Struggling with Navigator?

For ages, until recently, I used RealBasic/RealStudio. Time to step forward, so I started exploring Xojo. Yes, I love the major part of changes they’ve made. But tmho this certainly not applies to the Navigator, especially the handling of Tabs. If there is one example of a User Interface that deserves the title ‘most unintuitive ever’ than this must be it.
Over a month now I’m struggling, trying to see the logic in this Tab-behavior, but still don’t get it—80% maybe—and calling it names every day. Really guys, is it that hard to create a Tab and keep its contents and caption unchanged? Like it was in RealStudio maybe?
In RS a Tab was a Tab and it all worked crystal clear. Okay, sometimes if you had too many open they got really narrow, which made captions unreadable. Well, close a few then, or may I suggest a ‘Window’ submenu with all open Tabs listed?
But please, don’t change captions (what kind of information a caption like ‘no selection’ gives? There is sure something under there, but I’m not clairvoyant). And please don’t change its content or display another Tab all of a sudden.
Is there anybody who has no problems with the Navigator. Anybody?

While I believe Xojo is looking to move away from the navigator, let me try to frame the UI changes a bit differently.

Treat the IDE like a browser. A tab is a view and its contents change depending on what you do inside that tab. Just like a browser, you could have 3 tabs viewing the same thing. And just like a browser, that’s rarely helpful. Also, like a browser, you can open things in new tabs.

On the surface, all of this works pretty well, which is why the design stuck. But it’s the edge cases that make you scratch your head.

The design inspiration of the IDE is probably 50% web browser and 50% Coda by Panic. And this might be the problem, as both those tools do their job really well. By blending the designs, the IDE isn’t particularly good at either.

The tab overload problem of Real Studio was a real problem that needed to be solved. So the browser concept was the best idea we had. I fully admit that keeping one tab per project item would have felt more natural, but it would still have that same overload problem.

So no, it’s not perfect. But if you treat the IDE more like you would a web browser and less like you would Real Studio, you might get along with it better. At least until the next iteration comes along.

The thing that infuriates me is when I have (for example) 4 tabs open.
I know how to use tabs, and I know how they work in a browser.

I want to keep open the code I have in tab 1
So I switch to tab 4, search for something, and click on it.
Instead of replacing the contents of tab4 with new code, the IDE switches to tab1 and replaces the contents of that.
And then BACK doesnt get back to where I was before.
Theres no logic to that whatsoever.

@Thom McGrath A web browser approach comes close to what I experience with the Navigator. After a few clicks it’s easy to loose track and hard to return to where I left :slight_smile:
No, Navigator should not behave like a browser.
I prefer the handling of Tabs like it was in RealStudio. The overload of Tabs shouldn’t be a big problem. As I suggested: a solution might be a Window-submenu with a list of all open Tabs.

[quote=379401:@Jeff Tullin]The thing that infuriates me is when I have (for example) 4 tabs open.
I know how to use tabs, and I know how they work in a browser.

I want to keep open the code I have in tab 1
So I switch to tab 4, search for something, and click on it.
Instead of replacing the contents of tab4 with new code, the IDE switches to tab1 and replaces the contents of that.
And then BACK doesn’t get back to where I was before.
There’s no logic to that whatsoever.[/quote]

Amen. This is incredibly maddening.

[quote=379401:@Jeff Tullin]The thing that infuriates me is when I have (for example) 4 tabs open.
I know how to use tabs, and I know how they work in a browser.

I want to keep open the code I have in tab 1
So I switch to tab 4, search for something, and click on it.
Instead of replacing the contents of tab4 with new code, the IDE switches to tab1 and replaces the contents of that.
And then BACK doesnt get back to where I was before.
Theres no logic to that whatsoever.[/quote]
This is not something I’ve ever experienced myself, so I can’t comment on why that is happening. But I agree, that doesn’t sound logical.

I fully agree - it is an infuriating UI. I’m constantly looking for my stuff and reopening things. The biggest thing that’s missing is a “home” tab that never changes, which in RS we always had with the “Project” tab. Setting the preference “always open in new tab” or always right-clicking and selecting “open in a new tab” is somewhat of a workaround, but again, sooner or later it breaks down and you have to figure out where your stuff is again.

Another thing I dislike is the moving of the method parameter list, which is horizontal by nature, into the cramped vertical Inspector on the right. I’m constantly resizing the inspector to see stuff, and then resizing it back down to see my code.

Autocomplete is much worse in Xojo, and type and method parameter info below the code editor doesn’t update as you type - you have to move the mouse/trackpad after typing something to get it to display, which is maddening and productivity-killing.

I greatly prefer the RS IDE and use it whenever I can. It was much better though-out and obviously much more of a labor of love. Xojo is a triumph of form over substance.