Re: Tabs and windows theory/idea

The idea that tabs should be provided by the system is not a new notion.  A number of window managers over the years have provided tabbing or "sloppy window grouping" functionality.  Fluxbox, Pekwm, and Compiz are some examples of window managers that provide this type of window grouping functionality today.

I think it's important to examine some of these examples in detail.  Pekwm is a great one which allows a control character along with a click to let you simply "drop" one window into the space of another (as well as set rules for which types of windows should be grouped by default).

I used this feature extensively for years and over time found it less and less useful, but it is definitely an interesting approach to window organization and one that is obviously familiar to a large number of users.

On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 11:44 PM, David Mulder <greatslovakia zoho com> wrote:
Not entirely true, right now we have duplicated tab designs between every single application and sometimes even within applications (main view and settings). And there is no reason to wipe them out completely, take for example firefox, all that would be needed to done is the following:
  1. Set links to open in new windows
  2. Disable the new window link in the right click menu
  3. Or optionally create an extension (e.g. in the ubuntu-firefox extension) which would set a "new tab" option opening a normal window and a "new window" option which would create a new window with a different size/name/type/whatever.
Tabs would still be accessible if somebody digs into the settings, but a normal user would never get the choice to use one option or the other. Naturally - in the end - not all applications would be using it, but the same is true with every feature (e.g. not all applications use the default window decoration, the same components (tickboxes etc.)) yet every single generalisation is a win for the user!
 (Aside of that, if such a feature will be ever developed this is one of the best moments to consider it, all the competition has come with OS's in the recent times forcing the user to partially rewrite applications, while the OS didn't actually add significant features. This would require significantly less work and would improve the user experience, so I guess it would be a win-win-win situation both in time, developers and users). I might be mailing - if there is no objection - gedit and firefox developers whether they theoretically would like such a feature.
  David Mulder

On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:12 PM, Gregory Petrosyan <gregory petrosyan gmail com> wrote:
On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 09:21:12PM +0100, David Mulder wrote:
> But most applications DO offer an option to disable tabs, at least two out
> of three tab based applications I use on my computer have such an option
> (and I am on a mac rather than on linux where it should be even better), the
> actual problem would be to auto-enable this feature in gnome, but even that
> should be possible, as this UI would give quite a number of advantages to
> developers and most bigger projects do have specific configurations for
> gnome/KDE/mac/windows either way.

It is not sufficient to "use windows by default". Tabs should be wiped out of
the apps completely (that means help, menus, settings etc). Otherwise, it
would seem like a duplicated functionality: "look, I can use gedit tabs, or
gnome-shell tabs... which should I use?". And the user will have to learn
_both_ app-specific and WM tabs.


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