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Xml Skin Improved!
Keefy #1
Member since Mar 2003 · 89 posts
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Hey folks!

Been really really busy over the past few months, but things have calmed down now and I have a little time to spare on adding to the XML skin.

Since I've been away from this a while, I forget what is new in my skin since I last posted. So, here is a list of what has been added fairly recently:

[list]
[*]Image of now playing album
[*]Image of current browser directory
[*]Jump to any parent directory easilly
[*]Hover-over for directories to show image
[*]Auto-refresh every X seconds (completely transparent to user!!)
[*]Made HTML progress bar much better (details later)
[/list]
Making it work for you:
[list]
[*]Extract to skin directory as normal
[*]Open XML\Client\winamp.js
[*]If you use a non-standard port, uncomment the "server =" line and replace "1234" with the port. You can also point it at a another system on your network!
[*]set "imageName" to whatever you use for images in your directories, file format is anything <img> can handle
[*]Close and save
[*]Go!!
[/list]

One of the things I like most about it are the images. I recommend to anyone to try and get coverart images. If you have an [artist]/[album] setup, putting photos of the group as well in is highly recommended. For info on easy ways to get coverart, see this thread on the BrowseAmp forum.

The new progress bar I just came up with 10 mins ago, in a moment of inspiration. Instead of using a table cell, leaving you with unclickable "dead zones" in the bar, just use a bitmap and vary the width. Simpler, and much nicer.

One thing that is not imediately apparent is that it's completely stand alone. You can extract the zip to any directory and open XML/Client/full.html and provided that "server" is set (as above), you can connect to a BrowseAmp server on any machine, with only minimal XML traffic between the two. I plan to make it easy to switch this on-the-fly from the page itself. When running on a different machine, note the automatic refresh rate is customisable.

Skinners!!

Back when I first posted about this new type of skin, several folk offered to help out with the graphic design of this. Unfortunatly, I was about to get really busy elsewhere, so I couldn't really put any time into this. Things have changed, so if you are into messing around with this, and making an attempt at improving my limited graphics, just ask if you need anything!! I'd love the asistance! A little basic knowledge of XML/XSL would be useful, though I'd like to ultimately make the whole thing skinable through CSS, like as demoed in this site. Try the "select a design" section, very neat. If that works, then changing the look and feel of this skin would be easy.


Outstanding issues
[list]
[*]Some characters in filenames/tags may break things. If you find any, please tell me!!
[*]There may be a bit of process overrun, if your browsers seem slow, refresh the BrowseAmp page. Any info on this would be appreciated, I think I've fixed it, but you never know.
[/list]

Things I'd like to add
[list]
[*]Drag and drop items from browser to specific location in playlist
[*]Drag and drop item order in the playlist
[*]Popup directory listing. e.g.  hover over a directory in the browser title, get a menu listing all directories at the same level
[*]Dropdown list with ability to select different winamp servers to control
[/list]

All comments welcome!!
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Keefy #2
Member since Mar 2003 · 89 posts
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Couple of minor tweaks, after posting about the new progress bar in another thread...
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This post was edited on 2003-07-23, 03:43 by Unknown user.
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Henry (Administrator) #3
Member since Jan 2003 · 865 posts · Location: Munich Germany
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Sorry for not telling you my experiences about your new skin. I was not at home for a few days. I only have Win2k on my notebook and your skin does not work well with IE5. I promose to test it this evening or tomorrow when I'm at home.

The few things I've seen on IE5 look very good. I like the directory links and the hover images.

I'm currently busy with developing a new BrowseAmp release with a lot of usability improvements, file upload feature and a new skin.

Stay tuned.
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Henry (Administrator) #4
Member since Jan 2003 · 865 posts · Location: Munich Germany
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Now that I have tried your new skin with IE6 I'd like to mention some things I noticed...

1) whow, you must have put a lot of time in this skin. I've seen the JS source...  :blink:
2) things are much faster than in the previous versions (I think)
3) is there an options screen? If so, where do I find it?
4) volume control, where?
5) the folder line suppresses the 1st directory after home
6) track time looks always like "01:03:04" although the track is less than 1h

Ok, that's enough from my side, now it's your turn ...
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Azimuth #5
Member since Jan 2003 · 427 posts · Location: Chicago, Illinois - USA
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I tried to follow your instructions to modify winamp.js, but, there is no commented-out "server =" line. What am I missing?  :blink:
Keefy #6
Member since Mar 2003 · 89 posts
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Hey folks, back from vacation. Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you!!

Henry, in response to your questions:[list]
[*]Thanks!
[*]I did make a few improvements to the search & replace, never did any benchmarks. Good to hear!!
[*]Not yet. The option screen was intended to allow you to switch server, not quite got to that. Next on the list though!
[*]Don't ever use the volume control myself, I pipe music through my hi-fi. I'll try to see if I can add an optional one.
[*]Strange, don't have that problem here. I've got "use full path" turned off, have you?
[*]Yeah, I've noticed some wierd time stuff as well. I'll take a look at it, hopefully the recent time tags you added will help
[/list]I'm thinking about stopping this however, in favour of writing the client in pure java, maybe multiple applets. Browser imcompatibilites, the weakness of the XSL engine, and javascript limitations are really causing problems that require some nasty workarounds. I'll have a think about this, and maybe do a prototype. Writing it in java will open up the possibilites, as a lot of phones and pdas support it, as do all browsers, plus you can do some neat stuff very easilly.

Azimuth,

Sorry, forgot to update that. It's the "protocol", "hostname" and "port" values that might need tweaked. I improved the inteligence of it though, it should be better at figuring this out automatically. Maybe...
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Azimuth #7
Member since Jan 2003 · 427 posts · Location: Chicago, Illinois - USA
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Well, I changed those lines that you mentioned, but, IE 6 just locks up. Any more hints?
Keefy #8
Member since Mar 2003 · 89 posts
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Try replacing that section with:

var protocol;
var hostname;
var port;

Let me know if it works...
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Azimuth #9
Member since Jan 2003 · 427 posts · Location: Chicago, Illinois - USA
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No go. CPU usage still jumps to 100% when I click on "OK, I'm ready..."
Keefy #10
Member since Mar 2003 · 89 posts
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Hmm, very strange. Check the "use full path" setting I mentioned above.

I've just taken a look at whether java applets can talk to javascript, it appears they can. I'll take a look at using java to do the XSL, that should fix the incompatabilities...
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