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Tastes like effeciency.
July 24, 2010 11:02 PM   Subscribe

TabCandy. A new way to intuitively browse the web.
posted by lazaruslong (122 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I test-drove the alpha version the other day... still needs a little adjusting in the way it drags-and-drops and scales tabs in a group, but very promising. Still, I don't need to see a miniaturized window for each tab; sometimes a little more description shows more than a picture (like having multiple Mefi threads showing... they all look - mostly - alike!)

I'm using the Firefox Add-On Tab Mix Plus in "multiple rows" mode to wrangle my tabs now and it works well with a lot of tabs... but just like Tab Candy, it doesn't discourage having so many tabs open that Firefox s-l-o-o-o-w-s d-o-o-w-w-n.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:13 PM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmm. Well, good for Firefox. It's purely anecdotal, but amongst the people I know (web-savvy software geeks and hackers) Chrome and Chromium have been overtaking Firefox by leaps and bounds, largely because it's so much simpler and cleaner. This seems like an attempt to pull Firefox in that direction. Also, though I generally have switched to using Chrome (mostly because of two or three very nice speed-related things, like autocompletion and automated site searching via the address bar by pressing tab - awesome thing, that) I really like the Mozilla project and have nothing but admiration for what they've done. And Firefox is still the only thing powerful to do a lot of things I often need to do, so it's always right there for me.
posted by koeselitz at 11:16 PM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Although I worry that Mozilla is really designing two or three architectures ahead of many people here. I already don't like using Firefox at work because of speed; I have an older machine running XP, a virtual Linux box, and a remote machine - throwing Firefox at it doesn't really work, whereas Chromium handles most things pretty well. I doubt I'll ever be able to use something like Tab Candy; although, since I don't use my browser more than the OS, I guess maybe I'm not the target market.
posted by koeselitz at 11:19 PM on July 24, 2010


This is a cute idea but Firefox makes me anxious. I've had such a poor experience with that browser--it's slow as all hell--that just seeing the logo puts me in a bad mood. I can't imagine wanting this feature badly enough to make Firefox my default browser.
posted by dobbs at 11:26 PM on July 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Chrome is the Ipad of browsers.
posted by mecran01 at 11:30 PM on July 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


Aza Raskin, I love you. Thank you for helping those of us who are chronic over-tabbers suffering from ADD and the desire to hyper organize. I hope the day comes when we can call you Mefi's own Aza Raskin.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:30 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's ironic that Mozilla's demo of Exposé-for-the-web is on OS X, since Firefox breaks a number of design conventions on that platform, compared with other OS X applications. At work, I can barely use Firefox on Linux without it crashing and taking my progress with it. This new feature is ambitious, but perhaps the development team would do well to step back and think about larger stability, speed and usability issues on non-Windows platforms, where Safari and Chromium are doing a much better job.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:37 PM on July 24, 2010


For those who don't know, Aza Raskin is the son of Jef Raskin, the guy who headed up the original Macintosh project before being sidelined from it by Steve Jobs. I think it's interesting that Aza has chosen to work on the same sorts of human-computer interaction problems his dad liked to tackle.
posted by killdevil at 11:38 PM on July 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


So if I have too many open tabs in the Firefox bucket, I can now make more buckets to put more tabs in. Yep, intuitively tastes like efficiency.
posted by Doug Stewart at 11:39 PM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


On Friday, I installed Tree Style Tab, a very configurable tab organizer for Firefox that allows you to group tabs into collapsible trees.

I haven't used it long enough to make a strong recommendation yet, but I have really taken to it in the last day or so.
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:40 PM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is going to end in a "Hoarders" spinoff where we have an intervention to throw out your near-infinite accumulation of tabs.
posted by mek at 11:43 PM on July 24, 2010 [16 favorites]


It started off sounding pretty useful, and then it just sort of... escalated. By the time he started syncing his tabs to his iPhone, my head was spinning. Tabs... always tabs, everywhere...
posted by Crane Shot at 11:44 PM on July 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I already do this. It's called "open a new window" and putting the tabs there. Meh...
posted by sbutler at 11:52 PM on July 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


I think the most tabs I've ever had open at once was five. Am I doing it wrong?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:53 PM on July 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


I got this far: "I know that I use my browser more than I do my operating system." About 00:04. I don't think that I need advice from anyone who doesn't understand what an operating system is.
posted by fredludd at 12:02 AM on July 25, 2010


Mister Moofoo: I always closed my stale tabs until I started working on translations and graphic design projects and would end up with dozens of tabs.

