Poll

Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?

Yes, recompile the existing skins to make them smaller
13 (61.9%)
No, leave the existing skins compatible with old versions
8 (38.1%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Author Topic: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?  (Read 61320 times)

Ian @ un4seen

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 20400
XMPlay 2.8 will be available very soon. The most apparent change will be the integrated "Options and stuff" window... it turned out so nicely, that I decided to remove the "Device Setup", "Integration", "Miscellaneous" and "Plugins" panels - only the "Output Options" will remain in the left panel.

This will make XMPlay a bit smaller, but more importantly, it will also make skin files a lot smaller (and, of course, mean less effort to create them too :)).

So, the question is whether to recompile the existing skins with the obsolete panels removed?


Zarggg

  • Posts: 1242
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #1 on: 21 Jul '03 - 19:58 »
I say no. A program -- barring any major whole-number version changes, which this update is not -- should always be back-compatible. This includes, in my opinion, skins.

However, if it is not feasible, I would have no problem redownloading all available official skins, if necessary. :)

Oh, and while I'm here, would there be any way for me to get back on the beta-testing list? ;D
« Last Edit: 21 Jul '03 - 19:59 by Zarggg »

Torkell

  • Posts: 1169
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #2 on: 21 Jul '03 - 20:02 »
Here's a better option - make sure you've got some reliable version system in the skins (so previous versions will fail gracefully to open new skins), and then recompile old skins and make two versions available on the website.

Also, if possible keep support for the other panels in 2.8 but just not include them as standard. Then, people who want to keep using them can use a "Classic XMPlay 2" skin.

On another note, I think a change of this level probably deserves a major version number change rather than a minor number. Just my opinion, but wither way I still want to see the VERSIONINFO resource included, or at least some visible version number inside the program. Number-based resource structures and dialog templates are cheap in terms of space, and you can feed it the icon used for the program. at a rough guess, I'd say the VERSIONINFO resource in it's most basic form (without the locale-specific sections) is around 100 bytes at most.

Torkell

  • Posts: 1169
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #3 on: 21 Jul '03 - 20:04 »
Wish I'd read your post before I posted, Alpha.

What happened to my place on the beta-test list, too?

Ian @ un4seen

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 20400
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jul '03 - 20:28 »
Quote
I say no. A program -- barring any major whole-number version changes, which this update is not -- should always be back-compatible. This includes, in my opinion, skins.

However, if it is not feasible, I would have no problem redownloading all available official skins, if necessary. :)

I think you may have misunderstood, so I'll just clarify :)

You won't have to redownload any skins - existing skins will work just fine with XMPlay 2.8 as they are (the obsolete panels just won't be used).

The question is whether to remove those obsolete panels from the existing skins to reduce the filesize? The skins will work with XMPlay 2.8 either way, but with the panels removed, they won't work with old XMPlay versions.

Quote
Oh, and while I'm here, would there be any way for me to get back on the beta-testing list? ;D

There were several requests to beta test 2.7, but I got no reports back from most, so I stuck with the usual small group this time :)

But, ok, if you're a hardcore user with a keen eye for a bug ;D

Rah'Dick

  • XMPlay Support
  • Posts: 932
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #5 on: 21 Jul '03 - 21:01 »
I say no, too.

The skin creator (me for example) has put a lot of work into the panels - and why remove them if they still can be used?
I think it's up to the designer to omit panels in new skins - but all "old" skins have been designed with ALL panels in mind. For example, removing the "Miscellaneous" panel from the Windows Classic Skin would remove any visual "Designer Signature" that I've left there to give the skin my personal touch...

Now that I know, that 2.8 will only require the Output Options panel, I'll design that one accordingly, in order to to resemble my idea of uniqueness.

Oh, and if there's only one panel required, I'd welcome an option to slide the panel vertically - up or down.
« Last Edit: 21 Jul '03 - 21:09 by RahDick »

Ralesk

  • Posts: 654
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #6 on: 21 Jul '03 - 22:31 »
I'm with Rah here.

If anything, pull a big line and post new skins SEPARATELY, old skins should remain for keepsake (only to be moved out -- among with old 2.7-last and 2.x-last zips -- to an archive page when 2.x gets ditched).

Tsorovan

  • Posts: 1247
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #7 on: 21 Jul '03 - 23:25 »
I'm all for slimming it down. Progress > unnecessary bloating for old versions' sake.

