I have to admit that I agree with those who say that the 2.50 GUI still needs a LOT of work, especially in the horizontal layout. Here there are some issues I found just playing a bit with the interface:
1 - the horizontal layout itself is confused; aligning different panels you see a mix of different disposition of buttons and useless empty space in the header. As you can see the scroll bar at the bottom has a display bug (transparence).
the closed tabs are a lot less visible and readable than in vertical layout; their locations are sometimes confusing because they seem to be part of the nearest tabs and not tabs themselves
2 - zooming in and out is not useful at all if you can’t scroll the panels up and down, in order to see all the buttons.
3 - There are even some bugs in some specific areas in you zoom in and out at the maximun level (i.e. texture mode) and the scroll bar stuck in that position.
Everything seems to work great when you display the tabs vertically, but since it is possible to do the same horizontally, they must look nice in the same way too; there are too much incoherencies right now between the two different layouts; they don’t have a homogeneous look; while the user can play with both layouts, they should have the same quality.
I really hope the GUI interface is still WIP; to me the horizontal layout - even if it was not perfect- worked better (more customizable, polished and readable) in the past revision of blender.
I think the properties submenus (The ones that collapse, when clicked) should have two versions of them. One for horisontal and one for vertical. Right now they only have one version, and some of them appear vertically to long or bad looking in other ways when putten horisontal…
When horizontal, these panels appear as rotated text when collapsed. I’d suggest it making straigt text, for easyer reading, and written like this:
the initial plan (and a potential bugfix to these isses) would be to simply dis-able horizontal layout
the current system was designed to allow variable sized panels so that more logical groupings could occur… that was more important than having a system that works equally well horizontally as well as vertically…
so what we have is a system that works well vertically but performs poorly horizontally…
as Daniel says for change it’d need a decent design proposal that can
maintain the new logical panel groupings
cope with panels with very few items
cope with very large panels with many many items
be easily maintained for both orientations rather than writing the menus twice!
personally i just got used to the vertical and left it at that!
lets face it, it’s not going to stop you getting your work done now!
I remember an early paper about the new GUI where one of the first point was to mantein the layout as similar as possible between different tabs. in the new GUI version - imho - this is one of the first thing missed.
yes, one of the drastic solution in order to avoid similar inchoerencies could be remove completelly the horizontal layout. It’s a drastic solution but right now the horizontal layout has everything but professional looking and behaviour compare to the vertical one.
If I found enought free time i’d like to think a possible solution even if I’m far from to be an UI designer
I still think that the best solution is to make every item in the properties have two versions, one for vertical, and one for horizontal.
“be easily maintained for both orientations rather than writing the menus twice!”
That would go against this, you’d guess.
But it’s more like “Making two layouts”, not dublicating the whole code of the item…
strange: the more you feed a troll the more happy and inspired it gets.
I’m in favour of removal of horizontal layout. IMO it isn’t something to be fixed, it’s something that’s just impractical in 2.5.
For example you have 2 screen areas dedicated to properties. In vertical layout, everything is easily accessible. In horizontal layout you will have to pan the area in two axis most of the time so that you can reach buttons and properties. Not practical. Bulky and time wasting.