I do have to say though, that personally I fall heavily in favour of of extending the header bar to over the left panel. I use MB by keeping several tabs open at all times. Some of these have the left panel collapsed, and some expanded, depending on the purpose of that tab. I have always found it to be one of the strangest and most frustrating quirks of MB that as I switch between tabs, the back/forward buttons jump left and right. It just isn't logical and it certainly isn't intuitive. I still find this catching me out (with my mouse wandering to the incorrect location) even after years of daily MB use.
This is a very interesting observation and something I wasn't aware of. This is especially bad if you use anything else than 'Tabs in caption bar' and start switching tabs with different states of left panel. A strong reason to reconsider the header bar layout.
This is clearly starting to become a divisive topic so I don't blame Steven if he wants to play it safe.
Steven has repeatedly stated that these options would be just that, options. This flexibility is something he has somehow managed to keep with almost every reworking of key aspects of the program in the past. Yes, it has led to a large amount of options that may not be apparent out of the box, but that core usability has always remained, all the while adding more and more excellent features for us hardcore users and settings tweakers.
I've recently started having some doubts as to whether this is the best approach. Feels to me like almost every new idea becomes yet another option instead of replacing old solutions. This is good for old users of MB as we can mostly stick with options we are used to, but at the same time increases the already overwhelming amount of settings that new users will have to face. This is the case with "modern" and "classic" variants of different players.
Another problem for me is that every little detail has to have a setting to satisfy everyone wishes and a prime example of that is the setting page for modern compact player
- classic design by committee.
I feel strongly about vertical space because I have a very small amount of it. I haven't meant any of my comments to be particularly negative. I'm looking forward to trying this change out. This discussion just reflects the differences in how we're all used to using the program.
I particularly like the proposal of putting all the tabs and toolbar elements in the caption bar. Someone said they thought it looked crowded, but if you want to talk about how other programs are doing things, they're putting tabs in the caption bar. That's what would create more space on my screen.
I said that. I think the search box looks especially bad in the caption bar. That's why I proposed to make search a separate node. If you don't mind command buttons you can add them, if you don't want them in the caption bar you won't, that's fine. But I'm not against the general idea, just the specifics.
According to this statistic
nearly a third of internet users have 1366x768 displays so it is wise to have an option to fully integrate the header bar and caption bar. Option to hide the status bar wouldn't hurt either.
This is how that would look in my imaginary ideal world:
1. Default layout:
2. Combined caption and header bars layout:
The only problem with tabs in caption bar is they look shit when you move the player controls up top, which end up dividing the tabs form main panel. To avoid that player controls could be integrated into the caption bar when up top. Saves space and looks good imo.
3. Player integated with caption bar:
The setting for vertical/hoizontal/caption tabs could be removed. Instead there would only be an option to combine the header and caption bars.
Setting for menu placement could also be removed.
Perhaps moving the magnifying glass icon to the right could tell the user that the box is capable of more than searching.
Why not just use the 'Open File or URL' dialog from the File menu?