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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject [RT] Accepting and managing Skin Packages (was Re: Forrest Example Sites)
Date Wed, 01 Jun 2005 16:15:17 GMT
Claudia K├Ânnecke wrote:
> Ferdinand Soethe wrote:
>> I really like your skin design. The clear typographically structuring
>> of the menus, the use of color and the placement of logos and
>> background image would make it very useful for commercial and private
>> sites.
>> Would you consider donating it to our skin pool? Or short of that share
>> the code so that others can copy bits and pieces of it?
> Hi Ferdinand!
> First of all thanks for the praise - we feel flattered :)
> We see no problem in sharing our skin-code, but beware - we had to bend 
> some rules in certain areas (e.g. changing stuff in skins/common/xslt) 
> to achieve what we wanted. There possibly are ways to prevent these 
> changes (especially in the 0.7 codebase - which we haven't looked at yet).

There is no need to change the common files, simply override the 
templates you need to change in your own skin. We can show you how to do 
this when working on your skin package donation.

> We started the website in December 2004 where documentation was rather 
> sparse and spent a lot of time learning things the hard way so possibly 
> not all of our solutions are 'by the book'.

The Open Source way is to take code and polish it, so no worries there.

> So if this hasn't scared you yet, please contact us on how we may give 
> back to the community.

I would love to see your skin made available (I too like it a great 
deal). However, we need to discuss exactly how to accept this donation 
over on the dev list (this mail is copied to the dev list and replies 
will be sent there).

In the past Forrest has not wanted to accept new skins because we do not 
have the resources to maintain them. Consequently, we added a 
skin-packaging system that allowed people to develop skins and make them 
available via an automatic download mechanism.

The hope was that we would be able to encourage people, such as 
yourself, to make their skins available via a zip download from their 
sites. The benefit would be more eyes on the skin and thus improvements 
would be sent back to you.

Unfortunately, we have not exploited this feature. Now is the time for 
us to do so, and your skin can be the first example of that feature 
(would you believe it was added in 0.5 and we still don't use it - shame 
on us)

I think Forrest should accept your skin package in one form or another, 
the question is how, I see our options as:

1. Forrest accepts the skin and keeps it in SVN

I am -0 on this. We need to would then be forced to maintain the skin 
and ensure that it is "correct" in the sense of everything is done the 
right way. I would prefer we only maintain the one skin in our core and 
utilise the skin packaging system in order to add more skins.

2. We make all non-core skins available via a skins sub project within 

In this instance we would create a new project for contributed skins. 
Anyone donating a skin will automatically get commit access to this 
sub-project (but not to Forrest itself).

I am +1 for this if it is possible within the Apache Infrastructure. It 
ensures that there will be at least one person with commit access with a 
vested interest in maintaining the skin and in applying any contributed 

Does the way our SVN is set up allow this?

3. The skin author makes it available via a ZIP download using the 
skin-package system

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.

4. The skin author donates the skin to an external Open Source project 
and uses that projects CVS/SVN etc.

This is kind of a half way house between option 2 and option 3. In the 
past we tried to set-up a Sourceforge project for this, but it was 
rejected as the project would not generate program code. I will offer 
the Burrokeet project on SF since this uses Forrest at its core so the 
housing of Forrest skins is appropriate within that project. I do not 
have any problems adding skin contributors to that project to ensure 
they have commit access. Of course, there may be other projects that are 


Whatever we do, we should encourage the use of skin packages and we 
should extend the system to list "official" skins in the same way the 
plugin system does, see

Comments, ideas?


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