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The reasons Blender 2.7 will have a tabbed interface

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Developer Campbell Barton’s original preview of Blender’s new Tabs interface, posted last December. Blender Guru has just posted an interview with UI team leader Jonathan Williamson explaining the design decisions.

Blender Guru has

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just posted an interview with Jonathan Williamson, joint leader of Blender’s new UI team, explaining the reasoning for the software’s new Tabs interface, due to be rolled out in version 2.7.

New, but not universally admired
The UI prompted long discussions on community sites like BlenderNation when the original demo video (above) was released, and again when early builds became available to test.

In the interview, Williamson and Blender Guru’s Andrew Price run through common questions asked about the change: namely, ‘Why are tabs being added?’, ‘Why don’t they have icons?’ and ‘Can I turn them off?’.

The full interview is nearly two hours long, and goes into far more detail that we can here, but according to Price’s own summary: “The tab design is a beta, and is subject to changes in future versions. Icons (instead of text) is certainly a possibility, but only if someone actually steps up to the challenge of creating some icons.”

(If you want to listen to the reasoning behind that summary, you may want to skip forward half an hour into the recording: the first part is mainly a discussion of the community feedback itself.)

Interesting stuff, but, we suspect, by no means the end of the debate. Blender 2.7 – which includes a number of other UI changes – is officially released in early March.

Listen to the full interview on Blender Guru

Read the full tabbed UI proposal on the Blender wiki

Read the full list of new features due in Blender 2.7

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  • Dan

    I think that’s a big improvement. I hate having to hunt and telescope all those settings panels every time I need to find one setting. Tabs have been around for a long time and they work pretty well for organizing certain things.

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