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Author Topic: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?  (Read 11418 times)

Renegade

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Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« on: December 31, 2010, 04:09:30 AM »
I'm a tad sick of Windows Forms. Does anyone know any good skinning kits that are easy to work with? I looked at wxWidgets before a long time ago and it looked like pure hell.

I basically just want stuff to make software look nicer with minimal effort. I'd rather do functional programming than GUI programming.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Ath

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 04:45:42 AM »
Re-GUI in WPF perhaps? or is that too big an effort :huh:

Renegade

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 05:16:02 AM »
Re-GUI in WPF perhaps? or is that too big an effort :huh:

That's actually more work... :(

I'm basically just looking for a quick fix. Something that I can unbox and skin forms and windows.
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Ath

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 05:35:41 AM »
Would this stuff from DevExpress be of any help?
Or maybe this recently declared dead (but oss) project Guiss?

'Jake Opines' blogged about the subject, and gives quite some info/links on it as well. (I didn't investigate all of them, though)

Ath

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 05:38:48 AM »
Also found this library on CodeProject

worstje

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 05:47:17 AM »
Just my two cents: skin kits are overrated and the bane of the normal user.

It means you have to relearn an interface. That it looks different from the rest of your OS. That it acts different. If you are colorblind, maybe the new colours make the interface unusable. If you're fully blind, there's a good chance your screenreader ceases working. And if you are a poweruser, there's a good chance you'll get really piffed with all the extra memory and sluggishness the skin brings along, as it is never going to be as good as what the OS offers by default.

I think that as long you make sure to use the Visual Themes support Windows offers (as opposed to the old Windows Classic look) you have made it look more than pretty enough.

f0dder

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2010, 05:52:54 AM »
Renegade, please don't fall for the "skins" lure. It pisses us power users off. Either you go for native look-and-feel, or you go way overboard and do a Really Fancy(TM) in WPF.

But skins? It's so damn tacky.
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Renegade

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2010, 05:55:10 AM »
@Ath -- thanks for those! The Code Project one looks interesting from a glance (working on something else right now -- didn't expect fast responses). I'll be checking them out very soon.

Just my two cents: skin kits are overrated and the bane of the normal user.

It means you have to relearn an interface. That it looks different from the rest of your OS. That it acts different. If you are colorblind, maybe the new colours make the interface unusable. If you're fully blind, there's a good chance your screenreader ceases working. And if you are a poweruser, there's a good chance you'll get really piffed with all the extra memory and sluggishness the skin brings along, as it is never going to be as good as what the OS offers by default.

I think that as long you make sure to use the Visual Themes support Windows offers (as opposed to the old Windows Classic look) you have made it look more than pretty enough.


Yes and no.

If you look at all high-end audio editors, they all mimic hardware because that's the standard. MP3 players do the same -- they mimic stereo systems.

So it really depends on what you're doing. You need to judge things carefully and go with what makes the most sense for the software and the target audience.

e.g. It wouldn't make much sense to do a line of business data entry form in a skinned way, unless it suited the industry.

I just want something to help expand my capabilities and the type of software I can produce quickly.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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Renegade

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2010, 05:56:17 AM »
Renegade, please don't fall for the "skins" lure. It pisses us power users off. Either you go for native look-and-feel, or you go way overboard and do a Really Fancy(TM) in WPF.

But skins? It's so damn tacky.

Don't worry. I've got a level head enough to not use a skin for the sake of using a skin. :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

f0dder

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2010, 06:15:36 AM »
Renegade: if what you want to do is creating one of those "unique" applications, you're more in the realm of custom controls than just "skinning". And this can be justified, Reason wouldn't work very well with the standard windows controls. And if this is what you're doing, it's a pity if you're stuck with WinForms and can't move to WPF's much better design/layout stuff.

MP3 players are a good example of software that shouldn't be skinned, though - even if 99% of them are.
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Renegade

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2011, 10:04:42 AM »
Found something interesting here:

http://www.skincrafter.com/

Haven't tried it yet. I'll try to report back for anyone that is interested.

For custom controls, I have a decent library of them already. I just want a few extra things. It's like a cherry pie with no sugar. Need a bit of sugar...
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

f0dder

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2011, 10:53:33 AM »
Found something interesting here:

http://www.skincrafter.com/
The front page graphics looks exactly like the kind of UI skinning that makes baby Jesus cry. Please don't go down that road. And if you do, at least make sure the skinning can be 100% disabled so you get native look and feel... and not the half-assed "native look and feel by emulating a particular windows version via skins" that some skinning packages offer *puke*.
- carpe noctem

Eóin

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Re: Any EASY Windows Forms Skin Kits for C#?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2011, 04:45:31 PM »
I must agree that in general I find custom skins irritating. I've often switched from an app, often to a less functional one, just because the first used a custom skin.