2021-09-12, updated: 2024-03-12

Tags: feature.

Panel buffers: useful data and widgets pinned to windows or buffers

Panel buffers: useful data and widgets pinned to windows or buffers

By John Mercouris

It seems that everyone and their dog is trying to solve the problem of efficient window management. We've invented a million different ways to show, move, close, and minimize a window. What has become apparent as a result is that there is no panacea to our window moving woes.

Instead of brewing yet another window management elixir, we've decided to take a conservative approach. For the purposes of Nyxt, we assume that you will be using your favorite window manager. Therefore, we did not think it is necessary to integrate another window manager within your window manager. Let's keep things simple!

Not so fast though, we aren't done yet!

There are exceptions: What about dialogs? What about panels? What about the prompt buffer? They are contextually related to a buffer(s), or a window(s)- they do not stand on their own. We must have a way of managing them. Damn, it looks like we could not resist the siren's call after all!

Panel buffers represent information that lets you glimpse deeper into a buffer, a window, or your browser at large. Unlike regular buffers, they are tied to a specific window or buffer. For example, if I add a panel buffer that shows my citations for a given buffer, it will be automatically shown/hidden as I show/hide the relevant buffer.

Panel buffers need not be tied to inspecting a singular buffer. One good example is a panel buffer that shows all of your open buffers, and allows you to manage them without opening up a prompt.

Another good example of a panel buffer is one which can show you all of your bookmarks. You can easily click on them and open new bookmarks in new buffers.

The possibilities are of course endless. In short, panel buffers are a deeper way to look into a buffer, a window, or your browser. They expose some information on the left/right of your screen so that you can easily access it while you are working. We tried so hard, but in the end, it turns out that even we could not resist the siren's call.

Thanks for reading!

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