First, I just want to apologize for the lack of communication. I have had some family medical issues recently and haven't had little time to really look at this.
So, as SilverAzide eluded to previously
, this is mostly
a documentation issue. Our "tips" articles are usually not written by the developer who implemented the feature and sometimes small details like this can be missed. On top of that, the UI should really disable the "Variables files" option when "Merge skins" is selected, which I will discuss later.
A clue to the problem lies here: https://docs.rainmeter.net/manual/distributing-skins/#MergeSkins
Rainmeter Docs wrote:
If selected, the Skin Installer will not remove any existing files found in the user's Skins directory. (Normally, the root config folder is removed and replaced with the version in the skin package.) This can be used to install an "expansion" or a "patch" to a previously-installed skin, without duplicating unchanged files.
Note the underlined text.
What this means is using the "Merge skins" option DOES NOT backup anything. It simply merges the files in the rmskin with the existing skin. You might say "Duh", but what is not clear is how the "Variables files" work. As I recently posted in another thread
, the "Variables files" option relies on using the backed up skins (from the existing skin) and replacing the newly installed variables with the older existing ones from the backup.
In other words, the "Variables files" option is not compatible with the "Merge skins" option - hence the reason why there is extra checking
in the code.
Rainmeter should really disable the "Variables files" field when the "Merge skins" option is checked - and we should document this behavior. In fact, the user can disable skin backups when installing an rmskin if they so choose, which also would make the "Variables files" option not work as well. This isn't really documented either.
I also wanted to mention that you might not be using the "Merge skins" option correctly. This option is really meant to make small patches to your skin after it has been released....like if you missed an important file like an image, or you want to add a small enhancement. This option is not meant to replace entire skins or skin suites.