One of the more recent design trends in GNOME has been the use of sidebars. It looks great, it’s functional, and it gives separation of content from hierarchy.
Builder, on the other hand, has been stuck a bit closer to the old-hat design of IDEs where the hierarchy falls strictly from the headerbar. This is simply because libpanel was designed before that design trend. Some attempt was made in Builder to make it look somewhat sidebar’ish, but that was the extent of it given available time.
Last week I had a moment of inspiration on a novel way we could solve it without uprooting the applications which use libpanel. You can now insert edge widgets in
PanelDockChild which are always visible even when the child is not. Combining that with being able to place a headerbar inside a
PanelDockChild along with your
PanelFrames means you can get something that looks more familiar in modern GNOME.
If you’d like to improve things further, you know where to find the code.