Move the Merge command in detached tab's context menu

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mbrazil
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Move the Merge command in detached tab's context menu

Post by mbrazil » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:24 am

When you have a detached tab you want to merge back into Avant, you must either right-click the detached tab's title bar and then click the Merge command, which is all the way at the bottom of the context menu, or left-click the detached tab's title bar and drag its window so that your mouse cursor is over some part of the Tabs Bar.

This is inconvenient and annoying for several reasons:

1. Your mouse cursor is very unlikely to be near the top of the detached tab's window while you're using the tab, so you have to move the mouse cursor way up to the top of the window to right-click the title bar, and then, when the context menu opens, you have to move the cursor way down to the very bottom of the context menu to get to the Merge command. Also, when you use the Merge command in the context menu, the tab button for the merged tab always appears at the end of the last row of tab buttons. You have no control over where the tab button appears.

2. If the detached tab's window happens to have ended up in a position where the title bar is off the desktop (not visible), there is no way to merge the tab back into Avant. You can't get to the title bar at all, so you can't right-click it to get the context menu, and you can't left-click it to drag the tab window. In this situation, the only method for (effectively) merging the tab back into Avant is to use this workaround: Make sure the detached tab has the focus, press Alt+F4 to close the tab, and then reopen the tab. While this has more-or-less the same effect as merging the tab, it is inconvenient and a waste of time, and it can, in some situations, result in the loss of some of your work in that tab.

3. When merging a tab by dragging its window onto the Tabs Bar, you have no control over when the tab converts from detached to merged. It's pretty much guesswork where the merged tab's button will end up, since Avant doesn't wait for you to position the tab where you want it amongst the other tab buttons and release the mouse button. It rather quickly puts the tab button in the general vicinity of where the mouse cursor is at that moment. You frequently end up having to search around in the Tabs Bar to find the merged tab's button and then drag it to where you want it.

There are three possible solutions to these problems:

1. Duplicate (or move) the Merge command in the context menu for the content pane (web page), and place the Merge command about half way down in that context menu. This would eliminate moving the mouse cursor to the top of the window, as you could just right-click any blank area in the content pane to get the context menu and have access to the Merge command, which would then be much closer to where your mouse cursor already is. This would also make the Merge command accessible when the detached tab's title bar happens to be off the desktop (not visible), thus eliminating the need to close and reopen the tab.

2. Modify the code for detached tab windows so they can be dragged from anywhere within their windows (instead of just from the title bar), and change the code for the Tabs Bar such that the tab button for the tab being merged is not created until the mouse button is released (combine the code for merging with the code for dragging tab buttons within the Tabs Bar). The vertical black bar that appears to indicate where the tab button will be already exists.

3. Add a Merge command to the context menu for the tab buttons.

None of these solutions by itself can solve all the problems. If I had to choose just one of them, I'd go for the first one (duplicate the Merge command in the content pane's context menu), since it removes several of the problems and inconveniences and results in the easiest access to the Merge command. It is also the most intuitive place for the Merge command, and it puts the Merge command in the closest location to where your mouse cursor already is.

It would be best to implement all three solutions, since none of them can individually solve all the problems that exist regarding the current implementation of detached-tab merging. Solution three is the least desirable on its own, as it doesn't fully resolve any of the issues I described. It just provides an alternate way to merge a detached tab without actually addressing any of the things that are wrong with the way it works now.

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