This is my experience on SMF skinning.
I was designing a skin the whole day… and it\’s more of an experimental experience.
The skin is totally embedded inside the PHP code, as a result you cannot preview it inside WYSIWYG editor in anyway. You have to dig the HTML code to make sense out of it. I think it\’s quite simple to edit the theme as long as you know how to extract the HTML codes but it can be very problematic if you get lost in the big pile of codes. PHPBB has done template simpler by separating the design template and the logic but it seems SMF combined the logic and template together. It\’s somewhat between the template engine of Invision and PHPBB. Of course, PHPBB template system will always be the easiest to edit, but I admit it does not have powerful base code inside the template itself. IPB has it\’s own simple logic in templates while SMF has it\’s built-in PHP code in the template. It\’s true that SMF has made a powerful template system but it\’s not really easy to modify. I wish that they will provide skinning tools that can easily extract the HTML out of the PHP codes? Maybe it\’s just the learning curve working against me.