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Thread: Wishlist: Better skin management

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Santa Clara, CA
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    Wishlist: Better skin management

    I know this might be difficult to control but I find the biggest annoyance to be skins that don't support my favorite plugins (and vice versa). Would it be possible to create some sort of button template that is universal across all plugins regardless of their functionality?

    Example: Reboot's excellent BlueBoot2 and Mountain Lake + My Pictures. No worky worky.

    I've had the same issue with other skins as well (some of the TV Guide skins come to mind) but it seems to me that skinning should be a little less cumbersome for both the skinner and end user.

    Or do I need to lay off the crack?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    NextPVR HQ, Wellington, New Zealand
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    I dont really see any easy way around this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    a lot of the plugins are still being developed, and as they mature the skinning is improved (i just did a major skin changes to my pics/vids/progs to improve this, but therefore skins need to be updated). so, i guess you just have to wait. however the blue skin will ALWAYS support every plugin (its subs law).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    451
    I agree with reven, but as I think I mentioned on another thread, I often find it handy when I have problems like this to copy the standard blue skin across to the new skin directory, and then re-unzip the skin you want over top of it - that way if the new skin is missing any files, the default blue ones will be available instead.

    This covers any missing files/plugin skinning, although it obviously won't work for updated ones. However it isn't hard to open up the appropriate non-working skin.xml file in notepad and compare it to its default blue counterpart to see what is missing - most things are pretty self-explanatory, and you can always just change values and see what it looks like when you restart

    cheers,

    tieke

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Netherlands
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    100
    The plugin-developer API has some functions to copy the relevant files from the Blue Skin to the active skin. Maybe its a good idea for the plugin developers to automatically call these functions when an exception occurs in the skin-loading functions.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Westbank, BC, Canada
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    1,522
    I did have My Pictures working at one time.
    All you need to do, is drop me a note, and I'll fix it up for you.
    Which skin (or all 3) do you prefer me to put it in?
    You can never have enough tuners!
    Pentium Quad / 4Gb Dual Channel RAM / XPSP3 / 2 x PVR-500, PVR-250 / GB-PVR

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Westbank, BC, Canada
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    Install the MyPictures plugin from Wiki.
    Download this, and replace the skin.xml in the My Pictures folder in BootBlue2, with this one.
    It's as close as I can get, without replacing every image in the folder, or completely rewriting the whole code (too much work).
    You can never have enough tuners!
    Pentium Quad / 4Gb Dual Channel RAM / XPSP3 / 2 x PVR-500, PVR-250 / GB-PVR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    437
    As a newbie to GB I'm a bit confused about the whole skin issue. I see numerous skins announced, some with fairly complete support for plug-ins, some with only the "top ten" supported. These skins have various image backgrounds, positioning etc.

    From this I deduce that the image background is an integral part of the skin. Would it not be possible to work toward a transparent template in three sizes: a) NTSC; b) PAL; c) 16x9 HDTV; for positioning elements and then the user can put whatever background image they like "under" it. This way if I like layout "WingNut" or whatever I can have it and put a picture of my car under it if I really like my car. This way a plug in developer merely has to work up the template layout for his plug in without being concerned about the actual "skin" that the user will have.

    As I said I'm new to GB so I may be way off on this but it seems like skins form a large number of complaints and 'problems' when the new 'Toaster and Refrigerator Automation Plug-In' is not supported in the 'Darth Vader' skin or whatever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Heh, you're correct about plugins support. Most skins are the "top ten" only (mine included usually).
    It's sort of accidently on purpose on my part. If a user wants to port a plugin to a particular skin, (or port a skin to a plugin?), they need to learn a bit about the whole process, so this is my prompting others to do so
    Some plugins (such as the MyPictures one) rely on images (.png graphics) for buttons and such. They fit perfectly in with the stock Blue skin, but are horrible to work with for any other shape or colour, as each image must be changed and/or completely rebuilt. Skins that rely on Composite images, built using XML, are relatively easy to "fix" to match different button sizes/shapes/colours.
    Changing backgrounds is as easy as finding a picture you like, resize it to 720x480 in any image program, and replace the existing "background.jpg" in the skin's folder, with your new picture (renamed to background.jpg).

    Edit: If you DO want to use one of my skins, and would like a particular plugin to work with it, just drop me a note, and I'll try and fix it up.
    Not all skins can be "fixed" easily (such as the MyPictures one), but I can try
    Last edited by reboot; 2005-03-30 at 07:09 PM.
    You can never have enough tuners!
    Pentium Quad / 4Gb Dual Channel RAM / XPSP3 / 2 x PVR-500, PVR-250 / GB-PVR

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
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    5,817
    Not all skins can be "fixed" easily (such as the MyPictures one),
    aye? the only images you must define are for the types (dvds, hdds, folders, parent, etc) the rest are composite images, it took me about 5minutes to skin my pictures and my programs after i had done my videos. just pretty much copying and pasting.

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