For my personal curiosity I reinstall DTPO V2.9.17 again and take a look at what’s the gap between the sidebar of DT3 and 3PV. I suspect that (1) some users are not aware that DT has incrementally adding back a lot of adjustments into DT3 (2) two planned enhancements are already mentioned (3) there is only one feature left that makes DT3 almost 100% compatible with 3PV and better than 3PV in other aspects.
(1) The currently available twist in UI:
1.1 user can now put either one or both individual database’s tags and inbox back to the list view. Tags is a hidden preference, and inbox is in the DT3’s general preference. See A very nice touch on sorting groups in list view
1.2 The std list view in DT3 is “subgroup and documents”, but the user can flip to “Show Only Documents” under view->“Show Only Documents” if they need to focus on documents only.
1.3 A hidden preference is also available for “DisplayGroupInPreviewPane” (p.231 of the user guide).
With this preference enabled user will see the list of documents thumbnails in the preview pane when a group is selected in the list. So no more empty preview pane. To set this preference, open terminal, and type (exact capitalization for TRUE)
defaults write com.devon-technologies.think3 DisplayGroupsInPreviewPane -bool TRUE .
1.4 Some users in this post mentioned that they want unsorted groups in the sidebar. This feature is already there, by ctrl-click on the database in the sidebar and choose “Unsorted” :
(2) If I am reading the forum posts correctly. DT is already planning to
2.1 provide key navigation in the sidebar and let the user jump from the sidebar to list to preview pane by certain modifier+tab. And this enhancement wasn’t even available in DT2. See the response from DT DT, focus on sync and iOS next (& a suggestion on sidebar).
2.2 allow user to cmd-click on multiple groups in the sidebar and show all documents in those groups in the list view.
(3) That leaves only one more thing to do: allow a user to switch from one database to another whilst retaining all databases selected group, or items, or search results, for the continuation of workflow or for multi-tasking. I suggest those who need to work on multiple databases but would want to work on one main window to take a look at my script SwitcherV1 (Updated2) (V1) limited db context retention (V2) + db search view retention (V2.1) show db list only option. It retains settings of list and column view and the list for search results as well. It might helps in certain types of database switching.
This attached image is from DT2, IMHO, the main/only “one more thing” for the DT3 sidebar to realise.
Finally, as quite a number of other users have mentioned here and in OP, the new sidebar is not an idea created by DT by thinking “in-the-box”. If you read the posts of the last few years, many users are complaining or suggesting ways to get rid of the DT2’s original sidebar for its purpose is mainly a “database switcher”.
My humble suggestion is try not to focus too much on the residual image or habitual reaction to 3PV because the new sidebar is the results of rationally and carefully considering many users’ needs. However, try our best to suggest how specifically sidebar, or in other areas (menu, option, etc), can make changes to help your workflow. Better yet, explain the specificity of the workflow to help DT to generalize the change for similar types of workflow (I guess it means it’s more about “what this type of workflow needs” rather than “what you like”). It is great to see that many users have now made more specific suggestions. Hopefully some sort of convergence in opinion may come soon. My opinion is that the focus is about workflow, not 3PV.
Disclaimer: I see sidebar is a better and more flexible implementation of workflow but it doesn’t mean there is no shortcomings.
So, in case you are not aware of the currently available options mentioned in 1.1. to 1.4, and/or the planned feature changes mentioned in 2.1 to 2.2. Give them a trial.
If the database’s settings retention in switching is important, I think DT is listening, because this feature is likely useful to many other users, too. Meanwhile, take a look at the Switcher script, it may help while u are waiting for the switching function in DT3.