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Firefox Tab Candy Alpha

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the making-tabs-sweet dept.

Firefox 189

Nunavut writes in with a note from TechCrunch on Aza Raskin's latest Mozilla goodie, Tab Candy. "Be sure to watch the video for a full overview — from the looks of it, it seems as if Tab Candy is sort of like Apple's Expose feature mixed with their Spaces feature, both of which are baked into OS X. For those who don't use a Mac, basically these features allow you to zoom out and get a bird's-eye-view of all your windows (or tabs, in this case) that are open — and you can also arrange open windows (or again, tabs, in this case) in certain spaces so they're clumped together. This allows you to more easily find what you're looking for with so many tabs open." Here's Raskin's blog post, the download link, and the FAQ.

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189 comments

Open? (4, Insightful)

Fusen (841730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020364)

Am I the only one that opens up tabs to read the content and then closes the tab after doing so? I don't really see why someone would have like 20+ tabs constantly just sitting open.

Re:Open? (4, Informative)

Knoeki (1149769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020378)

I keep tabs open for certain sites. A bunch of sites (forums, etc) that I want to check regularly, and some other things I'll want to have a look at now and then.

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020408)

I keep tabs open for certain sites. A bunch of sites (forums, etc) that I want to check regularly, and some other things I'll want to have a look at now and then.

..that is what bookmarks are for.

Re:Open? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020464)

that's what I thought. I use tabs to keep multiple sites open while I'm at the computer. Otherwise, bookmarks and history.

Re:Open? (2, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021260)

Otherwise, bookmarks and history.

Same here. In fact, I have long ago given up on organising my bookmarks. There was a time when I used to spend some time categorising them into a hierarchy that made sense to me, but it was quite a big job. But now that Firefox automatically searches bookmarks by whatever keywords I set, there's no longer any point.

Truth is, I could probably ditch my bookmarks file with little pain - there's a big chunk of it that dates back to the mid '90s (when I was using Nutscrape and/or Mozilla), and I've never got around to verifying how many of those URLs actually exist any more. I just leave it there as a little piece of history.

I prefer tabsbookmarks (3, Informative)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020488)

I've never used bookmarks properly. I just type in the topmost URL and then navigate to the page I want. Terrible, I know. There are many different ways to use the web, I've personally seen a lot of the following with friends and family:

  • Use search engine terms to get to websites
  • Put URL in search engine to get to websites
  • Use bookmarks to get everywhere: I know people who have a huge bookmark list, organised into folders
  • Use only one website and click links in comments/profiles from there (farcebook)
  • Use portal pages (Yahoo!, MSN, Google)

One problem I have with bookmarks is that it's so 'open' and available to people to browse. I wouldn't want my bookmarks to be seen by everyone. What I want is a 'super lightweight tab' architecture where a tab actually represents the bookmark and only loads if I click it, which definitely beats loading 100s of tabs on startup...

I switch between browsers and computers so much that keeping my bookmarks sycned would be too hard to be worth it. A few years ago I was more of a explorative surfer, now I tend to limit myself to very few daily websites and go from there.

Re:I prefer tabsbookmarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020578)

I've seen a friend use the browser's search box (defaulting to google) to search for google, then use the google homepage to search for the name of the site they want.

Re:I prefer tabsbookmarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020954)

I've seen a friend use the browser's search box (defaulting to google) to search for google, then use the google homepage to search for the name of the site they want.

I sometimes do that using OSX/Safari because it doesn't take you to the google homepage when you enter an empty search string. I may not (for whatever reason) want a particular search term showing for shoulder surfers in the browsers search history. What I don't want to do is disable or clear the search history because I do make use of the feature.

Re:I prefer tabsbookmarks (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021320)

My homepage is a fairly simple (but not unattractive) local html file with a table of about 20 (or so) most frequently used URLs represented by gimped-up transparent png icons (one of which leads me straight to Google's advanced search). This, in combination with the childishly simple New Tab Homepage [mozilla.org] add-on saves me lots of time.

Re:I prefer tabsbookmarks (1)

Snarky McButtface (1542357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020696)

Have you considered xmarks [xmarks.com] ? Not only can you use it to sync bookmarks among computers, you can sync among supported browsers as well.

Re:I prefer tabsbookmarks (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020764)

And have you considered Firefox Sync / Firefox Home for the iPhone. :-)

So you can not only sync bookmarks, but also history and preferences, it's password-protected and encrypted and normally sent over https so you don't have to worry someone taking a look at your bookmarks.

You don't have to use the Mozilla server, but you can also use your own.

Re:I prefer tabsbookmarks (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020958)

I read about what you want in a recent ghacks post, try this: https://addons.mozilla.org/z/en-US/firefox/addon/67651/ [mozilla.org]
I just installed it and seems to be what you ask for, and I am liking it a lot so far.

Re:Open? (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020400)

Yes.

(If that's all we wanted to do we'd have stuck with the 'back' button).

Re:Open? (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020724)

That would be true if the back button restored the state of all pages properly.

Sites that make use of collapsible sections do not always maintain their previous state when you back up to them. For example, I do this with Wikipedia and the collapsible section after the external links. As I check out the various links it saves me having to reopen the collapsible section every time which can quickly become rather tedious.

Also, a search results page is often problematic backing up to.

