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EtienneOuellet
Experienced
Topic Author
Posts: 46
Joined: 14 Mar 2011, 16:31

Future of skins customization.

29 Nov 2014, 16:12

Hi,

I understand that you are still in beta and that bug squashing is your #1 priority but I would like to know what are the plans as for skins and themes customization? Will it be possible to change the colors to our liking? Fonts colors, menus, etc? Maybe add a custom image to replace the grey banner at the top? Or at least change it's color.

I'm just asking out of curiosity. I've Been playing around with the beta and I'm looking foward to overhaul my current website!

Keep up the good eork guys.
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mjau-mjau
X3 Wizard
Posts: 12248
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 03:37

Re: Future of skins customization.

30 Nov 2014, 01:42

Good question ... I have a few answers to that, but I will keep it short for now.

First of all, what is a SKIN?
Imagevue X3 skins basically affect colors (ALL colors, including fonts), but cannot affect the layout/structure of the website. Consider you have a nice house, and you are given options to paint it any way you like, but you are not allowed to move any bricks around ... This is skins. Why? Because keeping it like this, we can combine with the font- and layout settings to create an unlimited amount of cool website combinations. We don't want to create skins that are locked to specific layouts or fonts.

Themes? Themes is not yet a phrase we use in X3. However, we are considering adding a new feature "themes", which would be pre-defined combinations of the skin-, font- and layout settings. Basically just for convenience for those who want to choose a pre-selected combination of skin, layout and fonts. For now though, "themes" don't exist ...

We do have plans to create many skins, but we need to sort out a few challenges first. Skins in X3 (and also any other modern website) are quite complex, because they involve a vast amount of elements that inherit colors from each other, and most elements need to display in contrast to each other.

We don't want to add a "skin editor", because basically it would require more settings than any human mind would be comfortable viewing or changing. Change one setting, and you would need to change 10 more just to make elements match. This is our main X3 skin, and although it includes much more than only colors, it shows how intricate it is. Basically, if we had a skin editor, it would be more complicated than the CSS stylesheet itself ... so why not allow additional custom CSS styling instead?

CSS Edit
So basically we will be creating many skins, but for many reasons, we will not be offering a skin-editor. However, there is already a custom/css/ section in the panel, and we would like to offer snippet-examples that can be copied and modified to overwrite certain styles and colors. This would require a very basic understanding of CSS, but it would be easier to understand than having 1000s of settings in the panel just for colors. Furthermore, CSS is much more powerful than straight-out settings.
EtienneOuellet wrote:Will it be possible to change the colors to our liking? Fonts colors, menus, etc? Maybe add a custom image to replace the grey banner at the top? Or at least change it's color.
So basically yes it will be possible, but perhaps only by adding your own styles to the custom CSS file. We also need to protect users from themselves, as starting a self-designed skin without grasping the full extent of how everything ties together would be unproductive. I would say it only makes sense if you wish to understand a little CSS, in which case the option is available. For example, how would you add a custom image to replace the grey banner? The banner at the top scales to fit screens from 2500px to mobile screens at 320px, does not keep aspect, and may include media-queries to extend the

I could give you a dozen more reasons why it is not practical or productive to add a skin-editor for such complex designs such as the X3 frontend.