Sidebar (computing)

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OpenOffice Writer with an elaborate sidebar to the right, titled "Properties" AOO 4.0-pre rev 1479897 Windows under Wine sidebar.png
OpenOffice Writer with an elaborate sidebar to the right, titled "Properties"

The sidebar is a graphical control element that displays various forms of information to the right or left side of an application window or operating system desktop. Examples of the sidebar can be seen in the Opera web browser, Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, SoftMaker Presentations and File Explorer; in each case, the app exposes various functionalities via the sidebar.

Window (computing) visual area containing some kind of user interface

In computing, a window is a graphical control element. It consists of a visual area containing some of the graphical user interface of the program it belongs to and is framed by a window decoration. It usually has a rectangular shape that can overlap with the area of other windows. It displays the output of and may allow input to one or more processes.

Opera (web browser) freeware web browser using the Blink browser engine

Opera is a web browser for Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux operating systems, developed by Opera Software. Opera Software is a Norwegian software company publicly listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, with the majority of ownership and control belonging to Chinese businessman Zhou Yahui, founder of Beijing Kunlun Tech which specialises in mobile games and Chinese cybersecurity company Qihoo 360. Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

Apache OpenOffice open-source office suite

Apache OpenOffice (AOO) is an open-source office productivity software suite. It is one of the successor projects of OpenOffice.org and the designated successor of IBM Lotus Symphony. It is a close cousin of LibreOffice and NeoOffice. It contains a word processor (Writer), a spreadsheet (Calc), a presentation application (Impress), a drawing application (Draw), a formula editor (Math), and a database management application (Base).

Contents

Overview

Sidebars have originated in desktop apps, which are designed for rectangular screens with longer horizontal sides. Like toolbars and status bars, sidebars host both information and GUI widgets with which the user issues commands to the app. Unlike toolbars and status bars, sidebars have larger surface areas because of horizontally longer layout of desktop apps. Sidebars may use accordions to organize widgets and accommodate a larger layout than the visible surface area.

Toolbar element of computer graphical interface

In computer interface design, a toolbar is a graphical control element on which on-screen buttons, icons, menus, or other input or output elements are placed. Toolbars are seen in many types of software such as office suites, graphics editors and web browsers. Toolbars are usually distinguished from palettes by their integration into the edges of the screen or larger windows, which results in wasted space if too many underpopulated bars are stacked atop each other or interface inefficiency if overloaded bars are placed on small windows.

Status bar user interface element

A status bar is a graphical control element which poses an information area typically found at the window's bottom. It can be divided into sections to group information. Its job is primarily to display information about the current state of its window, although some status bars have extra functionality. For example, many web browsers have clickable sections that pop up a display of security or privacy information.

Widget (GUI) Element of interaction in a graphical user interface

A control element in a graphical user interface is an element of interaction, such as a button or a scroll bar. Controls are software components that a computer user interacts with through direct manipulation to read or edit information about an application. User interface libraries such as Windows Presentation Foundation, GTK, and Cocoa, contain a collection of controls and the logic to render these.

Widgets

In a number of Widget engines, one is able to install applets which can reside on a sidebar. Notable examples include:

In computing, an applet is any small application that performs one specific task that runs within the scope of a dedicated widget engine or a larger program, often as a plug-in. The term is frequently used to refer to a Java applet, a program written in the Java programming language that is designed to be placed on a web page. Applets are typical examples of transient and auxiliary applications that don't monopolize the user's attention. Applets are not full-featured application programs, and are intended to be easily accessible.

Windows Vista personal computer operating system by Microsoft released in 2006

Windows Vista is an operating system that was produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablet PCs and media center PCs. Development was completed on November 8, 2006, and over the following three months, it was released in stages to computer hardware and software manufacturers, business customers and retail channels. On January 30, 2007, it was released worldwide and was made available for purchase and download from the Windows Marketplace; it is the first release of Windows to be made available through a digital distribution platform. The release of Windows Vista came more than five years after the introduction of its predecessor, Windows XP, the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems.

Google Desktop

Google Desktop was a computer program with desktop search capabilities, created by Google for Linux, Apple Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows systems. It allowed text searches of a user's email messages, computer files, music, photos, chats, Web pages viewed, and the ability to display "Google Gadgets" on the user's desktop in a Sidebar.

