What's happened to skinning Messenger?

Posted by absorbation on Tue 09 Jan 2007 (20:52 GMT) (8257 views)
MSN Messenger was a skinning dream. The resources were simple and easy to locate, often small tutorials were posted to help skinners get started. Even grasping uifiles wasn't that hard, and many skins from all different abilities kept appearing. I remember MSN Messenger 7.0 inparticular because it had over a 100 skins for it.

Windows Live Messenger has changed all of this. The resources were dramatically modified, PNGs were changed into Microsoft's dreaded .rle extension, something which cannot be edited. Although progress towards solving the extension is currently under way, it's still not going to be perfect. This huge change to how Messenger works has gotten rid of the small time skinners will big ambitions.

Skinners who know their stuff, kept on going. But it was hard. PNGs had to be manually coded back in, a chore which was just ridiculous, and made skinning Messenger well over twice as long. This made some give up, me included - it simply was not worth the effort.

Despite all the problems Windows Live Messenger gave, there were some signs of hope. Some skins did appear, mainly one got the attention of the pubic, that being Vista Live Messenger. Others that were in development seem to have disappeared, and well, skinning Messenger seems to be dying, and it soon will be gone.

Unless something changes ...

Tags:   Skinning  Windows Live Messenger    

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Comment by Matti
Posted on Wed 10 Jan 2007 (14:41 GMT)
Well, my biggest problem is that no-one yet succeeded in fully re-creating Messenger using PNGs. Skinners take their own resources and code those in, leaving everything they don't need unmodified. Someone should find the time and courage to get the images from Messenger, save them as PNG and re-code the UIFILEs. Then, new skinners will have less to do their own and so skinners save time in converting and can use more time for the actual skinning.

Comment by logix
Posted on Tue 09 Jan 2007 (21:57 GMT)
True, but I would like you to remember that there is a beginner tutorial over at Messenger World for it via their wiki. http://msgworld.net/wiki/doku.php?id=skinning

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