Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
VGER
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:54 pm

Sat May 26, 2007 2:32 pm

tal wrote:
Of course you could build a skin without any icons but that wouldn't be much fun. So you either draw your own buttons or you look around for free icons.


I think you got me a little wrong: I don't want icons. To me they are just irritating, hindering effective work and wasting screen space during it. Why paint a multicolour masterpiece on the screen when a simple button (you know, the grey things with the black letters on 'em that Windows made so famous ten years ago in the first place ;-) ) will do the job just fine?

So you're saying that this isn't possible with VisualMR?
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Tue May 29, 2007 1:29 pm

VGER wrote:
Why paint a multicolour masterpiece on the screen when a simple button (you know, the grey things with the black letters on 'em that Windows made so famous ten years ago in the first place ;-) ) will do the job just fine?

A few reasons off the top of my head:
-- A 16x16 icon takes up much *less* space than a text label.
-- A 48x48 icon is more usable in a finger-tappable UI than a standard button (which is too short and too wide).
-- Standardized icons (e.g. the universal playback controls) are recognized and understood by untrained users more quickly than text labels.
-- Graphical 'progress bars' (eg for elapsed/total track time) are generally easier to read at a glance than numeric displays.
-- Color can be used to provide even more information (e.g., red buttons for aggressive music genres like trance, gabber, breaks; green buttons for 'safe' background music genres like chill, ambient, lounge) without taking any more space.

That said - you can do a simple label and button interface in VisualMR by using just the Label, StateLabel, and DrawShape nodes. This is very easy - just edit the XML file - no images required. You can even change the colors of the text and background on each button.

Have fun!
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

VisualMR V1.6: skinning enhancements

Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:27 am

Hi,

I just uploaded the updated skinning documentation reflecting the additions in VisualMR V1.6.

Before we get started: in order to use these features be sure to update the 'SkinFormat' attribute to 2.3 in all your skin's xml files including skin.xml.

Skinning of the Browse-Forms (skin.xml)
You can now control the appearance of the buttons as well as the background colour of the browse forms. New attributes for the <General> node are FormBackColor, ButtonForeColor, ButtonBackColor, ButtonFont, TopLineColor. FormBackColor and TopLineColor are also supported by <BrowseClients> node.

Information about connected SoundBridge (layout xml files)
Three new Values are available: ClientName, ClientIpAdr, ClientFirmwareVers.

SetLayout (layout xml files)
This Action can be assigned to buttons to switch to a named skin.

IrCommand(layout xml files)
This Action is for those hacking guys :) Send any IR command to the SoundBridge. For example IrCommand(CK_ALARM) will simulate a pressed Alarm key.


The complete skinning documentation is available at
http://www.tl-it.de/media/pages/visualmr_skin2.php?lang=e

Cheers
Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Re: VisualMR V1.6: skinning enhancements

Sun Jun 10, 2007 2:24 pm

tal wrote:
You can now control the appearance of the buttons as well as the background colour of the browse forms.

Cool! I'll update my skins very soon to use these new attributes.


tal wrote:
Send any IR command to the SoundBridge. For example IrCommand(CK_ALARM) will simulate a pressed Alarm key.

Could you make this action take a sequence of IR commands? e.g. IrCommand(CK_BRIGHTNESS|CK_EAST|CK_EAST|CK_SELECT)? You might need to put a small delay after each command - I saw some other script do this...

Cheers!
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Re: VisualMR V1.6: skinning enhancements

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:08 am

zuovo wrote:
Could you make this action take a sequence of IR commands? e.g. IrCommand(CK_BRIGHTNESS|CK_EAST|CK_EAST|CK_SELECT)?

I was pretty certain someone would ask for this :lol: Infact I had the same idea right after I implemented IrCommand!

Unfortunately I had to stop adding features (like the sequences) to get V1.6 finished last week-end since otherwise it would have take some more weeks to release the update (I currently have to focus on my "real" projects leaving only little time for VisualMR). So a classic case of feature freeze to meet a release date :) but I plan on adding sequences in the future.

For this release I mainly added IrCommand to meet requests for supporting the unsupported M1000-alarm feature. So if anybody really wants, he can just add the needed buttons.

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Re: VisualMR V1.6: skinning enhancements

Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:59 pm

Hey Thorsten - I updated my skins to use the new browse-form attributes, but they are not working in v1.6. I get this error dialog:

Cannot switch skin to EasyIcons.

