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From Marshall Roch <>
Subject Re: When is a skin not a skin? (was Re: [PATCH] Customized stylesheets and grammars)
Date Mon, 15 Dec 2003 20:07:06 GMT
Ross Gardler wrote:
> The question is therefore, what is a skin intended for. If it is just 
> look and feel (which is what a skin normally deals with) then I believe 
> the current skinning system works fine since xmaps, 
> resources/stylesheets and resources/grammers would not be a part of the 
> skin.
> So the question then becomes how do I (and Marshall) customise Forrest 
> in the way that we have been doing (i.e. grammars, xmaps and stylesheets 
> from custom grammers to xdoc). Should there be another concept similar 
> to skins that package all this stuff together as well?


> So, should can all this fall under the banner of "skin" or do we need 
> some other packaging device?

I don't think it should all part of the skin.  When I think of "skins," 
I think of Winamp[1].  The skins in Winamp don't change any of the 
functionality, just your access to it.  For example, a Winamp skin could 
add another button, but it doesn't make the button work.  You need 
plug-ins for that.

I see skins as you described them: templates for layout.  All of the 
other XSL and grammars, etc. are working "behind the scenes" to generate 
the document format that the skins/templates accept.

Now, I don't know if packaged "plug-ins" are the way to go, but I do 
think there should be some (dare I say "easy"?) way to customize and 
extend Forrest's functionality without making copies of everything.  A 
big part of my problem was that I had made a copy of forrest.xmap before 
resource editing had been commited, and had to patch that in manually 
once I realized what happened.  I know I have to expect/deal with this 
because I'm working in CVS, but imagine the problems during a 0.5 to 0.6 

Marshall Roch

[1] A Windows MP3 player (

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