Open Bug 439854 Opened 14 years ago Updated 7 years ago

want Ctrl+Tab to do what F6 (shift focus between UI panes) when there's only one tab

Categories

(Thunderbird :: Mail Window Front End, defect)

defect
Not set
normal

Tracking

(Not tracked)

People

(Reporter: jst, Unassigned)

References

Details

(Keywords: regression, Whiteboard: [workaround exists: F6])

Since the beginning of time it's been possible to move focus between the folder, header, and message panes in Thunderbird using Ctrl+Tab. This no longer works, and is likely to hurt anyone who's been using tb as a mail client for any length of time.
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3?
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3.0a2?
I'm pretty sure there's a dupe of this, but I agree it's a keyboard navigation problem.  I wonder if Marco knows what the older version of this bug is.
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3?
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3.0a2?
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3.0a2-
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3+
Whiteboard: dupeme
I don't know of a duplicate to this.
Though Ctrl+Tab? That's application switching here under KDE. Simply tab does seems to shift the focus between them.
Whiteboard: dupeme
Control+Tab is *application* switching under KDE? Are you sure you didn't mean Alt+Tab, which all other OSes I've ever used uses for application switching? Either way, this is a major usability regression, no matter what KDE's default application switching key combination is :)
That'd be because in Tb3, ctrl+tab changes tabs, just like it does in Fx, where there may be some keyboard shortcut to move focus from content to sidebar and back (the equivalent of our three panes), but I dunno what it is.

Some fun possible alternate futures:

* We'll ship Tb3 with ctrl+tab tab switching about the time Fx stops using it for that (see a few dozen recent posts in planet.m.o)

* We use something other than ctrl+tab for tab switching; nobody ever discovers what we use, because it isn't ctrl+tab

* We use it for tab switching when two or more tabs are open, and pane switching when only one is open; nobody is ever happy or sure what will happen when they ctrl+tab, except for old-school users who never open a second tab
Assignee: nobody → clarkbw
Not using Ctrl+Tab for switching between panes is IMO out of the question. That'd be breaking 10+ years old expectations from anyone who's ever used a keyboard with the thunderbird UI.
I'm not sure that Ctrl+Tab is a good system for future tab switching, while I like the demo I'm dubious of it's actual usefulness.  I think if we moved forward with it we'll likely end up in philor's #1 scenario listed when we could be looking towards a better system.  Examples include using our coming search bar in a similar method to recent tab searching posts.
I meant to say KDE uses it for virtual desktop switching.
Ah, that makes more sense. Nonetheless, Ctrl+Tab has been used at least on Windows since the beginning of time (well, as long as I can remember) to switch between windows inside an app (i.e. if you have multiple MS Word documents open at one time or what not, Ctrl+Tab is what you use to switch between those windows), and Thunderbird (or Netscape Mail, I should say) merely followed in those steps (AFAICT) way back in the day and has continued to work that way ever since, until very recently...
I don't think this meets the new criteria for blocking-tb3+.  Moving to wanted.
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3+
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3-
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3+
Target Milestone: --- → Thunderbird 3.0b2
Duplicate of this bug: 386244
Doesn't seem to have many good alternatives here... :(

Fx is sill using Ctrl+Tab to switch tabs. We do have F6 to switch between panes already - and that's still working.
OS: Linux → All
Hardware: PC → All
(In reply to comment #9)
> I don't think this meets the new criteria for blocking-tb3+.  Moving to wanted.

A UI feature regression from last release (and every previous release too for that matter) doesn't meet the criteria for blocking? Re-nominating, just to be sure, since it sure seems to me it should block as this is something that is highly likely to annoy more than just me. And it also seems like this should be really easy to fix for someone who knows his/her way around TB UI code.

And no, Firefox is not going to stop using Ctrl+Tab for tab switching, nor does TB need to, just include what used to be in the Ctrl+Tab list in the tab switching list and I bet a lot of users would be happy.
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3- → blocking-thunderbird3?
What do you mean by "include what used to be in the Ctrl+Tab list in the tab
switching list"? So that when it comes to the last pane it goes to the next tab?
Yeah. Now I must admit I've never used tabs in TB, so if that makes no sens then I do apologize.
Target Milestone: Thunderbird 3.0b1 → Thunderbird 3.0b2
After trying this in the older TB2 I can see how this really helps to control focus such that you can navigate from the folder tree to message list to message reader easily.  My understanding is that sometimes TB has indefinite focus moments and with this I'm able to at least get focus back and move it around to an area I want.

I'm finding this hard to make this a blocker as it is.  I need a strategy for a replacement that is either a different keyboard nav or something else entirely.  I'm totally open to suggestion, but I think we're going to stick keep control tab for tabbing.

retitling to reflect current need.
Summary: Ctrl+Tab doesn't shift focus between the different UI panes in Thunderbird 3. → need keyboard nav to shift focus between the different UI panes in Thunderbird 3.
We already have one, as Magnus noted in comment 11: F6 and Ctrl+Tab were both doing the same thing, and F6 continues to do what Ctrl+Tab used to do. That's a horribly awkward key (fn+a half-height key) on Mac laptops, but I don't know what else we have to spare.

I'm not really persuaded by jst's "include panes in the Ctrl+Tab order," which would be like having Fx include frames, or sidebars and notification bars in the Ctrl+Tab order: switching from tab 2 to tab 4 means pressing Ctrl+Tab twice, unless tab 3 has a frameset in Fx or is a 3pane in Tb, in which case it's four or more Ctrl+Tabs.

Having Ctrl+Tab switch tabs when there are two or more, and having it switch panes when there's only one tab open is exactly the sort of modal UI that makes perfect sense to me, and would please traditionalists, but I think that's the sort of UI suggestion that keeps getting me sent back to the reeducation camp.
marking as not blocking since there exists a work around.
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3? → blocking-thunderbird3-
Assignee: clarkbw → nobody
Whiteboard: [workaround exists: F6]
Duplicate of this bug: 532451
Note: according to http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/keyboard, the shortcut is just plain F6, but on Tb3 RC1 / Linux, it appears to be Ctrl-F6.  Does the doc need updating, or the code?
F6 works fine for me. (Ctrl+F6 does not)
In the final release F6 started working for me too.  Ctrl-F6 also still works.

I would consider this fixed.
Magnus (or anyone) do you agree?

(In reply to Jacob from comment #21)
> In the final release F6 started working for me too.  Ctrl-F6 also still
> works.
> 
> I would consider this fixed.
Flags: needinfo?(mkmelin+mozilla)
Target Milestone: Thunderbird 3.0b2 → ---
F6 has always worked AFAIK. This bug is now about allowing Ctrl+Tab to do what F6 does when there's just one tab.
Flags: needinfo?(mkmelin+mozilla)
Summary: need keyboard nav to shift focus between the different UI panes in Thunderbird 3. → want Ctrl+Tab to do what F6 (shift focus between UI panes) when there's only one tab
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