First of all:
With "context-free controls" I refer to controls whose behavior is independent of the selected tab.
With "context-sensitive controls" I refer to controls whose behavior is dependent of the selected tab.
To illustrate what I am meaning, let's look at an example:
The picture above shows a program I am currently working on (for this illustration I modified the picture a bit). It will be able to generate a schedule on a specific planning problem.
There are three sections: The tabs, the Schedule of the selected tab and a Toolbar.
There are two different schedules, let's call them Schedule 1 and Schedule 2. In the picture the tab Schedule 1 is currently open, the UI of Schedule 2 looks the same (except having a different schedule). The tab Schedule 1+2 shows the two schedules in a split screen without the Toolbar below.
These two schedules together are called a campaign and it is possible to save/load such a campaign to/from the hard disk.
The Toolbar consists of 4 sections: Generation, Campaign, Export (as an image) and the name of the loaded campaign.
Generation refers only to the schedule which is currently selected, Campaign to both of the schedules, Export also only to the selected schedule and the name (as stated above) to the loaded campaign.
Now to the essence: I don't think it is the best idea to put all these controls in one Toolbar like this. The main reason is (like the title indicates) context (and with that I mean the selected schedule). Campaign refers to both schedules, thus not to the current context like Generation does.
I really would like to omit a menu bar which would be an idea where to put Campaign.
The summarized question(s):
Is it really a good idea to mix context-sensitive controls with context-free controls in a toolbar? What would be an appropriate approach to solve this UI design problem?