If the skin contains the old extra panels, couldn't 2.8 then just use them like 2.7 did? If it doesn't contain the old panels, then use the new method. That way all the work put into some of the old panels wouldn't just go to waste. Also, people who like the old panels could use a classic 2.7 skin.
It works JUST like that with current skins. The only panel that remains is the Output options one, people. You just cannot switch to the other left wide panels. Most skins don't have a problem with that, but two skins by Rah explicitely and visibly name the other panels, therefore they sorta (only in aesthetics) break on the new version. This is why they _need_ to be redone. The main look of any skin is not harmed, though.
No need to panic, most skins work. And to be honest I don't want them to be recompiled, it doesn't matter if a skin is 76k or 56k, does it?
That'd be a little bit of bloatage
There will always be people who don't like the new system, though I personally love it. What IS the problem with versioning the skins like we already do on the skins page?
If someone is /really/ concerned about 20k of size difference (honestly, I couldn't care about that on a 1200baud modem...), then the best option is to have a skins archive of pre-2.8 skins, perhaps on the support site, and have the neutered 2.8+ skins here on the xmplay site.
Being somewhat selfish and proud of XMPlay, I vote for releasing 2.703 (like 1.703--or was it?)
'Twas 1.702. For us it would be 2.7.12 or so, ..15 is in the 2.8 system
Ooooh, I released soooper sikrit version numbers