|Free42 with skins|
Message #1 Posted by Thomas Okken on 2 Mar 2005, 4:26 p.m.
In case you were wondering when the skin support in Free42 would ever get done (and I wouldn't blame you!, I was in a bit of a slump the last month or so), the latest version now has skin support in the Windows and X versions. Skin support for the Palm is still in the design stages but will hopefully arrive in a week or two.
The skin format is not compatible with that of Emu42, but it's pretty simple. The two main limitations at the moment are: the skin bitmaps must be in GIF format, and there's no support for keyboard mapping yet.
Regarding the first limitation: it seems to me that the existing Emu42 skins don't suffer noticeably from the conversion from 24-bit BMP to 8-bit GIF; they don't use a very large range of colors, so as long as you use some tool that does a decent job of palette optimization and color quantization, the result will look pretty good. But, if enough people complain (i.e., more than one ;-)), I'll add support for some 24-bit format -- maybe BMP, maybe PNG, maybe both.
Regarding the second limitation: keyboard mapping is the next item on my to-do list; once that's done, I'll define extensions to the skin layout format to allow users to customize the mapping.
So, what else is missing? One other thing -- true-color skins look pretty bad on 8-bit screens under Windows. The X version handles 8-bit screens pretty well, but the code that takes care of that magic still needs to be adapted and transplanted to the Windows version.
Here's hoping there aren't too many people still using less than 16 bits per pixel under Windows! (If there are, I'm sure I'll hear about it soon enough!)
The latest Free42, plus a separate package containing a few skins, including my adaptation of "ehrling42sl", is now available on the Free42 home page.
NOTE: you don't actually need to get the skins package; Free42 has two skins built in, so installation is just as simple as before: all you need is the executable and you're good to go.
Edited: 2 Mar 2005, 4:33 p.m.