[Thunar-dev] Tabbed feature

Stefan Stuhr thunardevlist at sstuhr.dk
Tue Aug 29 04:43:14 CEST 2006

tir, 29 08 2006 kl. 03:58 +0200, skrev Bernhard Walle:
> Hello,
> * GX GLIX <mailme_gx at hotmail.com> [2006-08-29 03:31]:
> > Has any body considred the option of tabs (much like firefox) I find this a 
> > very handy feature and will put thunar one notch above other file managers.
> Well, Firefox is a browser and Thunar a file manager. I don't think
> that tabbing belongs into a file manager. Just my thought about this
> topic.

I agree.

A web browser is for the web - a gigantic global network of websites on
webservers, with separate roots (domains) and connected by hyperlinks.
Websites are written in the hyper text markup language (HTML).

A file manager is (primary) for managing files on the local filesystem -
with a single root (on POSIX systems, at least). One can't use a basic
file manager to view fancy content like HTML; it will only show the
files, as icons or in a list, and allow one to navigate the folder
hierarchy, move files and folders around, and other file management

In a web browser I want tabs; I want to go to a website, read the
content, and open some interesting links in new tabs (in the background)
along the way. Maybe I want to read the content on the website of one of
the links right away - then I open the link in a new tab and switch to
the new tab. When I am finished reading, I close the new tab and go back
to the tab containing the first website.

The web (and as such a web browser) is all about content, and hyperlinks
between content. (Basic) File managers, on the other hand, are only
about the paths to content, only about the addresses, and not about the
content itself. File managers are also based on a single and relatively
simple file hierarchy, while the web is about as decentralised as it can
get, with almost as many hierarchies as there are websites.

My point is that web browsers and file managers - while they can share a
lot of navigational UI elements - have completely different use cases.

Some may like tabs in a file manager. But I don't think that Thunar
needs to be the ultimate file manager for everyone. It can't be. Adding
tabs makes the UI more complex. Adding features X, Y, and Z makes it
even worse. The developer have to say stop at some point.

In the end it is Benedikt who have to make the decision.

> Regards,
>   Bernhard


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