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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 12:56 pm 
The A-U Matriarch
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For the forum, I know that on most forum servers (I think even for phpBB) you're able to create multiple skins that members can choose freely from.

Wouldn't that be a good idea? That way we could keep this blue skin for those who actually want it (like me) and those who want the brown-ish one could have that (it could even be the default one for all I care) and we could possibly add even a third skin or a fourth (there were plenty of color ideas in the other thread). Different color schemes to choose from. I think it would make everyone feel included and it would satisfy everyone's needs and wants.

This feature would end up on your profile settings like on most forums with interchangeable skins. I'm thinking it's something Arweb just has switched off on her Admin control panel.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 2:45 pm 
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That does sound a little bit complicated to me (although I have no experience of such things) and perhaps a little bit unecessary? I don't know really. I think if we try to please everyone with the layout, which whatever we do won't please every single member, there might in turn, be a feeling we have to do that in all areas, which would just be impossible.

I think, in regards to AU. If it ain't broke don't fix it. A huge majority of what Arwen set up is intact and perfectly viable for today. I think we should concentrate on the things that need changing, amending and fixing and then see what happens afterwards. I think a multiple layout option is probably something for another day.

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2011, 8:56 pm 
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I've created several forums myself (and made my own skins for them) and really, adding a second or third skin is no more difficult than changing the one you already have.

Since a new skin has been discussed as one of the things to do, I thought now would be the time to bring this up before this skin gets deleted. Instead of removing this one and replacing it with a new one, just add the new one and keep them both.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 12:48 pm 
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Yeah, having different layouts is all about making them and giving members the choice. I know the layout means a lot to some people and it would be a fine service for members if we could offer a choice - and all it takes is enable it on the admin board.
Personally, I don't mind that we only have one layout. Actually, I kind of like that we all have the same layout, so we're all seeing the blue and can relate to that when we browse around here.. like we all wander the same world sort of.. yeah, I'm rambling... :teehee:

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 2:45 pm 
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Again though, I am thinking about the layout makers.

As it is we have a blue main site and a blue forum, both with the winter Arwen header. If we change the layout of both officially, to say yellow, including a nice summery yellow Arwen picture... what do you do about the other optional forum layouts? You can't be having a purple forum skin with the summery Arwen picture, or this blue one with the summery picture. So then you'd need each optional layout with it's own Arwen picture.. and the neat freak in me says everyone should be seeing the same thing, as Ea said.

And not to mention something as niggly as if we were delaing with an orange layout, some of us would make sure our sigs didn't clash or melt into it.. whereas people on a green layout might use orange... and then I'd see it on my version and it would clash..... Ok, now I'm rambling. :P

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 3:29 pm 
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I definitely see where both people are coming from, here, but I'm inclined to lean with JF. Simply in terms of cohesiveness for the layout - how do you plan for a blue layout with a yellow-green header? I haven't used skins before, so I don't know how they work. If it's possible to make them without having that clash, then I don't see a problem. But I'm wondering how those would fit. Especially in terms of font colors - do the colors change from skin to skin? For instance, if one skin had a light background and people used black writing, would people with a dark background have trouble reading it?

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 3:55 pm 
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Well, you do know that if you change a skin the header also gets changed, right? It's not going to clash.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 4:10 pm 
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^ That then means each skin needs its own header which in turn means more work.

And what if AU went back to the seasons so we have a layout for each that changes every four months.... that means instead of 4 layouts per year, you'd be giving people a choice, so it could be 4 per season, 16 per year.... or is the idea we all be boring and the skins are the same all the time, except for the "official" layout, which would change as and when seen fit?

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 4:22 pm 
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^Good point actually.

I'm personally dying to see a new layout. I'm bored as hell of this one. And I might have incentive to post more if there's a non-blue layout to admire every time I visit the site. I'm pretty sure I don't speak only for myself here. ; )

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 4:29 pm 
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Yeah, me too. In the time we've had this layout, in my house there's been new wallpaper in the living room and the dining room, a new suite in the living room and woden flooring added. And some of those things have taken 17 years to be changed! XD

I even go for a colour I don't like just to have a change.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 4:43 pm 
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^lol! :teehee:

I know someone.. I think PD-ish said the layout had been blue for as long as she's been here so she'd miss it!

Anyway, I didn't get the impression that making new layouts would be a problem (but what do I know? :P).. actually to me it sounded like tons of people would offer to make a new layout and that's where a free choice of layout would come in handy.

My suggestion is that we just make a new one first of all - or even change the layout for one of Arwen's old ones (she saved them on the site) if the layout group can't make a brand new one with Hobbits/Arwen. And THEN later on we might talk about having multiple layouts and enable that function if we choose... How's that? :)

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 4:51 pm 
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^ That sounds like a good idea to me. :-)

This should maybe be stored as a future idea. I'm just thinking how busy people are going to be already, and remember some may be in multiple groups, so something like this might be a pet project when they have the time. Also, designs will have to be discussed as well which will also take time.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 5:14 pm 
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You guys are making it out to be more complicated than it really needs to be. We're still only talking about making one new skin here. But instead of removing this one, add the new one as a second option (and set it on default).

Then as the year(s) progresses and a second new skin is in the talks, just add that one to the already existing ones and so on. Eventually, we will have built up quite the collection to choose from.

It really doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 5:43 pm 
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^Ah, that makes more sense. As I said, I didn't know how skins really worked.

Although I still want to know how font colors work, and if people doing different colors would cause problems on different skins.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 5:49 pm 
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^I've worked with skins before on various other forums I've helped create or created. For each skin the whole layout, banner, and font is part of that layout. So if there were several layouts you could choose from, Layout A would have say... all blue with winter banner and white default font, while Layout B would be all orange with autumn banner and black default font. The font would be part of the skin.

The only thing that wouldn't change is the font color in people's sig or if someone colored their font with coding like this. Or at least that's how it works on Proboards.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2011, 11:05 pm 
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Eruraina wrote:
The only thing that wouldn't change is the font color in people's sig or if someone colored their font with coding like this. Or at least that's how it works on Proboards.


I had that thought too. Some of us might have to be careful about what color we do our posts (for example, if I kept doing this white text like I have for several years now, and we had a light yellow skin... not so good :-P ).

I think Eru's suggestion is perfectly rational-- if we just add to the layout options instead of always having four completely new ones on hand, it shouldn't be too much work.

For my part, I am not very familiar with forum coding. I've done mod work, but not the actual hardcoding. I could probably figure it out pretty fast, but there are probably others who could do so better. Same with graphics-- I am competent, but I'm way behind some of our exceptionally talented artists.

I am rather familiar with HTML, CSS, and a bit with JavaScript though. So if any revisions to the actual site were needed, I'd be more than willing to help. I am basically majoring in this sort of thing at my University, and I have to build a few websites from scratch every semester, so it would in fact be right in my line of work.

And, if none of my skills are needed, then I will be more than glad to sit back and cheer everyone else along in whatever way possible. :)

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