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Thread: Top 10 Skinning Feature Requests

  1. #1
    StreetDeck Skinning Master 06TC_OWNER's Avatar
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    Top 10 Skinning Feature Requests

    Just a few requests here:

    1. Remove locks on certain buttons, titles, etc - is there a purpose for this? I tried to hide the titles by moving them offscreen and it looked like it worked, but when I packaged the skin, they came back! Also, you can't copy items that are locked (so I end up getting them from somewhere else or creating them from scratch)

    2. Have a way to make the overlays accessible when viewing them - this used to work, but now you actually have to go down the list of overlays to find them (and hope you can figure out the name of them). I have "any visible panel" checked, and it still isn't selecting.

    3. Add functions to hide/show all the different overlays (not all at once, but each one have it's own function to hide/show) - reason for this is I would like to take a chapter from the Eclipse unit I used to have and have a button that extended the buttons when pressed to free up some real-estate on the screen when not in use and allow for more buttons that can go over critical items temporarily to gain more button space (i.e. the nav screen left hand button set).

    4. Allow for binding of overlays to screens (doing this would allow me to create a couple different top of the screen button sets and have them repeat through the different applicable pages instead of modifying page after page of top nav buttons one at a time - that REALLY sucks) OR have templates that I can apply to specific pages by selecting the template - and maybe multiselect for moving purposes with the control key would be a huge asset as well.

    5. Either seperate the up and down arrows from the list views OR make the lists able to have specific heights applied to them.

    6. I know this is probably a serious risk factor and perhaps not practical with how stupid people can get, but opening up the possibility of adding flash elements would really add a layer of customization that we can't control right now (this could be a bad thing in the wrong hands though too, but for a developer gives a portal into the outside world [but maybe to screw it up too]...)

    7. Do the same thing with bluetooth for skinning that was done for the nav, vehicle and xm so we can access it in the skinning environment.

    8. If an element gets added, is it possible to have the IDE not require a restart to recognize it? Can we just have a button that rescans the folder or something? The IDE crashes if you introduce a foreign item or delete a current item from the folder (whether used or not).

    9. ZOrder hotkeys don't work (f3/f4)

    10. Is it possible to have a miniapp for converting fonts to images...I haven't tried it yet, but creating font images looks a little scary (I might try creating this myself if I ever have time for it [yeah right])... If I map a font and the person on the other end doesn't have this font, does this mean they won't see it? Is that the reason for the image deal?

    Also on a side note, releasing the sdk documentation so our world can be fully realized would be a definite plus.

    These items aren't demands or anything, and are perhaps petty, but since I am currently happy with Streetdeck the way it is, I figured I'd hit up the IDE.

  2. #2
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06TC_OWNER
    Just a few requests here:

    1. Remove locks on certain buttons, titles, etc - is there a purpose for this? I tried to hide the titles by moving them offscreen and it looked like it worked, but when I packaged the skin, they came back! Also, you can't copy items that are locked (so I end up getting them from somewhere else or creating them from scratch)

    2. Have a way to make the overlays accessible when viewing them - this used to work, but now you actually have to go down the list of overlays to find them (and hope you can figure out the name of them). I have "any visible panel" checked, and it still isn't selecting.

    3. Add functions to hide/show all the different overlays (not all at once, but each one have it's own function to hide/show) - reason for this is I would like to take a chapter from the Eclipse unit I used to have and have a button that extended the buttons when pressed to free up some real-estate on the screen when not in use and allow for more buttons that can go over critical items temporarily to gain more button space (i.e. the nav screen left hand button set).

    4. Allow for binding of overlays to screens (doing this would allow me to create a couple different top of the screen button sets and have them repeat through the different applicable pages instead of modifying page after page of top nav buttons one at a time - that REALLY sucks) OR have templates that I can apply to specific pages by selecting the template - and maybe multiselect for moving purposes with the control key would be a huge asset as well.

    5. Either seperate the up and down arrows from the list views OR make the lists able to have specific heights applied to them.

    6. I know this is probably a serious risk factor and perhaps not practical with how stupid people can get, but opening up the possibility of adding flash elements would really add a layer of customization that we can't control right now (this could be a bad thing in the wrong hands though too, but for a developer gives a portal into the outside world [but maybe to screw it up too]...)

    7. Do the same thing with bluetooth for skinning that was done for the nav, vehicle and xm so we can access it in the skinning environment.

