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Is there any chance the "Changes to the skinning engine" threads could get indications about which changes are mandatory to keep compatibility?

I had a Krypton compatible version of reFocus but I don't always have as much time for skinning as I would like. So after a while of no skinning I wanted to continue where I left off. Clearly some mandatory changes have been made since, because upon starting Kodi my skin is automatically disabled (what's the problem of asking first, is this really necessary? I hate software making decisions for me) with no clear way of enabling it manually (edit: found where this is now, but still no way of knowing why it's disabled automatically)

So now I am wading through everything again trying to find out what exactly is causing the incompatibility.

I am all for advancing Kodi and all, but I have to say some stability would be good for the skinning community. I see too many changes lasting only one release before taking out or changing them again and frankly a lot of changes that seem to be changes for the sake of changing.

Sorry for the rant, but it's becoming harder and harder (for me at least) to even keep up with compatibility, let alone actually using the time to truly develop and advance my skin. Maybe I'm alone in this, in that case I commend any people with day jobs and social lives that are able to keep up.
I have neither a day job (unless raising my Kids count Wink) or a social life but can I get an honorary commendation regardless? Tongue
well, there are basically three reasons for skin changes:
1) we introduce new functionality in kodi
this can be tings like PVR, 3D support, support for Retroplayer, etc...

2) we add changes requested by skinners themselves
new infolabels, booleans, that will allow skinners to create (or make it easier to) some skin functionality

3) we try to makes things easier for skinners by removing/merging things
for instance, in krypton we've gotten rid of about 10-12 mandatory dialog xml files

whether or not a change qualifies as mandatory...
- most changes we make to xml files would be mandatory
- for changes to infolabels/infobools in depends on whether your skin is using those or not
I feel your pain. For example PR 10594 changes some controls managed by Kodi. In itself not such a big deal, but it requires installing a new nightly with the merged PR, rebaselining my build environment on that nightly, and then making the changes and testing. Coming late in the dev cycle, it doesn't seem to add any mandatory functionality. I understand that design preference is to use select dialogs vice spinners, but if the fix isn't made in the skins, smartplaylist editor is broken. Just a recent case. As far as the xml files, my experience is that merging xml files while still having the windows or dialogs just results in the same amount of code but with more "conditional" tests, making the code less understandable. Not complaining, just pointing out my experience.

scott s.
(2016-10-24, 10:47)scott967 Wrote: [ -> ]For example PR 10594 changes some controls managed by Kodi.

Sorry, that one was my fault, and tbh we were also not sure if it would be too late for these kind of changes.
It´s not always easy to keep the balance, if we would stop merging later in the release cycle then as a consequence skinners would have very much to do at the beginning of next release... I´m not sure how much that helps in the end.

We have approx. 4 active skinners in the team, most of the time I try to get feedback from them if they think the changes are ok to do for the current release. It´s totally possible that we do not get every decision right, we´ll try to improve.

Thx for feedback.
I find that PR a very welcome addition to Krypton.
(2016-10-24, 22:54)Gade Wrote: [ -> ]I find that PR a very welcome addition to Krypton.

Most of the skinners here are really fast in adapting and even like it when we change / improve things, we are aware of that and we appreciate it.
We have to find a balance though between those and the ones represented by Jeroen / scott.

At least I can promise that this was the last breaking skin change for v17. Wink