I think this is a really, really cool thing. I also wish I had the technical know-how to actually get the alpha running. Oh well.
posted by cthuljew at 12:03 AM on July 25, 2010


I like this idea. Too bad that Firefox is so slow that by the time I'm ready to use it the Chrome browser will already be open and speedily doing much of what I need. Firefox is still the default for me for a lot of things, but not by much, and almost not at all on the Mac. I hate using more than one browser, but until one comes along that has all of Firefox's features and none of its sluggishness, Firefox is still going to be on my desktop.
posted by blucevalo at 12:04 AM on July 25, 2010


I'm not surprised that so many of you are Chrome users, but I just can't get behind it. Look, I know I'm overly paranoid, and I know that everything I do online is tracked by someone anyway (or could be), but Google just gives me the willies at this point.
posted by Roman Graves at 12:10 AM on July 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think the guys over at the Mozilla foundation need to take a step back, and actually use Chrome for about six months, then they'll realize they are getting their asses kicked by Google and Apple.

People don't care about XUL. People don't care about the sidebar. You're fighting the operating system with all these one-off interface "enhancements". People have a hard enough time with OS X stacks, and now you're going to throw tab piles into their browser? Guys, leave the browser navigation freakout to the Opera gang. Concentrate on your rendering engine, or just implement Webkit already. Concentrate on your Javascript engine, or just implement V8 already.

Don't go off on these tangents at a time when the browser is actually coming under fire by Objective C of all things. The amount of time my wife spends in Safari on her iPad is actually smaller than the amount of time she spends getting HTTP data by way of Epicurious, Flipboard, Reeder, and the like. If Firefox is going to succeed in the future, it sure won't be because of me able to drag and drop tab windows on top of each other.
posted by mark242 at 12:14 AM on July 25, 2010 [13 favorites]


At work I was using Chrome on my old old old machine because it renders faster, but, when I have tons of tabs open (I only have 256 megs of ram if that tells you how old it is ;)) I've noticed the FF is more efficient. It's slower to start, but it doesn't bog. the. fuck. down. the way chrome does.

I love both for different reasons. i love FF's plugins. I'm not happy that Chrome plugins aren't actual plugins. I've been able to find most of what I need, I guess, so I can't complain too much but there's some features in extensions I miss that I don't think can be done.

I love the tabs on top on chrome (hated it at first), but I'm not keen on how FF is approaching it (they need to literally be ON TOP, where the title bar is -- the efficiency of tabs on top loses it's appeal if I can't just thrust the cursor up to top (like fitt's law?) and click. This isn't as imperative on a mac where you have the damn OS bar on top (nor Ubuntu/Gnome where they shove a bar on top), but in Windows, it's pretty important.

I wish FF would combine the search/URL bar into one, but keep the awesomebar functionality (not sure how you could work it, but I like awesomebar, and I like chromes unified bar)

As noted above: Aza is Jef Raskin's son. Jef, in his book The Human Interface, discusses a ZUI (Zoomable User Interface) -- only a little more ambitious in scope. But I like that "like father, like son" in this case. I really think the ZUI is a good concept if pulled off right.

I'm sure there will be issues with this, and hopefully it's not a memory hog. And maybe not everyone will need it. But I think a lot of us like spatial memory.
posted by symbioid at 12:20 AM on July 25, 2010


I'm down w/mark242's suggestion of just going w/Webkit. Save time and energy to put towards other things. At the same time, I'd be sad if we created a monolithic system - I think diversity and competition can be good.
posted by symbioid at 12:21 AM on July 25, 2010


I don't know if he coined the phrase or got it from someone else, but "infoguilt" has now entered by lexicon.

At any given time, I have a handful of open tabs that I'm getting around to reading. Infoguilt is what they gradually instill in me as I ignore them in favor of shinier, newer tabs.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:28 AM on July 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


That's all kind of nifty and slick looking but it's still 10x the clicks and interaction of just sorting tabs into individual windows and alt-tabbing between windows and ctrl-tabbing between tabs in each window.

I'd be more into tear-off and draggable tabs, so I could yank a tab into a new window without copy-pasting the URL and so I could sort them between windows.