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020822)

So not even the back button works anymore? But hey he have tab candy now so it's all good? These Slashdot discussions go a long way towards explaining why my web browser has more lines of code than my operating system.

Re:Open? (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021136)

There's a collapsible section at the end of a Wikipedia page. Hmm, new thing learned for today. Check.

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020478)

I've currently got 5 tabs open in firefox, I think I get to 8 or so before I open a new window. I only ever read, close and forget worthless stuff. For anything worthwhile, I leave tabs open until I get to review / bookmark (these act simply as reminders) or just reread an article.

While this method of working is how I personally process information, I assumed it was accepted that humans make better make value judgements in this way? For the people who simply read and close, I'm wondering if you also buy the first item a salesman tries to sell you?

Re:Open? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021422)

I've currently got 5 tabs open in firefox, I think I get to 8 or so before I open a new window.

I operate on a principle of what is actually visible in the tab header bar. Generally speaking, I get to about 10 tabs before the text becomes meaningless. While my wife will keep what looks like hundreds open. (She also has so many windows in her dock, they are represented by a scary little icon of about 2 pixels in size, but I've learned not to interfere...)

But the bigger my screen, the more my brain can physically cope with. I'm used to having 6 comparatively sparsely populated workspaces on my desktop Linux box, but on my MacBook I don't use Spaces at all, just Exposé.

Re:Open? (2, Informative)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020486)

Thus speaks a man who has never experienced the addictive tab-craziness of TV Tropes [tvtropes.org] ;)

Not only TV Tropes but other wikis as well (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020584)

Thus speaks a man who has never experienced the addictive tab-craziness of TV Tropes [tvtropes.org] ;)

Or Wikipedia. Or Encyclopedia Dramatica. Or Ward's Wiki and Everything2, which were probably the originators of this densely hyperlinked style that encourages hyperbrowsing [everything2.com] .

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020580)

You might want to open up 20 background tabs at once so you don't need to wait 20 times for a page to load. (And then forget to

Re:Open? (2, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020656)

Am I the only one that opens up tabs to read the content and then closes the tab after doing so? I don't really see why someone would have like 20+ tabs constantly just sitting open.

You're just lacking good examples of things to keep "permanently open".

"tabs" that I never close on my ipod touch, my ipad, or firefox:

Local NWS weather radar direct link (radar.weather.gov/Thumbs/???.png where ??? is your local three letter code that has nothing to do with IACO airport codes)

Local NWS 7 day forecast for my home, a rather complicated (bookmarked) URL.

A vhfdx.net ham radio "activity map" for the 6 meter band on my continent, at least during Es season (which probably makes zero sense to non-amateur radio operators, but trust me its quite handy to see at a glance if anythings going on).

A "club news/club announcement" blog that is updated roughly daily.

My personal "feed on feeds" web based RSS aggregator.

At work on firefox for half a decade or so, I have always had a tab open on RT, and a couple internal apps.

Could I just use bookmarks? Yeah, but thats clicky clicky clicky hell and since I scan all those pages every time I do "anything" why not leave them open? Its sort of a "cache" between me and my bookmarks.

As far as having 20 open tabs, I use LRU expiration, if there is a tab I don't look at "all the time" then I stop leaving it open... Some people are the digital equivalent of hoarders.

Re:Open? (1)

Fusen (841730) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020706)

I probably should have clarified what I meant in my original post, but I didn't mean that I don't use tabs, I use tabs all the time. At the moment I've had 4 open for the last 2 hours. I use google reader and queue up all the feed items I want to read and then go through and read them, I also do the same on forums so I do have moments when I have 20+ tabs open at one time. The point I was making was why would you leave those 20 tabs open AFTER you've read the contents of them? Leaving enough open to justify the expose/grouping offered by this new feature. I suppose it all comes down to your point about leaving them open instead of simply making a bookmark, your example of 'Local NWS 7 day forecast for my home, a rather complicated (bookmarked) URL.' I don't really see the point in leaving the page open using any resources for something that changes once a day :P

Re:Open? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020988)

The point I was making was why would you leave those 20 tabs open AFTER you've read the contents of them?

They change. I agree, useless for a static or semi-static page, but my local radar updates every few minutes.

I don't really see the point in leaving the page open using any resources for something that changes once a day

The resources used round down to zero. The cost of my time is not so cheap.

Re:Open? (2, Funny)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020782)

If you close it, eventually you have to open it again. It takes like 0.08375 seconds to open a web page these days. Some people just aren't as patient as you are.

Re:Open? (1)

not flu (1169973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021600)

You are off by two orders of magnitude in your time estimate - and that's assuming no WiFi/phone data crapouts or whatever leaving pages unloaded anyways.

Opening tabs in the background is a way to avoid having to watch pages load - particularly if you're browsing for images that are multiple megabytes in size, or sites that are too popular for their bandwidth, or sites Japan, or just when your connection is busy with torrents.

Compared to the time used viewing such pages or files the loading time can be very significant. Even youtube videos frequently fail to load in real time.

Re:Open? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020960)

i usually have like 30 tabs open at work. they are for documentation, information on certain APIs, etc. when i'm done with the task i'm working on i just close them all. i use TreeStyleTabs for this, it's an awesome way of managing tabs.

Re:Open? (3, Insightful)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021220)

AMEN to that. I watched this guy wantonly open tabs to things he probably would only glance at, and then complain there's too many tabs.

