Having been busy to learn and do some skinning the last few weeks, I thought to summerise my findings and 2ct.s on this subject, and taking the liberty of doing some suggestions.
Mind you, I am in this only very shortly, so I don't have not much of a right to speak on this, and therefore may say some rather stupid things. (ignorance is bliss ;-)
Here it comes:
- 'default' .xml's or .xml's from others are a starting point, but usually not up-to-date complete, and not always faultless.
- Lmninentes 'dummy skin' is an extremely valuable help in finding the corresponding 'elements'.
- Rotem K took it upon himself to try to make an all-comprising tutorial in the forum, including screenshots and explanations.
- Both Rotem K and Lmnimente try to grab and gather new 'elements' Steven creates from time to time.
Considering to offer some help by eg. try to get a complete list of 'elements', or help Rotem K with his efforts to create screenshots and descriptions of the effects of all possible skinning elements, I personally found myself not up this immense task. Even if so, all results will have to be ordered in an attractive and easy to consult manner. (for which the forum itself I think is not the perfect platform)
Not being bothered with technical challenges, a complete understanding of the subject, or even considerations for what has to be done by who, here are a few ideas which might make it all a little easier and better to control:
1. Steven supplies a list with all existing 'elements' (preferrably on niblseed, finding the right and up to date downloads in the forumpostings is far from a joy)
2. This list is being updated with every new element, either by S himself, or by 'appointed volunteers' ;-)
3. A 'master' skin.xml is created and maintained, containing all 'elements', unique id's, and some explanation where needed.
4. Every element gets a unique number. Lmnimente (I believe) already started with something like this. Maybe the format of naming/numbering however should be reconsidered leaving enough room for new developments and making it easy to navigate through and differentiate.
5. Lmnimente dummy skin so is easier to being kept actualised.
6. Rotem K's screenshots are very useful, but could be kept a lot more controlable by having only screenshots of the different panels, with the unique element number displayed at the according location. For close-ups and 'dynamic' elements as e.g. starrating and spectrummeter seperate screenshots and explanation might be required.
7. Steven the Wizard creates <(*.-'[something\n+?]'-.?)> where you can enter the 'element' name or unique id nr., and then magically the corresponding part of the MusicBee interface element which this entry refers to flashes red and yellow and plays chimes and bells.
Personally I don't have the ambition to develop my skinning skills much more, and I don't have the ambition to play a big part in all this, but if something is figured out to make it all a little more streamlined and organised, I am offering to put some time in lower qualified tasks as eg. comparing lists or making specific screenshots.