The sidebar is a view that displays vertically at the side of the workbench window.
The sidebar can contain one or more panels. Panels contain views associated with applications. For example, a user that has a mail Inbox view open in the main workbench window could start a chat with a contact in the instant messaging buddy list that displays in one panel of the sidebar and check his availability for a meeting in the personal calendar that displays in another panel. The sidebar is useful because it enables users to conveniently view information and perform actions in more than one application at a time.
Users can customize the sidebar by resizing the sidebar, resizing the panels in the sidebar, dragging and dropping the panels to reorganize them, and adding or removing panels by selecting or deselecting the panels from the View > Sidebar Panels
The sidebar can be displayed in the following modes:
- Open -- Displays all available panels.
- Thin -- Only displays icons representing the applications contributing panels to the sidebar. Users can click on an icon to expand the associated panels both vertically (if the panel is collapsed) and horizontally. When the sidebar is open, users can click the double arrow icon to minimize the size of sidebar or put it into "thin" mode. If the sidebar sash is dragged such that the width becomes small enough, the sidebar goes into thin mode automatically.
- Hidden -- The sidebar does not display. Users can open the sidebar from the View menu.
The personality does the work of instantiating the user interface controls used to create the sidebar. The WorkbenchWindowAdvisor
provided in the default platform, in the com.ibm.rcp.platform.personality
plug-in, creates the sidebar by instantiating the ShelfPage
class provided in the com.ibm.rcp.ui.shelf
plug-in. The ShelfPage
creates a SViewStack
widget to represent the sidebar and create SViewForm
widgets to represent each panel. Sidebars are populated with panels when the first application or perspective starts and its content is subsequently updated when enabled Eclipse activities change. When all applications or perspectives close and the workbench page closes, each panel reference and SViewForm
is disposed. Finally, when a user shuts down the client, the Shell is disposed, causing the sidebar's parent composite and any of its children (SViewStack
, along with any SViewForms
that have not been disposed yet), to be disposed.
Parent topic: Custom widgets: XPD621