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Rainmeter Terminology

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jsmorley
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Rainmeter Terminology

jsmorley » December 11th, 2009, 3:00 pm

I just wanted to talk a bit about how the terminology for the various components of Rainmeter should be referred to. Truth be known, there is no one perfect way, as different folks using Rainmeter for any length of time have evolved their own ways of referring to things, and there is no "set in concrete glossary" for Rainmeter. However it does help, especially when asking for help on the forums, to have a common understanding of what things mean.

The organization is defined by these somewhat hierarchical terms:

-Suite
--Config
---Skin
----Variant

Suite
A set of configs, normally in a single folder and many subfolders under \Skins, which have a single author and a common theme or style.

Config
A folder, which may or may not have subfolders, under \Skins which contains one or more skins.

The only real difference between a "suite" and a "config" is that normally a suite is by one author, has a common style, and may include shared variables or even a tool to help user set attributes common to all the skins in the suite. A config is a folder of skins. It's how Rainmeter organizes things on the context menu.

Skin
The contents of a single folder, which has one or more .ini "skin" files. For all practical purposes, when you say "skin" you generally mean "a .ini file".

Variant
As only one .ini file per folder can be loaded by Rainmeter at a time, a folder containing two or more .ini files is considered one "skin", with some number of "variants". An example is a clock config folder with "Clock12Hr.ini" and "Clock24hr.ini" where loading one unloads the other automatically.

I know this is a bit hard to wrap your head around. We have struggled in the past with a more solid naming convention / structure, but a combination of "it's always been this way", a lack of a way to "enforce" anything different since it's really just the way we "talk" about Rainmeter, not something controlled by the application, and the fact that some of the terms (config and skin in particular) are a part of the way Rainmeter understands things and displays them on the context menu, has made it easier to just try to live with the terms and help folks understand them.
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maminscris
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

maminscris » December 12th, 2009, 2:44 pm

I think it is easier, and i like the ideea
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Digi
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

Digi » January 10th, 2010, 9:25 pm

thats great info, more please
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groen
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

groen » February 23rd, 2010, 2:50 pm

so correct me if i am wrong... a config is ultimately or basically a set of skins. more than one skin in a package?

so enigma would be a suite ?
Tl12000
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

Tl12000 » March 18th, 2010, 10:34 pm

Honestly i prefer to replace skin with plugin as it is much more clear to the real meaning of what it actually is. in your terms, skins improve functionality of rainmeter therefore plugin would be a better name.
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smurfier
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

smurfier » March 19th, 2010, 12:43 am

The problem is that Rainmeter actually has plugins, therefore calling skins plugins would be completely confusing.
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

dragonmage » March 19th, 2010, 4:10 am

Skins do not improve the functionality of Rainmeter. Skins are the functionality of Rainmeter. Rainmeter is the tool to create skins, and plugins and addons are like attachments for the tool.
Soelaiman
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

Soelaiman » March 22nd, 2010, 4:26 pm

Ok, I understand, very nice summarized and it makes sense to me.
Skins do not improve the functionality of Rainmeter. Skins are the functionality of Rainmeter. Rainmeter is the tool to create skins, and plugins and addons are like attachments for the tool.
This is also nice. But what is an example for a plugin? I know examples of skins etc. But not of plugins.
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jsmorley
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

jsmorley » March 22nd, 2010, 4:28 pm

Soelaiman wrote:Ok, I understand, very nice summarized and it makes sense to me.
This is also nice. But what is an example for a plugin? I know examples of skins etc. But not of plugins.
http://rainmeter.net/cms/Plugins
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JoBu
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Re: Rainmeter Terminology

JoBu » May 4th, 2011, 5:01 am

Great info and a good idea.

I do get confused on the suite/config deal though... I always assumed that a Suite was a "Total Package" that included everything, from skins to images, fonts, .inc files and readme's... a single "themed" grouping of skins with all the trimmings. A package, like a software distro.

I always thought Config was just an instance of, like "the current configuration of skins" or something along those lines.

If a Config is a skins folder, then is a Suite also a Config? But a Config isn't necessarily a suite, in that it might not be a single package distributed by a single author?