[openbox] wishlist: tabbed windows

Clay Barnes clay.barnes at gmail.com
Mon May 8 16:30:53 EDT 2006

On 18:38 Mon 08 May     , David Barr wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-05-08 at 18:55 +0200, Mikael Magnusson wrote:
> > On Mon, 8 May 2006, John Russell wrote:
> > 
> > > On 5/8/06, Marc Wilson <msw at cox.net> wrote:
> > >>  On Mon, May 08, 2006 at 02:23:48PM +0200, muzzle wrote:
> > >> >  I am impressed by the tabbed window function that fluxbox implemented
> > >> >  (http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net/features/tabs.php).
> > >>
> > >>  So why don't you use fluxbox, then, since it has features you want?
> > >> 
> > >> >  I wonder how easy (how hard) would it be to implement this in my choice
> > >> >  window manager (openbox).
> > >>
> > >>  Get coding and submit a patch, then you'll know.
> > >> 
> > >> >  I think it would be a great feature, what do you think?
> > >>
> > >>  I think it would be cr*p.
> > >
> > > Openbox is the best windowmanager I've ever tried.
> > >
> > > Some of the people on this list are the rudest pack of dicks I've ever
> > > stumbled across.
> well maybe, maybe just honest, i can't say i disagree with marc on this
> one.
> > Actually I think it's only Marc. :)
> > 
> marc is a man who knows what he likes, sometimes i agree, sometimes i do
> not, on this i agree.
> Does anyone want to dispute this with usability issues? probably not, if
> i wanted *proper* tabs i would use some beos derivative.
> fwiw i don't think openbox people are especially rude, but they (we?)
> do not suffer fools gladly, you have to stand your ground on issues you
> believe in, no matter how petty it sounds. if anyone wants to dispute an
> issue then do so; state your reasons, i am sure they will be considered
> for their merits.
> keep it clean,   
> david
Well, I'm in Computer Science (though that's probably not exactly
uncommon on the list :-P), and my specialization is in human interface
design.I disagree with tabs for the following reasons:

1) They essentially only add functionality to mouse-driven interactions,
which are generally among the most difficult and slowest means to
manipulate information.There are numerous exceptions, but none of them
apply to the tab paradigm.
2) They are functionally equivilant stacks of applications, which is
already easily modeled by the current commands (move to top/bottom,
switch to next window, etc.)
2.5) Multi-desktop structure is also a means to open large numbers of
applications without struggling to keep them straight.
3) They must be either a) wasteful of screen real-estate, b) small
and hard to activate because clicking on narrow bands is unnecessarly
hard with a 'mouse' design, or c) hover-activated (which halves the
dimensions that must be aligned) which causes serious troubles with
accidental activation.
4) Tabs represent (though the convention is dying sadly) parallel data
structures, and parallelization of different applications is claiming
that they are the same, which they are not unless they're instances of
the same application---in which case, it is the application's
responsibility to reduce resource use and provide it's *own* internal

Additionally, I came to understand a little while ago that sometimes
when you want the fastest, cleanest WM, you have to go with one that
might not have a couple fewer features that you want.Sure it's not
*perfect* but it's the price you pay for minimalism, and I find it's
well worth it for me, though your milage may vary.If you're not happy,
just look for heavier stuff until you get all the features you cannot
live without.Be forewarned that you might end up with a Gnome-sized
WM, though.

I hope my reasoning is clear and (reasonably) polite.


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