Talk:Tab (GUI)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Computing (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Software / Computing  (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Software, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of software on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Computing.

SecurityFocus cite[edit]

On 01 Nov 2004, this article was cited in a SecurityFocus article on phishing. Securiger 06:50, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)


When did Netcaptor add its tabbed browsing? IBrowse added it in 1999, and I'm not certain if this is before or after Netcaptor.

ANS. NetCaptor had tabbed browsing in January 1998 in its first release. At that point it was called SimulBrowse.

Advantages/Disadvantages confusion[edit]

though, if too many documents are open, the tabs can be rather difficult to manage or label. This is in the "Advantages" section. Shouldn't it be moved to the "Disadvantages" section of the article????

there are no disadvantages —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

The Aza Dotzler reference...[edit]

It seems the reference link to Aza Dotzler's tabbed browser history was added, removed, then added again (by User:Minghong). According to the very description given in *this wikipedia article*, Aza is incorrect in his categorisation of the history time-line (he also ignores Galeon - anyone know when Galeon added tabbed browsing, IIRC it was 2000/2001?). The definition on this page would clearly classify Opera 4 as being a tabbed browser, yet he uses a weird MDI/SDI hybrid classification which is not at all relevant. The comments on that page are a rather pathetic flame-fest, all noise and no signal. So I really wonder what the point of linking to that incorrect article is?

Dotzler is a Mozilla employee who has distorted facts many times before. I am all for removing this biased link, if it IS added, it should be qualified as "Mozilla employee Asa Dotzler's…" Jordi· 15:02, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Yep, Asa's blog post is factually incorrect. It is also not NPOV. -^^-
The earliest reference to tabs in Galeon that I can verify is November 9th 2000 (through waybackmachine) ... I certainly recall learning of tabs from Galeon before Opera.

Safari's tabbed browsing?[edit]

Why do people think Safari support tabbed browsing?

Because it does? - Nunh-huh 23:31, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Safari, ("the newest release") doesn't even have tabbed browsing, just to clarify. - (unsigned)

Who told you that? I seem to be looking at tabs in Safari even as we speak. - Nunh-huh 23:31, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Definition in non-xDI terms?[edit]

The article positions TDI relative to other document models such as MDI and SDI. Both of these are Windows-centric terms and aren't always well-defined on other platforms. This could be easily pointed out, but instead more clarity could be provided in describing what differentiates a TDI from a-window-with-tabs. To me, the key point of differentiation lies in the definition of a document. Before attempting to define this, I'd like to get some consensus as to whether this is a useful path to take. -- AlastairR 08:47, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Not Part of the Windows UI Guidelines[edit]

It should be pointed out that:

  • TDI is not part of the Windows UI guidelines
  • Some of the examples given are actually instances of other Windows UI window models. For example, Excel is an instance of the Workbook window management model. (This also goes to the problem of definition mentioned above)

Does anyone disagree with this? -- AlastairR 08:47, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

OK no one seemed to disagree so I made the change. However I would like some validation from someone else that Excel is NOT a TDI application. -- AlastairR 10:37, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

How many examples and screenshots do we really need?[edit]

Maybe one example per application type (browser, IM client, etc) might be illuminating. But, do we really want to see a screenshot of each contributer's favourite tabbed browser? What's the point? -- AlastairR 13:02, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

took off one of the screenshots. If anyone is really adamant about putting more in, please start a list page and put them there. Thanks!dr.ef.tymac 21:09, 16 November 2006 (UTC)


The claims about the history of tabbed browsing interface in browsers reported in the article and at the this blog from mozilla differ. Does any body know which one is correct?-- Anupamsr|talk |contribs  08:30, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Asa is a Mozilla employee so he may not have a neutral point of view: He says Opera 6 wes the first versión of Opera which included tabs, even though it was version 4. You should read Does firefox copy Opera?, specially my answer cause I have uploaded a screenshot of InternetWorks --FedericoMP 07:49, 24 October 2006 (UTC) It seems they deleted my answer. I have reuploaded the screenshot at Flickr. --FedericoMP 23:06, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Firefox tabbed browsing[edit]

Referring to the statement "*Firefox arguably popularized tabbed browsing, when was tabbed browsing added to Firefox??*", Firefox was built on top of Mozilla, via Firebird and Phoenix, and has had tabbed browsing since its inception. As to whether or not Firefox "popularized" tabbed browsing, I would lean against saying this. You would need to compare numbers of firefox users against numbers of users of Opera, Safari, and Mozilla. It is certainly true that Firefox popularized the "non-IE" web browser, and pretty much every web browser had tabbed browsing except for IE when Firefox came out. User:seanahan:seanahan 4:55, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Example Screenshots[edit]

I think it would be beneficial for the example screenshots to show the applications in their default state. I'm not sure about some of the others, but I know the example screenshot for Firefox is highly customized. Not only does it look unprofessional to not use the default appearance in an instance such as this, one could argue that the clutter detracts from the focus on the tabbed browsing feature.

