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Thread: Universal Skin Format

  1. #1
    SMKFree liquid_smoke's Avatar
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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?

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate mookie's Avatar
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    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
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    VIA MII10000 - 512MB - 20Gig 2.5" - Rikaline 6010 - 7" Lilliput - CNX-P1260 - Alpine 4ch Amp - 4 Gauge wire and fused distrobution block.

  3. #3
    My Village Called 0l33l's Avatar
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    Some frontends like Centrafuse use completely different format, i.e. XML. Most of the other frontends use INI derived formats IIRC.

  4. #4
    SMKFree liquid_smoke's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    My Village Called 0l33l's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    Phone Control Moderator zorro's Avatar
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    Quote 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!

  7. #7
    My Village Called 0l33l's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  8. #8
    Raw Wave
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    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.

  9. #9
    Phone Control Moderator zorro's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote 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!

  10. #10
    Registered User kollitiri's Avatar
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    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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