Drawers

A screenshot of HandBrake depicting a drawer opened on the right HandBrake 0.9.5.png
A screenshot of HandBrake depicting a drawer opened on the right

Early versions of Mac OS X's Aqua UI supported a sidebar concept called drawers, which pop outside the application window frame rather than expand from the inside like most application sidebars, are used. Despite criticism, [1] third-party applications like Transmit, OmniWeb, Shiira and BBEdit quickly adopted drawers. The standard email client, Mail, used drawers for listing mailboxes prior to 10.4 ("Tiger"), when they were replaced by a traditional sidebar. A number of other Apple-created applications and third-party applications have replaced drawers with a sidebar, or re-designed the interface to make a sidebar/drawer unnecessary. Apple's Human Interface Guidelines now recommend against their use. [2] Formerly drawer-heavy apps, like iCal and Adium, now contain no drawers at all, and instead display an optional sidebar within the main window.

Aqua (user interface) GUI and primary visual theme of Apple Inc.s Mac OS X operating system

Aqua is the graphical user interface and visual theme of Apple's macOS operating system. It was originally based on the theme of water, with droplet-like components and a liberal use of reflection effects and translucency. Its goal is to "incorporate color, depth, translucence, and complex textures into a visually appealing interface" in macOS applications. At its introduction, Steve Jobs noted that "one of the design goals was when you saw it you wanted to lick it".

OmniWeb

OmniWeb was a proprietary Internet web browser developed and marketed by The Omni Group, exclusively for Apple's macOS operating system. Though no longer maintained, it is still available as a free download.

Shiira web browser

Shiira is a discontinued open source web browser for the Mac OS X operating system. According to its lead developer Makoto Kinoshita, the goal of Shiira was "to create a browser that is better and more useful than Safari". Shiira used WebKit for rendering and scripting. The project reached version 2.3 before it was discontinued, and by December 2011 the developer's website had been removed.

The Android mobile operating system also uses the term "drawers" to refer to a type of sidebar menu widget, usually accessible by swiping from the left edge of the screen. [3]

Android (operating system) Free and open-source operating system for mobile devices, developed by Google

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google. It is based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, and is designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In addition, Google has developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Wear OS for wearables, each with a specialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on game consoles, digital cameras, PCs and other electronics.

Related Research Articles

In computing, a desktop environment (DE) is an implementation of the desktop metaphor made of a bundle of programs running on top of a computer operating system, which share a common graphical user interface (GUI), sometimes described as a graphical shell. The desktop environment was seen mostly on personal computers until the rise of mobile computing. Desktop GUIs help the user to easily access and edit files, while they usually do not provide access to all of the features found in the underlying operating system. Instead, the traditional command-line interface (CLI) is still used when full control over the operating system is required.

In computing, cross-platform software is computer software that is implemented on multiple computing platforms. Cross-platform software may be divided into two types; one requires individual building or compilation for each platform that it supports, and the other one can be directly run on any platform without special preparation, e.g., software written in an interpreted language or pre-compiled portable bytecode for which the interpreters or run-time packages are common or standard components of all platforms.

The Dock is a prominent feature of the graphical user interface of macOS. It is used to launch applications and to switch between running applications. The Dock is also a prominent feature of macOS's predecessor NeXTSTEP and OpenStep operating systems. The earliest known implementations of a dock are found in operating systems such as RISC OS and NeXTSTEP. iOS has its own version of the Dock for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

A taskbar is an element of a graphical user interface which has various purposes. It typically shows which programs are currently running.

Human interface guidelines

Human interface guidelines (HIG) are software development documents which offer application developers a set of recommendations. Their aim is to improve the experience for the users by making application interfaces more intuitive, learnable, and consistent. Most guides limit themselves to defining a common look and feel for applications in a particular desktop environment. The guides enumerate specific policies. Policies are sometimes based on studies of human–computer interaction, but most are based on conventions chosen by the platform developers preferences.

Theme (computing) in computing, preset package containing graphical appearance details

In computing, a theme is a preset package containing graphical appearance details. A theme usually comprises a set of shapes and colors for the graphical control elements, the window decoration and the window. Themes are used to customize the look and feel of a piece of computer software or of an operating system.

