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#1 2012-01-19 19:11:44

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

Tabs, please, tabs

Just  came to xfce from Ubuntu.

Reason: Ubuntu's Unity desktop disrupted my working routines like a cluster bomb in a stock exchange. So I looked elsewhere. The most common comment made in favour of xfce was that it was incomparably configurable. So here I am. New o/s. New desktop.

It is with some dismay therefore that I have learned not only that Thunar doesn't provide a tabbed view but that its authors appear on these forums to be stubbornly opposed to the idea.

This seems counter-intuitive to me. It's like censorship. People say, we want to ban all slasher movies because they corrupt our kids. Other people say, you don't have to watch it - just switch it off, and don't let your kids watch it ffs. The same goes for tabs. Some people, like me, find them invaluable. Other people become irrationally incensed by the idea of them. But surely if the option is there and you don't like it, you can switch it off? That's what I would expect from a desktop that is supposed to be incomparably configurable, particularly as I have come here after fleeing the desktop Stalinists in Ubuntu-land, who wanted to force everyone to work in some harebrained fashion. It is amusing to note at this point that I opted in the end for openSUSE because it supported xfce: openSUSE, the o/s that uses the tagline, 'linux for open minds'. Ho ho.

As for tabs they have become such an intrinsic part of my working methods that I cannot live without them. It seems strange to me that anyone who had really tried them could ever feel any different (though I appreciate that is what they say about Unity, which is clearly absurd). But I am sorry to say that the lack of tabs will mean I must see if it is possible for me to replace Thunar with something else, without ever having got to see what it is that people say is so good about it. I am also sorry to say that if I find I cannot install in place of Thunar a file manager that does provide tabbed views then I must move on again in search of another desktop environment, if not another o/s. Seems silly because tabs seem to be popular. Why get all xenophobic about them?

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#2 2012-01-19 19:30:34

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

I see on further browsing that the developers have not struck the idea of tabs off the xfce wishlist:

http://wiki.xfce.org/wish_list

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#3 2012-01-19 22:14:44

Nick
Dev
From: ~
Registered: 2005-02-17
Posts: 1,144
Website

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Don't whine: fork and add it, nobody will complain.

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#4 2012-01-19 22:35:25

jeromeg
Moderator
From: France
Registered: 2010-11-11
Posts: 131
Website

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Developers are not xenophobic about tabs, they think it's useless and thus don't want to waste their time to implement it. Now if you come up with a patch which implements them in a clean and clever way they might think otherwise.

And honestly tabs on a file browser are really not easy to use and inefficient, for example for drag and drop, I find it far more efficient to tile my thunar windows to have them all visible at the same time.

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#5 2012-01-20 00:18:03

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Alas, I am but a mere mortal. A user. I.e. - not a developer. I know, I'm not worthy. I use my computer to do a job other than developing software. Bizarrely, I'm also someone who believes linux could become an operating system of use to people other than developers if only developers would consider that how it might be useful to people other than developers. This matters to me. Because linux deserves to be more widely used, and often makes pretenses at making efforts to be more widely used, but is often about as usable as a knitting machine schematic in a sewing circle. So no I won't stop whining. That's what I can do that is of some use here. And tabs really are very useful, in my humble experience.

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#6 2012-01-20 04:26:57

Ion Silverbolt
Member
Registered: 2010-01-14
Posts: 28

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

I came from Kde 3.5, so I know what you mean about tabs. Konqueror was highly configurable and supported tabs, and I thought it was very useful. However, I have gotten used to thunar and I must say, it has its own merits. The mass renaming feature is just one of them.

Anyway, there are lots of light file managers you can use besides thunar. So at least you aren't restricted there.

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#7 2012-01-20 06:48:35

jeromeg
Moderator
From: France
Registered: 2010-11-11
Posts: 131
Website

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Ion Silverbolt wrote:

Anyway, there are lots of light file managers you can use besides thunar. So at least you aren't restricted there.

Exactly!

markling wrote:

Alas, I am but a mere mortal. A user. I.e. - not a developer. I know, I'm not worthy.