Hey, instead of Tab Candy(which seems like a hell of a lot of work to organize tabs while browsing) how about you just learn to properly use a tabbed browser?

Most people can manage information well enough in their head that they don't need 15-25 tabs open at once.

On top of that, it's actually faster to just open a second copy of the browser with a different group of tabs than it is to organize with Tab Candy.

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021280)

I typically read the page I'm reading to the end, opening interesting links in background tabs. Reading documentation and doing this recursively can easily lead to having 50-100 tabs open.
That's about tolerable in Opera, using the Ctrl-tab menu to find tabs, but the ability to jump to a tab with a url+title search would be very convenient.

Re:Open? (1)

someonestolecc (1038714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021296)

Maybe... I routinely have over 50 on 3 computers. I often find I get into a topic and don't have the time to finish it before I'm distracted or move onto the next. On my work PC for example it's easier to open new tabs up if I'm on the phone with a customer and I need to do something for them, we use so many internal systems also that having a few open on the CRM, the helpdesk ticketing, the core system, a few supplementary pages and on the support section isn't uncommon. I find it's easier to keep a window open on the search screen in the core app and remembering by position is easier than having to re-open it (though I do that too as I'm a bit muddled up which hence means more tabs :P) At home I'm at uni so I might be browsing some things like slashdot and get sucked into a topic and end up on wikipedia 3 hours later looking at something entirely different that's caught my eye. Soon it's time to go out, clean the house, take a dump or floss my bear's teeth whatever and so I leave them open so I can return to it. Of course, I tend to think "on the spot" so I'm the type of person who rather than have folders in their emails constantly relies on searching (i.e. i start from scratch as it's easier for my brain to think on the spot than refer to memory). Each to their own .. let's just say the SSD made a huge difference to the time it took for my firefox windows to open .. (I will usually have another browser or two open too, and at work I run 2 actual computers on 3 monitors with a virtual on one .. won't mention remote sessions). Every person I've rented with or worked with always says I'm crazy 'cos of the windows - yet I know where everything is... :P .. What can I say I envy you people with memory :)

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021344)

Yep. I open 20 or more tabs when I first open up the browser and go through my various news aggregators and individual sites that I view daily. I don't actually read the content until I've gotten most of them open and figured out what I want to read. Then as I have small pieces of time throughout the day I'll go through the tabs one by one and when I'm done close them. The value to me is not in rereading but in holding a bunch of stuff open that I will read at my leisure later. This is primarily helpful in reducing the overhead of culling through everything multiple times throughout the day.

Re:Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021476)

Ignorance is bliss eh, I constantly have upto 30 tabs open, although not in firefox because it slows to a crawl just opening a large enough page, not to mention having a handful of tabs open over longer time.

Re:Open? (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021486)

You aren't the only one. But you are in a dwindling minority.

Re:Open? (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021604)

I do the same thing. Same with programs on the desktop. But I grew up in a time when resource management was important, so I'm aware of the memory that each unused program or tab is taking up. I suppose I could spend a few bucks and buy more memory, but it works for me.

I've built my Firefox tab bar with the sites I use the most, so most of them are only two clicks away (one for the folder, one for the site). Those I use more are the easiest to get to, those that I rarely use take a little more effort. Same with my task bar and menu bar.

But I see some people, even tech people, that run EVERY window at full screen, and have 20 programs all opened at the same time. I suppose they could use something like that because they seem to have an issue with closing things, or having more than one program visible at a time.

Re:Open? (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021614)

Well, I have quite a few tabs open every day on my system. Around 100 - 120 or so. Our help desk ticket system is RSS based. Using live bookmarks I can open all the tickets when I get in into each of their own tabs, that's about 20 to 40 tabs (depends on the day we're having.)

Next I open up all my Google tools, gmail/wave/docs/newsgroups/etc... That's about 10 tabs. Then I pop all the unread stories of Slashdot into slashdot (that's about 10 to 15 tabs, depends on what kind of news day it is). Do the same thing with BBC (That's usually about 20 to 25 tabs.) Then it's a couple of tabs for odd and end stuff. (usually around 20 to 30 tabs.)

Ctrl+W, Ctrl+Tab, Ctrl+K, F6, Ctrl+T, Ctrl+Shift+T all become my friends as I go through my tabs. After I'm done with the page it's a quick Ctrl+W or Ctrl+D/Ctrl+W. I know I'm getting towards the end of the day when most of my tabs are gone. A little Alt+Tab to switch between IDE, help tickets, VNC viewer, our TN-5250 terminal, and Firefox makes up my whole day. It's not often that I use the mouse but I do when simple Page Down/Page Up doesn't satisfy me on a page (Slashdot I'm looking at you most of the time) and when I'm using VNC viewer to show somebody where some function is in MS Office 2007's ribbon.

That's not to say I could go another route about how I organize myself and not open like 110 tabs in the morning and then spend the next nine (yes we work ten hour days) hours fluxing between 40 and 60 tabs, and then towards my tenth hour start reaching only ten to twenty tabs. I could open tabs as I need them but there are two cons to that.

1. I like thinking as my browser as my web inbox. I don't like having to go out and get each item one at a time and with our help desk ticket system, that would be the equal (in pain) of watching Richard Simmons working out to the oldies, not incredibly deadly at first, but at some paint you'll want to kill yourself for some reason you just can fully grasp.

