Reducing tab size

Ankit Singla anksingla at
Fri Aug 3 20:45:39 EDT 2007

John Bailey wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Sean Egan wrote:
>> Because I enjoy being shot down and flamed, I've decided to post some
>> potential ideas.
> You get flamed?  Surely you jest! (That was sarcasm, of course.)
>> - Remove the status icon. It does nothing absolutely to organize
>> conversations, and occupies a relatively large amount of space. To
>> everyone who argues that the infopane's icon is redundant to the tab,
>> I argue that the tab's icon is redundant to the infopane.
>> - Remove the close button. With middle-click-to-close, you don't gain
>> actually gain anything from the close button, although I wouldn't
>> expect anyone to actually find middle-click-to-close on their own. We
>> may also want to show a close button only on the active tab, which is
>> what Firefox does when it has too many tabs to display. This is
>> already optional, which is probably enough. Perhaps make the default
>> no-close-buttons.
> Stepping into the (unusual for me) role of compromiser, I'm going to suggest
> something that combines elements of both ideas and will likely attract some
> flames my way from both sides of the debate.  My suggestion is that we remove
> both the status icon and the close button by making them optional.  I'm not
> suggesting the traditional "checkbox in Preferences" style of optional here, but
> instead the "make it a plugin" type of optional.  My GTK+ knowledge and
> experience are almost zero, so forgive my naivety if it's not practical or
> possible to do GtkNotebook manipulation in this manner.
I agree that plugins are a good way to go for preferences like this. 
Although it somewhat turns the plugin dialog into a sort of "advanced 
preferences" pane, I feel like it's already kind of like this anyway.
> I see two major benefits here if we can do it--one, we satisfy those like Sean
> who feel the icon wastes space.  Previously I disliked the lack of icons, but
> now I'm finding myself more neutral to the idea, particularly if we can take
> advantage of the other benefit.  This is deflecting the inevitable complaints by
> saying "Try it for a while and if you still hate it, go load ${whatever_plugin}."
> To make this idea more palatable, I would even suggest going so far as to make
> this a feature of either the Extended Preferences plugin, should Kevin be
> willing to accept it, or a new plugin in the Purple Plugin Pack assuming none of
> my fellow developers there disagree.
Advanced preferences is a great place to put this! ;)
> I would also suggest a plugin in the Purple Plugin Pack for the protocol icons
> just to silence complaints, but I'm not sure my fellow developers are willing to
> be so accommodating.  I suspect I'll be hunted by two lynch mobs for this
> comment. ;)
>> - Truncate tab labels to the nearest space or '@' I don't think this
>> will actually have much an effect on tab width, unless you're using an
>> ancient, non-ellipsizing version of GTK+, but I think I'd rather see
>> "devel" than "devel at co..."
> I like this idea pretty much as-is, however, I use aliases extensively and have
> spaces in all but one alias on my buddy list, so I'm probably strongly biased here.
>> - Write a new GtkNotebook widget that does everything just the way we
>> want it. What would we want from such a thing?
> I realize this wouldn't be the first time we've subclassed or just completely
> replaced a GTK+ widget to suit our needs, but do we *really* want to go down
> this road?  It seems to me that this would expend a LOT of effort for minuscule,
> if any, gain.
> John
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