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Author Topic: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<  (Read 16280 times)

HPBEME

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>>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« on: February 02, 2021, 08:09:13 pm »

Hello All,
After spilling buckets of blood, sweat, and tears, I am finally ready to release a brand-spanking new Standard View skin…  “Dream in Blue”.

It is unlike any other skin currently available - not just in appearance, but how it is configured.  I devised it so users can swap-out skin elements by simply changing 1 digit in the xml file. Detailed guidance for swapping images in the Main.xml is located at the beginning of a reference xml named Main+Comments.xml.

In addition, the skin folder contains four more xml’s named Main1 thru 4. They were created to showcase different combinations of the numerous image options.  However, I will not be maintaining these additional configurations since the whole point of this approach is to let the user modify the skin as they see fit. These additional configs simply provide 4 different “jumping off” points.  How one swaps-out the active xml to one of the other configs is also covered in the Main+Comments.xml.  These really are simple edits folks, so don’t be intimidated… just make a couple changes at a time to get the hang of it. Alternatively, you can simply use the skin as-is of course. Hopefully a couple of veteran users/skinners will happily experiment with the image-swapping and provide feedback via PM, or send an email to the address in the xml file.

The Main+Comments.xml goes well beyond just explaining image swapping though - it is also what everyone who has ever created an MC skin has opined for… a skin design guide.  While it is nowhere near perfect, and no doubt I have missed some things, the documentation is nevertheless extensive. The line count of the un-commented Main.xml = 306, while the Main+Comments.xml = 772.  I ran down all those oddities, like… you apply text color to several items, but at some point later you discover a border or background color is now different even though you did not change it... how did that happen? you wonder. To diagnose how/where colors were applied, I specified the color red to one color input at a time, and then scoured every aspect of the skin to see what else, if anything, had changed… and then documented it… for each and every entry.  I endured the searing pain of this self-flagellation over many months. So I say to all past and future skinners (and JRiver for that matter)… your welcome… you now have a roadmap.

Before I forget, a few more things:
  • With the release of MC27, you can now close tabs via middle mouse click (just like in every browser)… yay! Consequently, I don’t show the tab close button at all - just middle click to close them. Tab close buttons make the tabs excessively wide, which can be a problem if you use a lot of tabs. That said, if you are using MC26 or earlier, or you just want a tab close button, you can easily “turn it on” by deleting the “X” from the file extension SV_TabClose1.pngX (go to Section: SPLITVIEWTAB in the Main.xml).
  • I have no idea if this skin works on Mac or Linux - for those who use these systems, please let me know if the skin works for you. That said, if it doesn’t work I am not sure what I can do about it - I don’t have a Mac and have never used Linux!  Be good to know regardless I guess.
  • This skin was developed exclusively on a 4K monitor. When I downscaled to 2K, the skin had a number of display oddities. With invaluable help from Marko, we were able to resolve almost all of the 2K resolution issues. Those that remain seem to be inherent to MC. If the JRiver team reviews the Main+Comments.xml, maybe they will address the issues I documented.
  • For those who use a 2K monitor (1980x1080, 1980x1200, or any non-4K resolution really), if you see skin elements that are too big/small, distorted, or whatever… please PM me or send an email to the address in the xml file.
  • The skin was designed based on SegoeUI 9pt. The variability of how different fonts are displayed in MC is surprising - consider trying this font if your text display seems sub-optimal.
I will add some screenshots in the next post.  And again, a special thank you to Marko!

************  SKIN UPDATE TO 1.1  ************
Attachment/Link to the Initial version has been removed, and a link to the new version added.

The latest version 1.1 is now on the accessories page - Thanks Bob!.  To access the skin from here on out, please go to: https://accessories.jriver.com/mediacenter/accessories.php.  Downloading the skin from there includes the MJP file that auto-installs the skin to the correct folder (for Windows anyway).

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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 08:17:42 pm »

*deleted this post - the images were cutoff (see next post)
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 08:25:21 pm »

Skin Screenshots: as designed in Blue, and MC Skin Effects for: "Flip Red and Blue" / "Flip Blue and Green" / "Greyscale"







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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 08:40:48 pm »

The attached PDF page 1 screenshot indicates how many different options are available for many of the skin elements. Subsequent pages isolate the PlayerBar, Tree & TagWindow, and DSP Window, with each showing various combinations of image options.
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marko

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 01:53:48 pm »

A lot of time has been invested in the creation of this skin. The xml comments are a great guide for anyone else thinking about skin creation.

