You might not know that we currently have 23 embedded skins in our Telerik.Web.UI.Skins assembly. Three of them were released just a couple of months ago and follow the latest trends as our designer explained in this blog post. Six of them were added during the last one year.

Creating and supporting all these skins for almost 80 controls has become a tremendous effort for our teams. What is more, the skins dramatically increase the size of our assembly. In the past in order to avoid dropping the support for some skins, we moved all skins out of our main assembly. We are now at another crossroad when the only option for us is to say Goodbye to a few of our themes.

Why Are We Doing This?

The truth is that the landscape, and especially IT and the Web, is changing. We have to be able to adjust and follow the new trends … at the same time we have to leave something behind. Some of our skins were designed in the past few years and they still have a modern look. Most importantly, they are all user-friendly and help people use your apps with pleasure and ease. Some other skins though are not that popular anymore.

Another problem we face, I won’t lie to you, is that maintaining that many skins is not an easy task. There are many files to look at every time a new feature or control is added to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX control family. A few times it has happened that we even forget to release something for some of the skins. Please accept my apologies for that. Well yes, SASS is helping a lot in avoiding future issues of the sort.

Finally, removing a few not so popular skins will give us a few major benefits:

  • We will free room for new additions, for new development! (Our designer can’t wait for it)
  • Our Front-End Developers will spend the time to make sure everything is perfect with every skin and that we didn’t miss something here or there

Which Are the Deprecated Skins?

We spent lots of time discussing this question internally and some of you will recall that we asked for your feedback on what skins you actually use. We also involved our VP, Chris Sells, in the conversation. Based on the popularity of our skins, here are the ones that we have to say Goodbye to:

  • Forest
  • Hay
  • Simple
  • Sunset
  • Sitefinity
  • Transparent



There’s no need to worry though, because the Simple skin is almost the same by structure as the Metro one, although they use different colors. All the other skins, except Sitefinity, are based on the Default skin. Thus, even if you really like the old skins, you can use our online styling tool, the Visual Style Builder, to build a fine-tuned skin that fits your design best. Creating skins with this tool is easy - check the sample in this blog post to see for yourself.

How Will It Happen?

All of the 23 skins will be available in the Q2 2013 release in perfect shape, with all the new UI features encountered and ready to use from any new and old component. With Q3 2013, the deprecated skins will again be there. However, they will not have anything new added, they will be just the same as they were with Q2 2013. This means that if with Q3 2013 we have a new component, it will not have any of the deprecated skins as embedded in the Telerik.Web.UI.Skins assembly. Around a year from now, in Q1 2014, we will physically remove the related files from the distributed skins dll. At that time, we’ll share them on the skin sharing portal.

This is our “Obsolete Policy”, it is the process and approach we always follow when we want to make something obsolete, because we don’t want to break your applications and we want to give you time to get ready for the change.

Conclusion

We understand that this change will create additional work on your side and we are genuinely sorry. If there was another solution to our issues, we would have chosen it. We hope you will understand.

We would like to hear what you think both about our new and about our old skins that are going obsolete. Thank you in advance for your feedback!


About the Author

Iana Tsolova

is Product Manager at Telerik’s DevTools division. She joined the company back in the beginning of 2008 as a Support Officer and has since occupied various positions at Telerik, including Senior Support Officer, Team Lead at one of the ASP.NET AJAX teams and Technical Support Director. Iana’s main interests are web development, reading articles related to geography, wild nature and latest renewable energy technologies.

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