[TxMt] Tab History Revisited

Wayne Larsen wayne at larsen.st
Fri Dec 10 17:50:08 UTC 2004

A while back I posted about the possibility of having a history list 
for tabs so that you could use a keyboard shortcut to quickly switch to 
the last file you were editing.  The resolution proposed was to use 
drag sorting to locate the files next to each other, and then use tab 
navigation to switch back and forth.  With only 3 or 4 visible tabs and 
many files open, most of my open files are pushed off the tab bar.  Can 
you drag sort items if they are not currently visible as a tab?

I still think my history list idea has merit.  Maybe everyone else is 
far more organized, but I've basically devolved to using the mouse and 
the project drawer to switch files -- unless I know I am going to be 
editing two files side by side for a while, in which case I will close 
one -- switch to the other, then open the first one again so that I 
know they are side by side.

I realized that this style of working is essentially what I would like 
out of the History List that I proposed.  In other words, if you 
completely ignore the tab bar as a traditional tab bar, it would 
function exactly like the history list if -- when switching to a file 
from the project drawer, the file acts as if it was not open, and 
appears as a tab to the right of the currently open tab.

I fear I did not explain that well, but the idea is simple.  When 
selecting a file for edit, first close the file, then open it (or 
behave as if this was done).  If the file is selected from the tab bar, 
then leave the behavior as it is.  With this behavior, the tab bar 
would become a history list, and it would be simple to swap between 
files using the already existing tab navigation shortcuts.

Is anyone else overwhelmed by the tab navigation as it stands?  This 
metaphor works great for something like browsing -- because I can open 
up a new window if I have too many tabs already open in the current 
window.  I hate to keep bringing up emacs-isms, but the switch buffer 
commands are very powerful (switch to last buffer, or switch to buffer 
by using filename completion).  Combine the project drawer with some 
sort of history navigation, and I would be very happy.


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