txt
                          L01,225,29,160,24,#COLOR#,24,"Ericsson GA628","TIME","LEFT"
                          and its the same INC,COLOR.txt as i would put at top of my say menu.skin



                          hope that helps
                          -Thanks
                          Mitch
                          www.rush2112.net

                          "Did you test it in carwings??"

                          Sun, Come shine my way
                          May healing waters bury all my pain
                          Wind, Carry me home
                          The fabric of reality is tearing apart
                          The piece of me that died
                          Will return To live again

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I hate to say it, but with the lack of noobs in the forums and with a lot of veteran forum members leaving due to loss of interest. The end seams as though it keeps on closing in on the carpc hobby.
                            With as many smart phones as there are and other mobile computing options (including all the OEM stuff coming from Auto MFG's) a lot more people see the carpc as a redundant quest to find away to build something from scratch that can be bought off the shelf. I hate to say it, but this is what the beginning of the end looks like. Development slowdown + loss of new interested users = smaller markets.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ThunderStick View Post
                              I hate to say it, but with the lack of noobs in the forums and with a lot of veteran forum members leaving due to loss of interest. The end seams as though it keeps on closing in on the carpc hobby.
                              With as many smart phones as there are and other mobile computing options (including all the OEM stuff coming from Auto MFG's) a lot more people see the carpc as a redundant quest to find away to build something from scratch that can be bought off the shelf. I hate to say it, but this is what the beginning of the end looks like. Development slowdown + loss of new interested users = smaller markets.
                              That's what I was afraid of... It seems as if the whole forum is slowing down, I think a lot of people are satisfied with the available options and would rather just buy a system than build it. I'm not one of those people, I like customizing and building things to suit what I need. And save a couple bucks here or there by doing the work myself. I don't like anything out now, there's always something that I would change, so rather than waste the money on something pre-made, I can pick and choose the components that I want.

                              I've seen other hobbies start to head that direction; starts out with a few guys building something from scratch because what they want isn't commercially available, then a few more guys see and start to try it, then someone gets the idea to commercialize the thing, and people who don't want to or can't build it themselves buy the premade stuff, prices on those drop and less and less people build their own stuff.

                              As long as I can still get certain components for me to be able to do it, then I'll be ok if the hobby declines. It would be sad to see that, but there's only so much each of us can do.
                              2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
                              Car PC Progress:
                              Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
                              Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
                              Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
                              RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
                              View my
                              Worklog
                              Road Runner Skins
                              Website
                              Favorite thread EVER!

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