2. I use the five minutes that it takes for the tabs to load to head over to the coffee machine and get my first couple cups of coffee in. (That's right a couple [2] cups of coffee in five minutes, my stomach as it stands has aged three time faster than the rest of me because of this regime.)

Hope that answers your question about people with butt loads of tabs. I know it might not be the best way but it's the way that seems best to work for me. Of course this coming from a person who is absolutely horrible to themselves health-wise. Trust me coffee is the lightest damage I do to myself.

Interesting (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020380)

Now, give me a feature which autosizes the thumbnails on the thumbnail view automatically, weighted by how often I go to the site.

Re:Interesting (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020468)

I think Safari's "Top Sites" allows you to pick how many sites you want listed, auto-sizes the page previews and arranges them by most visited (you can also 'pin' a specific site to a specific spot). I'm sure this stuff is available in other browsers too.

Reinventing the window? (2, Insightful)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020412)

When I want to group tabs, I make new windows. In fact i rarely have more than 5 tabs per window, then 2-3 windows open. It's easy to navigate and organized, and also happens to be the way it's supposed to be done in current operating systems.

Maybe I"m just old school.

Re:Reinventing the window? (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020490)

Let's see, I've got multiple workspaces, with multiple instances of firefox running, and each has one or more tab.

But something is missing. It's just not fine grained enough.
If only tabs could have tabs!

Re:Reinventing the window? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020666)

Phe, we have multiple virtual OS running, we are logged as multiple users, each user has multiple virtuall deskto[s running several browser windows, each with multiple tabs.
Our doctor says its no good but me feels giving a chabce to develop each of my multiple personalities.

Re:Reinventing the window? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021020)

Yo Dawg, I heard you like tabs in your tabs........

Re:Reinventing the window? (2)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021054)

Humour aside, this problem of tab groups got solved yonks ago with the TreeStyleTabs extension. Tabs are in a vertical tree, indented to show their relationship to one another, and the position -- and relationships -- between tabs can be adjusted by dragging and dropping tabs.

It basically does all that this Tab Candy thing claims to do, but much more effectively and without needing swanky eye candy. Plus you can see all your tabs all the time; you don't have to zoom out.

Not that Tab Candy doesn't look neat, but I seriously question its practical usefulness over something like treestyletabs.

Re:Reinventing the window? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021300)

Yo dawg, I heard you like tabs...

Re:Reinventing the window? (1)

Biogenesis (670772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020506)

That method works to some degree. The problem is that it requires a good memory of what's open and where it is. This feature seems to give you a graphical snapshot of everything which, for some people, would make finding an open tab faster given that a) they don't have to remember where is is and b) it allows their brain to process graphical rather than textual information.

Re:Reinventing the window? (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020596)

You can name workspaces and chose to have their names displayed.

Re:Reinventing the window? (2, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020598)

That's what I thought at first when I watched the video also. However, there's one big difference -- tab candy seems to remember your groups of tabs, but is still flexible about creating and destroying them, and it will be searchable. If you're using virtual desktops and sets of windows, you can group those, but I always found the groupings to be clumsy and my workflow changes often enough that just calling one desktop "e-mail" and other "ssh session to X server" just doesn't work. Similarly, with a browser, you have to go through a lot of trouble organizing the windows and tabs and unless you've got your browser doing the same things all the time, it isn't worth a lot of organization.

After thinking about what they were doing for a bit, I realized that what they just came up with is essentially a spacial manager for the bookmark menu that makes adding and removing bookmarks and groups of bookmarks easy and rapid. Let's say you have three folders in your bookmark menu, the tab candy seems to give you a way to see and manage the contents of all those folders rapidly. I think it'll be cool, but it's hard to say how useful it will be. The only other thing like it that I know of for browsers is Safari's "Top Sites" feature. I find that fairly useful, often if it's a site I use often I don't even bother looking for the site in my menubar, I just open a new tab (which shows the top site window) and click on the thumbnail. It requires less thinking than finding something in a bookmark menu.

Re:Reinventing the window? (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020624)

Tab itself are already a reinvention of the window, what this add-on does looks closer to reinventing the bookmark. As the way one can organize the tabs into categories and stuff is much closer to what you get today with bookmarks, then what you can do with tabs. Which raises the question how that is going to work in practice, as in practice I don't consider tabs to be permanent 'links' to webpages, but temporary containers, i.e. does your whole carefully created layout go down the toiled if you decide to use your "research" window for searching for the newest video game or whatever? Do you have to remember to always use a new window for a new webpage? Or is there magic working that makes webpages 'stick' to a tab? I think for this to work properly one might need to not only reinvent the tab, but also the way the forward/back buttons work, as their use doesn't really make much sense if you lay all tabs flat on a 2D plane.

Anyway, overall it looks like an interesting add-on and like an implementation of a zoomable interface that actually might work very well for some use cases and for those looking for a simpler enhancement for tabs there is always Tree Style Tabs.

Re:Reinventing the window? (1)

RadioElectric (1060098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021040)

In my experience at least, tabs were the death of the bookmark. I hardly know of anybody who still uses the bookmark feature in their browser rather than just keeping the interesting page in a tab as a "I'll go back to that later".

