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From Torsten Stolpmann <Torsten.Stolpm...@verit.de>
Subject Re: [RT] Accepting and managing Skin Packages (was Re: Forrest Example Sites)
Date Thu, 02 Jun 2005 11:56:03 GMT
Hi!

I drop in for Claudia here, since I did most of the skin modification 
stuff for the website myself. But yes, Claudia is reading this as well.

First of all: The modification of common skin elements is definitly 
reversable as already pointed out by several people here. It was done 
the way it is to have a smaller patchset, were changes are more obvious 
to spot in our CVS diffs (For the inquiring mind: We changed the default 
cellspacing for 'ForrestTable' and added images to the tab-menu items).

Secondly: IMHO this is not a new skin but more of a showcase what can be 
achieved by modifying an existing skin like in this case, pelt. Pelt (as 
of 0.6) doesn't gave enough configuration leeway to reach the visual 
effects we wanted to, so we practically branched from there and molded 
it to our needs.

As Claudia already pointed out, most work done on pelt was rather 
destructive (disabling/removing features we didn't need/like/got in the 
way) than constructive.

So in conclusion: I don't see our work as a new 'skin'. It is too narrow 
and specialised for that to be in it's current state. Then again it 
might serve as a showcase on *what* visuals can be achieved and 
especially *how* they may be achieved.


Regards,

Torsten

Ferdinand Soethe wrote:
> Note: Perhaps I also have a slightly different view on this in the sense
>       that I'm not aiming at building and maintaining a collection of
>       skins but would rather like to have a quick and easy way to see
>       and learn about other people's skins.
> 
>       And although I'm not opposed to working with them on improving
>       their skin, I'd like to make that first step very easy.
> 
>       My comments below reflect this intention.
> 
> 
> Ross Gardler wrote:
> 
> 
>>I think Forrest should accept your skin package in one form or another,
> 
> 
> +1
> 
> I'd like to ask Claudia to upload her skin into the issue tracker
> (or make it available on their website) so that interested people can
> 
> - look at it
> - understand it
> - work with her to improve it
> - use it for their own projects
> 
> While this is happening there is plenty of time to deal with any
> concerns and work out the general solution.
> 
> 
>>1. Forrest accepts the skin and keeps it in SVN
> 
> 
> I agree for all the reasons you mentioned.
> 
> 
>>2. We make all non-core skins available via a skins sub project within
>>Forrest
> 
> 
> 0 Because I don't think that the benefits will balance
>   the administrative overhead involved. And - see below - I think
>   we should minimize the effort required by anyone wanting to donate
>   their skins.
>   
> 
>>3. The skin author makes it available via a ZIP download using the
>>skin-package system
> 
> 
> I don't think that this is such a bad solution
> 
> - it is easy for the donator (they don't have to learn about our
>   versioning systems or get a committer account) which might encourage
>   more people to make their skin designs available to others.
>   
> - the donator maintains full control over changes and releases. If
>   people don't like that, they can always create a skin of their own
>   from the downloaded package.
> 
> - it is very clear that Forrest is not maintaining that package.
> 
> 
>>I am +0 for this. I would prefer to see a solution that makes the skin
>>available through a version control mechanism to simplify patches. If
>>only a skin-package zip is provided it will make it difficult for people
>>to contribute to the skin.
> 
> 
> I can see your concern. On the other hand I think that it would make
> people work more closely with the donator of the skin because they
> would be the ones who have to understand and implement changes. (Which
> does not mean that these discussion have to or should happen
> Off-List!)
> 
> 
>>4. The skin author donates the skin to an external Open Source project
>>and uses that projects CVS/SVN etc.
> 
> 
> -1
> 
> This I think would make the issue far too complicated and will
> discourage people from donating skins for sure.
> 
> 
>>Whatever we do, we should encourage the use of skin packages and we 
> 
> 
> Or at least encourage people to make them available to learn from
> them.
> 
> 
> David wrote:
> 
> 
>>Concentrate our energy on developing one very useful skin.
> 
> 
> True. This is the impression I had from the recent discussions on
> this.
> 
> 
>>Actually there is another option that comes before
>>all of these. We enhance Pelt skin to be able to address
>>these needs, hopefully with patches from the community.
> 
> 
> I'm all with you on this in principle. Though when I think about
> details, three more considerations come to my mind:
> 
> - trying to adapt pelt to address all needs might make use and
>   maintenance a very complex issue (if we are not talking about moving
>   or hiding certain elements). We might reach a point where different
>   simple skins might be easier to maintain (also because it can be
>   done by people on an entry level understanding).
> 
> - Skins like Claudia's will likely be maintained as long as her
>   company uses Forrest. So spending a lot of resources on integrating
>   these functionalities with pelt might be nice from an architectural
>   point of view, as far as resources are concerned it might not make so
>   much sense since the resources saved on maintaining their skin will probably
>   not go towards Forrest.
> 
>   So I'd rather accept a donation of a well done and well maintained skin.
> 
> - Even if Pelt integrates all functionalities, there is still the
>   issue of styling. If styling is completely configurable we'd
>   need a new repository of styles because a lot of work goes into
>   making the skin look good with colors, fonts, sizes etc.
> 
>   And not all styles fit all purposes.
>   
> 
>>We have tried to encourage this option, but few people
>>are interested.
> 
> 
>   or able! For my skin design is still something I hesitate to tackle.
>   Discussing other peoples solutions on list might help me and others
>   learn more about it ...
> 
> 
>>I think it is the best option (apart from the views plugin).
>>We work as a community to develop one really good skin that
>>can address most needs and enables people to configure it.
> 
> 
> -1
> 
> Until 'views' is available it would really help to make other peoples
> skins available. As doing so would open Forrest to a whole lot of
> people who do not have developer skills but might be able to convince
> their management to fund development if they can demo a great looking
> site like Claudia's.
> 
> It might not be the perfect final solution but it is a great way to
> start ...
> 
> 
>>It is my opinion that the Forrest project is not yet ready
>>to cope with the extra work of overseeing people who are
>>not interested in the Forrest project itself.
> 
> 
> So let's keep the involvement optional. If a developer has good
> reasons (like a paying client) to work with Claudia on improving her
> skin, great! If not, let's just accept what is there.
> 
> 
>>I am very concerned that we told Thorsten that we had no time
>>to review the "views" plugin proposal, which i gather will
>>address many "skin" needs, yet we are finding time to revisit
>>the skins situation.
> 
> 
> I think these are really two different issues. Thorsten's views are
> a longer term solution for a more flexible skinning system (and I
> really look forward to that) whereas Claudia's skin is more about
> excellent UI-design.
> 
> Both will improve Forrest in different ways but this skin is available
> at very little cost in resources and might help a lot of people
> use Forrest now.
> 
> I might help to learn what Claudia and her company thinks about all
> this. Claudia: Are you following the developer list as well?
> 
> --
> Ferdinand Soethe


-- 
Torsten Stolpmann
verit Informationsysteme GmbH

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