2 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2010 11:38 AM by vmvmvmvmvm

    Keeping SkinParts from Component Consumers

    vmvmvmvmvm

      I've started to dig into spark skins and I'd like to get some discussion going about skinparts. It seems that skin parts must be public and they are essentially the interface between component and skin. This is great, however, how can I keep the developer who uses my component by inadvertently editing my skin parts. For example,

       

      The flex Panel component has a title attribute that corresponds to a public title variable in Panel.as, however there is also the titleDisplay skinpart.

       

      <Panel title="My Titile" titleDisplay="Your Title" />

       

      The same thing is apparent with the Panel's control bar which has 'controlBarContent' array and 'controlBarGroup' skin part group. So which one should a developer use and how can we ensure that the right one is used?

        • 1. Re: Keeping SkinParts from Component Consumers
          TeotiGraphix Level 3

          Hi,

           

          <Panel title="My Titile" titleDisplay="Your Title" />

           

          Are you using an IDE? There are certain things that you just can't worry about and this is one. Any Flex compiler should throw an error with the above. Setting a String on the titleDisplay property is like trying to assign a String to a Boolean, it won't compile.

           

          Although, I can see where someone could try to set a visual element into the titleDisplay which would wipe out the reference on the Panel and screw things up from there.

           

          Since Adobe is creating majik with SkinParts anyway, they should really start to think about more compiler errors when developers do try to use SkinPart variables. in a write fashion (actionscript would not work so well but MXML could).

           

          Other than that, your developers should know the API or at least read the asdocs.

           

          Mike

          • 2. Re: Keeping SkinParts from Component Consumers
            vmvmvmvmvm Level 1

            You're right... that wouldn't get past the compiler since titleDisplay is a TextBase object. There is also controlBarGroup and controlBarContent, and you're supposed to use controlBarContent. I followed Panel's implementation in creating my own component with many groups such as headerContent, footerContent, userManagementContent etc... the skin file decides layout and design--SWEET---designers will be able to make design tweaks throughout development!

             

            The concern one of my colleagues has is that a developer might inadvertently use a skin part (enterprise environment and several large distributed product teams working without much direct communication). He wants it to be dead simple, no confusion, (while maintaining a consistent look and feel), but I see that this is really a basic understanding of the API, and common for any composition based architecture in general. The public properties are required to keep components loosely coupled from design/layout, right?

             

            Sounds like I need to push back a bit... and regarding consistent look and feel... well, hiding the skin parts somehow would never help because anyone could easily just create a new skin file. And thats the point.