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deviantART is changing...

Release announcements and important news from the developers.
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balala
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by balala »

jsmorley wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 4:25 pm
The toggle at the top of the screen still works for me, but I guess your mileage may vary...
No, it doesn't for me. I see the toggle, it is set to Eclipse, but it doesn't react on click. It seems I don't have the old style anymore.
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jsmorley
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by jsmorley »

Generally speaking, any user-interface on a website is just something you need to get used to, and this is in some ways just that. I don't hate it really, with a few exceptions that are really unfortunate.

1) There is no longer any "Rainmeter" category, or any way to be sure you are looking at or searching for Rainmeter .rmskin files.
2) Users must have a free account on deviantART in order to download.
3) As far as I can tell, there is no way to see how many times your deviation has been downloaded, only how many times it has been viewed.

The first one is a site direction / design choice they have made. They seem to be changing the focus on what is their target audience, and Rainmeter just doesn't fit into this thinking as it once did. This is really a shame, but so be it. You just have to depend on authors to use "tags" in a sensible way when they submit, and you can't completely count on tags like "rainmeter" or "skin" or ".rmskin" to be there consistently.

I use this as my starting point in deviantART:

https://www.deviantart.com/search/deviations?order=most-recent&q=rainmeter

It's far from perfect, and I get a mixture of skins and screenshots, but It's about the best you can do. You simply can't depend on any "category" in any way. A pox on any skin author who doesn't tag their submission with at a minimum "rainmeter".

The second one makes some sense from their business standpoint, and while I don't love it, I do understand it. They want you to have an account, so they can annoy the crap out of you to "upgrade" it. Fair enough. The bills have to get paid.

The third one is just puzzling...
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balala
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by balala »

jsmorley wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 4:33 pm
3) As far as I can tell, there is no way to see how many times your deviation has been downloaded.
Right. This was my first remark as well, when I first time saw the new design of DeviantArt. I looked for it for a longer period, until finally I realized it is still there, but it's hidden. In the source code of the page you can see it. I ended up by writing a small Rainmeter skin (what Rainmeter is good for!), which shows the number of view and downloads. Here it is, if anyone is interested:

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000
DynamicWindowSize=1
BackgroundMode=2
SolidColor=0,0,0,150

[Variables]
Address=https://www.deviantart.com/...

[StringStyle]
Padding=15,5,15,5
FontColor=220,220,220
FontEffectColor=0,0,0
StringEffect=Shadow
SolidColor=0,0,0,1
FontSize=8
FontFace=Segoe UI
StringStyle=BOLD
StringAlign=LEFT
AntiAlias=1
DynamicVariables=1

[MeasureParent]
Measure=WebParser
UpdateRate=670
Url=#Adress#
RegExp=(?siU)\{\\"views\\":(\d*),(?(?=.*\\"today\\).*":(\d*),)\\"shares\\":(\d*),\\"downloads\\":(\d*),(?(?=.*\\"today\\).*":(\d*),)\\"groups\\":(\d*)}
FinishAction=[!UpdateMeasureGroup "DateTime"]
OnChangeAction=[!WriteKeyValue Views "Views [MeasureDate]" "[MeasureViews]" "#@#NumDownloads.inc"][!WriteKeyValue Downloads "Downloads [MeasureDate]" "[MeasureDownloads]" "#@#NumDownloads.inc"][!UpdateMeasure "Valami"]
DynamicVariables=1
UpdateRate=1200

[MeasureViews]
Measure=WebParser
Url=[MeasureParent]
StringIndex=1

[MeasureViewsToday]
Measure=WebParser
Url=[MeasureParent]
RegExpSubstitute=1
Substitute="^$":"0"
IfCondition=(#CURRENTSECTION#=0)
IfTrueAction=[!SetOption MeterViews Text "Views: %1"][!UpdateMeter "MeterViews"][!Redraw]
IfFalseAction=[!SetOption MeterViews Text "Views: %1 (%2 today)"][!UpdateMeter "MeterViews"][!Redraw]
StringIndex=2

[MeasureDownloads]
Measure=WebParser
Url=[MeasureParent]
StringIndex=4

[MeasureDownloadsToday]
Measure=WebParser
Url=[MeasureParent]
RegExpSubstitute=1
Substitute="^$":"0"
IfCondition=(#CURRENTSECTION#=0)
IfTrueAction=[!SetOption MeterDownloads Text "Downloads: %1"][!UpdateMeter "MeterDownloads"][!Redraw]
IfFalseAction=[!SetOption MeterDownloads Text "Downloads: %1 (%2 today)"][!UpdateMeter "MeterDownloads"][!Redraw]
StringIndex=5

[MeterViews]
Meter=STRING
MeterStyle=StringStyle
MeasureName=MeasureViews
MeasureName2=MeasureViewsToday
X=0
Y=0

[MeterDownloads]
Meter=STRING
MeterStyle=StringStyle
MeasureName=MeasureDownloads
MeasureName2=MeasureDownloadsToday
X=0r
Y=3R
The only thing you have to add is the complete URL of the art you'd like to check (obviously into the Address variable within the [Variables] section).
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jsmorley
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by jsmorley »

If the download count is buried in the code but not displayed, I suspect they have, or are going to, make that a feature that you have have a paid account to access. Again, I can sorta understand them wanting to encourage subscriptions, but this doesn't give me much of a warm and fuzzy for them. Not much lately does.

