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Your CPanel Skin Wishlist...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ecoutez, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. ecoutez

    ecoutez Well-Known Member

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    ** Sorry - meant to post this in the Skins forum... must be time for bed. If an admin can move it, please do. Thanks! **

    Hey folks,

    I'm working on a CPanel theme that I hope to release later in the week after the graphics are completed. In the mean time, I've been working on some features, and trying to make this as user/admin friendly as possible.

    What sort of things do you like in a CPanel theme? Hate? What would you like to see - new ideas, things you've seen in competing host manager proucts, etc?

    Here's my list which I'm doing my best to meet...
    - Attractive Interface (duh) ;)
    - Consistent and clear use of calculations - all show as USED / TOTAL or AVAIL / USED... not some weird combination.
    - Reseller Friendly - include ability for easy and automatic reseller branding (to supplied reseller image)
    - Advanced Reseller features like custom link section (not easy, but I got it figured out)
    - Show status of services on main screen for easy reference (either as a simple &All Up& or detailed service-by-service display)
    - Bug user to enter their email contact information (maybe as a pop-up if empty, or just a more obvious link)

    - And finally... the biggie... the ability to read administrator preferences regarding the display of certain information. Of course it's relatively easy to edit a theme and hide or show certain features, but then it becomes difficult to stay in sync with new theme versions as they come out. For instance, I could include a &Server Uptime& in this theme, and some administrators may want to include this as bragging rights. Others might not want their users knowing that a 5 minute outage occurred at 4AM because it gives the users something to complain about. So... I'd like to include a way for the server administrator to select which items will and will not show in the display. This would probably happen in a simple text file (or series of files). If it's too difficult to configure, I'll find some way to control the on/off switches from a web-based install/admin script or something.

    To wit... which items would you want display/hide control over? Any of these...?
    Uptime (discussed previously)
    Server OS (hide that you're running Linux or FreeBSD)
    Kernel (hide the particular kernel revision)
    CPanel Version (hide the version of CPanel... or even that this IS CPanel)
    Perl, PHP, MySQL versions
    Package Name (don't know why to hide it off hand...)
    Site IP Address (also probably not necessary to hide)
    ServerName (maybe grab the short name... like &pooh& instead of &pooh.domain.com& so that resellers are well sheilded)
    Any Resource calculations which may show features that you elect not to offer (ie - addon domains, parked domains)
    Any Server Status lights which show services running which you'd rather not reveal.

    Any other features come to mind? I just thought I could add a &click to alert administrator& when a service shows as down. Or perhaps a box to pull up a static message that indicates that administrators have been contacted and are currently working on the problem. Such a message might be static or configurable if there's need/desire... in which case, an admin frontend to install and configure the theme would make good sense.

    Please followup with suggestions. I haven't seen too many skin designers asking what people want, so hopefully this will be a good way to open up that sort of dialog. Maybe I'll flood myself, but I'd love to see what ideas come from this. I suspect we'll all benefit from this discussion.

    - Jason
     
  2. JustinK

    JustinK Well-Known Member

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    I would love some kind of contract guaranteeing updates within X amount of time. One of the last cpanel skins we used was going great and then the developer just died off and stopped responding.
     
  3. tmvnews

    tmvnews Well-Known Member

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    updates

    I would have to agree most important thing is updates. I am making a site called cpskins.com, I am paying someone to make me a custom script for members to login and download the script they have purchased and all updates to it. So that it is easy for me to get updates out there. I think that is why others don't do updates i am just not sure y some people just stop.
     
  4. ecoutez

    ecoutez Well-Known Member

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    [quote:717610e1b6][i:717610e1b6]Originally posted by tmvnews[/i:717610e1b6]
    I would have to agree most important thing is update.[/quote:717610e1b6]
    You guys make an excellent point. I was thinking of doing something via cron so that the skin would check nightly for updates and pull then down automagically. The main thing I'm hoping to do is avoid overwriting any customizations that were made by the client... so I'm trying to anticipate the sort of cusomizations they might want, and plan them in as modules which can be left alone. In extreme cases, or even as a standard, it really wouldn't be that hard to have clients who have their own customizations included on our end, and give them their own login info to grab their own customized version on a regular basis.

    Hmm... could probably even do something via rsync, but that's probably much more trouble than its worth.

    Thanks,

    - Jason
     
  5. JustinK

    JustinK Well-Known Member

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    It's not automated updating I'm worried about. It's the author disappearing from the face of the planet and not making any updates to the skin that can be used. :) The problem with many of the places selling skins is the authors don't know what they're getting themselves into and just assume it's a quick way to make some cash and after they create the initial skin, they're done.
     
  6. ecoutez

    ecoutez Well-Known Member

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    [quote:b11af5d343][i:b11af5d343]Originally posted by JustinK[/i:b11af5d343]
    It's not automated updating I'm worried about. It's the author disappearing from the face of the planet and not making any updates to the skin that can be used. [/quote:b11af5d343]
    Aah, gotcha. That's a shame. I wonder if some developers feel like it's become a waste of their time to keep updating something that doesn't have any sort of ongoing support cost. It can be hard to stay motivated about a project if there's not much money in it. ;)

    There haven't been too many changes that have required theme updates in a while, and the ones that were done were relatively simple to implement. If you have a theme that needs some updating, drop me a PM and I can probably help figure it out. If it requires adding new graphics, obviously that gets a little more complicated... but most of the scripting is fairly simple once you start working with it.

    Hope to have a screenshot of the theme late this week. I'm still working on some tweaks to ensure that the installation process won't require too much customization, while still retaining all the new features I want to implement. :)

    - Jason
     
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