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Skins Installer

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    Overview

    How to create a skin installer using  the MediaPortal Extension Maker.

    MPEMaker

    MPEMaker is the package to create an extension installer for: skins, plugins, logos or any other extension for MediaPortal. It is included when you install MediaPortal and can be accessed via the Start Menu Shortcut: Team MediaPortal > MediaPortal > MediaPortal Extension Maker.

    For information about installing extensions see Installing Extensions

    If you already have an installer for your extension, please see: Plugins Installer > How To Include An External Installer

    For issues, questions or bug reports, please post in the forum thread: Skins and Plugins Installer (MPEI) > Extension Installer V2.

    Version Compatibility

    MPE Tools (MPEInstaller and MPEMaker) include a version checking mechanism for both plugins and skins by implementing the  Version Compatibility features added to 1.2.0.

    In most cases, you just need to re-save your project using the new MPEMaker, see MPE Tools with Version Check.

    1. A MediaPortal dependency is now required.
    2. Also, the version number for this dependency has changed. Instead of being based on the "public" MP version, the version is based on the "internal API" version (this is the version used by the Version Check for plugins mechanism,. If this dependency is missing from your project, it will be added automatically when saving it.
    3. If your skin installer includes plugins (.dll files whose install location are in %Plugins%), the source .dlls will be scanned and appropriate version information will be placed in the .xmp2 and update.xml files when saving the project. 
    4. If your extension provides a skin (determined by checking if it provides a references.xml file), a Skin dependency is added with the version number taken from the references.xml file when saving the project.

    Create A Skin Installer

    For general Information, see also Plugins Installer

    Getting Started

    1. Make sure your skin is ready to be released. It can get messy if you decide to change things and then create another MPE1 file (it doesn't always create a problem, but it can, especially if you are altering files which are part of an "option" screen in the install process).
    2. Locate ALL of the files to be used in the MPE1 file in one folder or directory, including the XXX.xmp2 file (which is the "project" file) - this helps keep things tidy. The program "doesn't like it" if you move files, especially the xmp2 file. This includes any font files or plugin dlls that you want to include in the install.
    3. If you are going to offer "options" during the install (eg. the choice of 2 BasicHome screens as we do in this tutorial) make sure that the option that is listed 2nd (i.e. on the right hand side of the "radio button selection screen") was last saved after the option that is listed on the left hand side of the screen - this is VERY IMPORTANT.

    If you wish to use the files used to make this tutorial:  RapidShare: 1-CLICK Web hosting - Easy Filehosting
    Note: These files won't give you a complete version of BleazleWide but you should end up with a skin called "TestSkin" with the fonts and plugins installed and the option of choosing between 2 basic home screens.

    Creating Your Project

    1. Open the MediaPortal Extension Maker (MPEMaker from the Windows Start menu Programs > Team MediaPortal > MediaPortal > MediaPortal Extension Maker.
    2. Select 'New Skin Project Wizard':
      NewProject.jpg
    3. Define the Welcome screen for the Installer:
      Welcome.jpg
      Note: the Icon file displays on the left on the Welcome Screen
    4. Select the location of the Skin files you wish to add to the installer:
      Skin.jpg
    5. If you wish to install fonts with your skin, add the locations of the font files on the Font tab:
      Font.jpg
    6. Add any Dll's (plugins) you wish installed with the skin on the Dll's tab:
      DLL.jpg
    7. Specify the folder where you wish to save your project:
      Done.jpg

    Extension Information

    This section allows you to add more detailed information about your skin.

    1. The data you added  when you created your new Skin project should already display
      ExtInfo.jpg
      You can add a link (URL) to a homepage and forum thread, a general description as well as a description particular to the current version.
      NOTE:  Be sure to add your update.xml file name and location in the Update url field AND the location of your final .mpe1 installer in the Online location field.

      The update xml is a file which contains your extension and update information. This is the file which is downloaded by the installer to check for new versions. This file can be generated automatically with Tools->Generate update xml->Generate XML (but first you need to specify the xml file name and location in the Update URL field).

      To be usable the update.xml must also contain a direct link to the .mpe1 install file which can be located on any server. You must first specify the location of this file in the Online location field in your Project file. Then it will be added correctly when you generate the update.xml.

    2. You should now save your project (and do so regularly) to preserve the options you have already selected:
      Save.jpg

    Setup Groups and Files

    Here you may create Groups such as for Skin files, Font FIles, plugins, or skin options you wish to allow users to select during install:

    1. If you choose to install Fonts when you created your project, you will have a Fonts Group which includes the fonts you selected. Now you can specify where and how you wish to install them.
      FontFiles.jpg
    2. You can also create new Groups, such as for plugins you may wish to allow user to Select during install:
      SkinFiles.jpg
    3. Once you create a new group, you can add files to install with that group
      AddFiles.jpg
    4. Next, select the location where the plugin files should be installedPluginGroup.jpg
      InstallLocation.jpg
    5. You can also add additional groups for Skin Options you wish to allow users to select during install:
      SkinOptions.jpg
    6. As with other Groups you then add the files you wish to include in the Group:
      SkinOptions2.jpg
    7. And specify the location where you wish to install them:
      SkinOptionsLocation.jpg
    8. You can also add a description of the different options:
      SkinOptionsDesc.jpg

    Install Section

    This section allows you to configure how the installer will display and function for users.

    1. For example, you may customize the Welcome Screen:
      InstallWelcome.jpg
      And preview it:
      InstallWelcomePreview.jpg

    Tree View Selector

    1. The Tree View Selector lets you customize a tree view of what will be installed and allow users to select which options to install:
      InstallTreeView.jpg
    2. You can select the order in which sections such as the Tree View will display and add the groups you wish to display in the Tree:
      TreeViewGroups.jpg
    3. You can Preview the results:
      TreeViewPreview.jpg

    Image Radio Buttons

    You can also add a section of Images with Radio Buttons to select different skin options:

    1. Press the 'Add section' button and select Image Radio Button Section:
      RadioButton.jpg
    2. As with other sections, you can move the section to control the order in which it displays during install, add the options you set up in Groups, customize the options and preview the results:
      RadioButtonPreview.jpg

    Install Section

    Now you are ready to add the Install section.

    1. Add all the Groups you wish to install, and customize each of them as required:
      InstallSection.jpg
    2. You can select specific actions to perform when installing each group:
      InstallSectionActions.jpg

    Setup Complete

    Here you can customize the screen that displays once install is completed much like you customized the Welcome screen above.

    1. Select Setup Complete, customize the options and then preview the results:
      SetupComplete.jpg

    Build

    Now you are ready to build the final installer!

    1. Select Build and press generate:
      Build.jpg

    Congratulations! You have now completed your skin installer. The installer will have an extension.mpe1

    The project file is saved with .xmp2 file extension in the location you first selected for your project files.  You can simply edit it and resave it for new releases.

    Sample (Bleazlewide v8.1)

    Here is sample or finished .xmp2 project file for Bleazlewide v8.1:
    BleazleXmp2.jpg




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