Closing tabs in GNOME apps (Web, Files) with keyboard shortcut jumps to previous tab


When browsing GNOME Web with multiple tabs open, after closing a tab with Ctrl-W, the tab from the left becomes active. I would expect that the next tab (form the right) would get displayed, based not only on other browsers’ behavior, but also on GNOME Web’s behavior when closing a tab from its close button, which reveals the tab from the right.

After a few other tests I found the actual behavior of Ctrl-W: the tab from the left becomes active if the tab previously active was on the left from the current tab, and the tab from the right becomes active if some tab on the right of the current tab was previously active.

While there is a logic in this behavior, I am not sure if is the most effective one from a UX perspective.

Example of navigation:

  • user browses the GNOME Discourse for new topics.
  • user opens the topics of interest in new tabs, with Ctrl-Tab, without leaving the current window (say 10 topics)
  • user proceeds to reading the opened topics/tabs, from left to right
  • after reading a topic, user closes the tab with Ctrl-W

Expected outcome: the next (unread) topic/tab gets displayed.

Actual outcome: the tab from the left (e.g. GNOME Discourse main page) gets displayed. User has to jump to the next tab by an additional action (Ctrl-Tab or pointer click).

The behavior in Files is similar.

I wonder if this is an issue, or does it work as designed.

Assuming you’ve tested their latest versions, this behavior is likely inherited from AdwTabView/AdvTabBar

I think there would need to be a certain hierarchy to tabs, at least behind the scenes, in order not to fall into the “parent” tab if there is a sibling tab next. I believe this is not supported at the moment but I don’t know if that’s intentional or not

This was tested on Fedora WS freshly upgraded to 40, GNOME 46.

I know many Linux distributions propose Firefox as the default web browser, I would love to see GNOME Web gain traction, though. Simplicity and efficiency don’t need to be exclusive.

Therefore I would like to see such small improvements with impact on productivity. I just don’t know if this behavior is intended, or just something needed to be fixed/improved, but not on the product team’s radar yet.

Feel free to report a bug in the Epiphany issue tracker. If it turns out to be libadwaita’s fault, we can move it.

I can reproduce the behavior you’re describing in Epiphany, but not in Files.

Will do, thanks for reproducing.