Can you clarify the workflow requiring locking of items ?
Select components, do something to them, lock list item. The lock icon indicates not only that you have finished with that operation but also prevents you from accidentally adding or removing components from it. Seeing the lock icon automatically assigns a hierarchy element to your workflow since anything locked was performed further upstream and shouldn't really be altered after that.
The AE is linked to the selection list. This means that if you click on an item, it will create the proxy object in the scene that allows you to actually interactively select components. Because of that you cannot just have another node displayed in the AE.
If I select a list item that should force focus its tab of attributes to top of AE, why the heck does Maya force the focus of the tweak node instead?
Working in the channel editor is probably more efficient in this case.
Symmetry is a native part of the selection tools in Maya. Do you mean to have a shortcut for the switch, or something completely different. I will be hesitant to replicate it in a custom UI.
Yes have a shortcut behind the scene changing these settings via the Component Managers UI - You have the wireframe on shaded mode there and X-ray there too 😉
By delete items, do you mean delete the corresponding nodes, or just reset the list of components ?
So when you delete an item it deletes just the components related to that operation only. I know you can delete it from the outliner and then update manager again by pinning the object. Just looking at ways to optimise workflow and make more intuitive to use.
A refresh icon might help things a bit too.
I don't want to overwork the toolset so just the easy things first if you have time.