[SailfishDevel] Sailfish User Interface: Tabs

christopher.lamb at thurweb.ch christopher.lamb at thurweb.ch
Sat Oct 12 14:09:07 UTC 2013

Salut Lucien

Thanks for your answer

I dreading that the absence of tabs was a design decision rather than  
a sign of work in progress.

While I understand this from a pure design point of view (Sailfish  
being all swippy), I think it will cause problems for application  
developers creating apps targeted at multiple platforms - for which Qt  
is a perfect tool. My apps run on Harmattan, I am targeting Sailfish  
(and have wild ideas of BB10 and Android some time soon .. all using  
Qt and a common(ish) code base).

I suspect that app developers will end up programming their own  
equivalents (perhaps using attachedPages as you suggest).

I did consider using a pulley menu, but I don't think it is quite the  
same in UI terms. Tabs are useful when you have a very small number (2  
- 3) of equally weighted "sub pages", and you want to make these  
obvious to to the user. The downside of a pully menu is that is the  
functionality offered is a bit hidden (at least compared to a tab) -  
especially a Sailfish menu which only has a slim indicator rather than  
a full menu bar.

My use-case and application navigation structure is as follows:

1) the MainPage displays GPS and Compass location information. Once  
the GPS has acquired, it enables an "Ok SMS" and a "Help me! SMS"  
buttons. Pressing either of these pushes the SMSPage.
2) The SMSPage displays a pre-filled SMS built using a template and  
the GPS coordinates. It also displays a contact phone number  
associated with the template. If everything is OK, the user can press  
send to send the SMS to the preselected contact.
3) However the user can change the number, and here the tabs come into play
If the user presses the displayed number, a ContactsSelectionPage is  
pushed. This currently has 3 tabs.
The first has a small number of favourite contacts associated with the  
template (from an SQLite localstorage db).
The second displays a phone dialer, allowing a custom number to be entered.
The third displays the phone's contacts.

I consider all three options (favourites, phone dialer, and phone  
contacts) to be equal, and don't really want to "hide" 2 of them in  

I guess 3 iconButtons (as tab indicators) and 3 attachedPages (as  
tabs) will have to be the solution for now.


Zitat von "Lucien XU" <sfietkonstantin at free.fr>:

> Hi Christopher !
> It is a design decision not to have tabs in Sailfish. Depending on  
> the role of your tabs,
> you can use a pulley or attached page.
> If you have an important page (like a main page) + several less  
> important pages
> (help, settings), better use a pulley-menu[1] to access these pages.
> If you have several pages that have the same importance (different  
> tabs representing
> eg weather in different countries or cities) you can add a tab  
> selector in an attached
> page, and display the correct page when clicking on the tab in the  
> attached page[2].
> Cheers,
> Lucien
> [1]:  
> https://sailfishos.org/sailfish-silica/qml-sailfishsilica-pulldownmenu.html
> [2]:  
> https://sailfishos.org/sailfish-silica/qml-sailfishsilica-pagestack.html#pushAttached-method

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