Thanks for releasing the first new skin we've had for quite some time.

zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2021, 02:29:10 pm »

It looks GREAT, thanks for all the effort! It was worth the wait :)
I'm certainly going to try it out next weekend.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2021, 07:22:50 pm »

Thank you Marko and Zybex. 

Figuring how to make the skin texture continuous from the playerbar thru to the tree and tag window was quite a challenge (the screenshots don't really do it justice).  Looking forward to hearing feedback (via this thread or PM or email) from those who have downloaded it and had a chance to play around a bit.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2021, 11:40:48 am »

FYI...
The skin is now also available via the JRiver plug-in page (https://yabb.jriver.com/mediacenter/accessories.php.  Downloading the skin from there will use the self-extracting MJP file to automatically install the skin in the correct location (works in Windows only though I think).
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bob

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2021, 11:58:02 am »

Looks great at first look on Mac too. Just need to install it by hand by unzipping into:
~/Library/Application\ Support/J\ River/Media\ Center\ 27/Skins/Standard\ View
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bob

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2021, 12:10:54 pm »

On first glance, it works on linux as well with a small change. Unpack into:
~/.jriver/Media\ Center\ 27/Skins/Standard\ View/
Then change into the "Dream in Blue" subdir and do:
ln -s Main.xml main.xml

This is because linux is case sensitive and MC is looking for main.xml which works on Mac and Windows because they aren't case sensitive (at least by default on Mac).

I don't know if there are other case issues with it on linux but with just a quick look it seems ok.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2021, 12:31:03 pm »

Thank you very much for running all that down Bob... that is great news to hear the skin works and looks great on Mac and Linux too.

When I do an update, I will change "Main" to "main"... did not even cross my mind that the letter case would be a problem.  I have already made some updates to the comments XML, and I tweaked a few of the image options. That said, I want to wait until I get user feedback before pushing out those updates (definitely not critical changes), as I imagine additional updates/requests may arise from real-world use.
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Cinelder

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2021, 04:21:03 pm »

Love it - thanks!
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2021, 01:30:46 pm »

This is now my new skin, thanks for the hard work! :D

Some comments:
- I would prefer the Close/Minimize/Maximize buttons without the white border
- The spinner showing up briefly when MC Client is connecting to the Server has the wrong background. Not sure where else this spinner shows up (not critical as this is just shown for a couple of seconds). This seems to use <Frame><Colors> setting.
- I would like to be able to change the Tooltip background color, but it seems this is also defined on <Frame><Colors>, which affects many other elements. I read your comments regarding this entry, it looks like it needs better support from MC side.

Regarding the Main.XML itself: You added some text to identify the different sections without putting the text in a Comment block... this is OK-ish, but not 100% standard - some XML readers will complain. In particular, there's one line saying "FRAMESUB: TEXTBOX  & COMBOBOX" - that && there needs to be escaped (&amp;)
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2021, 05:34:48 pm »

This is now my new skin, thanks for the hard work! :D
Your welcome! 

I would prefer the Close/Minimize/Maximize buttons without the white border
Done. The buttons will still "light up" with subtle borders (as before) on mouse hover/click however (see pic) - hope that works for you.  I also made matching buttons for the Action-Window Header (see pic again).

The main window buttons previously did not have image options - now that they do, I have renamed their XML values as I do with other "image sets" (e.g., MainClose is now Main1Close/Main2Close, MainMinimize is now Main1Min/Main2Min, etc). For those who are taking advantage of customizing the main.XML, please bear this in mind. You definitely should get all the latest images, but save off your custom XML somewhere so it does not get overwritten when you grab the updated skin. There will be 4 new image names in the new XML (with the nomenclature above): use "1" for the current image (default button with border), and "2" for a borderless button (as depicted in the screenshot). Update your custom XML to match the new names (see sections: MAIN and FRAMESUB: VARIOUS SMALL BUTTONS), and save your version over the main.xml in the skin folder.  This sounds way more complicated than it is... once you go thru it once you'll see.

spinner showing up briefly when MC Client is connecting to the Server has the wrong background
I don't have a Server Client setup, so I don't know what you are referring to.  When you say "wrong background" do you mean wrong color? or wrong image?  If it is the latter, what is the image?
 
