I wasn’t clear before, so let me elaborate (at some length, as it turns out). This change to how the View menu works was an intentional change, and I’m not planning on changing it back. I can’t think of any other modern app that allows switching window types within the same window. Not many programs even have multiple types of windows, but those that do, when you open a new type of view, it generally opens in a new window. Earlier versions of Panorama did many things that ultimately turned out to be non-standard. In Panorama X I strived mightily to make the user interface as standard as possible, even if this was different than how Panorama 1 to 6 did things. This is one of those areas that is now different from earlier versions but I think much more clear for new users (and some existing users as well). I can tell you from years of tech support experience that the way it worked before caused a lot of confusion, and many users never even discovered that it was possible to have multiple windows per database. Like virtually every other app, Panorama now always opens each new view in a new window, and it remembers the position and size of each view even when it is closed. (There are also technical reasons why flipping different kinds of views in a single window is much more difficult in OS X than it was in “classic” MacOS, I’m sure it can be done, but I’m not going to spend the significant engineering time required (probably weeks) to create a non-standard, confusing feature.)
I do understand your frustration with having a lot of windows open, I think that myself sometimes, but I don’t think the way Panorama used to do it was good either. I found it constantly frustrating that it didn’t remember the position and size of each view, and I would often flip to a different view when I meant to open a new window. I think a solution might be to come up with methods for closing a bunch of windows quickly. I’ve had some thoughts on this but haven’t hit on a solution I’m in love with (and there are many other competing priorities).
I know there is a vocal contingent of Panorama 6 users that just don’t want anything to change, ever. However, I also know that that contingent is a tiny fraction of what is needed to sustain an ongoing business. Definitely far too small to justify the enormous investment required to write a new version of Panorama that would continue to work when Apple dropped the APIs originally introduced in 1984. Those APIs are being dropped as soon as next week. In the near future, it won’t be possible to purchase a new computer that will run Panorama 6.
In creating Panorama X, a colossal effort wast put into making it as compatible as possible with previous versions. Panorama X seamlessly brings over all of your data, and the bulk of your graphics and programming. And though the user interface is very similar, it does not recreate the exact same user interface as before, because that is not where the future is. The Panorama 6 user interface was mostly unchanged since the late 1980’s, and what other unchanged product from the 1980’s are you using? Where it made sense in creating Panorama X, existing user interface idioms were kept, but many of Panorama’s existing idioms are awkward and confusing in a modern app. The design of Panorama X is ruthless, if it isn’t modern and clean, it had to go.
Of course there were hundreds of design decisions involved in creating Panorama X, and there’s no way all of these decisions will please every user. A lot of user input has gone into Panorama X, and it has evolved considerably over the past 4 years since the first betas appeared. But ultimately, I’m the person responsible for investing tens of thousands of hours in this project, and in the end these decisions are my call, for better or worse. In the past two years, Panorama X has attracted more new customers than earlier versions did in the previous 20, so I’m hopeful that Panorama X is for the most part is heading in the right direction, even if every individual design decision isn’t met with universal acclaim.
I know my response tonight will be disappointing to some. I hate disappointing old users, but I also hate disappointing potential new users, who probably won’t be heard here. For decades Panorama development was entirely tilted towards old users, but that became untenable and now Panorama X has shifted the focus a bit in favor of new ways. I did want to take the time (nearly an hour!), however, to convey that the reasoning behind the way the View menu works was a well considered position, and not laziness or carelessness. I’m open to suggestions, but not the suggestion that it should work as it did before, I’m convinced that on balance that was not a good user interface.