The thumbnail view is handy, though.
posted by loquacious at 12:34 AM on July 25, 2010


This is really interesting. I kind of do this by having multiple windows open. Once I get to 5 or six tabs, I'll open a new window. I often end up with 4, 5 or even 10-15 windows open if it's been a long time since I've restarted firefox.

I've always thought that we need to get rid of the split split between "history" "bookmarks" and "open pages" (i.e. tabs). What I'd love to see is the back and forward button go away. Instead you could click something that would let you zoom out and see thumbnails of previous pages, and 'forward' pages would actually be arranged in a hierarchy. You wouldn't need separate "tabs", and moving back and forth would be just like moving between tabs (in particular, no reloading)

Finally, instead of bookmarking, you'd just add some semantic tags to a current page, and when that page goes into your 'history' you can bring it back up, just as if you'd had a tab open the entire time.

This is pretty close to what I'd been thinking of, so I find it pretty cool. I'd just like to see them organize "history" and "bookmarks" the same way, and people would have thousands or tens of thousands of "tabs" open, not just the ones that are currently "open" (and you'd be able to narrow it down by only showing tabs opened in the past hour, plus 'pinned' tabs)
posted by delmoi at 12:34 AM on July 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I love the tabs on top on chrome (hated it at first), but I'm not keen on how FF is approaching it (they need to literally be ON TOP, where the title bar is -- the efficiency of tabs on top loses it's appeal if I can't just thrust the cursor up to top (like fitt's law?) and click. This isn't as imperative on a mac where you have the damn OS bar on top (nor Ubuntu/Gnome where they shove a bar on top), but in Windows, it's pretty important.
People still run apps maximized? I've never understood why people do that, unless it's an IDE or something where you have tons of side-panels that actually take up a ton of space. Which browsers don't. Or I guess it would make sense if you had a tiny screen.

Also, it does kind of suck that Chrome is faster then firefox. Chrome actually works really well on older, and underpowered hardware which is pretty important. But if you have a new machine Firefox is more then fast enough. Although Chrome does feel just a little more responsive.
That's all kind of nifty and slick looking but it's still 10x the clicks and interaction of just sorting tabs into individual windows and alt-tabbing between windows and ctrl-tabbing between tabs in each window.
The problem with UI stuff is that if you make it low-click (like say, adding keyboard shortcuts for things) then it's not intuitive. You could easily add a keyboard shortcut that let you send the current page to a new group or something, but regular users wouldn't get that right away.

I wonder if firefox keeps statistics about how many tabs people keep open, or things like that.
I'd be more into tear-off and draggable tabs, so I could yank a tab into a new window without copy-pasting the URL and so I could sort them between windows.
Uh... firefox already does that. And so does chrome.
posted by delmoi at 12:47 AM on July 25, 2010


I've always been a fan of Firefox (hello, 37 extensions!), but have been gravitating more towards Chrome recently. Not only because I've got it set up with fewer add-ons so that it runs smoother, but because its multi-process system makes it easy to identify and shut down memory-hogging tabs and extensions. Doing so doesn't eliminate the content -- it just dumps the memory. The tab is still there, as is the title and URL. If I want to revisit it I can just reload the page. This makes it easy to maintain dozens of tabs in multiple windows while only focusing on a few active ones and keeping memory usage to a minimum.

I loved this set-up, but Chrome's lack of things like a fully-compatible Greasemonkey, a good crash-recovery tool, and a competent history management system is making me go back to Firefox. If Mozilla can implement multi-processing in the next version as well as Chrome can, I won't be looking back.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:56 AM on July 25, 2010


Uh... firefox already does that. And so does chrome.

Hey, you're right! How the hell have I noticed that before?
posted by loquacious at 1:03 AM on July 25, 2010


Yep, Google or Apple will be buying them out any minute now, a la Coverflow, or Youtube.

(and that excites me, as I'd love to have this on Chrome)
posted by sourwookie at 1:13 AM on July 25, 2010


I went to Chrome early on and the ability to drag and drop tabs to create new windows or shuffle them between windows produces the same function here.

Firefox lost me when they hit 3.0 - the browser just slowed way, way down and I felt like I was knocked back to my days of 56.6 K speeds. And that was without extensions.
posted by yeloson at 1:22 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is utterly awesome. I'm sorry; I hate being a screaming fangirl about a product or it's features but I just love this. The ability to box together tabs from my browser, plus re-arrange those boxes, would be incredibly useful for me.

