the vpe should reside on a separate tab, not together with source, and it should initialize only when openend.
i am no big fan of visual editors but can imagine that there are situations when i might find it useful.
so, when editing pages i do it with the source editor. having the vpe on the same tab it occupies space, even minimized, and is confusing – a clean separation is desirable (source|visual|preview).
additionally, the visual editor is initialized when the source editor is opened, regardless whether i ever use it. having the visual editor on it's own tab would allow lazy initialization, saving resources.
re the versions: i see "Richfaces VPE Feature 188.8.131.52807200019-nightly", not clear to me which of the numbers in the selects above fits.