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Skin Hosting, Github, and More

General topics related to Rainmeter.
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Alex88
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Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by Alex88 »

Short version on where to host:
  • Here on the forums - For most authors, posting it in Share Your Creations is perfectly fine.
    Pros - Simplest way to distribute or get help with .rmskin packages
    Cons - If your project is over 10 MB or grows to have high traffic, consider the below:
  • Dropbox or Google Drive - For direct download links, follow the methods mentioned here or here respectively.
    Can be used in conjunction with the forums if your project is larger than 10 MB
  • deviantArt:
    Pros - Currently the main place for projects to be 'seen' publicly
    Cons - Non-'art' has somewhat suffered from recent changes, explained here and in the remarks below, account needed for downloads
  • Github:
    Pros - Projects can be fully hosted, gives the most option and customizable 'storefront', no account needed for downloads
    Cons - A steeper learning curve, but basic .rmskin hosting can be done without much trouble
The most recent Rainmeter Github projects   Topic: # rainmeter
Authors who have a Rainmeter Github page: Unimportant backstory:
A few months ago Edge had some kind bug with its new page tab. It was resolved pretty quickly but had me thinking of custom start pages. Of course reddit has a subreddit for that. I haven't looked in depth yet but I do see at least some crossover in the styling thought process compared to Rainmeter or the Rainmeter subreddit. So though personally I keep my desktop very simple on purpose, I'm always looking around to see what others are designing, and show that here if others are trying to find ideas. Seeing that and what others have done here got me into thinking on how it all can fit together.
For some reason I always thought of Github as a place for 'serious' and collaboration-heavy projects only, but in short if you're wanting an alternative to DeviantArt or similar to host your Rainmeter project, learning basic HTML/CSS to make a basic website (completely optional as the above author links show you can display all the main information just on the Github repository page) and hosting it on Github has far fewer barriers than I thought (some parts of my computing mind are still stuck in the Win95 days assuming that things are harder to do than they actually are). Otherwise this is basically just a PSA "it's actually really easy just do it" and thread for open ended discussion on hosting your Rainmeter project.
Last edited by Alex88 on December 2nd, 2020, 3:25 am, edited 21 times in total.
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eclectic-tech
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Location: Cedar Point, Ohio, USA

Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by eclectic-tech »

Hi Alex88! :welcome:

I have started to offer some of my packages on my GitHub site for the reasons you mentioned regarding the changes at DeviantArt this year. It is turning out to be a fairly simple process to create a GitHub repository, with very few drawbacks when compared to a DA submission.

I noticed SilverAzide's page and took some ideas from there to create three repositories so far. I have over 100 packages on DA so it will be a while before most are converted, but GitHub is where I am leaning toward for all future releases.

Thanks for "nudge" that got me started :thumbup:
Regards, E.T.
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SilverAzide
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by SilverAzide »

eclectic-tech wrote: November 25th, 2020, 3:24 am [snip]
...but GitHub is where I am leaning toward for all future releases.
Me too! These days, all DA is good for is getting visibility since it is easy to search. Until they break that too. To give credit where credit is due, I got most of my ideas from @raiguard and his ModernGadgets repo. He actually uses GitHub for a working Git repository, which is great. I use my own private Subversion repo for dev work, but this is a great way to go too if you don't mind it being public.

I don't know if this is a valid "lessons learned" or not, but it is possible to use DA as merely a place to post your "read me/introduction" stuff, and actively link every resource (including your download package) to GitHub. This will allow people to find and download your skin package without a DeviantArt user ID. As a consequence (I suspect), DeviantArt perma-banned me for "linking to third-party resources". They were extremely unhelpful and uninterested in resolving the issue. Just to be safe, I'd recommend folks to not do what I did, just in case.
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eclectic-tech
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by eclectic-tech »

Getting banned from DA nowadays should entitle you to a "Rainmeter Badge of Courage"! ;-)

I forgot that raiguard was the first to utilize Github, thanks for the correction. :great:

Like you, I intend to publish repositories of my package and set up a private area for development; this may lead to opening that area to fellow authors for collaboration, but for now I am still getting used to using GitHub features.

As an "old dog" it may take a while to learn these new tricks! :D
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Alex88
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by Alex88 »

Glad to help any way I can. :welcome: I added raiguard's Github page to the first post examples. Actually I'll just edit it to be a list of authors who do have a Github page for their Rainmeter work and keep it updated on request.
As been hashed before in other threads, some new site to host all the skins and resources of the Rainmeter community would be a nightmare to keep up, and 90% of the projects are just fine in the normal Share Your Creations. The larger projects wanting to go beyond seem best suited by the freedom of Github's hosting, and I didn't even think of using it as a collaborative tool for group development of the main .ini/.inc/etc. files. Most Rainmeter projects seem to be individual by nature, but the collaborative option is now at least more accessible.
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jsmorley
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by jsmorley »

I think a post in "Tips and Tricks" might be in order here if someone wants to take it on.

It should probably describe how to use GitHub to store, document and distribute your skins. I'm no expert on GitHub, but it might be good to touch on alternative methods using Git for Windows and / or TortoiseGit to manage and commit your changes, or how you can effectively just use the site in your browser to keep things updated.

I don't think it is possible or at least desirable to try and teach "git" to people here, but perhaps the basics of creating and maintaining a repository for your skins would be good.
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SilverAzide
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by SilverAzide »

Two thumbs up for TortoiseGit; it makes using the repo a breeze. It does help to first understand version control systems in general, otherwise all the commit/push/pull jargon can be super confusing. I think you can use TortoiseSVN (Subversion) with GitHub, which is a little more of a traditional VCS than Git, but the end result is the same.

The great thing about GitHub is you can create a nice readme that looks and works every bit as good as a DeviantArt page (or a Rainmeter "Share Your Creations" post). [Well, about a hundred times better than DA, but that's just my opinion.] DA offers better discoverability, but search works on GitHub too if you tag your repos. Just search for "#rainmeter" and you'll see stuff from Rainmeter folks like tjhrulz, khanhas, and marcopixel in addition to the folks mentioned above. Like the Rainmeter site and Forum, and very unlike the new DA site, GitHub doesn't require you to have an account if you just want to look around and download skins. If you want to post issues, then you'd need a GitHub account, just like with Rainmeter.
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jsmorley
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by jsmorley »

Ok, I added my JSMeter Suite of skins to GitHub to start getting used to using it...

https://github.com/jsmorley/JSMeter10

I used the following "topics" on the repository. (tags are really something else...)
rainmeter rainmeter-skin rainmeter-suite rainmeter-rmskin skin rmskin jsmeter

To be honest, I'll be glad to be shed of deviantART.
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SilverAzide
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by SilverAzide »

jsmorley wrote: November 29th, 2020, 6:29 pm Ok, I added my JSMeter Suite of skins to GitHub to start getting used to using it...

To be honest, I'll be glad to be shed of deviantART.
Glad to see these again! They disappeared from DA, I think, or at least I can't/couldn't find them. I learned a LOT from poking around in these skins when I first discovered Rainmeter.
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jsmorley
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Re: Skin Hosting, Github, and More

Post by jsmorley »