Pike84

  • Posts: 1398
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #8 on: 22 Jul '03 - 00:24 »
This is a tough one.. I'm basically all for progress, supporting slimming it down like Tsorovan, but on the other hand I'm with RahDick as not to wipe down the precious work of the artists. Besides, some skins would become a bit confusing with the now-obsolete panels removed; for example X-RD2506 has the different panel titles visible, and so the panels themselves not being there would be kinda weird ::). Windows Classic skin would have a similar kind of problem.

If the panels are to be removed, then at least these "problem skins" (just Windows Classic and X-RD2506 ?) should probably be tweaked a bit, to avoid confusion. What comes to my vote... well, I guess I'll have to go with the progress. If some people want to spare the old versions, they're free to do so anyway.

By the way, congrats for your 500th post Ralesk ;).
« Last Edit: 22 Jul '03 - 00:27 by Pike84 »

Rah'Dick

  • XMPlay Support
  • Posts: 932
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #9 on: 22 Jul '03 - 01:22 »
I'm for encouraging people to create new skins with the new system in mind and leave all old skins the way they are...

Ian, you said the panels would be optional in 2.8?

People don't care about downloading Winamp3 skins which are several MBs big, so why are you whining about a couple of KBs?
Yes, X-RD2506 is huge - compared to skins like BASRRB or XMegleni - but skins with a similar size and degree of detail will always be this big...

And, as I said, skins with only one panel must be designed for it.

Personally, I'd feel hurt in my position as skinner if those, who I've made the skins for - the community - decided to cut my wholepiece of skinning art, so to say. ;)

Sounds funny but that's the way I feel about this.
« Last Edit: 22 Jul '03 - 01:32 by RahDick »

Jace

  • Posts: 825
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #10 on: 22 Jul '03 - 02:45 »
Hmm.. Perhaps also add a mask colour for 'Skin author' and other 'necessary' link, or are they included in the 'Options and Stuff' window?

Rah'Dick

  • XMPlay Support
  • Posts: 932
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #11 on: 22 Jul '03 - 08:24 »
That still would require to remake a part of the skin - and I'm always against throwing away done work just because it's not a "must"...

Seems like this belongs into my signature:
"A skin with only one panel must be specially designed for it." :P
« Last Edit: 22 Jul '03 - 08:26 by RahDick »

Brightguy

  • Posts: 252
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #12 on: 22 Jul '03 - 10:43 »
I agree... A skin with only one panel must be specially designed for it.

However, XMPlay is changing.  This has to be the biggest GUI change for a while now, and I am eager to see how it turns out.  So I guess this means that each panel (besides Output Options) will no longer be customized with each skin.  I wonder if a new button will be added to bring up this window?  And as Jacer says, maybe other extra buttons could be added to the main panel like the 'Skin author' (for customizable "Designer Signatures").  What the heck, with only three panels now why not mix all the mask palette indexes into one main list?  That could have benefits... for example, you could make those close / minimize buttons work on the playlist of the Nullsofted skin! ;)

Then the old skins are somewhat worthless now.  Let's round up all the skin authors, they can and should be updated to XMPlay 2.8 (although the final decision is that of the skin author).  Like RahDick says, the skins were designed with multiple panels in mind, and like Kynes says, some will look weird with the panels being missing.  These need to be corrected so the skin will look good and have any extra buttons that XMPlay 2.8 may use.
Quote
The skin creator (me for example) has put a lot of work into the panels - and why remove them if they still can be used?

But they can't be used in 2.8, only in previous versions.  All 2.8 users should be able to have versions of the skin without extra useless bitmaps.  Even better, have updated versions of the old skins so they look and work well in 2.8.  As for compatibility with older versions, maybe keep an older version on the Support Site, or as Ralesk says, an old archive page.  But I guess if the skin author doesn't want two versions like this, they could choose what happens to their own skin.

When I think of some skins, like X-RD2506, I realise a lot of work has gone into the other panels, and now will not be used in 2.8 onwards.  This is unfortunate, but some would say it's a form of progress.  Still, every XMPlay skinner has put some time and effort into those other panels, so I wonder if there's some way they could still be used in 2.8.  Maybe use BoggyB's suggestion, just don't use them as standard...