Re:Reinventing the window? (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020660)

I admit I came to this video with the same reservations but there was some stuff in there that got me exited: sharing tabs with other users by drag-n-drop, even better: doing the same with other devices and multiple simultaneous profiles, which for some reason they buried somewhere in the middle.

Re:Reinventing the window? (1)

clintp (5169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021094)

A quick poll of the users in the house, and ... yeah, we all do the same thing and it works quite well. Slow news day?

Lots of tabs got you down?
1. Drag a Firefox tab of onto the desktop, you get a new window.
2. Drag related tabs onto that new window.

Look! Grouped! The tabs retain their individual histories as well.

Gnome Desktop (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020422)

This looks very much like what is coming in out in Gnome Desktop (Gnome 3) as well. As someone who generally has 40 or 50 tabs open, I'm looking forward to it. If it allows me to search tabs quickly with a hotkey and a couple of words like Mozilla Ubiquity did I'll be extra happy.

Re:Gnome Desktop (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020548)

Sorry, I keep say Gnome Desktop when I mean Gnome Shell. Gnome shell uses a very similar approach with desktop windows.

Tree Style Tabs (5, Informative)

Leynos (172919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020434)

The "Tree Style Tabs [mozilla.org] " add on is great for managing your browsing. It gives your tabs context, lets you collapse groups of tabs and move tabs from one group to another. That, and having the tabs vertically arranged lets you have far more on screen at once and make better use of a widescreen monitor. Solving many of the problems addressed by Tab Candy.

I'm really surprised more people don't use it. It's the one thing now preventing me from switching to Chrome.

Re:Tree Style Tabs (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020456)

I use this addon as well, and it's as good as it gets. It's simple and intuitive and when you have several tabs open, it's much better (specially when reading API docs that have one separate page per function call).

Re:Tree Style Tabs (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020542)

I use Tree Style Tabs and combined with Vimperator. Never going back.

This guy made ubiquity which I like too, judging from the video, they have a big sense of direction which is nice.

Re:Tree Style Tabs (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020934)

Unfortunately Ubiquity is...dead? At least I haven't read anything related to it in months (judging from Planet Mozilla and other sources).
I loved it, except for it not being really portable (had strong issues with multi-OS/portable installs because of using absolute paths). But, alas, some commands grew obsolete with time, it wasn't being updated for recent versions, bugs, etc... A real shame, it was a lovable little tool with a lot of potential. Didn't Ubiquity start to fade (except for its fans) around the time Jetpacks started to come around? I remember pretty enthusiastic blog posts until then.

Sidebars need a wider screen (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020608)

I'm really surprised more people don't use it.

Vertical tab lists and other sidebars really need a monitor at least 1280px wide. Some people such as myself have an old 1024x768px monitor or a netbook with a 1024x600px monitor, and more and more web sites are designed to run maximized across the entire width of such a monitor.

Re:Sidebars need a wider screen (1)

bdraschk (664148) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020640)

Some people such as myself have an old 1024x768px monitor

Yeah, some people. Other people who buy a modern monitor have few other options that getting 16:9 or 16:10 displays. With one of these, you're more than happy about Tree Style Tabs. In fact, I am even worried no such extension will be available for Firefox 4 when tabs are move to the window bar.

or a netbook with a 1024x600px monitor, and more and more web sites are designed to run maximized across the entire width of such a monitor.

Yes, for the small display of my netbook i do not use Tree Style Tabs, but here i have seldom more than four tabs open at the same time.

Re:Sidebars need a wider screen (1)

doti (966971) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020814)

Tree Style Tab is about more than displaying tabs vertically. The hierarchical arrangement of the tabs is even more useful.

Re:Sidebars need a wider screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020868)

Try Fox Tab. Yes, evil Flash add-on, and it is a far cry from Tab Candy. I use Tree Style Tab and Fox Tab. Fox Tab requires you activate it with a right-left button click combo where TST just sits on the right side all the time. TST can make the screen of my 12" laptop crowded, but I have no complaints when browsing on the 19" monitor.

Re:Tree Style Tabs (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021084)

In fact, Tree Style Tabs is very similar to this Tab Candy thing: both are (among other things) hierarchical visualizations of tabs. With Tab Candy it's more of a flat hierarchy, though he does introduce meta groups at a later stage. Anyway, the big difference is that Tab Candy uses an expose mode to manage the tabs, while Tree Style Tabs manages them in the boring favicon + title way. The expose thing looks great, but I'm not sure if it's suited all that way to managing tabs -- tab thumbnails never did anything for me, one Slashdot page looks a lot like another, and the same is true for API pages, forum threads, etc. And Tree Style Tabs has the big advantage of being self-organising, since each tab forms an implicit tab group, and new tabs are automatically added to their parent tabs.

Re:Tree Style Tabs (1)

slaingod (1076625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021668)

Unfortunately the name is "Tree Style Tab" not "Tabs" which is probably a BIG reason why more people don't use it.

When you do a search on addons.mozilla.org for "tabs" it isn't anywhere near the top.

Re:Tree Style Tabs (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021710)

Having the tabs vertically is sometjing I would not like. Now I can have a browser and some other program open on my widescreen. Then I would be able to run only one program.

And what I do is 'open all tabs' from my bookmarks, read them and then close them again.

