Reducing tab size

Sean Egan seanegan at
Fri Aug 17 16:45:33 EDT 2007

On 8/17/07, Richard Laager <rlaager at> wrote:
> 1. Users get dancing widgets as they cross the boundary.

I don't know who coined this term "dancing widgets," but if a slight
one-row-of-text shift downward (or upward if you have bottom-tabs)
fairly infrequently is a 'dance,' to you, don't expect to be invited
to any dance parties.

Receiving a message in the existing conversation is more of a 'dance'
then this. That shifts the majority of the screen and obscures the top
line of text. Adding tabs does only the latter. doesn't seem like the end of
the world to me.

> 2. There is no drop target. Yes, the infopane COULD work here, but it's
>    messy and seems like a hack.
> 3. There is no drag target. Using the infopane here seems VERY wrong.

We currently use the entire window as a drop target, not just the tab.
I don't see what's so capital-letter-very wrong about using it as a
drag target.

I also think we greatly overestimate the amount of dragging
conversations between windows that actually happens. I'm not saying
it's not an important case to take care of, but I'd be surprised if
more than 1% of people ever drag a conversation between two windows.

> 4. It may decrease consistency:
>         a) GEdit, for example, shows a tab for just one document.
>         b) Spreadsheet applications (including and
>            Microsoft Excel, and probably others) show tabs for different
>            pages even when only one is being used.
>         c) Applications such as browsers that support tabs, in many
>            people's opinion, are sub-optimal now. They hide the tab bar
>            so users don't know tabs exist. If this is "fixed"
>            ("changed", if you disagree), then our move would decrease
>            consistency further.

All you're saying here is "inconsistency exists."

> If this is happening with enough frequency to both you (meaning anyone,
> not necessarily Sean), it's probably because you generally only have one
> conversation open at a time, in which case you should TURN OFF tabs
> entirely and leave the rest of us alone.

Huh? If what's happening?

Wouldn't any argument about the number of open conversations by people
bothered by the *presence* of single tabs apply equally to people
bothered by its *absense*?

> I'd also like to point out that I dislike your logic about complaints. I
> wasn't following closely enough the past couple of weeks to notice that
> things were changed. (I hadn't even done a new compile until just
> recently.) I'm obviously not going to be complaining about stuff that
> works and is right. We know that some people will complain about things
> that are just fine for the majority.

I don't know what logic you're talking about.

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