Rah'Dick

  • XMPlay Support
  • Posts: 932
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #13 on: 22 Jul '03 - 12:39 »
Well, let's see which buttons will be on the new panel. I might be arsed to completely redesign it for 2.8 :P
Same with Windows Classic and Snatch... Dunno about Wood yet... I think it's obsolete... What do you think?
« Last Edit: 22 Jul '03 - 12:45 by RahDick »

Ian @ un4seen

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 20400
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #14 on: 22 Jul '03 - 15:18 »
It was a tricky decision, but the fact is this change had to happen sooner or later, to be able to add new options without being restricted by what would fit in the panels. It would probably be best if it was 3.0, but I'm not sure that the overall changes are revolutionary enough to warrant a jump from 2.7 to 3.0, and I'm sure you lot wouldn't want to wait any longer for the next XMPlay release while I thought of and added the "revolutionary changes"? :D

I was considering leaving the "Miscellaneous" panel in, so that any fancy author logo would still be visible, but in the end I figured that would just be half-assed, and it was best to go the whole way. Also, the fact is that with most skins, the removed panels were purely functional, and did not contain any frilly stuff - only really Graphite, Risky, Windows Classic and X-RD2506 have special graphic bits there. And with the vast majority of skins, one will not even be able to tell that there were once other panels :)

The skin author URL will be in the "Options and stuff" window (there's also a new "author name" skinconfig option to be displayed instead of the URL). I may also also add a "skin author" button in the main panel.

Btw, the new skins will display a warning when used with older XMPlay versions, so that the user is informed that they need to upgrade.

Quote
Well, let's see which buttons will be on the new panel. I might be arsed to completely redesign it for 2.8 :P
Same with Windows Classic and Snatch... Dunno about Wood yet... I think it's obsolete... What do you think?

I think only X-RD2506 and Windows Classic will require a bit of fiddling, to remove the obsolete panel names... Snatch and Wood look perfectly fine as they are :)

Pike84

  • Posts: 1398
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #15 on: 23 Jul '03 - 01:13 »
This is completely off-topic, but why do I see BoggyB as the last poster to this thread, even though he hasn't posted in quite a while?

[edit]Well, now it's me of course.. Now I got it :idea:: BoggyB is Ian's secret alter ego :P!
« Last Edit: 23 Jul '03 - 01:18 by Pike84 »

Irrational86

  • Posts: 960
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #16 on: 23 Jul '03 - 01:30 »
hmmm...I noticed the same thing earlier, but i thought it was some cache crap from IE...but i guess not.. ???

Pike84

  • Posts: 1398
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #17 on: 23 Jul '03 - 02:46 »
Not in IE at least, since I use Opera myself..
« Last Edit: 23 Jul '03 - 02:48 by Pike84 »

Irrational86

  • Posts: 960
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #18 on: 23 Jul '03 - 03:43 »
I guess it was some kind of YaBB bug, or maybe Ian made some board changes that made the forum go crazy... ;D

guest

  • Guest
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #19 on: 23 Jul '03 - 09:23 »

Quote

This is completely off-topic, but why do I see BoggyB as the last poster to this thread, even though he hasn't posted in quite a while?

Maybe he voted as the last...

Torkell

  • Posts: 1169
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #20 on: 23 Jul '03 - 09:38 »
Hahahahaha!!! I have discovered the secrets of YaBB gold and I ownz you allz!!!11111!!!!1!

All your base are belong to us!

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Rah'Dick

  • XMPlay Support
  • Posts: 932

hekla

  • Guest
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #22 on: 23 Jul '03 - 13:35 »
if the change in XMPlay 2.8 will be ok, change the panels. All things change & evoluate. Skinning XMPlay has no long history, and some 'modifications' are welcome.

Most skins are probably not to difficult to absorb the changed features. Plenty of space. If thy want use the 'old' skins, use multiple XMPlays versions. I like the look of XMPlay 1.702 best and like to skin for 2.x. My next skin for 2.7 is almost finnished & now there is comming some major chances for 2.8. That's fine by me if it's less time consuming to make the skin.

Torkell

  • Posts: 1169

Zarggg

  • Posts: 1242
Re: Left panels removed in 2.8 - recompile skins?
« Reply #24 on: 23 Jul '03 - 19:31 »
/me smacks all of you.

You fools! You know darn well that over here it's really "All your BASS are belong to us."