- I would like to be able to change the Tooltip background color, but it seems this is also defined on <Frame><Colors>, which affects many other elements. I read your comments regarding this entry, it looks like it needs better support from MC side.
As I am sure you read in the comments xml, changing the Tooltip text color also changes: Pop-up text color for tracks, movies, biographies, etc; *Most* Static Text color in all Dialogs;  Text color adjacent to PlayDoctor SearchBar;  Random static text color in the OptionsWindows. 

This color setting affects completely unrelated areas, affects only portions of a given area, and some settings colors are used for BOTH text and background color. This makes it a royal PITA to ensure colors are compatible throughout the skin (and a royal PITA finding all those random locations!), and it is 1 of several settings where this occurs.  So yes...  an update by JRiver to address the many issues like this would be fantastic.

Regarding the Main.XML itself: You added some text to identify the different sections without putting the text in a Comment block... this is OK-ish, but not 100% standard - some XML readers will complain. In particular, there's one line saying "FRAMESUB: TEXTBOX  & COMBOBOX" - that && there needs to be escaped (&amp;)
One of things I discovered while developing the skin was that the XML's are amazingly tolerant of pretty much any symbol you want to use outside of the comment delimiters! In fact, I used the comments XML version as my working version forever with no comment delimiters whatsoever, and MC loaded it (many thousands of times) just fine... so long as there was not a < or > (as these are variable/entry delimiters).  I only put all the comments within delimiters just before uploading it because I knew some experienced code guy would call me out for not doing it correctly ;D

That said, I defer to your far superior knowledge, and have replaced the ampersand with a comma, though the Subsection Headers are still not within comment delimiters... gotta be a least a little defiant  :-*

NOTE:  All the changes described above will be part of the next update. I will hold off though for a few days/a week to collect more feedback, which I have to say has been pretty spartan thus far. I am beginning to wonder if only a handful of people actually like it... not that many downloads so far. Oh well, hopefully things will pick up.
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bob

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2021, 07:20:30 pm »

...
NOTE:  All the changes described above will be part of the next update. I will hold off though for a few days/a week to collect more feedback, which I have to say has been pretty spartan thus far. I am beginning to wonder if only a handful of people actually like it... not that many downloads so far. Oh well, hopefully things will pick up.
Just a FYI, the download counter on the accessories page isn't currently functional....
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2021, 09:19:21 am »

This is the spinner I was talking about - these 2 popups show up briefly on MC startup. I think you can ignore it.

Regarding feedback... I know the feeling :) There aren't that many people actively tweaking stuff all the time, most users just want to fire up MC and start playing something. It's not about how it looks, it's about how it sounds...
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2021, 11:33:20 am »

That is not an image a skinner can control.

It is pulled from the MC installation folder Data\Default Resources, and they are not images either, but 2 different .avi files (Download.avi, Wait.avi).  Why one spinner is elongated and the other a nice square... no idea. Likely related to scaling being correctly applied to one and not the other - not sure I can do anything about that one.

That the sky blue background matches my skin is pure coincidence. That same blue color is also used as the "highlight" color behind text when you double-click to edit it, regardless of the skin, and is not changeable by the skinner AFAIK. This becomes readily apparent when you "flip" colors via skin effects, and the text edit highlight color remains blue.  That said, the text edit "highlight" color CAN be set in the PlayerBar and Tag Window search boxes (but not the PlayDoctor search, tag field edits, or list edits, dialog edits, etc)... go figure.  I would prefer if it were controllable everywhere by the skin author.

But I digress, as I often do.  My bigger concern is that in your screenshots, the dialog border changes thicknesses right below the title bar.  I cannot possibly convey how much time I spent resolving that, so to see it here again in your pic is distressing.  I know the answer to the question I am about to ask, but will ask it anyway... is this from a 2K resolution display (or non-4K anyway)?  And if so... does the border thickness change occur for ALL your other dialogs (DSP, Skin Effects, Wizard, etc)? I really need the answer for that one. Finally, what exactly is the resolution of your monitor?

As for people not tweaking stuff... I get it, but I also figured that this long stretch of home confinement would be the perfect time to do so.  It is certainly the circumstances that led me to create this skin.
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2021, 12:41:58 pm »

It's not coincidence. The AVIs have a purple background, which is then defined as the transparent color when playing it. The blue background comes from the skin, and it replaces the purple on the AVI. Changing the Face3D color on line 135 also changes this spinner background (but changes other things as well, as you know).