The Iconfactory company

The Iconfactory is a small software and graphic design company that specializes in creating icons and software for creating and using icons. The company was founded in April 1996 by Corey Marion, Talos Tsui, and Gedeon Maheux. Lead Engineer Craig Hockenberry joined the company in 1997 and Artist Dave Brasgalla joined in January 1999. The company incorporated in January 2000. The Iconfactory gained popularity through the creation of packages of free icons for download, but quickly grew to become one of the leading studios in commercial icon design. The Iconfactory also publishes software for creating, organizing and using icons as well as general GUI applications.

A compositing window manager, or compositor, is a window manager that provides applications with an off-screen buffer for each window. The window manager composites the window buffers into an image representing the screen and writes the result into the display memory.

Mobile app development is the act or process by which a mobile app is developed for mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones. These applications can be pre-installed on phones during manufacturing platforms, or delivered as web applications using server-side or client-side processing to provide an "application-like" experience within a Web browser. Application software developers also must consider a long array of screen sizes, hardware specifications, and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms. Mobile app development has been steadily growing, in revenues and jobs created. A 2013 analyst report estimates there are 529,000 direct app economy jobs within the EU 28 members, 60% of which are mobile app developers.

Resolution independence is where elements on a computer screen are rendered at sizes independent from the pixel grid, resulting in a graphical user interface that is displayed at a consistent size, regardless of the resolution of the screen.

Workbench (AmigaOS) graphical user interface for the Amiga computer

Workbench is the graphical file manager of AmigaOS developed by Commodore International for their Amiga line of computers. Workbench provides the user with a graphical interface to work with file systems and launch applications. It uses a workbench metaphor for representing file system organisation.

Site-specific browser

A site-specific browser (SSB) is a software application that is dedicated to accessing pages from a single source (site) on a computer network such as the Internet or a private intranet. SSBs typically simplify the more complex functions of a web browser by excluding the menus, toolbars and browser chrome associated with functions that are external to the workings of a single site. These applications are typically started by a desktop icon which is usually a favicon.

Windows Desktop Gadgets is a discontinued widget engine for Microsoft Gadgets. It was introduced with Windows Vista, in which it features a sidebar anchored to the side of the desktop. Its widgets can perform various tasks, such as displaying the time and date. In Windows Vista, the widgets are restricted to a sidebar but in Windows 7, they can be freely moved anywhere on the desktop.

A mobile application, also referred to as a mobile app or simply an app, is a computer program or software application designed to run on a mobile device such as a phone, tablet, or watch. Apps were originally intended for productivity assistance such as email, calendar, and contact databases, but the public demand for apps caused rapid expansion into other areas such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, order-tracking, and ticket purchases, so that there are now millions of apps available. Apps are generally downloaded from application distribution platforms which are operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the App Store (iOS) or Google Play Store. Some apps are free, and others have a price, with the profit being split between the application's creator and the distribution platform. Mobile applications often stand in contrast to desktop applications which are designed to run on desktop computers, and web applications which run in mobile web browsers rather than directly on the mobile device.

Pop-up notification graphical notification on a computer

The terms Pop-up notification, toast, passive pop-up, desktop notification, notification bubble, or simply notification all refer to a graphical control element that communicates certain events to the user without forcing them to react to this notification immediately, unlike conventional pop-up windows. Desktop notifications usually disappear automatically after a short amount of time. Often their content is then stored in some widget that allows the users to access past notifications at a more convenient time.

Flutter (software) open-source framework to develop mobile apps

Flutter is an open-source mobile application development framework created by Google. It is used to develop applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Google Fuchsia. and the web.

Client-Side Decoration GUI design concept that allows a programs interface to adapt to a users system

Client-Side Decorations (CSD) is the concept of allowing an application process to be responsible for drawing its own window decorations, which then get sent to the display server, compared to server-side decorations (SSD), where window decorations are created by the window manager before being sent to the display.

References

  1. "The Mac OS X Drawer".
  2. "OS X Human Interface Guidelines". Drawers are rarely used in modern Mac apps. As much as possible, redesign your UI to avoid using drawers; if you’re creating a new app, avoid adding a drawer to the design.
  3. Bohn, Dieter (2019-08-08). "Android Q's back gesture controversy, explained". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-08-25.