Always maximized?[edit]

"TDI windows must always be maximized inside their parent window" That doesn't sound right to me.

Can you give an example of when this isn't true? Seems like it is to me. That's the whole point. — Omegatron 20:30, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
For example VEDIT. There is definitely no reason why adding Tab bar would require maximizing all windows. --PauliKL (talk) 15:23, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Surely that's MDI? I guess there's a question of definitions - many MDI applications also have a tab bar (other examples being Opera and Eudora). Does that make them a combination of both TDI and MDI? I think part of the problem here is considering them to be mutually excusive concepts - but from Windows' point of view, the applications are just MDI, and "tabs" are just a non-technical term that's been popularised by web browsers. Mdwh (talk) 02:02, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Combine them all[edit]

Is there any reason why programs are forced to use one of the paradigms? Either MDI, SDI, or TDI. MDI is just SDI with another window around it, and TDI is just MDI with each document maximized. It seems like newer Linux-ish window managers would just abstract the concept of daughter windows (and regular windows) and allow the user to select whichever interface they wanted for a particular app, or even for the whole window manager. Has anyone done this? — Omegatron 20:30, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


I think it should be mentioned that Wikipedia uses a tab-like interface. Look at the top of this article. There are tabs labeled "article", "discussion," "edit this page," and "history." I'm not putting it in myself because, looking through the article, I couldn't really find a good place to put this information. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:38, 1 January 2007 (UTC).

Not really. It's a website, not an application. How would it even be possible to make a multiple-document interface for a website? — Omegatron 19:38, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
frames, hidable layers, lots of ways. wikipedia is an encyclopedia application (a la encarta) running on a remote server with an HTML ui. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Meebo uses a MDI, and that's a website (arguably a web-application). While I do agree that Wikipedia uses tabs, I will disagree in that Wikipedia is NOT a TDI (The tabs can be considered emulating a TDI... but all they really are, are links to other documents). (talk) 19:46, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I definitely agree with the first poster. There are tabs at the top of each and every Wikipedia page, and tabs as GUIs are not exclusively for documents. Countless applications use tabs that have nothing to do with documents, so limiting this page to TDI is a big error. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:50, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

History in Browsers[edit]

The edit removing the reference to InternetWorks tabbed browser stated that there was no source confirming this. There is an article: Windows, Unix, OS/2 and the Mosaic War published in 1995 that shows a screenshot of the InternetWorks browser. It looks like the screenshot is either early 1995 or 1994. This is a different screenshot than the one mentioned above. The article is dated and the screenshot shows a link on the IBM pane titled "IBM at Internet World '94". Is more evidence needed? -- McDScott 00:42, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Added an additional note at the section about dealing with multiple tabs. Besides scrolling/multiple rows, zooming is also a viable method. I added a link to the page about FishEyeTabs, which is a free extension for Firefox for zooming tabs.

Comparison to MDI[edit]

Referring to the section:

One example of an application that allows either TDI or MDI browsing is Opera. Using TDI by default, this application also supports full MDI and can also run as an SDI application.

Isn’t it more correct to mention that Opera supports both TDI and MDI? You have all of the advantages of both. If you want to tile/cascade/stretch/reposition a tab/window you can. Those are MDI features. Yet the tabs/windows never disappear. I know the article says so in effect, but it glosses over the fact. I think the language could indicate that Opera is unusual in this regard. Using Opera as “an example” alludes to the idea that there are many TDI interfaces that are also MDI. But I think Opera is quite unique, isn't it? I think the language could be more clear. The first sentence alludes to it being an either/or distinction, then the second sentence says that it fully supports MDI when it is in a TDI mode. Pretty much contradicts the first sentence.