The border mismatch does show up on most dialogs. It looks like the title label width doesn't correctly take into account the border width, not sure if there's much you can do there.

Actually the screenshots were taken on a FullHD laptop (1920x1080), but with 125% DPI scaling. The scaling probably is messing things up.

Your efforts are appreciated! There's always a silent majority out there that doesn't vote ;)
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marko

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2021, 01:30:09 pm »

We spent a lot of time on those borders and thought we had nailed them. Did you keep all four scale steps in the final release? I do recall you were thinking of just keeping the two steps.

The extra levels may help on those displays where users have moved away from 100% in their windows dpi scaling settings?

I'm not convinced, but, you never know...

Feedback can be light and sporadic, but any and all are always appreciated. You can sometimes get better real time feedback if you develop it publicly, though doing that, you have to be strong in your mind regarding concessions you're prepared to make

HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2021, 01:31:41 pm »

Zybex, I saw that those .avi files had the purple for transparency, but that should mean it would show the dark blue skin texture color and not the sky blue.  Regardless, you confirmed that <Face3D> color controls the color of these spinner backgrounds, so I stand corrected.

That said, my comments regarding the sky blue text highlight color when double-clicking text to edit still applies: it is skin independent, and not changeable via the XML.

Those darn borders..... grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Can you do a test for me? Temporarily change your general Windows scaling to 100% and see if that fixes it? It should, as it does when I downscale to 2K on my 4K monitor, and Marko duplicated the results on his 2K monitor.  FYI... 2K is my short hand for FullHD (since 4K refers to the long monitor axis = 3840px, I just applied the same name logic to 1920px). Important: Be sure to close/open MC, otherwise the display will remain (mostly) identical to the pre-scale change.

This might be fixable, but it will just require a lot more work setting up additional scaling parameters in the XML for the frame borders (and validation & verification). This also applies to a couple of other inputs that just won't behave well without being handled with kid gloves (i.e., special xml treatment).
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2021, 01:37:06 pm »

Whoops!  We must have posted at the same time, Marko.  No, I just kept 2 scale steps. Looks like I may have to add those (which is what I was alluding to at the end in my previous post).

The myriad of monitor resolutions and general window scaling combinations is immense.  Not even sure how I would construct those border images to work at in-between thicknesses without making them way bigger than I want at 4K.  I will have to think it about it some.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2021, 01:42:11 pm »

You can sometimes get better real time feedback if you develop it publicly, though doing that, you have to be strong in your mind regarding concessions you're prepared to make
I'm in big trouble then... I am very weak-minded :-\ !
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2021, 02:31:47 pm »

At 100% scaling the borders are fine.
Note that a full logoff is required to switch scaling. Just restarting MC after changing scaling still keeps some bad artifacts.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2021, 02:55:27 pm »

Well that is some good news at least. So... everybody stay at 100% for 2K monitors please! Haha.  I will take a look at a remedy for non-100% scale users later this week.  But, you know... its Superbowl Sunday today! I can do some forum posts, but not XML and image editing... I am pretty close to completely gassed on this project.  Which reminds me... Zybex, do the window control button updates I made match your expectations?

Weird you had to log off for the scaling to take effect.  MC always updates for me when I change scale by just closing/opening - I know... MS pops up a dialog warning to sign out, but hey, it works for me.  If want to make sure all apps update to the new scale, then yes, logging off or restarting makes sense. Maybe it works for me because I don't run MC server, so when I close MC, its closed.  If you are willing to check, make sure you exit both MC and MC server and see if the scale change takes effect without logging off (unless that is what you already did).

Either way, thanks for doing the check.

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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2021, 03:29:03 pm »

Where are the new buttons? I've just tried re-downloading and re-installing the skin, but there's no Main1Close.png/Main2Close.png  files. Just MainClose.png.

I'm testing on my laptop which has only MC Client running (no server), so yes, I did exit all MC components. I still had to logoff to make it look right.

