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Seeing as how a significant segment of the OmniOutliner users are using it along with the Kinkless GTD system, I was wondering if the OmniGroup had considered changing the drawer to a pane? Apple seems to be moving away from drawers, and since so many of us use OmniOutliner in this way, a pane seems like it would make a lot of sense.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acollins
Seeing as how a significant segment of the OmniOutliner users are using it along with the Kinkless GTD system, I was wondering if the OmniGroup had considered changing the drawer to a pane? Apple seems to be moving away from drawers, and since so many of us use OmniOutliner in this way, a pane seems like it would make a lot of sense.
Two things:
(1) It seems to me that the argument that although a "significant segment" of OO users may be using it along with KGTD, however well having a pane rather than a drawer might suit their needs, that does not necessarily apply to the equally valid needs of the other significant segment who are not using KGTD.
(2) For those running on iBooks, older iMacs, eMacs and others, drawers are useful because they can be collapsed out of the way when not needed for reference. I have an original TiBook, but often have drawers closed so that the active window doesn't take up so much of the screen and I can see other open but inactive windows behind. I for one regret the shift away from drawers to panes.

Mark
 
I recognize that everyone has different preferences and workflows, but it seems that the widespread use of KGTD merits a discussion of what would benefit the majority of users. I can also think of workflows not involving KGTD that could be enhanced with a pane rather than a drawer. I know that no solution/change is ever received with only accolades, but with the anticipated debut of 13.3 inch widescreen notebooks I think it seems that widescreen/larger screens are soon going to the norm in the Apple landscape. Whatever one's personal feeling about drawers, recent Apple applications seem to be moving away from drawers.

I know that not everyone agrees, but I wanted to see what others think and -- probably more importantly -- what the OmniGuys think.
 
I can see the benefits of both.

One thing I particularly like in Path Finder 4.0, (which employs some Omni code, no?) is the ability to set what happens in each pane or drawer.

Perhaps there might be an argument for something like that.
 
Frankly, I don't see any functional difference between the two at all other than:

1) The drawer allows you to drag and drop to the area behind the window far more easily owing to the gap at top and bottom.

2) It lets you have a larger toolbar (e.g. with ruler active in OmniOutliner) without using up more vertical space in the drawer (a pane would lose that vertical space).

3) I can easily have it on either side of the window.

4) Except in the one extreme case where your window occupies the full screen, rather than shifting content left and right every time you open/close it, which ruins your visual tracking of the content in the main window, it only moves itself.

I can't see any advantages to having a pane and by getting one, you lose all those advantages that the drawer has.

What am I missing about paned views that makes them better than drawers?
 
JKT summed up some of the interface advantages of drawers, and I agree wholeheartedly. I like drawers. Often, I like them a lot. For example:

These are some of my favorite interface designs. I love my drawers. Ahem.
 
Panes have the virtue of experiential stability and a visual simplicity, beyond that not much. Drawers are, I agree, more useful.
 
Also, it may not count for much but panes seem to be a more natural UI paradigm than drawers. Perhaps my experience is limited but when OS X first made its debut I had trouble figuring drawers out. Not how to use them, but whether the use of a drawer indicated items that I was only supposed to use infrequently or if it was just a way of unifying an aspect of the interface that was logically grouped together.

It seems like many applications' use of drawers falls into the latter category, and I find that I infrequently use an application without having its drawers always visible (iCal, the old Watson, OmniOutliner). The one exception that I have found has been NetNewsWire's subscriptions drawer.

While I agree that drawers are more versatile, my experience has not been that they are necessarily more useful. Maybe it depends on whether you view an OO file as a document or a more interactive application. As a document, the drawer's contents may be used less frequently. As an application, however, the drawer's contents seem to be more ubiquitous.

Just my two cents. :)
 
Even if you do leave drawers open at all times (which 95% of the time I do), they still have more benefits than panes (1 to 3 in my list above), yet still provide the exact same functionality. I still fail to see any difference between the actual function a pane offers over a drawer and I'm still waiting to have someone tell me why a pane would be better (other than it is just what other applications/platforms do).

There's actually a fifth and sixth benefit of drawers over panes:

5) I can resize the drawer without affecting the window contents in any way. If I do the same with a pane, the window contents have to reflow and my visual tracking is once again interfered with.

6) If I alter my toolbar in any way (e.g. close it) the contents of the drawer are not affected.
 
I'm a supporter of panes, primarily for two reasons:

(a) While I do create documents from OO, it is primarily an interactive application for me.

(b) I think drawers look dumb and ugly...

Any chance we could have a choice in prefs?
 
 


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