A more solid proposal for how overflow management and tab dragging could work in Camino in the future. I've spent a lot of time this summer working on ideas that were never really well set, but I've done a lot of listening and this almost feels like what people are expecting to see
When you open up too many tabs to fit in the tab bar then overflow management will change the appearance of the tab bar as shown above. This new tab bar has a set of pop-up menu buttons - one at either side - and a set of scroll buttons - one at either side. This allows people who use tabs heavily to retain their access to the pop-up menu that they are used to, or for casual users to use the scroll buttons like they would in Finder.
The pop-up buttons
The pop-up buttons at either side behave exactly as the single pop-up button currently behaves in Camino, with a few extensions.
When you click on a pop-up button it presents you with a list of tabs that are overflown at that side. This keeps a sense of position in the tab bar over the currently visible tabs. If you click on a tab from the pop-up menu then that tab is made either left-most or right-most in the tab bar - this depends on whether or not you click on a menu item in the left or right pop-up menu respectively.
As a result of selecting the tab at the bottom of this list you have selected to make the first tab left-most. One of the complaints I have received with regards to what I was working on was that it was difficult to tell whether or not you could scroll in a direction anymore because the difference between an active and inactive button is not always obvious.
An attempt to deal with this is to remove the pop-up menu button and scroll button from the tab bar if there are no overflown tabs in that direction. I believe that this goes some way towards eliminating any such confusion.
The scroll buttons
The scroll buttons allow you to slide along the tabs to change the tabs that are currently visible in the tab bar. You can click and hold the mouse on a button and the tabs will continue to slide in that direction until you release the mouse, or, there are no more tabs left to slide.
Dragging tabs is something that people have been asking to be able to do for years. The way that is is done in the bookmark bar does not give you much feedback while you are dragging and plans are to make tab dragging more interactive.
To drag a tab you can pull the tab out of the tab bar. This will cause the surrounding tabs to slide to fill in the space that the tab you are dragging is leaving.
If you want to drop the tab within the current set of visible tabs then just drag it back into the tab bar and this places that tab where your mouse pointer is located at. This happens while you are dragging the tab, letting go of the tab finalises the placement. Pressing escape will allow you to change your mind and the tab will go back to where it was before you started the drag.
Dragging to a totally different part of the tab bar
If you want to drag a tab from it's current location to a totally different part of the tab bar then you can hover over a scroll button with a tab image dragging. This will cause the tabs to slide in that direction until you find where you want to put your tab.
When you have found where you want to put your tab, move the mouse pointer away from the scroll button and drag it into the tab bar to place it there. Easy.
One of the problems with dragging is that if you have access to a pop-up menu and a scroll button you might think you can drag and drop into the pop-up menu. That is not possible using Apple's implementation and I've already spent the summer twisting the way that tab view items work so the thought of twisting pop-up menus is daunting. In short, you will not be able to drag a tab into a pop up menu until Apple support that.
- Is the UI too clunky having both a pop-up menu button and a scroll button? Would it be better to have a scroll button that allowed access to a pop-up menu using a right-click or a Command-click?
- Are there any really obvious defects in this design that I just cannot see because I've spent nearly my whole summer working on it?
Hope to receive some really useful feedback so that what I am now working on will be what people expect to see in Camino.
After some great feedback, I'm looking at this...
When tabs are overflowing there are 2 buttons at either side which show an enabled or disabled state depending on whether or not you can scroll in that direction. There is also a pop-up menu at the far side of the tab bar which contains a list of all the tabs that you have open.
When you click on the pop-up button the tick represents that tab that is currently selcted, as you can see, the tab with title "tab2" is the selected tab.
If you select a tab that is not currently being shown in the tab bar then the tabs slide to show this tab in the tab bar. Perhaps in the middle as has been suggested.