** Changed in: gtk
Status: Incomplete => Confirmed
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Tabs disappear in core Gnome applications
Status in GTK+:
Status in gtk+2.0 package in Ubuntu:
When opening more than a few tabs in Gnome applications like Gedit,
Epiphany etc, earlier tabs suddenly disappear with no warning and
almost without trace. All that is seen are two tiny arrows beside the
tabs which allows the user to scroll the tab list to reach the other
When this happens the first few times it's a very confusing, and also
scary and upsetting experience - "where did my important tab go?" "Did
I save?" "Please, please, please be in my history".
After finding out what actually happens, and at least understanding
it, it is just incredibly annoying and unusable. The huge advantages
that tabs offer are totally lost: instant overview and one-click
access. Without those, might as well use separate windows like
Internet Explorer or Notepad, although they only get as inaccessible
after their windows have grouped on the task list.
Almost all other tabbed systems shrink their tabs when needing to, and
it works great for them. A few expand into multiple rows instead.
I thought long and hard before filing this bug, because this is a
sensitive question apparently - common opinion is that this is a
50/50-issue, some love this, others hate it. Personally I've mostly
seen hate, and I deeply, strongly feel that this must be addressed one
way or the other, so here goes.
Summary on current behaviour:
* It is scary, surprising and confusing
* It takes away the instant overview of tabs
* It takes away the instant access of tabs
I suggest that:
* GtkNotebook gets another mode of operation, where tabs shrink instead of
disappear when space becomes scarce.
* If use open an incredible amount of tabs, it's ok to disappear them though,
we can't do magic and there's just so many pixels.
* Old mode of operation is also kept, and a global preference for the whole
Gnome desktop switches all GtkNotebooks to either behaviour for all using
* Default is changed to Resize, because:
- That is what any tab savvy user is used to
- That doesn't scare by making things disappear suddenly
- It's better usability with instant overview and access
* Nice to have: multiple row tabs as third option.
So, you heard me right. I propose to add extra options to Gnome. =) I
think it's warranted though. If it's such a 50/50 issue, there can
hardly be a good default. The current behaviour is scary and
unintiuitive, but have a loyal following. Those should be able to
retain their experience, just like there is spatial and non-spatial
For a more humorous rant on this frustration, I wrote this post a
little while back: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=124068 =)
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