A developer’s lot is not always an easy one. Take, for example, making a choice between putting an application’s data information and controls in palettes (like BBEdit does) or in a sidebar (like Mail does).
After all, some people prefer palettes. Some prefer sidebars, or drawers. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, so which ones do you choose?
Gus Mueller faced this tricky decision with the recent release of VoodooPad 3. It was comment worthy for many reasons, most of them the impressive collection of features that Gus had taken the trouble to add to an already feature-packed application.
His decision to switch from a drawer to a series of palettes didn’t please everyone. He even documented, with screenshots, how he considered, but abandoned a Mail-like sidebar before settling on the palettes.
Judging by this thread over at the Flying Meat forums, the sidebar isn’t totally dead just yet, though.
In it, amid a series of posts about palette usability, Gus remarks: “I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about this, and I’m considering what to do for a future release. So I can’t promise anything, but I’ll look into using the drawer again.”
Personally, I’m rather fond of the final sidebar design that Gus decided not to use.
Palettes? Sidebars? Which do you prefer? Does your choice vary according to the app, or the work being done?
Completely off-topic update: I’ve just found out in this thread that Gus has added Textile and Markdown support to VoodooPad’s HTML Tools plugin. Yay!