Note that Windows has several different Scaling options that work differently. Apps need to be designed to work for these modes... the new Win10 DPI scaling does a good job of scaling most apps even if they're not DPI-aware, but some will still look bad.
- "Make Text Bigger" slider: this is "Font Scaling". Only font elements are scaled. Usually looks bad.
- "Make Everything Bigger" selector: this is DPI scaling, where I have 125%. this increases all elements proportionally, but rounding and anti-alias can cause pixel artifacts.
- Advanced Scaling - "custom scaling": not sure what this does, but it's a different thing. Many apps I write get messed up by this setting unless I add code to check for this scaling mode.

There's also the "fix blurry apps" setting, which again I'm not sure what it does.

All in all, scaling is quite a bit involved and unless MC recognizes and supports all these modes, there's always some details that will look wrong.

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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2021, 04:17:06 pm »

If you reread my post #13, at the end I mention I am not pushing out any updates for another few days to a week.  At the bottom of that same post however, is a picture of the borderless buttons (that I created for my local copy), with my cursor hovering over 1 button to show what that button state looks like.  So I what I meant was, did that picture of the borderless button match what you wanted?

I am fairly familiar with the different window/program scaling options - that was one of my chief concerns when I undertook doing this skin.

FYI... setting the HighDPI override (in a programs .exe properties/compatibility tab) to system or system enhanced sometimes will fix older applications that have tiny icons and/or blurriness - maybe a third of the time it works.  Sometimes, quite rarely really, the HighDPI override causes an instant BOSD when you launch the app afterward though.  Don't want to scare anyone off from trying them out for older/abandonware type apps, just want to provide fair warning.  None of that is the issue at hand however - MC's problem is related to the general windows10 scaling.

Anyway... agreed - scaling is tricky business and there is no 1 size fits all approach. I just don't know how much I have left in the tank to run it down.
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2021, 03:06:49 am »

I thought I had already said something about the no-border buttons, but apparently I just thought it ;D I like them! That's what I wanted, thanks.
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marko

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2021, 06:53:30 am »

My screen is 1920 x 1200. I set my Windows scaling to 125% and used that "frame test" version of the skin we worked with briefly, and the borders were ok. Hope that helps.

jimm2

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2021, 12:47:00 pm »

Hey, thanks for the excellent skin!

Having experimented a bit with JRiver skin development in the past, I can appreciate how much work you've put into this. Been waiting a long time for a more detailed write-up of skin elements.

Thank you!
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2021, 03:27:08 pm »

Your welcome jimm2 - glad you like it! Recognition of the tremendous effort this took is much appreciated.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2021, 06:07:05 pm »

Hey Marko, when I load your "frame test" skin and downscale from 3840x1840 to 1920x1080 (and 1920x1200), and then set the windows scale to 125%, I get this:

which looks the same as the spinner dialog borders that zybex posted.

In all that testing we did, I kept foolishly hoping that downscaling from 4k to 2k was the problem... that, if things looked good on my native 4k, then it would look good at native 2k, and the downscaling is what caused the display discrepancy. 

But every time, whatever issue I saw in downscaled 2k, you saw the same thing at native 2k... except for now?  I have tested this over the course of the entire day: I signed off/on between changes, rebooted between changes... I tested 2k 100%, 125%, 150%, 175%...  I tested 4k 200%, 225%, 250%, 300%... I tested different XML settings for rows, columns, and cell inputs... and the big ugly border discontinuity above was repeated over and over.  So I am baffled that the test file somehow works on your machine and not mine.

In any event, I re-did the border images differently this time (and now use 4 scale steps for each image). I ran thru all the same combinations above with the new border, and it works quite well... hallelujah!
     At 2K:  perfect at 100% and 175%, slight border discontinuity at 125% and 150%
     At 4K:  perfect at 200% and 300%, slight border discontinuity at 225% and 250%

Picture below shows the "new" discontinuity. Slightly more noticeable at 2k than 4k (where you can barely see it at all), but pretty darn good, and a huge improvement over what it was.


I will upload the updated skin later tonight or tomorrow - I want to do a little more testing.  I also think I will remove the skin attachment from this thread and point everyone to the accessories page - it is confusing to have 2 different download locations (and more work for me to maintain both). Plus! The accessory page includes the skin package auto-installer to make it easier for everyone.  I will be leaning on Bob (forum admin) to update that MJP file once I provide the updated files tonight/tomorrow. Bob, it would be great if you could get that download counter working again... any chance of that?
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2021, 03:25:21 am »

Thanks again for the hard work!
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bob

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2021, 10:04:52 am »

The download counter was disabled for security issues in the way it was implemented.
It will probably get fixed in the future but no promises as to when!
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MajorCyco

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2021, 02:41:06 pm »

This looks great, but can't install.  Does it work on Mac?
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2021, 03:37:04 pm »

Have you changed "case sensitivity" from the default Mac setting"?  If so navigate to wherever Mac installs JRiver skins and make the change indicated by Bob in reply #9. Read posts 8 thru 13 if you have not already. I am guessing a bit here, since I don't have a Mac.  Just inferring from what Bob wrote in his post. When I release the next skin update, "Main.xml" is changed to "main.xml" so hopefully that will resolve this going forward. 