Oh, great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020494)

Now the browser comes with a window manager inside.

Just waiting for them to come with an init, libc, X server, DBUS-daemon, and (ugh!) PulseAudio and other bloaty goodnesses.

Yuck.

Road to unreliability (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020560)

I agree with you: the desktop environment should be doing this stuff. I like Windows Fences but it only applies to files and folders. I believe the reason is the difficulty to 'render' graphics, text and arbitrary media in desktop level code. With web layout rendering engines and Javascript and DOM, it's quicker to implement a snazzy interface that it would be in low level code.

It's sad to see that 'drag and drop', window algorithms, redraw algorithms are reimplemented again and again ontop of eachother without actually being used.

No preview for me (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020502)

I ran opera for a while and it had this nice preview feature where it would give you a thumbnail of frequently visited sites. I stopped using it because there are some places I go to which I don't want to appear, even as thumbnails, when there are people around who might take an interest. Some of them have really crappy eyesight, which is a godsend, but I don't like relying on things like that.

Re:No preview for me (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020538)

ctrl-shift-p ftw!

What about the Firefox Showcase extension? (2, Interesting)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020530)

Saw the video of TFA and it seems Showcase does The Job, and is 'mature' as well; while not requiring so much manual intervention (which others might value as a Good Thing). I've been using it for at least a year and really like Showcase.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1810 [mozilla.org]

There are a lot ot tab extensions... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020698)

they all mostly work well for what they're trying to do.

I use Foxtab - somewhat similar, but really pretty useful on a netbook, since you can get rid of the actual tabs and call up the interface as needed.

Browser for work? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020582)

I would definitely like to use that at home.

But something tells me that Fx4 would be as dumb and useless as Chrome is - for work. At work I need something reliable and flexible to accommodate all the silly needs of the intranet web apps. Chrome's lacking bookmarks (no bookmarks menu; no bookmark shortcuts; no keyword search), poor/non-existent keyboard shortcuts and silent updates (which constantly screw up the most visited sites tab; silently break extensions) ruined my experience with it on pretty much all occasions I have tried to use it. Way too primitive, way too dumb, way too unmanageable.

Seems I have to start looking for a new browser for office sooner than expected. But that is not an easy task. FireFox at least to me is quite unique: uncluttered plain user interface interface with configurability second only to ... earlier Fx versions. Opera is too cluttered with unorthodox UI. IE is an archetype for Chrome and fails similarly. Should try SeaMonkey next...

My most hated feature of FireFox (borrowed from Opera) is the fast start-up with tab content being pulled from cache. Once I worked on severe regression: debugged for two+ weeks straight. Finally I localized/fixed the problem, checked in the changes and took rest of the week off. Next Monday in office I booted my laptop and started FireFox. As home page in office I have the shared team to do list web app. And it showed me that I *again* have the very same highest-prio issue on to do list, meaning that all the analysis/testing done before is wrong and after all the weeks of work regression still persists. Cold sweat wiped, gulped two cups of coffee, stretched my fingers and came back to the cubicle readying myself for another week+ of shitty work. Only to notice that the FireFox actually pulled the cached view of the to do list from the week before.....

Re:Browser for work? (1)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021388)

But something tells me that Fx4 would be as dumb and useless as Chrome is - for work. At work I need something reliable and flexible to accommodate all the silly needs of the intranet web apps. Chrome's lacking bookmarks (no bookmarks menu; no bookmark shortcuts; no keyword search), poor/non-existent keyboard shortcuts and silent updates (which constantly screw up the most visited sites tab; silently break extensions) ruined my experience with it on pretty much all occasions I have tried to use it. Way too primitive, way too dumb, way too unmanageable.

Whatchoo talkin' bout, Philips? Chrome has Bookmarks. If you hit the little star in the address bar, it bookmarks the current page (And allows you to customise where that bookmark is saved). When you open a new (empty) tab, the bookmark bar is shown by default as part of the "New tab" page. This behaviour can be overridden by right-clicking the bookmark bar on an empty tab and choosing "Always show bookmarks bar", which them promotes it to it's typical place just under the address bar. And Chrome does have Keyword search, too, but it's not a hacky addition to Bookmarks, instead it's part of the "Search engines", which you can easily edit by right-clicking the address bar and choosing "Edit search engines"

Now, personally I use Firefox (Technically, Minefield), as I find the experience better, and I couldn't live without Firebug.

Re:Browser for work? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021542)

Thanks a bunch. Really. Google is even better than Mozilla at hiding functionality. (Though Mozilla definitely has better community and documentation: finding tips and tricks is easy, if needed at all. about:config takes care of 90% of issues.)

That leaves though another major hole: silent auto-updates. Year ago there was no option to be prompted on updates. Neither Chrome has yet a semi-decent release notes: even if it's going to suggest an update to me, it is nearly impossible to know what the update might bring as there are no release notes whatsoever. Here I'd love to be proven wrong again.

Another minor nag: Chrome opens page in a new tab, next to the current tab. Is it possible to make the new tab to be open as last one? I have in office three standard tabs open and for convenience I keep them as first three. From this first three tabs I open other pages/tabs. Now in Chrome the order gets messed up very quickly and one has to rearrange tabs constantly to keep the first three important tabs in the place where I expect to find them. Is there any option to disable that and make tabs behave as in pre-Fx3.5? (Fx has an about:config option for that.)