    8. If an element gets added, is it possible to have the IDE not require a restart to recognize it? Can we just have a button that rescans the folder or something? The IDE crashes if you introduce a foreign item or delete a current item from the folder (whether used or not).

    9. ZOrder hotkeys don't work (f3/f4)

    10. Is it possible to have a miniapp for converting fonts to images...I haven't tried it yet, but creating font images looks a little scary (I might try creating this myself if I ever have time for it [yeah right])... If I map a font and the person on the other end doesn't have this font, does this mean they won't see it? Is that the reason for the image deal?

    Also on a side note, releasing the sdk documentation so our world can be fully realized would be a definite plus.

    These items aren't demands or anything, and are perhaps petty, but since I am currently happy with Streetdeck the way it is, I figured I'd hit up the IDE.
    1. The locked items are locked so that we can garuntee StreetDeck will always have certain functionality regardless of which skin you are using. There are probably some items that are locked yet that don't need to be though.

    2. This will be fixed.

    3. The 10 CUserOverlay overlays all have functions that can be used to hide and show them individually. Is this not what you wanted?

    4. You can already restrict overlays to only certain modules. Just choose the "restrict overlays" menu function and select the modules you want it to be restricted to.

    5. The height of the lists is determined by the height of the individual elements. if you want an invisible gap below the last element, you can always make the scroll buttons larger with transparent areas above them. You can make the lists any height that is a multiple of the list item height.

    6. Theres no effiecient way to render flash in Direct3D

    7. Will be fixed.

    8 New images should be automatically recognized when they are added, if its not doing this, its a bug.

    9. Will be fixed.

    10. There are already tools in the dev enviornment for creating properly formatted font files, you should look at the font thread in the developer section. The fonts are just special images and are part of the skin, using the psd files for the fonts should make it as simply as modifying the charcters in the psd files and running the conversion tools on the new files.
    StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
    Get StreetDeck at http://www.streetdeck.com
    The Official StreetDeck Forums have moved, please visit us at http://www.streetdeck.com/forum for official support for Streetdeck.

  3. #3
    StreetDeck Skinning Master 06TC_OWNER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by god_of_cpu
    1. The locked items are locked so that we can garuntee StreetDeck will always have certain functionality regardless of which skin you are using. There are probably some items that are locked yet that don't need to be though.

    2. This will be fixed.

    3. The 10 CUserOverlay overlays all have functions that can be used to hide and show them individually. Is this not what you wanted?

    4. You can already restrict overlays to only certain modules. Just choose the "restrict overlays" menu function and select the modules you want it to be restricted to.

    5. The height of the lists is determined by the height of the individual elements. if you want an invisible gap below the last element, you can always make the scroll buttons larger with transparent areas above them. You can make the lists any height that is a multiple of the list item height.

    6. Theres no effiecient way to render flash in Direct3D

    7. Will be fixed.

    8 New images should be automatically recognized when they are added, if its not doing this, its a bug.

    9. Will be fixed.

    10. There are already tools in the dev enviornment for creating properly formatted font files, you should look at the font thread in the developer section. The fonts are just special images and are part of the skin, using the psd files for the fonts should make it as simply as modifying the charcters in the psd files and running the conversion tools on the new files.
    1. Being able to delete at least some would be nice...specifically titles - sometimes they needlessly take up space (and being able to copy locked items would help).

    3. Well, I could recreate the nav on the left side for the navigation piece and hide/show it, but that would require rebuilding it (no big deal really...unless this is done with several overlays)

    5. Why didn't I think of that...good idea.

    6. Yes, and it is probably a bad idea as well the more I think about it.

    8. New images that are introduced to the folder then added to the skin will cause it to crash.

    Thanks for the answers...that definitely helps...REALLY looking forward to the sdk - will we have a level of control that will allow us such freedom as "me.objectname.visible = true" ?

  4. #4
    StreetDeck Skinning Master 06TC_OWNER's Avatar
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    Are IDE updates (when they happen) part of the streetdeck releases or would it be its own release?

  5. #5
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06TC_OWNER
    Are IDE updates (when they happen) part of the streetdeck releases or would it be its own release?
    Yes, they are part of the StreetDeck releases. We are goign to start a public BETA program whenever new features are added.
    StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
    Get StreetDeck at http://www.streetdeck.com
    The Official StreetDeck Forums have moved, please visit us at http://www.streetdeck.com/forum for official support for Streetdeck.

