Back in April I talked about how I like the convention of using Command/Alt-n to navigate between tabs in an application. What I’ve learned is that Apple is not with me on this.
Safari maps Command-n to the bookmarks in the bookmark toolbar. Yuck. In Leopard, the Terminal application supports tabs, but unlike iTerm, the Terminal application maps Command-n to terminal windows, rather than tabs in the active window. Everybody who’s used to tabs in a terminal has been using iTerm, so why go against that existing convention? Spite? (Generally speaking, the Leopard terminal privileges new windows over new tabs in a lot of ways. That’s kind of a shame.)
iChat in Leopard also provides support for tabbed chat windows, and again does not support the Command-n convention. (Once again ignoring the conventions established by Adium and Chax, the IM applications used by people who cared about tabbed windows in the first place.)
I notice that Apple’s Human Interface Guide does not provide any guidance for navigating among tabs in an application. Somewhat surprisingly, the guide doesn’t seem to discuss tabbed interfaces at all. You’d think Apple would want to take a position on this given the popularity of tabs among application developers and their increased usage in Apple’s own applications as well.