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Any chance of getting a side panel instead of an inspector window? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
To me it just seems like having a panel at the very right side of the window that can be shown and hidden is much more elegant and self-contained than the current setup with an inspector. Any chance of Omni Group deciding to go this route instead?
 
I personally prefer the flexibility of the inspector window. Not only does it allow you to position the info wherever you want, but it can also overlap your main window (handy for small screens). And, because the inspector window doesn't consume the entire height of the main window as a second, right-hand sidebar would, it's a much more efficient use of space.

What if the inspector "docked" to the side of the main window (snapped to the main window as it does to the side of the screen? Would that be a good compromise?

-Dennis
 
I would prefer it integrated or at least docked as the replier suggested. I generally detached inspector windows. It is just a burden to me with no upside. Have something that is attached to the window that can pop in and out.

Look at these pics to see how iTerm does it's shortcut bar thing (this is just an example that is readily available to me right now.

http://skitch.com/indygreg/u8cp/console (not popped out)
http://skitch.com/indygreg/u8cu/console (popped out)

If you want to leave it popped out, it stays out. You can make it go away when you want.

People must like detached inspector windows, as other programs have them as well. I just cannot see where it is an advantage.
 
Oh, you're talking about a "drawer". Yeah, lots of apps on the Mac use them (including some Omni Group apps, like OmniOutliner and older versions of OnniGraffle). Many OS X apps seem to be switching to sidebar, which of course OmniFocus already uses for project and context source lists. Very few Mac apps use two drawers or a sidebar and a drawer.

-Dennis
 
One good example of double drawers that are extremely flexible and user adjustable is Pathfinder.

http://www.cocoatech.com/pf4/
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oschultz View Post
One good example of double drawers that are extremely flexible and user adjustable is Pathfinder.
I can't seem to find any screenshots showing multiple drawers. I don't doubt that Path Finder uses them (it looks pretty sophisticated), I just didn't see any examples in my brief look over the site.

However, it looks like Path Finder also makes heavy use of inspector windows like OmniFocus. :)

-Dennis
 
"Heavy use" would be going a bit far. As with Finder, Cmd-Opt-I will open up a palettised info window instead of a standard info window---and there are a few scattered preferences in palettes. You don't really use them that much on a daily basis, though, unless you are prone to constantly fiddling with your colour scheme.

Drawers and panels on the other hand, ha! East, south, and west all have drawers, in addition there are two pane style interior panels. For the record, in terms of interface I prefer interior panes. Drawers look ugly, to me, and palettes annoy me as they are too difficult to close (Cmd-W acts unpredictably, and the buttons are too small), and do not behave themselves when it comes to stacking. Always-on-top is rarely useful to me.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberV View Post
"Heavy use" would be going a bit far.
OK. I just based my comment on the screenshots I could find: one image with multiple inspectors/palettes showing and no images with multiple drawers. Of course, the software in the real world may vary.

Come to think of it, Panic's Transmit uses drawers on the side and bottom too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberV View Post
For the record, in terms of interface I prefer interior panes. Drawers look ugly, to me...
If someone had asked me a year or two ago, I would have said drawers looked fine. But now, I think I agree with you - interior panes and sidebars do look a little better. But that might just be a result of current UI trends on the Mac. A lot of apps seem to be moving away from drawers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberV View Post
...palettes annoy me as they are too difficult to close (Cmd-W acts unpredictably, and the buttons are too small), and do not behave themselves when it comes to stacking. Always-on-top is rarely useful to me.
All Omni apps use Command-Shift-I to toggle visibility of their inspector palette. That's pretty handy for me. iWork does the same thing (but with Command-Option-I).

Always-on-top and the fact they can be positioned independently from the main window offers a lot of flexibility for small screens and multiple displays. I'd hate to lose that with an "all-in-one-window" approach.

In general, I'm not particularly fond of the "all-in-one-window" design. In my view, it seems to defeat the purpose of the multi-window environment we've strived for since the mid-80s. Lukas Mathis makes some good points about why "all-in-one" is bad in his MDIs on the Mac blog post.

-Dennis

Last edited by Toadling; 2008-08-13 at 01:56 PM.. Reason: Added article link
 
As I've posted before, I hate inspectors.

They're OKish while you have something selected, as then they contain useful info which, after all, would take up space somewhere however you displayed it, but unless you let them appear over the top of the main window, which means you'll end up dragging them about, they still waste huge amounts of space:



Select nothing, and the wasted space becomes criminal:



Drawers suffer the same problem, though they can show and hide automatically. However, that involves re-sizing the entire window dynamically unless you have spare room anyway.

The solution is inline info - select an item and it expands to show it's info without needing to resize the main window, deselect, and all items collapse.

Mark

Last edited by MacBerry; 2008-08-14 at 04:46 AM..
 
I'm not a fan of inspectors either, and usually just leave them closed, but I don't understand where the lower "wasted space" in your screen shots is coming from. My OF inspectors don't show that space and contract/expand to the minimum height necessary to show the info. for the selected item. (With the exception that they don't disappear when no item is selected.)

Do you have some haxie that attaches inspectors to windows?
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Cheers,

Curt
 
 


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