BTW... did you download from the forum link or the Accessories Page?
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bob

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2021, 09:24:18 am »

The automated install method only works on windows at this time. For Mac,
you can download the skin from the accessories page then unzip it into
~/Library/Application\ Support\J\ River\Media\ Center\ 27/Skins/Standard\ View/
It should be in a folder of it's own, if you use the zip file from the accessories page, create the folder
Dream\ in\ Blue
under Standard\ View and unzip into there.
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Aardvark

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2021, 12:28:45 am »

Really like this new skin. Looks great

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EnglishTiger

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2021, 01:57:56 am »

Unfortunately after installing and using this skin I discovered a small problem in Display View. When I made us of the option to have the Player Window Visible the selector that appears under the Close Display button is partially hidden by the display panel.

That combination of Display View + the Player Window reveals yet another "MC Anomaly" the Close Display button and the X button both do the same thing - they both switch back to whatever View was being used before Display View was invoked.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2021, 02:54:41 pm »

If you have not already done so, take a look at the main+comments.xml.  I discuss this very thing.

This display "error" is driven by my preference to have the volumebar, trackbar, and searchbox all inline. In MC's DisplayView, they locate that gigantic and redundant "Close Display" button right where the searchbox would be, which is near the PlayerBar bottom.  Since the visualization next/previous/name buttons must be located below that, they end up partially off the bar.

NOTE: there are 2 ways to use DisplayView:  1) PlayerBar "pops-up" in fullscreen mode   2) PlayerBar is "fixed" in an alternate style maximized window showing only it and the StatusBar.  Issue only occurs with this "fixed" version - the visualization buttons are not even available on the pop-up version (why not?), nor does it have the giant "Close Display" button (yay).

In any event, you can edit your local version of the main.xml file to fix it.  Go to the PLAYERBAR section and change the Search [OffsetY] value from 83 to 52. This moves the searchbox upward, which in-turn will move the next/previous buttons fully onto PlayerBar when in the "fixed" DisplayView mode (for more info, review the main+comments.xml).  I do not plan to revise this in the official skin XML due to the preference stated above, and it has no affect on the "pop-up" version of DisplayView, which I am guessing is how most people use it.  I can be convinced otherwise however, if enough people express a strong desire for that change.  That said, what would be best is if JRiver modified the code to simply get rid of that giant redundant "Close Display" Button and let the visualization buttons occupy that space instead.

Sort of related... I think moving the Search Box into the Title Bar (to the left of the Window Close/Max/Min buttons) would be fantastic. This would open up a sizable chunk of real estate to place quick access items such as... the visualization cycle buttons! a skin effects cycle button! toggle "view style" button (yes, I know this one is available in the toolbar). Other suggestions?
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Desertpilot

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2021, 07:26:43 pm »

Hi.  I tried your new skin and I love it.  I am using it on my laptop which has a 4K display.  It all works great.  To my eyes, it really makes album covers stand out.

Marcus
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2021, 02:40:02 pm »

Skin updated.  Go to the top of this thread and click on the attachment link there – it now points to an updated skin folder (v1.1)  I also uploaded it to the accessories page, but for some reason the attached files are not getting thru.  Bob is working on it.

*** The latest version 1.1 is now on the accessories page - Thanks Bob! ***
To access the skin from here on out, please go to: https://accessories.jriver.com/mediacenter/accessories.php.  Downloading the skin from there includes the MJP file that auto-installs the skin to the correct folder (for Windows anyway). 

For those who have been following the “dialog border thickness” drama earlier in this thread, then you know I found a pretty good work-around. That said, it was still not actually “fixed”. Being a perfectionist, I was determined to resolve it completely… and after spilling more buckets of blood, sweat and tears (who knew there was any left?), I am thrilled to report - total victory!  I am pretty sure I cried afterward.

