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Skinning Library

Does anyone know of a good library one can use to skin applications developed for windows ?  We use C++, C#, & VB .NET for our development.
Idealy we would like to develop great looking GUIs with inspiration from iTunes/iCal/Mail from the Mac world.
We are looking for something that will take care of Toolbars, the overall look etc.

Any recommendations are appreciated.
Adam P.
Friday, December 29, 2006
J Send private email
Friday, December 29, 2006
Recommendation: don't add custom skins. Use system UI elements, and aim for usability instead of "coolness". The users will be mucho grateful.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Skins are not the same as "great looking". I, for one, despise the look of iTunes. If I wanted software that looked like a Mac, I'd use a Mac.

You can make a cool looking application without resorting to cheap tricks like skins. Skins make it harder to learn your program and harder to support your program.
Tim Sullivan Send private email
Friday, December 29, 2006
I dont like the super custom skins..  unless ist s specific type or program.. like a media player or some download monitor..

but if your doing a full blown application dont use skins.

shows screen shot of your software..  well help you decide if it needs a skin.
Friday, December 29, 2006 ?

I haven't used it myself.
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thanks Andy for your suggestion.  I will check it out.
In response to an earlier comment about functionality vs good looks, I have to agree that having a GUI that is veryfunctional and streamlined and easy to use is absolutely mportant.  But I would add that great looks are also important.  So we want both.  Not one or the other.

Thanks All for your comments.  I will wait if there are anymore suggestions.
Adam P.
Friday, December 29, 2006
Have a look at Prof-UIS. It includes skinning and UI Themes. I use the UI Themes in Surfulater, but not skins.
Neville Franks Send private email
Friday, December 29, 2006
I have used CodeJock in my previous emploiment. We used the MFC version. It was fairly simple to exchange the MFC default UI with it, but we had 2 problems with the library:

1. We were using GUI in several threads, and this was not supported (at the time, aprox. 2 years ago) because they were using static managers that worked only in the thread that created them (main thread).

2. We were using regular MFC DLLs, and they were also not supported. We complaind this issue, and we got response that we should make all our DLLs extended MFC dlls. But, this was not possible because we had many resources in these DLLs that all had resource IDs that overlaped. So, at the end, we had just one experimental version of our applicastions that never went out.

However, things may have changed until now.

g Send private email
Saturday, December 30, 2006
+1 for Codejock. I have been using their ActiveX version including their skinning framework (see the app in the link below for an example) and am quite happy with it. They just came out with a new version and added a Vista skin and although there are some problems with their components (which one doesn't) they are fast, very well finished and very easy to code with.
JSD Send private email
Monday, January 01, 2007
Thanks everyone for your input so far and happy new year.

I find Codejock interesting but found the licensing a bit confusing.
Do they have a development license and then a separate license for distributing my product (having used Codejock to skin it) ?

Has anyone used Codejock in a C#/VB.Net type of development environtment ?

Adam P.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Never noticed anything special in the licensing. As far as I can remember it is royalty free. You can just buy it and distribute it with your finished app. I also bought the annual subscription because it is cheap and they do a few releases a year. But it is completely optional. For people using it with VB.NET have a look at their forums:
JSD Send private email
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
To quote a quote on JWZ's site:

"Whenever a programmer thinks, "Hey, skins, what a cool idea", their computer's speakers should create some sort of cock-shaped soundwave and plunge it repeatedly through their skulls."
anon for this
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.  Jsd's posts were very useful.
As for anonymous, its post speaks for itslef.  So I will leav it at that.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Having created a skinned program for a client (his wish), and then unskinning it, I suggest not doing it. It's a pain.
Mike Send private email
Thursday, January 04, 2007

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