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Perhaps this has been requested before, but I would love to see an option to put OmniWeb's tabs in a pane (integrated part of the window, like the most recent instead of a drawer. Personally, I'm not a big fan of drawers and would much prefer a unified window with a pane. Just having an option in the preferences to switch between the two would be awesome.
Something like this:

There have been a number of topics on the subject where numerous reasons are cited as to why drawers are better, but personally I think it comes down to choice. I like the cleanness of the pane whereas others love the drawer for other reasons.

A preference would be a great solution.


Last edited by climbingtractor; 2007-01-26 at 04:06 PM..
That screenshot is exactly what I was thinking of. And I definitely think the choice should be in the user's hands.
Sadly, I suspect Apple is going to take any choice out of people's hands. I very much doubt that drawers are going to be a permissible feature of 10.5 and we'll all be lumbered with panes, no matter how much worse they are feature-wise and aesthetically.

Last edited by JKT; 2007-01-26 at 03:17 PM..
Originally Posted by JKT
Sadly, I suspect Apple is going to take any choice out of people's hands. I very much doubt that drawers are going to be a permissible feature of 10.5 and we'll all be lumbered with panes, no matter how much worse they are feature-wise and aesthetically.
I didn't know that about 10.5. <sigh> I too like drawers; I like the ability to shut them out of the way when I don't need to reference them, and I don't think panes—are "panes" not aptly named?—have any greater practical value or aesthetic appeal ... then I am not one to follow what style-gurus tell us we have to like. I actually positively dislike the appearance of the current version of Mail, but I accept that that is a matter of personal taste.
There's no reason why a pane can't be shut to get it out of the way when it's not in use. Try pressing Shift , Apple and M in Mail.
Originally Posted by xiamenese
I didn't know that about 10.5.
I know no more than you do, I just suspect it is likely given the way Apple appears to be heading (i.e. from the current version of Mail, to the leaked screenshots of iCal, etc). It seems likely to me that drawers are to be deprecated as an UI paradigm in favour of panes and if they are, OmniGroup will be forced to use them in order to remain good UI citizens.

FWIW, here's one of the earlier threads about panes versus drawers - although it is in the context of OmniOutliner rather than OmniWeb, my points in favour of a drawer are just as valid for OmniWeb as they are for OmniOutliner:

I can add a 7th and 8th item to my list of positives of a drawer over a pane (as implemented by Apple):

7. When the contents of the drawer exceed the vertical height of the drawer, because a placeholder already exists for it, the appearance of the scrollbar does not affect the drawer contents. With a pane, the drawer contents have to shrink to accommodate the newly appeared scrollbar.

8. The visual distinction between the contents of the drawer and that of the window is much stronger due to the drop shadow at the edge of the content window onto the drawer. Apple's panes have very little to distinguish them visually (a faint black line and a barely distinguishable faint blue tone and that is it). This has the effect of making the contents of a drawer appear (correctly) as being something other than the contents of the window.

See SafariStand for how annoying 7. is, and how less distinctive 8. is.

Last edited by JKT; 2007-01-26 at 04:45 PM..
In reply to 7:

There's no reason why a placeholder couldn't be used in a pane to stop this problem, just as there is no technical reason why the drawer has to have the placeholder.

And 8:

Panes do not need to be separated from the content by a single pixel line, although this is very popular and I really like it.

At the end of the day (hate it when I say that) this isn't really about whether omni should scrap the drawer, but whether they should allow the user to choose to use one or not.

Personally, I'd like to see them implement normal tabs along the top (or bottom) for those who would like that, but still get all the other lovely features that OmniWeb provides.
You missed the significant part of my message, "...over a pane (as implemented by Apple)"

Apple does not include scrollbar placeholders or anything other than a pixel line in their own API for panes, so yes, there are technical barriers to having them. For OmniGroup to add additional features would require them to code them in themselves in their own framework. This would make their UI look non-OS X like and take them outside the HUI guidelines for the OS and require them to do yet more work on their app at the expense of adding features. If Apple implemented panes so that they behaved more like drawers (i.e. they are not impinged upon by the toolbar, they don't affect the content when opened and closed, can be positioned on either side of the window, etc), then that would be fine and dandy by me, but Apple doesn't.

A choice for a lot of things would be great, and, in principle I have no objections to more choice being offered (though, very often, it's the case that too much choice can lead to a confused and confusing user experience). However, my other main point was that I don't think we are going to get a choice here because Apple is very likely to remove it in favour of the more limited and less aesthetically useful panes. If not in 10.5, then probably definitely in 10.6.
Originally Posted by climbingtractor
There's no reason why a pane can't be shut to get it out of the way when it's not in use. Try pressing Shift , Apple and M in Mail.
I'll have to take your word for it ... I tried to open Mail to see the effect but Mail will not run at all on my MacBook Pro ... I get the SPOD the moment I try to do anything and have to force quit. I don't know why that's happened, but as I don't use Mail, it's not something that I'm going to try to solve.

On the other hand, closing a vertical pane forces a redraw of the other panes because of the change of form factor ... as happens in Opera, for instance, if you open/close the history pane. I prefer the fact that a drawer just retracts without affecting the main window at all.

I too am basically in favour of options, but excessive options, as has been said many times ends up degrading the user-experience, and I can imagine that programming an option for a visual difference as major as drawers vs panes would be far from easy and take an immense amount of time and effort.

But as JKT says, Apple may well take the option away in any case.


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