Tabs and windows theory/idea
- From: David Mulder <greatslovakia zoho com>
- To: gnome-shell-list gnome org
- Subject: Tabs and windows theory/idea
- Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 20:32:40 +0100
Since the alt+tab discussion I have been thinking about the differences and evolution of windows and tabs and I have come to the conclusion that tabs should be something handled by the OS (window manager) rather than individual applications. Take a look at IE (despite everybody hating it, please leave your prejudices for now), they didn't want to integrate tabs, because the taskbar should have been responsible for switching between 'windows'; The Problem, the taskbar took an extra click as it was nested and uncategorised as you couldn't drag/drop and it's order was by creation. Below there is a list of arguments, advantages and brainstorming and at the end I wrote a system how this could be technically achieved.
- The difference between tabs and windows will fade
- Tabs can be visible in the alt+tab interface (and if nesting would be removed as I suggested than this would make it extremely easy to browse through tabs)
- Tabs can be integrated directly into the gnome-shell
- Loosing a tab is extremely common for hardcore multitaskers and if I am not incorrect gnome-shell also allows searching through windows
- Logical user interfacing: Tabs are logically placed (e.g. in google chrome) together with the other window buttons (_ [ ] x).
- Right now, if you develop an application (I am in general a web developer, so correct me if I am wrong) it's extremely complicated to create such an interface, despite being extremely logical.
- Tabs should be above all the other toolbars, as the toolbars actions always only have an effect on the content of the tab and rarely on all tabs at once.
- Allows grouping (potentially an extremely exciting feature,
but definitely not a main feature.)
- Imagine dragging
the a graphical app window into a browser window with tabs which are
related, just like you can drag and drop tabs in Google Chrome.
- It can be argued that this is already provided by the workspaces, though I think the advantage of tabs is that you have a logical to the point taskbar.
- UI customizability/fluentness
- Any plugin/program could change the behavior of all tabs, rather than only for a single application like firefox
- Try dragging a tab in firefox from one window to another and check how problematic it can sometimes be (only chrome really handles it fluently), this mainly shows that even for a huge product like firefox it's hard to create a good interface, as an application is looking from the window level up, while gnome-shell could easily create such an interface as it is capable off looking down on all windows at once (if that didn't make sense ask and I will try to explain it with better words)
- Application with tabs would be set up to work with single windows just like IE6 and below, this is definitely a option with firefox which could be the default browser using this pref.
- Next comparable windows would be grouped into tabs just like Google Chrome
- First a custom per-window based type-option would be checked which can be set by developers (not sure how or which product is handling this part)
- If not available the system would check windows of the same application with a certain amount of similarities, as preferences should for example be opened in new windows
- 'Random' window information I have seen in compiz sometimes
- Window titles
- A blacklist should be checked where anybody can add applications for which it is illogical (which should naturally be moderated) (I could create the web-side of this)
You might have already realised that I am only referencing browsers, as I am a webdeveloper and I think browsers are forced to evolved most to keep up with the rapid progress of the internet and thus are an important example to look at. Aside of that I typed this up in a bit of a rush, so some of my arguments may not make perfect sense and my english may be messed up (I am not a native speaker, so that might contribute as well). Feel free to ask and please criticise the idea as much as you can, as criticism is the best way to improve an idea.
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