I would actually rather see a list of multi-interfaced programs rather than pointing Opera out, as that really isn't anything special anymore. Firefox, Opera, and IE all can do that so there really isn't much to add by singling out Opera (talk) 19:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Nope, just checked, it's not all apps/browsers bevahing the same way. You cannot right-click on the tab, open the context menu and say restore in FF, as you can in Opera. I didn't try out IE, but since IE is phenomenally slow on the uptake, I think there'sa good chance it cannot do what Opera does either. Which brings me to my actual point: why is a MDI interface with a taskbar not considered a TDI? IMO, the tabs are what makes an interface TDI, not the behavior of the windows it displays in the same space. On the other hand, if MDI + tab bar isn't TDI, Opera still has no TDI - I don't know of any way to make the doc windows in Opera not be able to be maxmimized, restored, or to show a context menu when right-clicking the tabs. (<biggrin>Changing the definition would give the ppl ranting about Opera not having implemented tabs before FF a cold shower</biggrin>) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

merge part two![edit]

see discussion on Talk:Graphical user interface#Merge of Tabbed document interface mabdul 0=* 02:00, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Window Managers that provide a tabbed document interface[edit]

Is it really necessary to have this subsection? I think if we list this we'll run the risk of having a massive list of applications that provide a tabs feature before long. -- Heptite (T) (C) (@) 11:18, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

merge with Tab (GUI)[edit]

Both articles handle the same topic. there are no real differences. we should merge them! mabdul 15:53, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I started to transfer some parts from Tab (GUI) in this article. I think that this article is better, longer and with the correct name. this article should be the base and the other merged into this! mabdul 16:29, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
the only part that I don't have integrated is:
Tabs in modern GUIs were introduced by IBM Common User Access.[citation needed] They became widely used to make option-laden dialog boxes easier to understand and navigate. They were designed to group similar or related options into one tab pane. Later, some applications based their main document switching mechanism on tabs, using a tabbed document interface.
so, I do think that the merge can apply now! mabdul 22:14, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
I think it would be better to merge this page into Tab (GUI). This page does not have correct name. After all, there is no such thing as "tabbed document interface". Tab control is just another control you can use in a QUI application. If it is used in an MDI application to select documents, you can call it "tabbed document interface". However, adding the tab control does not change the document interface in any way except that you have the tabs. (If some application has limitations, those are the limitations of that application, not the limitations of tab control.) Therefore, those chapters about comparison of TDI to MDI and SDI make no sense.
Further, tab control has many other uses than selecting a document. Most commonly it is used in dialog boxes (e.g. preferences dialog). Or it can be used to select a sub-panel in a sidepanel, or to select different part of a single document (e.g. a sheet in Excel file). Those uses definitely do not fit inside the concept of "tabbed document interface". --PauliKL (talk) 16:50, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
then are you accept to merge tdi and tab (gui) to tab (gui)? with the content i tried to compare in this article? mabdul 21:58, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes. But the resulting page should be about tabs, not about TDI. TDI could be one chapter (sub heading) in the article, so that links can be directed there. --PauliKL (talk) 11:48, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

 Done mabdul 12:57, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Merged Talkpage from Tab (GUI)[edit]

I personally implemented a tabbed panel as part of the Policy Workbench application of the Alvey DHSS Large Demonstrator System in 1986. This ran on the Xerox 1108 'Dandelion' workstation, which was an early GUI machine. As far as I know my implementation was the first tabbed panel on a bitmapped GUI display; it had all the features Adobe claimed and was thus clear prior art on all grounds to the Adobe patent. At the time of the dispute with Macromedia I wrote to both sides outlining the prior art, but received no reply from either.

I'd agree that the 'invention' was trivial. Simon Brooke 07:46, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Would anyone else agree that Firefox popularized tabs in browsers? --Fez2005 04:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)


Tabs were first used in OS/2 and Windows in dialog boxes. Their use as document switching controls came much later. The way the article is written gives the reverse impression. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Do you have a references for that? (maybe a press release) mabdul 08:09, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Huh? A press release?? But seriously... I agree with the original comment: tabs (and equivalent controls, like sidebars of icons) were in use in dialogs for literally about a decade before anyone applied them to documents and browsers. I also agree that this article makes it sound like that documents is their original use, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. --tooki (talk) 16:01, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Tabbed browsing  as a separate article[edit]

So I'd suggest making Tabbed browsing a separate article. It's a very prevalent concept / technology. Many other languages have a separate article on it as well.
For example here's the German one and the Spanish one.
"Browser tab" then also would redirect to that page.

It would document that concept's definition, history, adoption, impact, usage (who, how, why uses it), utility, consequential possibilities, how different browsers handle it, alternatives, difficulties, research in improvement, possible psychological effects, technical limitations and the results of various studies (see below).
Some resources (to open in a new tab): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
--Fixuture (talk) 18:44, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

"tab stacking"[edit]

Features of the Opera web browser has that as "dragging one tab over another allows you to create a group of tabs". --Jerome Potts (talk) 11:13, 25 January 2017 (UTC)