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How to improve the look of ecere.

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How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby nowind_lee » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:08 pm

I've seen the latest ecere applications which have a border of windows xp style, and also the color of controls are changed. It's better than previous windows 2000's style, but I think it may be improved more.

I think good skin is very important for a GUI language like Ecere. Ecere is powerful, but I hope it can be more beautiful.

I asked a question on stackoverflow: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7373 ... ce-project. I hope to find free design which can be used in Ecere.

Another question, is Erece define the skin by "define color values(RGB)" or use some image resources? If there is a table containing all the resources Ecere need, that will be helpful for someone who want to design a good skin for Ecere.

The table maybe:

Code: Select all

|| control ||  item  || Color values || Images  || Example
|   Button 
|           | background  |  #FF00BB     
|           | border-top   |   red
|           | corner-left-top |   |  button-corner-left-top.png  |   [x]
|  Window  | background  |     ...
|           | title-border  |  ...   | .....      |   [x]


It may contain the current colors and images for users to understand. And the users can design new skin based on this table, what they need to think about is just these colors and small images, which will be simpler.
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby nowind_lee » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:19 pm

I found an article which contains some free UI resources:

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/02 ... rce-files/

And some of them can be used totally free. I think we may just use them.
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby jerome » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:38 pm

Hi nowind_lee,

We all want to make Ecere prettier :D

We started designing a new GUI / auto layout / skinning engine to make it easier to develop pretty UIs. However, that is in a early stage. If you are interested to contribute in this area, we could discuss those ideas and I could make the current source code available.

At the moment, Ecere supports a very rudimentary skinning system, as demonstrated in sdk\samples\guiAndGfx\skinning. Support for such skinning table could be implemented this way as well, to make it work with the current GUI system.

Controls basically implement their looks in the OnRedraw method, and a skin can override any control's OnRedraw method.

Our focus has been on functionality, but if we can have help to make Ecere prettier, it's most welcome! :D

Regards,

Jerome
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby nowind_lee » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:42 pm

I'd like to, but I don't what I can do :(

I only know Java, and I can use Photoshop, but not good at designing.
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby jerome » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:56 pm

You could write a Skin (based on the sample I pointed to earlier) that works off a 'configuration' file as you described, and then you could work in collaboration with an artist to design a new look :D
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby D.Bane » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:25 pm

I would like to say that I am interested to help as much as I can as well.

I think for now that the design is something I would be able to help more than with some more advanced things... :oops:

Are there any special direction that you 'saw'/plan Ecere IDE to go for Jerome? Controls as well?

Best Regards,
D.Bane.
No army is to big, if the heart is beating strong.
There's no bad luck, it's just easier to blame someone else.
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby jerome » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:38 pm

D. Bane,

That's great :) The developers community really is building up!

At the moment we're focusing on achieving some Milestones.

Right now, it's trying to make the IDE stable, releasing a new Windows installer and packages for Debian & Ubuntu, supporting internationalization.

There are also a bunch of issues on Mantis that require attention. They're categorized by priority, Immediate priority are things we hope to resolve by the end of year 2011.

These milestones are organized in what we feel is the best priority. If there is any particular area that you would like to improve however, you are most welcome to address it. We can discuss those :) I think helping us reach our upcoming milestones goals on time or earlier however is the best way to contribute.

Regarding the GUI improvements, please have a look at that post.

I will move this topic to the Development forums, it seems more appropriate :)
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby nowind_lee » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:22 am

I just read the code of the sample of "skining", but seems not easy for me to understand. I think it will take some days for me to learn eC language before I can do that.
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby jerome » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:51 am

The methods in the class deriving from Window (e.g. SimSkin_Window) mostly deal with the window's title bar and window operations.

The methods deriving from the common controls override the look of each control by overriding the OnRedraw methods.

Calls like:
PUREVTBL(ScrollBar)[__ecereVMethodID___ecereNameSpace__ecere__gui__Window_OnApplyGraphics](this);
call the 'natural' method of the class (before the skin is applied).

Finally the class deriving from skin defines some properties of the skin, like fonts and bitmaps.

Like I mentioned before, it's very rudimentary. Having a skinning system that is more intuitive would be useful for artists to work on designs.

Thanks!

Jerome
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Re: How to improve the look of ecere.

Postby D.Bane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:56 pm

Hi Jerome.

I will try to find where I could be of help so you will here from me if I get something done... I will need more time than what you and Redj need :) .... I just saw the launchpad...update,update,update :)

When I started with Ecere I were doing some skinning but I guess it is on my brother's computer..Will try to find it and update with present knowledge.

Best Regards,
D.Bane.
No army is to big, if the heart is beating strong.
There's no bad luck, it's just easier to blame someone else.
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