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  • Universal Skin Format

    Any chance all the the developers of the different front ends could get together and have a universal skin format? That way skin makers can design a skin based on this format and it works with all frontends?

    I know its possible, so i guess the real question is can everyone get together and decide on a format and how to implement?
    01101100 01101001 01110001 01110101 01101001 01100100 01011111 01110011
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  • #2
    I agree, this would be great for both skinners and users who like to switch frontends. Anymore, most frontends have the same capabilities, it's just a matter of layout.

    Progress: On hold while I pay off my new PowerBook :D
    Part List:
    VIA MII10000 - 512MB - 20Gig 2.5" - Rikaline 6010 - 7" Lilliput - CNX-P1260 - Alpine 4ch Amp - 4 Gauge wire and fused distrobution block.

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    • #3
      Some frontends like Centrafuse use completely different format, i.e. XML. Most of the other frontends use INI derived formats IIRC.
      PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
      GammaControl v2.4
      SKINbedder v3

      1995 Lexus SC300

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      • #4
        well the XML vs .ini isnt that much different, mostly just formatting and either should be easily convertable.
        Also as mookie was saying, most frontends for the most part have the same features give or take a few, just different layouts. And in time i see even less difference in features and the only real main difference between them will be layout and quality of code. One thing i would request if people decide to use a common format is for there to be a section that you can specify what frontends this skin is compatible with in the skin file (xml, ini or whatever) which would allow a skinner to release a skin that initially is only compatable with 1 frontend while he finishes compatablity with other frontends. Otherwise it may take 2-3 times to release the initial skin and also easier to workout bugs on one frontend then move on to the next, etc.
        Very similar to the congif file for Phone Control where it has settings for multiple phones in the config but only uses the one you specify as your phone.
        01101100 01101001 01110001 01110101 01101001 01100100 01011111 01110011
        01101101 01101111 01101011 01100101

        beer replenishment fund
        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=93
        mp3car live search

        i have joost invites, just hit me up for one.

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        • #5
          Here's why I mentioned XML: Its a ***** to get working. Most programmers won't bother with it unless its as well supported as INI files are.
          PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
          GammaControl v2.4
          SKINbedder v3

          1995 Lexus SC300

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 0l33l
            ...Its a ***** to get working. Most programmers won't bother with it unless its as well supported as INI files are.
            Not true
            Skinning to go... VisualDesigner2!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by zorro
              Not true
              I was talking about myself. The *only* reason that I'm trying to do something with XML is because SAPI uses it, and I've been getting bugged about a good config program.

              I hear that using XML is much easier in the .net programming languages.
              PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
              GammaControl v2.4
              SKINbedder v3

              1995 Lexus SC300

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              • #8
                XML is very easy to implement or I find it easy anyway. I partly agree with you guys that the skins should be made more universal, maybe they should include both an XML and ini file which the frontends could read the one they require??

                In a way its annoying when a skin comes out for a newly released frontend that looks really good, I often think, wow! I want to use that, but nearly always it means switching to a different frontend. I choose the frontend I am using for its usability and sometimes feel disadvantaged when a new skin comes out for another frontend and somehow feel pushed into trying different frontends just to use a particular skin.

                I'm sure its not too difficult to create a universal skinning policy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 0l33l
                  ...
                  I hear that using XML is much easier in the .net programming languages.
                  Nope. It's easy in other languages as well if you use a proper tool like the MS-XML DOM 4.0. It's COM, so you can use it everywhere.

                  Sample to get a list of <RULE> tags in a document:
                  Code:
                  NodeList l_oNodes = l_oRoot.SelectNodes("descendant::RULE");
                  Skinning to go... VisualDesigner2!

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                  • #10
                    Hi Guys

                    I agree also with the "Universal Skins". So I am calling all the programmers of this forum including me, to create a new thread and discuss the philosophi of skin.

                    Actually it is really easy to create a common skin application because the properties of the components (buttons, labels, text, ...) that are used in every programming language are the same. The only difference is the way you call it and the internal assignment you are doing. If it is XML or ini it can be just an option, it is the way that the skin will be saved.

                    If you start this thread please notify me, I am in.

                    Cheers

                    Michael

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by zorro
                      Nope. It's easy in other languages as well if you use a proper tool like the MS-XML DOM 4.0. It's COM, so you can use it everywhere.

                      Sample to get a list of <RULE> tags in a document:
                      Code:
                      NodeList l_oNodes = l_oRoot.SelectNodes("descendant::RULE");
                      Mmmm.... And then it gets confusing...

                      I have this XML code for Delphi and I was staring at it on friday trying to figure out what the hell it meant
                      PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
                      GammaControl v2.4
                      SKINbedder v3

                      1995 Lexus SC300

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                      • #12
                        Ol33l,

                        Was the control I sent you of any use??

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by UK_MP3Car
                          Ol33l,

                          Was the control I sent you of any use??
                          To tell you the truth, I haven't really had time to play around with it. Today I just got GammaControl to speak to Road Runner and started rewriting my Destinator3 code and converting it to Map Monkey code while throwing out the winsock. Now I'll actually be able to make loops that check for if a command was completed
                          PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
                          GammaControl v2.4
                          SKINbedder v3

                          1995 Lexus SC300

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 0l33l
                            Mmmm.... And then it gets confusing...

                            I have this XML code for Delphi and I was staring at it on friday trying to figure out what the hell it meant
                            Basically this is the usage of a technique called "XPath". It parses through your XML document and returns you a list of all nodes (l_oNodes) found with the given tag name.
                            With that, you can step through each node and read such attributes as "ID" or determine whether this Node has child nodes or not.

                            Take a closer look in here:
                            http://www.w3schools.com/xpath/xpath_location.asp
                            Skinning to go... VisualDesigner2!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zorro
                              Basically this is the usage of a technique called "XPath". It parses through your XML document and returns you a list of all nodes (l_oNodes) found with the given tag name.
                              With that, you can step through each node and read such attributes as "ID" or determine whether this Node has child nodes or not.

                              Take a closer look in here:
                              http://www.w3schools.com/xpath/xpath_location.asp
                              It sounds easy on paper but its hard to implement. I have some XML code, but still haven't fully figured out how to use it
                              PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
                              GammaControl v2.4
                              SKINbedder v3

                              1995 Lexus SC300

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