I never said that, come on...

markling wrote:

I use my computer to do a job other than developing software. Bizarrely, I'm also someone who believes linux could become an operating system of use to people other than developers if only developers would consider that how it might be useful to people other than developers. This matters to me. Because linux deserves to be more widely used, and often makes pretenses at making efforts to be more widely used, but is often about as usable as a knitting machine schematic in a sewing circle. So no I won't stop whining. That's what I can do that is of some use here. And tabs really are very useful, in my humble experience.

I get your point and believe me, developers spend most of their time working for other people: for example bug fixing is very often work to improve the experience of the others as developers very often can't reproduce the bugs... But you also have to understand that if a developer does not believe in a particular metaphor, you can't expect him to give dozens of hours to implement it.

Jannis and Nick spend a huge amount of time to improve the experience of the whole community and just because they don't want to implement tabs doesn't mean they don't care about community, it means they don't care about tabs. So be fair.

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#8 2012-01-20 08:25:23

markling
Member
Registered: 2012-01-19
Posts: 14

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

> I never said that, come on...

No, you didn't. But Dear Nick suggested I stop whining and develop a fork. Fair comment if you only usually ever hear from developers. I would encourage you to speak to non-Vulcan users a little more.

> I get your point and believe me, developers spend most of their time working for other people: for example bug fixing is very often work to improve the experience of the others as developers very often can't reproduce the bugs... But you also have to understand that if a developer does not believe in a particular metaphor, you can't expect him to give dozens of hours to implement it.

I appreciate that. And as a user I shouldn't have to come on a forum, prone myself and leave offerings of thanks as though granted court momentarily in the great court of the developer. I appreciate their hard work by using their software. It goes without saying that the developers are mighty for lo! their works are great.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that I haven't got better things to do. I'm doing my bit as an OSS user by giving feedback. After discovering that Thunar didn't do tabs, I did a search for xfce file managers that did do tabs and the most frequent result of note to me were notes from people asking for Thunar to implement tabs. So it appeared to me that if I were to add my vote, I ought to put some thought into it - to explain to you why it is important to me.

But the trouble with the OSS model is that real users get discouraged from making real usage reports by over-sensitive developers and community forums that do not welcome constructive criticism by engaging it in deserving debate about the matter at hand - i.e. the specific questions of usability. It always digresses into a side-debate about the etiquette of how one should address the court.The OSS community needs to grow up. We love your software, for gadsakes - that's why we use it. But its not about you - it's about the software, which is about the user experience, which is about the job the user is trying to do with the computer, which is about whatever purpose they are pursuing in life, which in only a small proportion of cases involves developing software.

Now if I were to draw anything important from this particular experience it is the realization that developers don't work on desktops - they work in IDEs. Other users - who work with documents - work on desktops. They often require quite a detailed and configurable environment - you'd find it as hard to imagine the finesse with which someone organises their desktop work environment as a non-Vulcan would find it hard to imagine the complexities of an IDE. The closest to perfection I ever came was Ubuntu 10.10 with Nautilus and Gedit. Tabs were key advantages for both these programs. (This matter of tabs being something browsers do and therefore not appropriate for file managers, because file managers are superior tools for superior developers, is just the sort of prideful nonsense that overlooks the simple needs of non-Vulcan users). Then Ubuntu 11 happened. It basically involved developers dumping on users an idea of what they thought would make life *easier* for them, as though the developers assumed the computer-equivalent of their reading age were infant and they therefore should be given a desktop environment in the style of a Fischer Price toy. My whole working life has been turned upside down because some developers on some far away planet determined that I would work better if I operated my computer with club fists. I've consequently been doing something a user should never be required to do - take time away from work to try out different desktop environments and file managers in the vain hope that I might recover my well-established working pattern and get back to work. Well I have got better things to do. And I appreciate this is not your problem. But I hope as developers of an environment that seems to be sticking to its guns and avoiding this fad for ridiculous desktops that *are not backwards-compatible to users*, that you will take note.