Having said that...

In a sense, Rainmeter has been getting a "free ride" with them for many years. You only needed a free account to submit skins, and then a link to the deviation would allow unlimited download access to the entire world, account or not. Skins are not trivial in size compared to most of the "art" on the site, and believe me, if we wanted to host all those thousands and thousands of skins somewhere, the space and bandwidth costs would be very, very expensive.
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balala
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by balala »

jsmorley wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 4:54 pm
If the download count is buried in the code but not displayed, I suspect they have, or are going to, make that a feature that you have have a paid account to access. Again, I can sorta understand them wanting to encourage subscriptions, but this doesn't give me much of a warm and fuzzy for them. Not much lately does...
Agree. Maybe we (you?) should go to try to find another similar site, instead of DeviantArt. They became very annoying lately...
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jsmorley
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by jsmorley »

balala wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 4:59 pm
Agree. Maybe we (you?) should go to try to find another similar site, instead of DeviantArt. They became very annoying lately...
I just don't see any alternative. You need a site that at a minimum:

1) Organizes uploads into "categories", so Rainmeter skins can be searched for in a unique way.
2) The Rainmeter "category" must only allow .rmskin uploads.
3) Allows both "preview images" and robust "descriptions" of the upload.
4) Allows "comments" by users. Owners / Authors should be able to hide or delete comments.
5) Has robust "search" capabilities. Search by "name", "tags", "author", sorted by date, etc.
6) Has an effective way of combating or at least managing "spam" or "malware" accounts and uploads.

It should also probably support some kind of "private messaging" of authors, and as noted, show the number of downloads, the date and time it was submitted, allow "editing" the submission, and so on...

As I said, supporting this functionality for the thousands and thousand of Rainmeter skins out there would be a huge job to create, a full-time job to administer, and very expensive. Who is going to do this, and how do they get paid?

Just ask the previous owner / operator of Customize.org. That was a site that met all the criteria, but over time he found that he could in no way recoup the enormous costs with just "advertising" on the site. He got tired of the constant thankless battle with "spam", and just gave up and shuttered the site.
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balala
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by balala »

jsmorley wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 5:05 pm
I just don't see any alternative.
Well, there is no need of an alternative at all. We are on such an alternative: the Rainmeter forum itself. It matches all the required conditions, except one: the limit of the upload.
Even an alternative provider would be found (other than DeviantArt), the same possible threaten would still be kept, being possible to kill its Rainmeter community, due to its (justified or not) steps.
So, there are no alternatives, in my opinion, to remain independent as such, on long term. If there would be possible to increase the upload limit, all problems would gone.
WestCoast2020
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Joined: January 18th, 2020, 12:57 am

WinCustomize Rainmeter Skins - deviantART is changing...

Post by WestCoast2020 »

I have been using Rainmeter for many years (and a lot of other 'Desktop Candy' from Stardock and Winstep) and have been following the issues with the weather links (not the first time).

I'm surprised no one has mentioned WinCustomise as a source for Rainmeter. I have used over the years both WC & DA for a source of customisation. Speaking of which, I am disappointed that the Customisation -> Icons, skins (various etc.) have been removed. So be it!

Have a look here:

https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/rainmeter

adni18 posts there. His updated skins can be seen on the first page.

Best regards and thanks to all the 'Skinners / Artist' who provide their work for people like me to use and enjoy.

WestCoast2020
Ian
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jsmorley
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by jsmorley »

WinCustomize is dead on arrival for me. As far as I am concerned that is a commercial site selling Rainmeter skins. I know they don't present it that way, but IMHO that is what it boils down to. We will NEVER be able to build our community there. As soon as people realize that after a month or two at most they will have to pay to download, they will be gone, and we risk being seen by many as a tool that offers the "app" for free, but then in effect charges for the skins for it. They won't know or care that it isn't Rainmeter getting the money, they will just have a bad taste in their mouths. I'd never, ever support moving any part of our community over there. Charging or paying for skins is just not how we roll. That site does not exist for me.
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balala
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Re: deviantART is changing...

Post by balala »

jsmorley wrote:
February 2nd, 2020, 4:29 am
I'd never, ever support moving any part of our community over there.
What about my idea to use the Rainmeter forum itself, instead of looking for a site to host the skins? As said the only obstacle is the allowed size of the uploaded file.