On 24 Nov 2003 18:42:21 +0100, Sven Neumann <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Rapha√ęl Quinet <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > If the menu could also be removed or dragged to another dock, then
> > the last difference between the toolbox and the other docks would go
> > away.  Or did I miss something important?
> You missed the important fact that the menu cannot be removed and that
> we don't intent to change this. Face it, as it stands, the toolbox is
> special. I really don't understand why you are questioning this. It's
> a fact.

I am questioning this because I think that the fact that the toolbox
is "special" is an artificial limitation that should go away in a
future release in order to make the user interface more consistent and
easier to use.

Let's imagine for a moment that the menu can be moved to any dock, and
the tools area is just a grid view that can also be moved around.  We
may have to ensure that at least one menu is present in some dock, but
this may not even be necessary if the functions can be accessed in
some other way.  If we achieve this, then the mental model of how the
GIMP behaves becomes much simpler:
- There is one, two or any number of windows (docks) that can include
  various controls acting on the image windows.
- All docks are session-managed top-level windows.  Their size and
  position are kept accross sessions.
- All docks are equal and can host any number of tabs, including the
  one containing the tools.
- The main menu is just another thing that can be included (or not) in
  a dock.  If present, it would appear at the top of the dock.

Wouldn't this be easier to understand and work with?  The user simply
has a number of control windows in which several dockable items can be
organized in any way they want.  And none of them is more "special"
than the others.

If there is no good answer to the question "why do we need the toolbox
to be special (from a user interface point of view)?" then the
differences between the toolbox and the other docks should go away.
Not now, but in a future release.

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