Error: Error while reading skin definition from file '\Program Files\VisualMR\Skins\EasyIcons\Skin.xml'.

Details: NullReferenceException

So I took my old (2.2) skin files and just changed the SkinFormat to 2.3, no other changes. Same error. Looks like a backwards compatibility issue in v1.6? Can you take a look at this when you have a sec? You can reproduce with my skin files on your website, just change the SkinFormat to 2.3. Thanks!

Also two minor errata for the skinning documentation:

1) Under the General node attributes, the second occurrence of "BackColor" should be "SelectBackColor".

2) Links within this page do not work in Firefox or Safari, because the anchor tags are not correct. Instead of e.g.
<A name="#skincomp">Skin Components</A>
you need to use
<a name="skincomp"></a>Skin Components

Removing the "#" makes the anchor work. Moving the "</a>" ensures that the anchor is not highlighted on mouseover as if it were a link.

Cheers!
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Re: VisualMR V1.6: skinning enhancements

Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:27 am

zuovo wrote:
So I took my old (2.2) skin files and just changed the SkinFormat to 2.3, no other changes.

That probably wasn't formulated very clearly in my previous post: if you change the skin format to 2.3 then of course your file must adhere to the 2.3 format. In this case the new attributes added in 2.3 to to <General> and <BrowseClients> in skin.xml must be added (they are not optional).

zuovo wrote:
Also two minor errata for the skinning documentation:

Thanks for pointing it out - just fixed them. Hope the links now work with non-ie browsers.

Cheers
THorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:43 pm

Great - I added the new attributes to <BrowseClients>, and it works.

I still wish I could hide the system bar and menu bar... Hey, do you know of any good utility to at least hide some of the icons in the system bar? Maybe I should look at that registry hack program again...

Re: the skinning web page - you also need to remove the leading "#" from each name attribute, e.g. "skincomp" instead of "#skincomp". Don't remove the "#" from the href attributes on the links, though!

Thanks!
 
vaughan
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:43 am

Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:46 am

Hi

Can one of you guys recommend a good (free?) graphical environment for creating/editing the skins?
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:33 pm

vaughan wrote:
Can one of you guys recommend a good (free?) graphical environment for creating/editing the skins?

In my experience, creating the images is about 98% of the work, so the most important tool is a good image editor. GIMP is an decent free program.

The skin.xml and layout xml files are so short and simple that you can edit them in any text editor. Just copy and paste elements from other skins, and change their values. It would be nice to have XSDs for these files, but this probably isn't worth the effort.

Cheers!
 
vaughan
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:43 am

Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:36 am

Thanks, I'll give it a try
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:56 am

zuovo wrote:
Re: the skinning web page - you also need to remove the leading "#" from each name attribute, e.g. "skincomp" instead of "#skincomp".

Changed that too and tried it in firefox - seems to work now (to bad ie isn't more critical on bad HTML).

Thanks
Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

GreyGlass uploaded

Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:59 am

I just uploaded the 'GreyGlass'-skin. It's an (almost) color-free version of BlueGlass (the default skin of VisualMR) created by Bernd for those of you who like it less colorful :)

The skin can be found where all the skins can be found:
http://www.tl-it.de/media/pages/visualmr_skin.php

BTW: If you like to change the background to something darker of lighter, just change "#2F2F2F" in skin.xml to a different value (like #000000 for completely black).
<Brush Id="OuterBackgroundBrush"> Color="#2F2F2F" />


Cheers
Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Browse form row heights

Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:42 pm

Hi Thorsten - I had a little problem with the browse forms when I updated my skins...

When ListFont and ListDetailFont have the same font size, the selected song in a browse form shows just 2.5 lines of song details. The rest of the details (which are at least 3 lines, maybe 4 or 5 if the artist or album names wrap) are cut off.

It looks like the selected row is sized based on the ListFont only. You might want to change the algorithm. Or make this a skin setting. ;)

Thanks!
 
dzr
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:38 pm

Re: VisualMR V1.6: skinning enhancements

Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:48 pm

Is there a skin around which already has the Alarm and Snooze button, so that I can use it on my PocketPC? I don't see one on the website.
Thanks

tal wrote:
Hi,
IrCommand(layout xml files)
This Action is for those hacking guys :) Send any IR command to the SoundBridge. For example IrCommand(CK_ALARM) will simulate a pressed Alarm key.

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