I have pretty much decided now how i want to proceed and its been good with some of the comments to help clarify why things should be done. In all cases (even old skins) the location bar would be removed and replaced by tab(s) or no longer shown when tabs are docked in the caption bar/ vertically
I think most people will agree this is an improvement. The location bar took too much space and wasn't very useful. A positive side-effect of this will be that new users will be discouraged from using the awful embedded browser.
There would be two new layout options:
- "extend header bar into the left panel" - this option is needed for some existing skins which wont work well (eg. midnight). It wont be enabled by default as most people only have one tab open and when not enabled it gives more space to the left navigator. It also works better the option is not enabled for people who have the library explorer maximised.
This is unnecessary. I will argue that the header bar should always be extended. First of all extended header takes some 25px off of the left navigator and if that's really a problem there's still the option to combine header bar with caption, people who will need more space for navigator panel, will also need more space for other panels, so they'll probably use that option anyway.
Secondly as SimonBRT reported switching between tabs with different states of navigator panel, will cause the tabs to move away from the mouse pointer. I think this is a serious ui problem that is being underestimated. Extended header solves that.
As for issues with skins i think the interface improvement should have higher priority than skin compatibility and skin developers should be notified of the changes and urged to update their skins.
I know some people want the header bar to extend over the Now Playing bar but i am reluctant to do that because the search box and panel layout buttons are no longer aligned to the main panel and i dont think it really adds much value
i completely agree
- "show tabs and controls in the caption bar" - this option maximises the vertical space available. Fairly much like mikebo's example but would include the search box
So be it. Hopefully you change your mind about the search box in the future
Ideally i would like to get rid of the vertical tabs option but i know some people will be upset by that. It probably makes most sense if the vertical tabs are displayed on the very left panel rather than in the main panel. But in any case it does leave a large area of blank header panel now the location bar will not be displayed.
This again i don't understand. In the past vertical tabs made sense because they freed more vertical space. But now with tabs in header bar or caption bar, they bring absolutely no benefit. And i couldn't say it better: "it does leave a large area of blank header panel now the location bar will not be displayed." Also they are harder to read.
For the web browser, i might add a node on the left panel "Web Browser" but in any case when the web browser is open, a sub-panel will display in the main panel so you can enter a url, refresh and bookmark. A link could also be opened in the search box using http:// as the indicator to MB its a web link
I've said it before and i'll say it again: the embedded web browser is a terrible experience and should be phased out. Making the search box a url entry box is also a very unfortunate idea. It will only benefit people who read this thread, anyone else simply won't know about it. When we discuss changes and new ideas for MusicBee I'd like to see more consideration for new users and making things more intuitive rather than hiding features and adding countless options.
Sorry if i sometimes present my opinions in a somewhat crude manner, but that's really how i feel about certain things and don't expect everybody will agree with me.
I guess whats been partially putting people is the colouring on the default skins isnt as slick as what can be acheived
Maybe it's time for a refresh. I'd be happy to help.
One more question:
Any plans for the status bar?