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Rainlendar Help

How To Create Rainlendar Skins

Creating skins for Rainlendar2 (the version that support *.r2skin files) can be tricky in many ways.

I will not give you a full tutorial here, I highly recommend you to subscribe to the official forums and join the Rainlendar group on DeviantArt, requesting help when you need it can make you go forward and help other users too!

For starting Rainlendar2 first BETA version {2.0 Build 13} is released in 24 May 2006, but after more than 9 years of activity there isn’t many references to work with rainlendar, but the main skills to have is knowing XML programming, knowledge of LUA coding can be really a great help, and knowing what an API is can make your skins go higher (like creating an RSS, Weather, Clock, Page viewer, Image browser… for Rainlendar2).

First you will need:

  • A “Code Editor” like Notepad++, with Syntax Highlighting and Auto-complete can be helpful (I will release this for notepad++ later).
  • An Image Editor with alpha support like Paint.Net, Gimp or Photoshop.
  • And finaly the skills to know what to do and how to start.
  • Understanding XML code, and LUA if you want to do more.

Secondly you will need to learn, and then have solid references:

  • Read the Rainlendar FAQ on the official site to have a basic understanding.
  • The simpler and best way is to launch Rainlendar2, right click on the tray icon, and select “Help” in the context menu, you can access to all references for the Use and parameters of Rainlendar, info on Skin creation (*.xml), on the Scripts (*.lua), working with the API, and you can follow a little tutorial to create a skin from scratch.
  • You can go to the official forums that contain a lot of informations to create skins, scripts, discuss on ideas or use the support if more help is needed.

After this all you can do is experiment:

  • Use the skin Shadow4 as development base, it contain many features and is integrated with Rainlendar2 when setup, download the Shadow4 LUA widgets to have more possibilities.
  • Learn to display custom text and images and reference them in the skin files.
  • Learn how to manage the skin directory, and create sub-folders to manage your resources easily, and how to reference them in the skin configs.
  • Experiment the way that the Text and Images are displayed, Rainlendar2 .r2skin config can be a real pain when doing this.
  • Request help from the community, use the search engine on the official forum to find what you need, you can use a search engine too, or like said previously come join the Rainlendar group on DeviantArt you will have feedback very quickly.
  • Create Graphical Concepts with your image editor, or just using a pencil and paper, it’s the most useful resource in any development work.

The only thing that will help you create great skins is you experience, learn from and with others if you want to learn fast, and try and see a lot of things, after some time you will know what do what and how to write the code or create the graphics instantly.

Good Luck to all Readers of this document, and all Rainlendar Users !