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Re: NSToolbar

From: Quentin Mathé
Subject: Re: NSToolbar
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 01:34:00 +0100

Le 12 janv. 04, à 17:57, Stefan Urbanek a écrit :

What about context sensitive toolbar, where context is focused (key) window? Applications will have just one NSToolBarPanel which will change according to the focused window. It can be either floating or with fixed position somewhere on the screen. No screen pollution and no need of views relayout in windows.

With this we will get another concept of "Action Panel" ( = Toolbar panel/window) to the existing one: Inspector Panel. The "Inspector" panel changes its contents according to the selected object where you can "inspect" the object's contents. The "Action Panel" will change it's contents according to the selected window and will display all available actions that can be done in the "selected" window.

What do you think?

Your idea is interesting but in pratice we have issues...

- such "Action panel" would be redundant with the menu palette because toolbars rightly implemented should be just proxies for the menu items (especially when you consider the tear off option for the menu palette).

- the "Action panel" content will change for every key window, then it would be very difficult to retain them with stable representations "in our brain". We can said also, it would be more difficult to predict what will be the "Action panel" content when you activate a window than to predict what will be the Inspector content when you click on a defined object. Such "Action panel" would be different beasts than Inspectors : because with Inspectors, you are looking First for an object to inspect. With such "Action panel", your are looking First for the correct window. With the menu palette which doesn't change inside a same application, there isn't the same problem.

… other things to consider :

- mini toolbar in window, like menu bar in window because they are small targets have no advantages according to the Fitt laws : they are moving small targets (the worst design possible). We must said mini toolbar outside a window with a stable position are ok.

- toolbar much bigger sized like NeXT or Mac OS X one are ok. They are close to the mouse movement in the window, they are binded to it and they are big targets. Good compromise.


Quentin Mathé

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