Upgrading Skins to Subtext 2.0

The good news is, skins have hardly changed in Subtext 2.0.  The skins were very powerful in 1.9, so there wasn’t a big reason to change them.  The bad news is, they’re not quite the same.  If you’ve got your own skin, here’s all you need to do:

  • Copy across any non-standard skin you were using from your version 1 folder.
  • Copy across the skin settings from the old Admin/Skin.config to the new one.

If the skin is locked, put a space in the web.config first, which will unlock the skin.  Note that if you’re using a modified factory skin, you’ll still need to copy across the Skin.config entries, because SubText 2 has modified the location of the style-sheets on the standard skins.

Now, if you then view your page and all of your style sheet has disappeared, that’s probably because you haven’t updated the skins.config correctly.  Once you’ve done that, you might discover that images have disappeared.  This is because of a change in the way subtext includes stylesheets for skins.  (The new way is better, it’s just a breaking change.)  Your stylesheets are now served by a virtual file called css.axd.  Do a view source to see the url, then view the url in the browser to see the output.  This puts all of your stylesheets in one place, which is in the root of the skins folder.  Since your old skin may have kept the stylesheets in another folder, this breaks the stylesheet.  In my case, a quick search and replace of “..images” to “images” fixed the problem, but it depends on the architecture of your skin.

The only other gotcha I’ve noticed is that Subtext now uses XHTML transitional by default.  Again, this is actually a good thing, but it can affect rendering.  it certainly changes the behaviour of IE’s positioning.  This is usually subtle, but is the reason for the image problem I described previously.

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Julian Birch

Full time dad, does a bit of coding on the side.

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