Borders now display perfectly for: 1980x1080, 1980x1200, 3840x2160 for these Win10 scales: 100%, 125%, 150%, 175%, 200%, 225%, 250%. 
•   Win10 has 300% and 350% scale settings too, but MC is unusable at those settings (any program is unusable at those settings!), so I am ignoring them.
•   I did extensive validation/verification, but… Marko/Zybex, please confirm all is good on your machines please, for at least a couple different scales. Thanks in advance.
•   Users with other common monitor resolutions, say 2560x1440, please report success/failure re: border display, and at what resolution.
•   I don’t have high hopes for 1280x720 resolutions - not sure if that is still in widespread use. How well does MC work on low-rez monitors anyway? I have no idea.

In addition, I created 6 different skin configurations to showcase different image combinations. To make it easy to compare them all, I created a PDF showing each skin config as-designed in blue, as well as each config in red and green (via MC’s Skin Effects).  This results in a grand total of 18 pages of hi-rez, uncompressed pictures, each about 3mb each. The 55mb PDF is far too big to upload to the forum, but trust me, you will want to see it.  Go here to download it: https://www.docdroid.net/Rlg6sth/dib-configs-pdf 

You can view it directly on the PDF host site, but it is very slow to load, and only shows pages as a continuous scroll.  That makes seeing the config changes from page-to-page much less apparent. You need to "snap" to subsequent pages to appreciate the differences.  [Turns out you can "skip" slide to slide... I did not notice the arrow buttons at the bottom of the page which do exactly that]  Also, there are no page labels...  Just know that for each blue/red/green color set: 1st pic is main1.xml, 2nd pic is main2.xml, etc.

And finally, I am working on an image picture reference document. This will make it much easier to find/select the image you want (an image catalog if you will).  The user then opens the XML and edits the corresponding option number to match the desired option from the “catalog”.  I hope to have that done by the end of the week.  If I were smarter, I would create a GUI interface where you select the images you want for each skin element from a drop-down menu. Total fantasy… way beyond my skill set!
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marko

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2021, 11:31:18 pm »

HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2021, 11:56:48 pm »

Thanks Marko - I look forward to your confirmation.

Thanks for the heads-up with the correct URL. Not sure why my initial links were dead though... I just straight up copied it from the URL bar and pasted that into my post. Did not occur to me that the links would not work, so I did not bother to test it.  I updated the accessory page URL's in both my posts that contained them to match yours, so now they work.
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2021, 02:32:43 am »

Borders look good at 1080p 125% and at 1200p 100% :) I'll test other res later. I really like the new close/minimize/maximize, thanks for making them the default!

Main.xml is still capitalized, shouldn't it be lowercase for linux?

One problem with install: I got the file from the accessories page, which is just a small text file with a link to the actual ZIP package (877.zip). I installed it and it apparently worked - but MC started with the old version of the skin. I checked the Skin folder and the most recent files there were dated Feb 2nd, which was the previous version.

Turns out, I had the old 877.zip in my Downloads folder. It seems that MC sees that the zip file already exists so it doesn't re-download it; it just reinstalls the existing zip. After deleting it and rerunning the .mjp file, it downloaded the new zip and installed correctly. So in future, if you have control over that, it's better to call it 877v1.zip, 877v2.zip, etc.
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bob

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2021, 08:55:25 am »

Borders look good at 1080p 125% and at 1200p 100% :) I'll test other res later. I really like the new close/minimize/maximize, thanks for making them the default!

Main.xml is still capitalized, shouldn't it be lowercase for linux?

One problem with install: I got the file from the accessories page, which is just a small text file with a link to the actual ZIP package (877.zip). I installed it and it apparently worked - but MC started with the old version of the skin. I checked the Skin folder and the most recent files there were dated Feb 2nd, which was the previous version.

Turns out, I had the old 877.zip in my Downloads folder. It seems that MC sees that the zip file already exists so it doesn't re-download it; it just reinstalls the existing zip. After deleting it and rerunning the .mjp file, it downloaded the new zip and installed correctly. So in future, if you have control over that, it's better to call it 877v1.zip, 877v2.zip, etc.
I don't think that's it, I think you just got it before i bumped the version in the mjp (the small text file you are talking about)
We'll check on the next release.
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2021, 11:49:34 am »

Thanks for the check zybex.  I anxiously await the outcome of other resolution/scales you investigate.

