Originally posted by resimada
As an avid tab user, Expose doesn't even come close for me.
Tabs offer greater flexibility for keyboard navigation. Cmd left/right to cycle through tabs, or cmd-# to jump directly to one. The tabs are always visible so it's easy to see how many cycles are necessary to reach a message with unviewed content.
Expose is direct access, no 'cycling' needed.
It is difficult to discern expose'd IM windows. IM windows contain text and small images, and with several open it is difficult to distinguish between then when using expose. With expose I have to hover my mouse from one window to the next until I find the one with the conversation I want to read.
Hurm, never had a problem with this one.
Expose does not consistently place windows. which makes the hunting and hovering even worse once I press the expose key. With tabs I can order my tabs in a specific way and then switch between them while they remain in this order.
True. But I thought we were talking about window/task *switching*, not *ordering*? Heck, just tile the suckers in that case. :P
Actually, as long as you don't move the windows, Expose *does* put them right back where they were the last time you invoked it.
Expose does not provide an overview of IM state like tabs. Tabs will show which contacts are typing and which have messages waiting for you, right on the message window in a central place. You cannot duplicate this functionality with expose.
Errrr... you're talking about a specific hypothetical implementation of tabs, yes?
And the windows in Expose are actually live...
Can't get much more 'state' than that.
Expose is far from perfect for IM, and I find statements that Expose is better than tabs for IM to be laughable at best.
And I find the idea that tabs are just better in general to be laughable.
Could one not make the same statement about Expose? Expose is a PISS POOR solution for managing multiple inner-application windows, especially multiple windows of text.
'Multiple inner-application windows'? Ahhhh, you mean MDI. That Windows concept that everyone, including Windows, is moving away from ASAFP?
And you misread what I said. I didn't say tabs were piss poor, I said they were a hack to get AROUND a piss poor windows management system.
Tabs are a throwback in general UI use. They were designed specifically to get around the nasty NASTY window cycling in Windows (and that Linux GUIs adopted, the idjits.). MacOS X does it right. Cmd-` for window cycling within an app by keystrokes, Expose for graphical random access selection with the mouse. I really don't see the utility of tabs anymore.
The expose argument may fly with web browsing where pages look different, but when you're dealing with multiple similar looking windows it falls short and doesn't even begin to handle display of state, which tabs do very well.
You state that expose uses no additional screen space. But having multiple windows open DOES use additional screen space, much more so than a 20 pixel tall row of tabs.
But you're only using one window at a time. So... the Windows 'menu-bar-in-every-window' is *not* a waste of space then?
Right now tabs (and drawer, depending on personal taste) are the best we have. If you have any suggestions for improving them we're all ears (and we have tried many suggestions in the past, even wild stuff like that single window mode mockup Tick posted a few up).
I don't see any real way to improve tabs - they're a UI evolutionary dead-end in my opinion.
The only reason they exist is due to lousy window management on other systems... a problem that MacOS X simply doesn't have in the first place.