Developing Custom Skins

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This is my third post about Skinning in Subtext. Previously I talked about some breaking changes.  Then I gave a high level overview of skinning in Subtext.  In this post I want to mention one new feature for those who use custom skins.

Subtext 1.9 actually reduces the the number of pre-packaged skins that come with it out of the box.  That’s right, we got rid of the skins that screamed, "Hey! I was designed by a developer who wears plaid pants with flannel shirts!".  Over time, we hope to add more polished designs.

Of course we don’t want to leave developers with custom developer designed skins out in a lurch.  Taking an informal poll I found that a majority of Subtext users deploy a custom skin typically based on one of the out-of-the-box skins. 

As I described in the overview, skins are configured via a file named Skins.config.  One problem with having all the skin definitions in this file is that any customizations a user might make are overwritten when upgrading to a new version of Subtext.

It is incumbent upon the user to merge new changes in.  We thought we could make this better so we have introduced the new Skins.User.config file.

The format for this file is exactly the same as the format for Skins.config.  The only difference is that we do not include such a file in the Subtext distribution.  Thus you can place your custom skin definitions in this file and it will not get overwritten when upgrading.

From now on, it is recommended that if you customize an existing skin, you should rename the folder and place your skin definition in Skins.User.config.

tags: Subtext, Skins, Skinning, Blogs

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