Gotta have Three Panes view back

Love DT 3, but please, don’t take away Three Panes view. With a file with a lot of sub-files and documents mixed together, it’s the only way to make sense of it all.

There are no plans to bring back old features, new features will be improved and therefore we’ll probably add an option to view only contents in List views and the possibility to select multiple items in the sidebar.

I’ve only been playing with DT3 for a few hours, so please take that into account…

The issue seems to be that the sidebar has now inherited some of the function of the old 3 pane view (which I used exclusively – I don’t think I’ve used any of the others more than a couple of times in 10 years or so).

That’s no problem if the new sidebar can provide the same functions, of course.

So far, I’ve not noticed any particular problem, apart from one – but it is quite intrusive. That is that as far as I can tell you can’t use the sidebar to see the information of a group. To do that, you have to go back up a level then move into list view first and then select the group again (and then invoke info it’s not already available).

So far in five hours use I have tried to get info from a group in the sidebar 237,462 times…

I might eventually learn not to do this, but viewing a Group’s info does seem like an obvious thing one would want to do. Am I missing something? Or if not, please could it be added to the features?


We might add the possibility to show the Info popover for sidebar items. However, I’m wondering right now why you need this that often? Personally I’m almost never interested in the Info of groups.

For tags, aliases, replicant location, spotlight comments usually. But you’ve added new features to the info panel which will also be useful – the word cloud panel for example, and though I’ve not had a chance to look at them yet, reminders. None of those seem to be available from clicking in the sidebar.

It’s jarring to have the groups in the sidebar as second class citizens: you have a nice simple concept – navigate to the group in the sidebar, and then you can’t do one of the basic group functions with it.

As far as I can tell, your info panel already partly follows the selection in the side bar: look at how the Inspector concordance items change when you select a group in the sidebar.

I would simply envisage the other inspector panels doing the same thing. Select a group in the sidebar and the Inspector panels provide all the group’s information, just as it does when you select it in the list view?

I appreciate there are technical issues, but conceptually, it seems the current situation is actually less easy to understand – and I don’t understand what benefit the current approach has. Sorry if I’m missing something!


It takes me a while to understand why I feel more comfortable with the current setup in 3.0 beta.

(1) IMHO, more confusion will be caused if inspector sidebar can show info for selected objects in both navigate sidebar and selected items/groups/tags in the view panel. The most common situation is a group is selected in sidebar and an item/sub-group is selected in the view panel. It can be very confusing on whether the info being shown in the inspector bar is referring to the selected object in sidebar or the selected object in he view panel. You can argue that the color of active selection in view panel and those in sidebar is different but not all users are aware of that every time, particularly for new users. We can be busy setting all the parameters in the inspector and find that the inspector is in fact showing the properties of another selected item.

(2) Again, I could be wrong/very wrong on this: There is another thread about suggesting that keyboard control/navigation should also be allowed/used in the sidebar. I also thought that suggestion was a good idea “initially”. But then I remember there has always been complains/suggestion re 2.n on why can’t we use keyboard (up/dn/left/right) to move around the groups/items among the different panes of the main windows. So, I guess there is always a tradeoff in UI, if keyboard navigation is allowed in both the sidebar and view panels, then it means that I may have to use the mouse to switch focus from sidebar to panes all the time. I guess after the initial setup, most users will likely spend/need more time on navigation within the main windows, so keyboard navigation has given the preference to the view panels and not the sidebar. I am not a developer, but I guess if switching focus from sidebar to view panels is an easy job, such function would have been implemented in all apps such as Apple Mail or finder (you can not switch focus from side panel to item list by using the key left/right/tab etc in Mail or Finder - I think).

The next beta will add a command “Information” to the sidebar’s contextual/action menu to show an Info popover.

If you’ve click on a group in the list, there is a big blue highlight and the inspector reflects the list view selection. If you then click on another group in the sidebar, then the list view selection is automatically lost anyway and the list view changes to reflect the new sidebar group and the preview changes to ‘No Selection’. I’m not sure where the confusion could come in there, sorry.

AFAICS there are actually two scenarios.

The first is when you explicitly select (left-click) the sidebar group. In that case there is not really any room for confusion about what is being displayed. There I can’t really see why the Inspector panels should not reflect the sidebar selection. Just MHO, of course, and developers have to decide these things.

The other is when you right-click on a sidebar group because you want to know more about it, while leaving the current list view selection alone. I agree you don’t want the Inspector panel to reflect the right click.

For that second scenario, Christian’s offer to make the Info popup available is a real help.

As for keyboard selections – I’m in favour of only having to use the mouse on days the Loch Ness monster is caught co-piloting a UFO with Elvis, so I’m probably a bit biased on that one…

Excellent - thanks very much Christian – I really appreciate how quick and responsive the team is!