Don’t know what is going on with the zip file…  having to delete the previous version, the older files, Main.xml still being capitalized (the main.xml file I uploaded was definitely lower case)… all very weird.  I downloaded the skin from the accessory page a couple of times with no issues - except it took about a minute to download 1.66mb… that’s unusual.  Slow servers at JRiver this morning I guess.

The zip I uploaded was named Dream in Blue_1.1, but I have no idea how you create an MJP file, so Bob sets all that up.  Judging by a couple of other skins, it does not appear to be standard practice to add the version# to the accessory ID for the zip filename – maybe to ensure it overwrites the old version with the latest to avoid multiple copies of the same file?
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kensn

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2021, 12:51:06 pm »

Enjoying the skin. Thanks for all the work!

Ken
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HPBEME

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2021, 01:55:49 pm »

kensn, glad you like the skin... thanks for acknowledging the work involved.  A belated thanks to Aardvark and DesertPilot as well!

Have any of you tried the different skin configs included in the skin folder?  If not, just overwrite the current main.xml with main2.xml, or main3.xml, etc. to change it out (MC only recognizes main.xml and ignores the names with numbers).  To see pix of all the configs, go here to view/download a PDF showing them all: https://www.docdroid.net/Rlg6sth/dib-configs-pdf.  I recommend just downloading it, as viewing it on the site directly is pretty slow.  That said, you can advance the slides 1 at time via arrows at the page bottom, which is contrary to a previous post where I stated you can only continuously scroll (a less than an ideal way to view slides).

FYI: default skin is main1a.xml. Note that main1 has a 3D recessed window around the track info & track-bar, and main1a.xml does not. If after trying different configs you prefer the original, just rename main1a.xml to main.xml.
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zybex

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2021, 02:31:30 pm »

I don't think that's it, I think you just got it before i bumped the version in the mjp (the small text file you are talking about)
We'll check on the next release.

No, I just tested again. There are 3 bugs on the skin download/install process:

1. existing 877.zip file in the Downloads folder is not overwritten when running the new .mjp file - it just decompresses the existing ZIP again without downloading the new one.
(On this skin, both v1.0 and v1.1 of the MJP link to 877.zip. This ZIP file was updated on the server, but the new one is not downloaded if the user already has the old one on the Downloads folder)

2. I deleted the old 877.zip file and re-run the 877.mjp. Now it downloads the new ZIP, but the extraction does NOT overwrite existing files. So the skin is not updated (the capitalized Main.xml remains, though the new ZIP has a lowercase updated version)

3. Old files on the skin folder are not deleted before extraction. So the folder ends up with a mix of new and obsolete files.

To update correctly, I had to delete the old "Dream In Blue" skin folder, as well as delete the old 877.zip from my Downloads folder. The skin install process should delete/overwrite any existing ZIP file (or download to a random filename), and should delete the old Skin folder entirely to avoid merging contents.
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bob

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Re: >>> BRAND NEW SKIN: Dream in Blue <<<
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2021, 04:29:45 pm »

No, I just tested again. There are 3 bugs on the skin download/install process:

1. existing 877.zip file in the Downloads folder is not overwritten when running the new .mjp file - it just decompresses the existing ZIP again without downloading the new one.
(On this skin, both v1.0 and v1.1 of the MJP link to 877.zip. This ZIP file was updated on the server, but the new one is not downloaded if the user already has the old one on the Downloads folder)

2. I deleted the old 877.zip file and re-run the 877.mjp. Now it downloads the new ZIP, but the extraction does NOT overwrite existing files. So the skin is not updated (the capitalized Main.xml remains, though the new ZIP has a lowercase updated version)

3. Old files on the skin folder are not deleted before extraction. So the folder ends up with a mix of new and obsolete files.

To update correctly, I had to delete the old "Dream In Blue" skin folder, as well as delete the old 877.zip from my Downloads folder. The skin install process should delete/overwrite any existing ZIP file (or download to a random filename), and should delete the old Skin folder entirely to avoid merging contents.
It should link to the same file. if the OS renames the second download that's going to be an issue.
If the browser caches, that will be an issue perhaps, I'll check caching in the script.
Note that has worked fine in the past.
I'lll check with Matt on version numbers in the mjp.
You are letting MC run the mjp from the download directly with packageinstaller, right?
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