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#9 2012-01-20 08:54:25

secipolla
Member
Registered: 2012-01-15
Posts: 393

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Hi, I like tabs too. I was used to pcmanfm and I think they're practical (pcmanfm itself is a bit buggy nowadays and I stay with Thunar).
In a small screen (1024x768) Thunar windows overlap so actually better than tabs would be tiling for xfwm4 (I see that x-tile is recommended in the wishlist page; will try that).

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#10 2012-01-24 13:56:02

the98
Member
Registered: 2009-11-10
Posts: 60

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Why did you change your OS? Install Gnome on Ubuntu, Susse, or where-ever you want. Or install a tabbed File Manager, like Nautilus on Xfce. Or keep using Ubuntu 10.10 (why upgrade if everything worked great?).

I guess devs will consider  your suggestion, but they have the choice to take it or leave it.

Regards.

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#11 2012-01-31 21:19:52

daggoth
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2009-03-05
Posts: 42

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

I like tabs, because they work well with the limited desktop space on my netbook. So yes, I think it is a must have feature.

But it is also easy to see how someone who mainly works on a desktop with a big LCD monitor doesn't understand tabbing is a necessary feature. But on a smaller screensize, tabbing is darned useful.

Thunar tabbing aside, I think xfce is an ideal desktop for using on a netbook. So thanks be unto the devs for that.

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#12 2012-01-31 21:54:58

Lightning_John
Member
Registered: 2012-01-27
Posts: 13

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Why don't you just use the workspace switchers? That is what they're for, limited desktop space. My screen is a classic, you probably can't buy them like this anymore. It's 800 x 600. That's tiny. I just found an alternate desktop recently, 1024 x 768. So there is some improvement. However I haven't changed a thing.

<ctrl><alt> + <arrow left or right>  It's really easy to get used to. Faster than using the mouse.


You can also use <alt><tab> for window management.

If you really use thunar often...you could add a shortcut key to open it.

Lets say I have different groups of files (three A, B, & C) I want to move to different places from the same directory (Z).

Thunar shortcut x2

First window, goto Z select, copy, paste

<alt><tab> , find destination  paste A

Repeat that until all the files are moved.

I don't understand why tabs would help?

Moving a mouse around the screen takes much longer than tabbing and alt tabbing





There are always simpler ways than this with just one thunar window open, but it's your choice.

Where do you think the concept of tabs came from? It came from tabbing.

Last edited by Lightning_John (2012-01-31 22:05:55)

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#13 2012-02-01 15:04:55

wkr
Member
Registered: 2011-01-01
Posts: 88

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Moving a mouse around the screen takes much longer than tabbing and alt tabbing

I'm keyboard-centric like you, but I think that there is lot of (most ?) PC users that are mouse-centric smile

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#14 2012-02-01 15:58:56

Clio
Member
Registered: 2011-01-25
Posts: 35

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

daggoth wrote:

I like tabs, because they work well with the limited desktop space on my netbook

Have a look on pcmanfm-mod
http://igurublog.wordpress.com/downloads/mod-pcmanfm/

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#15 2012-02-01 21:16:48

daggoth
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2009-03-05
Posts: 42

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

Lightning_John wrote:

Why don't you just use the workspace switchers? That is what they're for, limited desktop space.

<ctrl><alt> + <arrow left or right>  It's really easy to get used to. Faster than using the mouse.
You can also use <alt><tab> for window management.
If you really use thunar often...you could add a shortcut key to open it.

Point taken. Although I have 9 workspaces open already. And I use all the hotkeys too, including alt-1 thru alt-9 to switch between tabs. So yes, I'm the guy who is uses his mouse less. And I like tabs for the same reason that I like workspaces, simply because it creates a faster and less cluttered desktop.

Clio wrote:

Yes, I've installed mod-pcmanfm too, or spacefm as it is now known, just for a look. And it looks promising, although still buggy. But yes, I may switch to that one day...

Like I said above, I think that tabs do work well on netbooks. But that's just my opinion...

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#16 2012-02-02 20:46:01

Lightning_John
Member
Registered: 2012-01-27
Posts: 13

Re: Tabs, please, tabs

True...I guess it depends on your preference and hardware.

Maybe it should be an optional or custom feature which you can add/have seperately.

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