gedit remains open when last tab closed

Bug #688995 reported by Tin Tvrtkovic on 2010-12-11
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
One Hundred Papercuts
Won't Fix
gedit (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gedit

Gedit uses a MDI model; in particular, tabs. When the last tab in Gedit is closed, Gedit remains open with no tabs. Gedit should be modified to close the application when the last tab is closed.


Ubuntu ships a number of application that use tab interfaces; for example: Firefox, Chrome/Chromium, Pidgin (conversation window), Nautilus, Eclipse, Monodevelop, etc. I find that all of these applications except Eclipse and similar (so, development environments) will terminate once the last tab is closed.

Firefox: will make is difficult for the user to close the last tab (either by hiding the tab bar when only one tab is open, or by removing the X button in the last remaining tab). However, the last tab can be closed by CTRL+W (although this command, found in the File menu, changes name from 'close tab' to just 'close' when only one tab is open), or by a mouse gesture bound to 'close current tab' (if using such an add-on). Once the last tab is closed, the whole window instance closes.

Chrome: closing the last tab is easy with the X button in the tab itself. When the last tab is closed, the application instance closes.

Pidgin conversation window: hides the tab bar when only one tab open, so technically the ability to close tabs is taken away when there is only one tab, and the user is forced to close the entire conversation window. Still: no tabs, no window.

Nautilus: similar to Pidgin conversation window.

Applications like Eclipse, Monodevelop etc. use a different model: they can continue running with zero tabs open.

I would argue that, since Gedit is likely to be used by non-technical users on a daily basis (being the default text editor/previewer), Gedit should be patched to behave consistently with applications like Firefox and Nautilus; that is, to either hide the tab bar when there is only one document loaded, or to terminate itself when the last tab is closed. I argue this should be done primarily in the name of user interface consistency of the platform.

Since Gedit can be used as more than a simple text editor, even as a full fledged IDE, Gedit should be patched to allow reverting to the old behavior, but this option should be disabled by default.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.10
Package: gedit 2.30.3-1ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.35-23.41-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-23-generic i686
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Architecture: i386
CheckboxSubmission: e80c1a0bc531b19256a3b89b4bd204e9
CheckboxSystem: b845c366ea09c60efa3a45c1b5b21525
Date: Sat Dec 11 18:16:13 2010
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/gedit
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release i386 (20100429)
SourcePackage: gedit

Tin Tvrtkovic (tinchester) wrote :
Chris Wilson (notgary) wrote :

I would agree that Gedit should behave similarly to other applications, and I would suggest that it mimic Nautilus in it's treatment of tabs, ie hide the tab bar when there is only a single tab open meaning closing the application is the only option to close that last tab.

An option should be placed in the preferences pane to allow this behavior to be disabled, thus allowing the application to constantly display the tab bar and to remain open after the last tab has been closed.

Chris Wilson (notgary) wrote :

Since this would constitute a new feature however, I am going to invalidate this as a papercut.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: New → Invalid
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

the bug should be sent to GNOME

Changed in gedit (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

upstream rejected the idea in the past, see bug which asked for it.

Changed in gedit:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Changed in gedit:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
status: Unknown → Won't Fix
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Presumably the thing to do in this instance is to focus on getting a definited GNOME HIG behaviour documenting and then fixing all MDI-applications of complying with that rule.

Vish (vish) wrote :

Closing the ubuntu task as well. This is not something that can be fixed at a distro level

As Paul mentions, Changing this would require getting the HIG updated first.
Kindly bring up the discussion in the gnome-usability mailing list. >

Changed in gedit (Ubuntu):
status: New → Won't Fix
Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Opinion
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