To the Skinning Community,
I'm not a skinner, so feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt, but I do have a viewpoint that represents at least one enthusiastic user of Wincustomize's library of skins. Among the skins I have in my possession are DogmaX and SouLuna, two skins that are virtually legendary in the skinning community. I always seem to turn back to these two skins when I get tired of the glitz and glamour of today's skins. I will sorely miss them when I upgrade to Windows 7 at the end of October.
I think there are a number of issues and questions involved with upgrading the old skins to new ones:
1. If a skin was within the top five to ten percent of the download list during it's era and scored high in the ratings, then I think it is not only worthwhile for the original creator to upgrade them, but I think there is at least a smidgion of obligation to each and every one of their skins users. After all, they posted them for all to freely use and many did just that. Now that they are "hooked", these users would feel somthing akin to grief if parted from them. The larger the user (download) base that uses the skin, the higher the obligation. However, if I created a skin that didn't make a splash, it seems to me that I'd make better use of my time making a new skin instead.
2. If you're going to upgrade/update a past skin, one should do his/her best to maintain the overall look and feel of the original skin, and hopefully put most of their creative efforts into adding in the new features found in WB5-WB7. Otherwise, why make an update at all? Changing the whole skin from it's original appearance would negate the whole point in updating it in the first place.
3. Both the skins that I mentioned in the first paragraph above, appear to be unlucky to have absent or missing creators. Attempts on my part to contact them have failed. What will happen to these venerable pieces of skinning work?
4. And then there are those, who for whatever reason, don't want to skin anymore, or just don't want to bother to update their old skins? With the proper permisssions and atributions, would it be possible for some volunteer skinners to adopt an absent creator's top rated/downloaded skin and do as suggested in "2" above?
5. I actually plugged the following idea to Stardock support: Have an update/upgrade contest of some sort, so we can encourage the creators of some of these older skins to get up off the laurels of their past successes and make their old skins into new (comment about laurels present company excepted, or you wouldn't even be reading this).
Comments welcome of course, even it's to tell me hogwash, ignoramous, or heaven help me... idiot!