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are tabs the best/only way?

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:22 pm
by andru_911
i just got the new ilife programs and noticed apple is moving towards the itunes style window for the iapps...
i know the tabs are loved by the adium developers for the most part, but it is hard to keep track of multiple convos after a certain number...
what i'm getting at is maybe the contacts could be listed in a blue bar to the left of the convo window like itunes and the new iphoto...
i know none of the devs are too fond of a drawer, but this might be a happy medium...
getting used to the tabs was the hardest part switching from proteus back in the day and if this is implemented it will surely convert more users...
i'll come up with a comp depending on if anyone in interested or if someone doesn't beat me to it (yes this is an invitation to you people who think this would be a good idea).
i know this debate has been brought up before, so don't flame me for rekindling the argument :)

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:34 pm
by revolution
I like this idea.

I do like the tabs, but if you have more than 6 or 7 it gets very confusing.

Would this be possible, it would certainly go well in the new Metal build thats being developed with iTunes style windows.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:07 am
by MBHockey
I believe there is an ongoing discussion of what to do about tabs (i think, but i'm not sure, that everyone agrees that it's not the best implementation of multi-chatting, but there is yet to be a nicer solution (drawers are disgusting))

So we'll see what the devs come up with...i'm sure it'll be awesome.

Re: are tabs the best/only way?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:37 am
by hollerz
andru_911 wrote:i just got the new ilife programs and noticed apple is moving towards the itunes style window for the iapps...


personally i think this is a really good idea, the iLife apps user interface is spot on imo, and I think would make Adium integrate even better than it allready does with the OS

andru_911 wrote:i'll come up with a comp depending on if anyone in interested or if someone doesn't beat me to it (yes this is an invitation to you people who think this would be a good idea)


got bored :)

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*Edit: Now with User Icon ;)*

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Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:49 am
by andru_911
wow that was fast!
very nice for a first comp!
i was thinking maybe a bar at the bottom saying perhaps the number of conversations engaged, or perhaps the last event that happened? it would add a more complete look to the window and make it look more like the iapps...
thanks for the visuals hollerz :)

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:12 am
by hollerz
yeah i thought the text bar looked a bit weird on its own at the bottom. added a bar same size as the iLife apps at the bottom with conversations engaged and date/time of last event that happened...

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Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:18 am
by Tipo 61
I'm a big fan of apps that don't use a lot of my screen real estate. While that does look nice, the windows with the sidebar use wayyy more screen space than the tabs.

Minimal++;

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:25 am
by lordoftheoats
This is interesting...

If this or something like it were to be implemented, group chats could have a drop arrow-thingy (like a playlist folder does in iTunes) listing the members of the chat.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:58 am
by TheSilverFox06
I like the eject icon :)

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:02 am
by MBHockey
All we need is a contact list in that window, and we're back to Single Window Mode!

:twisted:

Re: are tabs the best/only way?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:13 am
by The_Tick
hollerz wrote:got bored :)

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I'll comment later, but for now, you're mixing brushed and aqua elements, which is bad.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:17 am
by Adam Iser
Side lists can be pretty. The major issue I had with them is that they put more distance between text entry and status, which makes it easier to miss what's happening in the non-active conversations (and harder to keep track of both).

:)

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:35 am
by djmori
um how about active conversations on the left, and contact list in an itunes browser kind-of way?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:36 am
by The_Tick
djmori wrote:um how about active conversations on the left, and contact list in an itunes browser kind-of way?



Think more safari bookmarks

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:43 am
by Wengero
what about have the sidebar containing the full contact list cause how it is right now theres alot of wasted space. Then you could have a symbol next to all the active chat windows and/or a group at the top called active chats

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:59 am
by FredAkbar
Wengero wrote:a group at the top called active chats

Or at the bottom, which would address the good point that Adam just made about distance between status and text entry.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:38 am
by The_Tick
So about 6 months ago, maybe a year, Adam and I started talking about random things as we always did. We hit upon the fact that the im paradigm hasn't really evolved in the last 10 years. There has always been a contact list, and there has always been a message view.

Now, tabs/sidebars/log viewers/themes/emoticons got tossed around, but nothing about the initial parts, the parts that are exponentially valuable compared to the others, had really changed.


So we got to thinking more. Well, you really do need the message window, we thought. But that contact list, it's kinda bla. I generally don't use it myself, and Adam doesn't either.

Eventually all that discussion lead to this blog post:

http://www.adiumx.com/blog/2005/05/why-contact-list.php

There was enough good feedback from that to say that yes, some people may think they require the contact list, but if it were removed or changed in some way, they might not need it as bad. Now, this isn't to say it would go away, but it was a nice enough idea to discuss.


About that time we started doing mockups too. Eventually we ended up with the following, in no specific order. These are mockups, are not coded, and will probably never be coded.

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Out of this whole thing, these are my favorites:

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This is where it all got kinda cool in thought. The buddy bar was a bastardization of a feature Adam wanted to add, called "whitey". I don't know why the name was chosen, and I can't think of what it was, but I remember it being cool in thought.

Basically you would throw your friends up there, the 4 or 5 or whatever you needed to know the status of ALL THE TIME. For me, this would be the wife and a few others.

The rest went into the Buddies Pane. It was searchable, it was groupable, and you could add smart groups. Think iTunes meets iCal meets Address Book. It was neat.

We were going to call it Adium Pro, or Rawr, but it's never happened, and probably will never happen.

So ya, a sidebar has been thought about. But in the end, the tabs rule. There are usability issues with both, and it's easier to just have the one thing.

If you want to see the other mockups, go to http://brok3n.org/rawr/

Oh, and a drawer won't happen.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:48 am
by Crypt
nice mockups.

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:28 am
by LuxuryChair
Wengero wrote:what about have the sidebar containing the full contact list cause how it is right now theres alot of wasted space. Then you could have a symbol next to all the active chat windows and/or a group at the top called active chats


This is what I was thinking too, Having them autogroup as "active chats" seems a good solution. I'm not sure that I prefer this mock-up to the tabs we have now, mostly because I rarely have more than 4 chats open at once so its wasted space to me, but it does look a lot like the new iLife apps (in a good way, for sure).

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:58 am
by David Munch
Adium X Pro.. *Shudders*

Nice mockup thoughs. I like the uniform contactlist/messagewindow a lot, especially with the 10.4 Mail design.