Adding chat styles to Skype

The Mac version of Skype has a pop-up menu in its Preferences labeled “Style”.

Screenshot of Skype's Preferences, Chat tab, with the “Style” pop-up set to Stockholm.

But wait. Why does it say “Stockholm” in my screenshot?

Well, it turns out that the format of Skype's “chat styles” is the same as Adium's message view styles. This isn't something they openly tell people; the only evidence of it is a folder named “ChatStyles” inside the Skype application bundle, with the built-in chat style in it. A cursory analysis suggested that the format might be the same, and this was proven when I dropped the chat style into Adium's message styles folder (and changed its filename extension) and it worked.

But you can't go the other way — if you change the contents of Skype's application bundle in any way, by adding, changing, or removing files, Skype will log an error to Console and refuse to launch.

So here's how I installed the third-party Adium message view style “Stockholm” as a Skype chat style.

  1. Create a folder named “ChatStyles” in Library/Application\ Support/Skype.
  2. Copy an Adium message view style of your choice to the new ChatStyles folder.

When you launch Skype, it will have the new chat style(s) in its pop-up menu.

UPDATE 3:51 PM: A previous version of this post claimed that you have to rename the style to Foo.SkypeChatStyle. Well, you can, but you don't have to — Foo.AdiumMessageStyle will work just as well.


at 8/16/2006 10:37:00 AM, Blogger Snarfer said...

Wait, I thought that Adium's contact list code was GPL'd? Wouldn't that mean that Skype would have to release all of it's code as well?

at 8/16/2006 03:56:00 PM, Blogger Peter Hosey said...

I'm not sure what the contact list has to do with it.

The WKMV is GPL, as are the message view styles that come with Adium. However, Skype can roll their own WKMV without violating the GPL, and roll their own styles or use third-party styles from Adium Xtras with the permission (read: non-GPL license) of their authors without violating the GPL.

at 8/16/2006 06:08:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

It doesn't work for me. It looks like it does, the styles appear in the drop down list. However when I use them the chat text doesn't appear. The style is there with no data. :-(

at 8/16/2006 07:22:00 PM, Blogger Peter Hosey said...

Are you sure you're doing this in Skype and not Gizmo? Skype supports Adium message view styles; Gizmo doesn't.

If you really are using Skype, what version is it?

(Reference for posterity: Gizmo in Adium?!!?)

at 8/20/2006 05:27:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

I'm using Skype (BETA) Version ...


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