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Basic Skin.xml Editing Using Unleashx


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#1 fallenangle

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 01:11 PM


I'm new to this but I've been playing around with the two editable UnleashX skins I have (via their skin.xml using UnleashX's File Explorer) and, I think, made some distinct improvements in their look ie. changed fonts, colours position of text etc.

It occurred to me I could do a similar thing for XMBC where my Project Mayhem III skin's default greyness is a little dull. Basically I'd like to add some colour.

I don't have a PC or I wouldn't be asking this but is there anything against me changing the XBMC skin.xml hex colour settings using the UnleashX File Explorer?

Also can somebody explain why things like .xml and some other file types can be opened/edited using the UnleashX File Explorer whilst not using XBMC's own File Manager.

#2 Heimdall

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 01:41 PM

UnleashX built a file editor into his file manager, and associated it with .txt and .xml files. The XBMC developers didn't - that's why you can edit .xml files in UnleashX but not in XBMC.

There's an XBMC notepad script that allows you to edit text files, and as it's a python script it should be fairly easy to modify to do whatever you want. I'm not sure it works with the latest XBMC builds, but it's probably worth a try.

#3 fallenangle

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 11:05 PM

Thanks, as usual smile.gif

I also wanted confirmation that there's no problem editing the default XBMC PMIII skin.xml using UnleashX to try adding some colour. I think it can be edited using UnleashX but I don't want to do it and find it stuffs up something else in XBMC. I can't imagine what but it's safer to ask first before doing anything.

If it is OK, will the colour changes stick on rebooting?

#4 Heimdall

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 11:11 PM

It doesn't matter what you use to edit the xml file. Whether you stuff it up or not depends on which bits you edit, and how much you read up before you start. smile.gif

Why would you imagine that an edit would undo itself on rebooting?

#5 fallenangle

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 02:18 PM

Because it can do using UnleashX.

Trying to fix an UnleashX skin can be notoriously problematic, at least on the dash version I'm using. Sometimes you can find two skin path locations in the Config.xml other times it simply won't save. Recently I couldn't get the skin I'd just been editing to go even after deleting, saving the changes in the Config.xml and rebooting. In the end I had to write in the skin name manually and then it worked OK.

What I'm looking for and so far not found is an UnleashX skin.xml editing tutorial.

I have three edit-able via UnleashX File Manager skin.xml plus the two XBMC ones. From looking at the differences, shifting text positions, enabling disabled functions, changing fonts, swapping and adding stuff from one to the other and changing colours, simple stuff, I've learned a lot.

But I'm very limited by not knowing the language, possibilities and limitations of editing skins.xmls this way. When those commands are apparently case sensitive you do need to know the exact terms.

Only by luck did I find somebody who'd published their UnleashX skin.xml and discovered it was possible to write in an intro-movie command line and enable something as simple as a different loading screen. That hadn't even occurred to me.

<IntroMovie>file name/location<\IntroMovie>

<loading>file name/location<\loading>

There must be loads of other specific valid .xml commands which may or may not work with the skins I have. Can I, for instance, layer background images, change their brightness or anything else like that just using the skin.xml and UnleashX's File Explorer? If so how?


#6 Heimdall

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 03:01 PM

UnleashX doesn't undo any edits on booting. When you change the skin, the first time you press A it loads the new skin in memory, but DOESN'T change config.xml to point to the new skin location. Thus when you reboot it still loads the original skin - no undoing of edits required, because nothing was edited in the first place. Config.xml is only rewritten if you press A twice - the first time loads the skin into memory, the second time commits it to config.xml.

Apart from the default skins that are embedded in UnleashX, every UnleashX skin publishes its skin.xml, and they are all editable. There are hundreds you can examine here.

As far as skinning guides, try searching here on Xbox Scene for UnleashX skinning guide. I can't find a single resource that pulls it all together, but the nearest I can find is useful posts like this.

#7 fallenangle

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 11:52 PM

Thanks, those links should be very useful.

RE skins: I know that's how UnleashX skin swapping/saving is meant to work but the fact is sometimes is doesn't. One of the first questions I asked here was about just that and there were plenty of other people who had the same trouble with skins swaps not being saved. I thought it was a well known problem.

With this new experiment in skin .xml editing meaning I've been swapping between skins more often I've also had trouble just loading some skins, something I mentioned in another thread. Swapping from one in particular to any of the others in the same folder causes a total freeze.

It is almost certainly down to the old UnleashX version I'm using on most of my machines.

#8 Heimdall

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:19 AM

Skin changes not being saved is almost always down to there being two <Skin Path="D:\Skin">Skin_Name</Skin> lines in config.xml.

As with the rest of UnleashX there are bound to be some niggling bugs in the skin handling system, and as I've said before UnleashX has been completely unsupported since May 2007, so we just have to live with it as-is, including occasionally having to reboot to escape from lockups caused by a particular skin.

FYI, if you go to the first page of the skins link in my earlier post there's an attempt at an Xbox 360 skin, including the startup video. It isn't perfect, but it's quite entertaining. smile.gif

Edited by Heimdall, 02 November 2010 - 12:19 AM.


#9 fallenangle

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 02:24 PM

The double skin path in the Config.xml was precisely the problem I had and it was probably you or Bomb Bloke back then who helped me sort it out back then.

But this time that certainly wasn't the case. It's was no big problem as I knew how to sort it now thanks to past help here. Just a bit annoying.

What I am going to do is change my all my UnleashX dash versions from v.543 to v.572. I thought it had certain advanatges over v.572 (it certainly does over v.584). However, significantly, the one machine I kept with v.572 doesn't have any of the same skin swapping and or other issues I've found, belatedly, v.543 does appear to have.



#10 fallenangle

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 11:16 PM

Just want to say thanks for that second link to the UnleashX board thread in particular. Exactly what I was looking for especially the list of valid skin.xml TAGS and the skin.xml examples. It's helped a great deal.




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