Tabs?

So, it seems like lots of people are enjoying adding tab support to GNOME applications.

While looking at the screenshots what came to my mind is that this seems just so wrong. I wonder if it is not better to improve task switching in the window manager, pager and window list, and have one window per document, as would be natural in a document-centric desktop.

Why are people trying to ressurrect the MDI model, which the GNOME HIG despises?

In other news, good to see planning on GNOME 3.0. And it does look like people are aware that repeating KDE 4/GNOME 2 is not a good idea, and planning the breakage/delay to be limited, and sane.

Update: a conversation at #webkit-gtk@Freenode just made me realize that the tabs for the calculator and totem were probably just jokes; I really hope so! =)

5 Replies to “Tabs?”

  1. You are not the only one who asked, but let me answer you here:

    As soon as there is a convincing platform solution for displaying multiple windows/slots/documents in a common window with a common toolbar, we can adapt to it.

    However, we have to provide satisfying solutions today and tomorrow, and not the day after tomorrow.

    Best regards,
    Christian Neumair

  2. I heartedly agree with you on providing solutions for today and tomorrow. I just think that ‘multiple slots/documents’ in a common window is the wrong problem to solve =).

  3. > ‘multiple slots/documents’ in a common window is the wrong problem to solve =).

    In theory you are right, and MDI is bad. However, since web browsers introduced this, many people are used to the behavior and want their applications to behave like that – at least that was my feeling. What we do is always a mixture out of what we want, what the usability experts want, and what our users want.

    Note that you can always unset a GConf key and everything will be as before, i.e. no tabs / MDI windows.

  4. What can I say? You’re argument is sound IMHO and I have nothing against it. I believe I won’t even be affected, since I don’t ever use nautilus in browser mode. I’m just afraid of this being a trend that takes GNOME away from simplicity. Perhaps do the other way around, and make those kinds of changes not be the default, but enabled through gconf would be a good thing too. Thanks again for you attention!

  5. I hope, also, that tabs in Gnometris is just a joke.

    I, too, don’t like the “tabs everywhere” craze that instated on GUADEC, but since this can be turned off easily: go for it! I’ll disable it right away.

    When GNOME 2.0 was released, I didn’t like it. I was used to GNOME 1.4 and all of its bells and whistles. Time passed and I realized how much cleaner layouts are the way to go. And, currently, GNOME brings both power and simplicity.

    Even the KDE guys, who were so “let’s add a button for everything”, are changing their minds — which is nice, because they have great apps that I don’t use because GNOME made me feel different about interface clutter.

    But… tabs everywhere? The UI Hall of Shame is unfortunately down ATM, but their chapter on tabs is fantastic and worth a read. I truly hope that GNOME don’t turn into a tab hell like most of its examples.

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