Floating Windows Suck, Can We Have A Tools Tab?

I have to admit I’m not a big fan of floating windows, so it would be real cool if there was a tools tab along the bottom along with the Track DSP, Automation etc… tabs.
If tool GUI’s were made to a certain size they would show there.

Pretty please!

Many tools are only designed to operate on a specific area of Renoise, such as Track DSPs, Automation, Instrument Settings, etc.

If I’m using an Automation tool which is processing the graphical envelopes in some way, but the tool GUI itself is currently occupying the lower frame, then exactly how am I supposed to see the Automation view at the same time? How can I effectively use the tool and understand what the heck it’s doing to the Automation envelopes, if the Automation view itself is hidden by the tool’s own GUI? This doesn’t make any sense.

Likewise for any tool which operates on Track DSPs, Instrument Settings, etc.

There would obviously be some tools that don’t suffer from the problem I’ve just mentioned above, and I can understand how you may dislike floating windows, but I really don’t think that a dedicated Tools tab is the answer here. Whatever we do should work in all situations, not just a few special situations where the tool GUI meets some arbitrary size requirements.

Yes, I see your point, I’m not saying we should do away with floating windows altogether, just an option for some tools where it would work, for example working on the pattern editor. I guess my main frustration is that I often have to move the tool out of the way if I want to keep it open while work on the song. If you could position the tool in a certain area when its opened it would perhaps solve it.

Perhaps allowing the bottom and top views to contain tools is not really a bad idea.
Just add one Tool tab to both views and use sub-tabs for each tool within that section.
If a tool developer feels like his tool fits in there, a simple construction to integrate the tool into the frame would suffice.
The only limitation is the field of view for the tabs so we would also need some kind of “scroll” arrow to extend the tab view, just like this works for most browsers and allowing them to be rearranged in the order the user wants them to appear (to prevent tool developers from gettin creative by using characters to get their tool up front :P)


well, if we’re gonna do something like that, wouldn’t it make more sense to allow for tool ‘docking’? so tools still open inside their own floating windows, but there is a docking area where you can stick them?

Docking in general needs to happen, split over N windows.

Currently docking exists (top, bottom are most obvious but also left=arranger/matrix and right=advanced ops). But, the dock areas all have locked-down contents, the areas (tab-groups) themselves can’t be moved, and N is just 1 window.

The smoothest implementation I can think of is “docking with locking”, which is a continuum of UI reactiveness from current Renoise (totally locked) right through to Visual Studio-style docking (unlocked dockzones, unlocked tabs within dockzones, no modifier keys held down to enable these ops, can be fiddly). Requiring modifier keys or some sort of onscreen toggle (or a long-click! long-click in a desktop UI makes sense here) to allow docking/undocking ops would be somewhere between those two extrema and probably most suitable.