First of all welcome to lookserver 10 - there are many fantastic features for you to utilize and enhance your modernized applications even further.
Lets look at one of the new aspects of lookserver 10 and how you can leverage new content and content from existing deployments in a more effective and simple way.
In the latest version of lookserver we have added a feature called Skins that enables quick substitution of CSS content and other resources (all packaged together) while still enabling personal customization.
Figure. 1 and Figure. 2 are examples of what are possible with custom skins.
Skin Package structure
Figure. 3 Shows the structure of a typical Skin package. The Skin is distributed as a Zip file containing a single Folder of which the name must be unique to the Skin (but may be different to the actual name in the Skin.config file).
Figure. 3: Skin file structure
As indicated in Figure. 3 lookserver expects that a minimum of three files (skin.config, css/skin.css and js/skin.js) and all other files are optional.
The skin.config is a simple XML file which enables the author to denote a Name, Description and Date Created.
Importing content from lookserver v9
As this is a new feature to lookserver v10 it would not be unexpected for there to be existing custom content that users would like to package as a Skin for lookserver v10.
This is actually quite simple to accomplish by performing the following steps:
Copy an existing Skin directory under the App_themes directory giving the folder a unique name.
Modify the skin.config file and update its Name, Description and Date Created attributes.
Delete the css/skin.css file and copy the layout.css (and any related CSS files) from lookserver v9 into the css directory. Rename layout.css to skin.css.
Move images in the imgs directory. When CSS includes images the paths will be relative to the CSS directory. e.g background-image: url(imgs/image.png).
Any CSS files that use the *.css.template name will continue to work as they did in previous versions.
Developing new Skins content
The foremost reason for the introduction of the Skins feature in lookserver v10 was to enable customers to easily select from a range of different looks that would align with the content and the presentation that the customer is looking for. A Skin should be also viewed as a template for which a user may modify with custom images, fonts and additional styles as desired. The modified Skin can then be re-packaged for deployment as required.
Figure. 4 and Figure. 5 are examples of custom skin deployments for desktop and tablet form factors.
While lookserver v10 will only contain a default Skin additional Skins will be available through the looksoftware.com website which you can find here: Skins Download Page
Stay tuned for the next blog entry: Customising an existing Skin.