Please, some things are "global" (don't aquarium depended) and some are aquarium depended.. Now, the GUI doesn't visualy separate these two things, then i suggest to separate some tabs, as is shown on the image (sorry for Slovak GUI).
The separated global tabs
Aquarium depended things
I agree that only separation element is the presence of some items in main tree.
This solution has been choosen to be able to move quickly from a global item (eg. FishBase) to related aquarium related tab (eg. Fish) so it is easy to add a new element when needed.
Your current suggestion on how to separate things doesn't allow to mantain this feature so we need a better solution.
Do you think a different tab colour could be enaugh?
Take care that utilities tab is going to change to a subtree with some more calculators. The goal is to implement some new panels as plugins and add them in a dinamic way. So we need also a solution to contain these panels in a separate new view or inside a container panel (maybe the utilities one)...
Anyway as stated before I agree a separation is needed so I hope you can offer some other suggestion on the argument on how to improve this interface...
my initial point of view is not only the visual separation of the global and aquarium's depended items, but it is primary one. Different coloring can solve this.
But here is another point of view too, the additional tabs makes the GUI more complicated and then less synoptical. It takes a lot of (often useless) space, when the tabs are split into more rows...
But the global things (DB, tools, etc) can appear in modal window - accesible only from the right three (or the global toolbar, menu, ...). by this, the global things will be visualy separated, will not take another space in main window and allows simple return to the previously selected aquarium's tab. Only one more click is needed - close the modal window, but this closing is replacement to switch back to previous tab.
Some things, as calculator can be in normal (not modal) window, to make it accessible for long time (or reusable) without losing the aquarium tab's focus - similar as the charts windows.
Hi, your idea of a modal dialog can solve both requirements.
It will be analized for next releases and (if not too complicate to change) eventually included in it.
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This feature has been completed. It's now in cvs and will be in the next release.