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Workspace tools disappear when switching an area to Node Editor (Compositing/Shader/Texture)
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Description

System Information
Operating system: Windows, Linux
Graphics card: GTX 960, GTX 1080

Blender Version
Broken: 0f135f80f271

Short description of error
Workspace tool panels with their context set to '.objectmode' disappear from the top bar and the Properties Editor after switching an arbitrary area to any of the node-based editors, regardless of there being a 3D Viewport left in Object Mode.

Exact steps for others to reproduce the error

  1. Switch an arbitrary area in the UI to either the Compositing, Shader or Texture Node editor.
  2. Blender and the Curse of the Disappeared Workspace Tools.
  3. Simply returning to the 3D View brings the tools back. If another area is still set to 3D View, switching from and to Object Mode there brings them back as well. Simply 'reminding' Blender of something being in Object Mode seems to be the sole remedy for now.

Details

Type
Bug

Event Timeline

Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) triaged this task as Needs Information from User priority.Feb 27 2019, 6:23 AM

As far as I can see this isn't a bug. The default select tool in the compositor has no options, if you switch to border select there is a single option.

Could you confirm this?

Just discussed this with @Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar). Seems like it's not a bug per se, only confusing behaviour emphasized by another bug.
The fact that add-ons with panels set to '.objectmode' disappear when changing modes is of course correct behaviour - the add-ons themselves are at fault for declaring they are related to Object Mode, while that's not necessarily true.
The confusing behaviour is caused by the fact that the top bar *looks* application-wide, but should have contents directly linked to the UI area and the tool that are currently active.
The actual bug is that the top bar doesn't update when it should, namely when focus shifts from one area to the other. Accordig to @Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar), this has been discussed before, so I assume there's already a task for that?

Sam Van Hulle (sam_vh) raised the priority of this task from Needs Information from User to Needs Triage by Developer.Feb 28 2019, 11:49 AM
Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) claimed this task.

I think the current behavior is by design, even if it's debatable.

Automatically changing when moving the cursor is problematic if you have two editors stacked vertically, and you need to cross the top editor to get to the topbar. So the topbar only updates when changing tools.

I didn't specifically mean moving the cursor. That as a concept doesn't sit with me very well in all cases. Keystrokes are fine being tied to specific functionality in specific editors, and therefore require Blender to keep the focus in the intended area. But I don't like that to be tied to where the mouse *is*. While typing in the text editor or Python console, for example, this can have me pressing 237689 keystrokes in the viewport before I realise it.

I like the idea of changing focus on click rather than on mouse move. Would solve the top bar update problem immediately, and some annoyance and confusion throughout Blender.