Open Bug 1839194 Opened 8 months ago Updated 3 months ago

The Spaces toolbar should be used as a vertical tab bar for mail, calendar, address book

Categories

(Thunderbird :: Toolbars and Tabs, enhancement)

Thunderbird 115
enhancement

Tracking

(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: jj+bugzilla, Unassigned)

References

()

Details

(Keywords: dupeme)

Attachments

(1 file)

Steps to reproduce:

  • Click on any of the Spaces icons (Address Book, Calendar, etc)
    or alternatively
  • open up a search

Actual results:

  • A tab bar is created taking up very valuable vertical space, when switching is already accomplished via the vertical bar

Expected results:

  • The tabs should be created vertically in the Spaces toolbar

Do we already have a bug about this?

Flags: needinfo?(alessandro)
Keywords: dupeme

We don't have a bug for this.

The plan for the future is to not open a tabbar if the user is only accessing the primary spaces (mail, calendar, address book, etc), and only show tabs when multiple elements per space are opened (single messages in tabs, events in tabs, etc).

We don't have an ETA for this but it will happen later this year.
Having an option to show the tabs vertically is something we can consider and explore.

Flags: needinfo?(alessandro)
Attached image UI redundancy mock-up

Thinking more on it, vertical bars should be part of a larger conversation/ bug that focuses on UI redundancy.

If you look at the attached (admittedly very amateur) mock-up, you can see that by shuffling a few things around, the relatively huge top bar can be completely removed.

Reclaiming vertical space might not seem very important on 27"+ 16:10 desktop screens, but on 13" 16:9 laptop screens the value of it becomes very apparent.

Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
Summary: The Spaces toolbar should be used as a vertical tab bar → The Spaces toolbar should be used as a vertical tab bar for mail, calendar, address book
Duplicate of this bug: 1849832
See Also: → 1788051

Yeah, in the end, isn't the Spaces Toolbar just a tab bar that (to put it in Firefox terms) only shows pinned tabs? Therefore, maybe it would make sense to unify the tab bar and the spaces toolbar entirely, so that there are two (probably mutually-exclusive) options: you can either use the Spaces Toolbar, and have vertical tabs; or the Tab Bar, and have horizontal tabs.

For me, the first tab is currently fixed to the inbox; this should be dynamic based on which item is selected on the spaces bar. Tabs should be items that the user opens from one of the spaces (messages, calendar events, web pages, etc...).

I do like the idea of having a unified bar as well, but that could be another customization setting. Maybe allow the user to opt in for sharing their layout preferences to find out the most popular layout.

(In reply to jfftck from comment #6)

For me, the first tab is currently fixed to the inbox; this should be dynamic based on which item is selected on the spaces bar.

Assuming this hasn't changed in the years since I worked on Thunderbird, that's an architectural limitation due to needing at least one instance of the 3pane tab (aka the inbox) in order for Thunderbird to function. (Essentially, this is because tabs were retrofitted onto Thunderbird for version 3 all those years ago.) I know there's been some progress on fixing this, but I'm not sure TB is to the point where you can just have no 3pane at all.

(In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #7)

(In reply to jfftck from comment #6)

For me, the first tab is currently fixed to the inbox; this should be dynamic based on which item is selected on the spaces bar.

Assuming this hasn't changed in the years since I worked on Thunderbird, that's an architectural limitation due to needing at least one instance of the 3pane tab (aka the inbox) in order for Thunderbird to function. (Essentially, this is because tabs were retrofitted onto Thunderbird for version 3 all those years ago.) I know there's been some progress on fixing this, but I'm not sure TB is to the point where you can just have no 3pane at all.

You could just hide the tab when not on the inbox, and place a tab for the active space. This is easier than combining the tabs and spaces into 1 bar. Also, the side tabs would have to take up more horizontal space for the title, which doesn't sound like a good tradeoff. Everything is styled with CSS, so it isn't hard to hide the tab when not active but still leaving the 3 pane layout in the state it currently goes into when another tab is selected.

The UX should be to remove having tabs and buttons that do the same thing, this is a start while having the end goal of implementing a fix for the tabs. Having a short-term solution is better than having this confusing double task switching. I know it is a hack, but it sounds like tabs are a hack already.

(In reply to jfftck from comment #8)

The UX should be to remove having tabs and buttons that do the same thing, this is a start while having the end goal of implementing a fix for the tabs. Having a short-term solution is better than having this confusing double task switching. I know it is a hack, but it sounds like tabs are a hack already.

Well, just to be clear, I believe there's been some work towards reducing the hacks in TB 115. I don't know how far along it is, but some of the longstanding bugs that TB used to have due to the old TB3-era hacks are now fixed. (In particular, messages in tabs didn't used to maintain their scroll position because leaving the tab and returning to it caused TB to reload the message entirely.) It's entirely possible that the new TB code is cleaned up enough that you really could close the initial 3pane tab.

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