Our Development group documents skin related changes in each release of MediaPortal in order to aid in the development and compatibility of skin design by 3rd party developers. If possible all changes that somehow have an effect on the skin engine should be documented here, not only changes that would break current skins and require action from the skin developers.
We currently divide changes into 2 categories: Feature and Bugfix. A feature change adds new functionality to MediaPortal, whereas Bugfix changes change existing behavior or fix problems related to the MediaPortal skin engine.
A feature includes both a new feature or a rework of an existing feature.
A bugfix is a fix to a reported bug. Skin and Plugin developers need to be aware of any fixes which alter the skin engine or plugin related code. For example, a fix to pulse/loop and conditional animations enables skinners to use skin features which were previously not working.
In the past, these changes wer documented on a single page for each release, including all alpha, beta or RC release. We have now separated each change on it's own sub page with an automatically generated index or list of changes on the main release page. There is a main page for each major release in which the changes for this release are documented (e.g. 1.1.0 to 1.2.0 lists all changes that were introduced in the development of version 1.2.0 of MediaPortal).
After you select the release in which the change has been introduced (e.g. 1.1.0 to 1.2.0), select "New Page" from the Topbar to create a new subpage for the issue. From the list of available templates select "Skin Related Changes". This will automatically generate a page prefilled with the basic structure for entering a new change.
All sections are described in the template itself, try to fill out all sections and insert as much information as possible. Even if it might seem like a waste of time, you (the person(s) who created the changes) are very familiar in this specific area while other people (skin designers) might have a much harder time understanding the changes (and maybe new possibilities) that the change brings with it.
It is very important to correctly tag the change so the list of changes in the "Skin Related Changes" section (which are dynamically generated depending on these tags) are accurate. When you create a new page with the "Skin Related Changes" template you will see a list of tags recommended by the template at the bottom of the page. You can just remove the tags that are not relevant for the change and the remaining tags will automatically be inserted once the page is saved. Note that if you don't tag the page correctly you can at any time edit the tags by selecting "More -> Tags" from the tobbar. The following tags are important for "Skin Related Changes":