Re:Browser for work? (1)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021634)

That leaves though another major hole: silent auto-updates. Year ago there was no option to be prompted on updates. Neither Chrome has yet a semi-decent release notes: even if it's going to suggest an update to me, it is nearly impossible to know what the update might bring as there are no release notes whatsoever. Here I'd love to be proven wrong again.

I found some here [blogspot.com] , though I'm sure Google would recommend that you use the Stable release branch if you don't want things breaking.

Another minor nag: Chrome opens page in a new tab, next to the current tab. Is it possible to make the new tab to be open as last one? I have in office three standard tabs open and for convenience I keep them as first three. From this first three tabs I open other pages/tabs. Now in Chrome the order gets messed up very quickly and one has to rearrange tabs constantly to keep the first three important tabs in the place where I expect to find them. Is there any option to disable that and make tabs behave as in pre-Fx3.5? (Fx has an about:config option for that.)

Chrome opens tabs the way it does to try and keep a rudimentary history going, grouping related tabs together. You will be pleased to know, however, that there is an extension [google.com] made just for people who don't like this, to enable "Firefox-like" tab ordering.

Tab Mix Plus (3, Interesting)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020646)

Until recently, my internet experience called for no more than 10 tabs to be open, ever. I've started a new job which calls for a lot of browsing on a lot of websites. The other day I got up to 80 tabs open at the same time.

I'm a huge fan of the Tab Mix Plus Firefox add-on. It allows you to have multiple rows of tabs, and even set unread tabs and current tab to a different colors. Very helpful for visually seeing what's been read, where the new tabs are, where the actual tab is for the page you're on, etc. Especially when there's 20+ open tabs on your screeen at once.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1122/ [mozilla.org]

Too much configuration will make you go blind (1)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020650)

After watching the video, there may be some good things about "tab candy" (it is nice to imagine that you could bunch tabs into little piles that would then form themselves into windows), but a lot of the downside is still there or has merely changed form.

If you pile several tabs into one lump and close that lump w/o thinking, you may realize that you just closed something that you needed--what was it? where is it? how do I get it back?

The problem of absent-minded browsing is always there, no matter how the windows/tabs may be rearranged.

Also--although Aza (at least as edited) was pretty smooth at his version of 3-card monte--amidst the blur of his presentation there seemed to be a lot of time spent doing what the (software) browser wants to do (i.e. configuration) and not what the (human) browser wants to do (like reading horoscopes, nattering away on /., viewing paparazzi produce, etc.).

After configuring speed dial [mozilla.org] , morning coffee [mozilla.org] foxtab [mozilla.org] , and all of the toolbars, and after managing bookmarks, and choosing skins, persona and theme, a person just needs to get up and go to the bathroom now and again.

Re:Too much configuration will make you go blind (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020834)

"If you pile several tabs into one lump and close that lump w/o thinking, you may realize that you just closed something that you needed--what was it? where is it? how do I get it back? "

Why do you think Firefox has at the bottom of the history-menu a 'recently closed windows'. It's for this situation, it works really well. :-)

Trapped geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020722)

How does this improve the world?

Reinventing Opera (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33020832)

Opera have had this since I first started to use it in 1996. Except they called it "Multiple document interface" (but it is still a bit more advanced then most other applications with MDI). And yes, you can group windows/tabs together.

Firefox users used to complain about Operas MDI being to complicated (but other applications have become more and more like Opera, so this is perhaps not true any longer), on the other hand, they also used to complain about Operas tabs.

hmmm (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020908)

now if all the web apps I'm required to use at work would work in firefox...

Re:hmmm (1)

SpammersAreScum (697628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021028)

Perhaps the ietab2 [mozilla.org] or ietab plus [mozilla.org] addon would solve your problem?

Shiira (1)

Landak (798221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33020964)

The OS X-only, Webkit based (japanese) browser, Shiira [shiira.jp] , has had this "tab-sposé" feature for years. It was written during a period when Safari "showed promise" but was nowhere near properly usable, but doesn't appear to be well maintained at the moment, which is (imo) something of a pity.

Basic tab managment features missing... (1)

roubles (716740) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021016)

Firefox (vanilla) currently lacks _very_ basic tab management features like:
* Multi-row tabs
* Undo Closed tab(s)
* Properly highlighting current tab
* Highlighting of unread tabs
* Tab context menu is missing:
**** Duplicate Tab
**** Close other tabs
* Some sort of smart grouping of tabs like: Tree Style Tabs
* Tab counter
* Auto refresh tabs
* Highlighting of the following kinds of tabs is missing:
**** Current tab
**** Tabs that refreshed and not been read
* Some sort of smart aging of tabs
* Ability to be able to read tab titles that exceeds the tab width (fisheye tab extension)
* Intelligently grouping tabs (by domain for starters)
* Preview open tabs
* Text search through open tabs

All of the above are available via firefox extensions. And I understand the argument to keep them outside the main browser to eliminate bloat and enhance security.

However, it seems like firefox product management has (finally) realized that more and more users have a ton of tabs open, and they finally need to add tab management features inherently in the browser. But why add something like tab candy, when there is so much else they can start by adding that will enhance productivity? Why start with something that is so complex and bug-prone? I would try to get the low hanging fruit first and then learn from those experiences.

