--- Comment #23 from Heiko Tietze <[hidden email]> ---
The question is also whether the sidebar is some kind of 'rich toolbar' or if
it provides different functionality. We tried to address this question recently
in the HIG but didn't come to a conclusion since not enough opinions were
The conventional toolbar provides shortcuts to frequently used functions. It is
basically designed for Benjamin but used as well by Eve (but she prefers
keyboard shortcuts). When you talk about the sidebar as kind of rich toolbar
that means it is just another access to frequently used functions. And if we do
so wouldn't users get confused by the same access of, for example, bold which
is available at two places? Benjamin could wonder if it does the same, or if
perhaps one is for direct formatting and the other for changing the style.
An intuitive comprehension is needed where functionality is located.
That's why the alternative access to the sidebar is in terms of frequently
access to properties. The idea is to not just replicate what we have in the
dialogs but to offer graphical shortcuts to the most relevant settings. For
instance, rotation of an object can be done fine-grained with the need for
input of values. But in most cases the user want to rotate to a certain degree.
And to deal with this need we should introduce simple graphical controls, e.g.
Another difference between toolbars and sidebar is the dependency from context.
Sidebar content changes with the context, in some cases manually like
(formatting) properties and styles & formatting in Writer. Other
implementations have a 'local auto context' such as the new chart properties.
(Of course there is harmonization needed.) Do we have a concept for this triple
customization (context, selection, setting)?
Back to topic: The first question was about having the ability of docking
another toolbar next to the sidebar, which changed to the question if sidebars
should be customizable. Presupposed we have a good layout manager nothing
speaks against the option. But the feature to change the sidebar must not
refrain us from designing an appropriate default. I'm not sure that we have it.