Dear browser designers. Please find a way to put my bookmarks bar next to my URL bar.
Increasingly, the tab bar is becoming the equivalent of the taskbar, with each app taking up a slot. So IE9-ish combining of URL and tab bar seems constraining.
What is easier to constrain, is the layout of my bookmark bar. Being able to put that up by my URL input bar makes a lot of sense. They’re both navigational, and both are right now bigger than they need to be.
Seems reasonable. I barely use bookmarks and often turn off that bar entirely, so I don’t really care, but certainly the tab bar needs all the space I can give it, the address bar is also important, and I agree the bookmark bar is the place to regain vertical space.
Something’s funny here though — IE4 could do what you asked (IE4 was also a new version of the Windows shell, basically, and it introduced the rebar control, and this was before tabs but each of address/bookmarks/some other stuff was its own toolbar, each of which could be dragged around in the rebar, sharing rows or not, and I typically would dock the bookmarks toolbar at the right end of the address bar, so they’d share a row). Too bad this ability got lost in the sands of time.
Actually it’s worth thinking back on what the main browser UI elements have been, over time, besides the content — in 1997 it was menu bar, address bar, control buttons for back/forward/home/stop/reload/maybe some other stuff, and bookmarks. Since then we gained a search box and tabs, then lost most of the title bar and (except for on Mac OS) the menu bar, and now we’re trending towards simplifying the control buttons to just back/forward/reload+stop, and merging the search box with the address bar.