  6. #6
    StreetDeck Skinning Master 06TC_OWNER's Avatar
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    #4 - almost missed this one! I need to bind it to certain modules so it shows up in those modules (visible immediately - or the option to not show up immediately). For instance, if I put the top nav buttons on to several different screens, they (may) need to show up when that screen loads (unless I have them hide via a button).

  7. #7
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06TC_OWNER
    #4 - almost missed this one! I need to bind it to certain modules so it shows up in those modules (visible immediately - or the option to not show up immediately). For instance, if I put the top nav buttons on to several different screens, they (may) need to show up when that screen loads (unless I have them hide via a button).
    How does the "restrict overlays" function not do this?
    StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
    Get StreetDeck at http://www.streetdeck.com
    The Official StreetDeck Forums have moved, please visit us at http://www.streetdeck.com/forum for official support for Streetdeck.

  8. #8
    StreetDeck Skinning Master 06TC_OWNER's Avatar
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    Maybe I was mistaken...

  9. #9
    FLAC
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    1. The locked items are locked so that we can garuntee StreetDeck will always have certain functionality regardless of which skin you are using. There are probably some items that are locked yet that don't need to be though.
    Not sure if you're interested in my opinion but I don't think this is a good idea. It limits a skinner's creativity and results in skins that have almost the same layout as the original skin. Of course, that might just be exactly what Streetdeck wants, ie., having skins with the same layout throughout.

    However, IMO, a better idea would be unlocking everything but making a Skin Verifier that runs through a skin and verifies that all required elements are there. Maybe even add some kind of version controller that flags which skins are compatible with what version based on those elements.

    I'll give you one example. If you look in the CentraFuse skin forum, all skins are pretty much the same with different hue/shade. Now look in the RR forum. You have skins that look totally different. If you just look at it, you're not even sure that they're running the same software. (Then again, like I said, unique branding might be something that Streetdeck wants to keep.)

    Anyway, enough rambling from me.
    iGMon - Integration between iGuidance and Road Runner
    CFX - Skin for Road Runner

  10. #10
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    Certain elements need to be locked because if you change them, you will either add or remove functionality from StreetDeck. This to me is a very bad thing. Skins should merely change the look of the program, you should not have to be forced to using a certain skin and a certain look just to get a certain function. That being said, StreetDeck should only lock the bare minimum of elements, where possible, it is completely free form. For example, the main start page has no locked elements. The places where it is locked are places that use the generic template. The generic template consists of a list of options, a client area, and some descriptive title lables. You can move and resize the options list wherever you want, but you can't remove any of the options or add any through skinning. It is also component based, so you don't have to skin each individual screen of which there are well over 100 in StreetDeck, you just reskin the individual images for the controls and the look of every module that uses those components immedially changes then you can optionally move thier locations. The graphic designers really shouldn't be responsible for having to know everything that will break the program or needing to reskin every module individually since not everyone will use everything streetdeck has to offer. They should just have to make whats looks cool and if the skin editor allows it, they can be confident, it will work for everyone once distributed without compromise.

    It may be limiting to some users, but I think most people would find it very irritating if all of a sudden they download a skin that was just suppose to give them a new look and all of a sudden, XM radio or videos no longer work because the skinner simply did not have a desire to skin those modules.

    StreetDeck is designed around the concept that skinning and scripting are two distinct things and enforces this so that you design in a compatible way. Although, it is possible to change some functionality through just a skin, this is not its designed purpose. If you want to add functionality, you should write a script (DigitalMod). The scripts themselves are actually skinned too, however, not in the typical sense. You drag and drop controls and they will use the skin images for whatever the currently selected skin is. This means that if you add some new functionality, it will be usable no matter what skin you run in. You can also make a DigitalMod that has no code behind it, just controls that perform certian functions. I know we haven't yet released the documentation for doing all of this, so you'll have to bear with us while we enable the features to complete the vision, but once fully implemented, it will mean the best of both worlds... You will be able to make a skin very quickly changing all the components you don't like, completely remapping the look of the entire program, and if you want to realize a significantly altered look for an individual system module like music, you will simply have to script a new music module yourself and skin it to whatever your vision is, leaving out whatever, you don't want or adding whatever. This should be no harder then if you had to create every module again from scratch just to make the skin you want and should allow you to implement whatever you can think of.

    By combining scripting and skinning, there should be no look you shouldn't be able to achieve, branding isn't a concern and is only enforced on the loading screen.
    StreetDeck.com Developer (I am Chuck)
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