If I were managing a competitive browser (like IE or Chrome), then implementing most of the above would, I believe, put a massive dent in firefox's user base (at least the power users would be gone).

For the record: My tab counter tells me I have 95 tabs open right now, some from work, some for online shopping, some for email, some open for info guilt (wikipedia, gizmodo, slashdot, other blogs), some for news and so on...

Re:Basic tab managment features missing... (2, Informative)

clgoh (106162) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021354)

Undo closed tab is there: Ctrl-shift-t

Also, in History menu: Recently Closed Tabs submenu.

This is a good example... (3, Insightful)

Coppit (2441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021032)

This is a good example of a solution devised by an engineer. Somehow they think that peering at icons, dragging and dropping them, and organizing them into a hierarchy is really something the average user would want to do. The average user will find this solution worse than the problem. A better solution is to simply do what Chrome does and open new tabs next to the originating tab. It doesn't solve all the world's problems, but it's automatic and solves a couple of them.

Lean mean version of Firefox (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021034)

This sounds neat and certainly looks like a nice feature but does anyone else think it's about time that Mozilla makes a stripped down lean version of Firefox without all the extra features for someone who's just interested in the core browsing attributes? They can name it something like Phoenix or Firebird to distinguish it from Firefox.

Stability? (2, Insightful)

the-bobcat (1360969) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021038)

While I like the idea and can easily imagine the fun/productivity of this on a touch based machine, what happens when a single tab goes haywire and crashes everything? I wish the Firefox devs would take the idea from Chrome and implement individual tab processes. With multi-core machines ever on the rise I can't see why not.

(*(^&^$$^ Flash!!!! (1)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021092)

It would be great if the videos were available in WebM so I could actually see them. It is supposed to be the new Firefox standard after all.

Re:(*(^&^$$^ Flash!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021168)

Install Flash then.

OMG (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021108)

Wow. He just reinvented "Open link in a new window". Congrats.

Here we go again... (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021120)

*BLOAT*!

I do not WANT more complexity and eye candy built into Firefox. It is getting larger, using more memory, harder to control (and lock down), and using more CPU all the time. Can't they add this kind of stuff with extensions??? Or perhaps split Firefox into two versions- one fat and one small?

If this keeps up, I will have to look for another browser that fills Firefox's original mission- small, fast, efficient, simple, multiplatform, open source, and expandable.

Re:Here we go again... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021214)

Try midori.

porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021186)

what i wanna know is how this will help me browse porn...

"I know I use my browser more than I use my OS" (0, Flamebait)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021276)

Someone should explain to the guy in TFA's video that, as his browser only runs because there's an operating system that makes it possible for it to run, if he is using a browser then he is automatically using a operating system. So no, you don't use your browser more than you use your OS.

Re:"I know I use my browser more than I use my OS" (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021700)

You must be that guy in the classroom or training seminar that everyone rolls their eyes at who feels the need to point out the obvious. I think it's apparent to everyone what he really meant.

Hmm, this sounds exactly like IE8 on Windows 7. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021372)

Hmm, this sounds exactly like IE8 on Windows 7. Except IE8 is actually integrated into the main navigation bar of the OS. You just hover over the icon and a list of tabs pops up where each tab is a thumbail snapshot of the page.

I don't see the point of this (5, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021410)

The example which is given in the video from TFA to try to demonstrate the need for this tab candy nonsense is how a clumsy user can fill a tab bar with countless unrelated tabs. Yet, from the example which was presented, there is absolutely no need for that sort of crap. Let me explain.

In the example the user starts off with a browser window which already has tons of tabs, which is already in itself a sign that the user doesn't know what he is doing. From there, a case is presented where the user suddenly feels the need to start a new search, which happens to be completely unrelated to anything that he was already doing. Well, in that scenario, the user could very well do the very same thing that any semi-rational user does when he finds himself on that very same situation: open a new browser window dedicated to that search and go crazy with the search results. There, fixed. There is no need for this tab candy crap, searches/online tasks are perfectly compartmentalized, the tab bar is clean and cluttered, the navigation to/from opened pages becomes simpler... Everyone wins.

Now, let's look at what this tab candy crap brings to the table. So a clueless user who is perfectly incapable of organizing his workflow finds himself with a single browser window with dozens of opened tabs. He suddenly feels the need to open another dozen tabs to perform a completely independent task. According to TFA, the solution to his problems comes in the form of this tab candy crap. Yet, the only thing that it is capable of doing is offering yet another needlessly cumbersome step to do nothing more than provide a different, resource-expensive way to present to the user the tabs which he has opened.

So, in other words, this tab candy crap is nothing more than a window manager built into a browser. I mean, manually group tabs? List the tab groups which are currently opened? Put some tabs on the foreground while putting others on the background? Present the user with small icons representing the opened tab? If you replace "tabs" with "windows" you are describing pretty much any window manager out there. So why exactly is it a good idea to build a window manager into a browser?

Does it crash with flash like the current 3.6.7+? (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33021446)

That is my question. I had to downgrade to the 3.5 line after the 3.6.7 update the other day. I tried the latest 3.6.8 as well, and it too crashes the moment it hits a page with flash. 3.5 works just fine.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33021696)

Someone repackaged MDI. It's like Windows 3.1 all over again.

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