I am also suspicious of browser backlash. When the bulk of people used IE, FF was the browser that had street cred. Then more people migrated to FF and it became Chrome. I don't know; maybe I'm old. I'm certainly old enough to remember when you got one browser window; you literally couldn't run two instances, but that's OK because you were on dial-up anyway. All candy is good candy to me, and "is not instant" doesn't mean the same thing as "slow" to me.

On the other hand, that "I use my browser more than I do my operating system" comment is just... really? Do you use your browser more than you use electricity?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:32 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I switched to Chrome quite a while ago for about all of my browsing for a few different reasons. They all come down to speed and user interface/experience issues, though. The biggest is that Chrome is just faster. Not only that, but the user experience decisions made by the team make Firefox seem even slower than it is.

The first thing I see when I launch Chrome is a page with my most frequently-browsed pages. In Firefox, most of the time, the first thing I see is a panel urging me to update my extensions. Either I cancel that, or I let it do its thing, which turns out to be a multi-step wizard that ends with my needing to restart my browser. That's awful! Why can't it just do these things transparently? In Chrome, I can even install an extension without needing to restart or anything. I click a button and it's available immediately.

Aside from that, the UI in Firefox just feels clunky. Chrome gets out of my way. In the default settings, I have a single text box (the URL bar), 5 buttons, and 2 menu dropdowns by default. The buttons and menus use a very simple theme: just a couple of shades of blue. The buttons are small. The window doesn't even have a title pane. The tabs sit up there instead. When I browse the web, my browser fades away. I'm not in Chrome, I'm on Metafilter.

In Firefox, I have 2 text boxes (URL and search bar), 7-9 buttons, and 7 dropdown menus. The title of the window takes up maybe 70 pixels of space, while the tab bar takes up another 70 or so (eyeballing this.) I also have a status bar at the bottom with a couple of buttons and some text on them. The various buttons all have bright colors, some with 3-D effects and gloss. The UI is quite intrusive. When I'm on Metafilter, my eyes wander up toward the 3-D glossy buttons. Of course you can install themes and extensions (or is it add-ons? what's the difference?) to fix many of these things, but we all know how well Firefox deals with that.

There is yet hope for Firefox though. I have used Firefox 3.7, and there are some compelling ideas in it. Apparently they'll be doing Chrome style top tabs, which will get some of the crap out of the way. The theme appears to have been toned-down and simplified a great deal, and integrates well with Windows 7 by using the glass effect (on the build I have there are serious readability issues, but I imagine this gets fixed). Not only that, but the browser is fast! Doing a Google search, it renders the results markedly faster that Chrome, and this is an alpha build I'm using.

The biggest thing in Firefox 3.7 that might actually compel me to use it (the speed and UI makes it possible, this makes it more likely) is the support for the new DirectWrite API that dramatically improves font rendering on Windows. With web fonts already becoming very common, the web is going to be a sad, sad place for Windows users without this improvement.
posted by !Jim at 1:41 AM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you find the default Firefox too busy, you should like the Menu Editor and Organize Status Bar add-ons. They let you rearrange elements and excise menu items and extension icons you don't use, freeing up space and making the menu areas more organized and less cluttered. Also good are either the Winstripe Modern theme or the Realfox extension, which replace the glossy and somewhat hard-edged look of the default theme with the soft, bright, and clean look of Firefox 1.5.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:17 AM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yep, Google or Apple will be buying them out any minute now, a la Coverflow, or Youtube.
How exactly do you "buy out" a non-profit foundation?
In Firefox, most of the time, the first thing I see is a panel urging me to update my extensions.
How many extensions do you have? And anyway you can just press cancel. I feel like I only see that panel once a month or so, which is about how often I reboot.
posted by delmoi at 2:32 AM on July 25, 2010


People still run apps maximized? I've never understood why people do that, unless it's an IDE or something where you have tons of side-panels that actually take up a ton of space. Which browsers don't. Or I guess it would make sense if you had a tiny screen.

If I don't have a certain minimum amount of viewable space- and not even a certain number of pixels but a certain amount of physical, on-the-monitor space- the browser feels cramped. I pretty much have to run maximized or else I have an uncomfortable feeling of being compressed.

Hell, I even squash all my browser controls on to one line to get more space, and just after taking that screenshot I removed my Home button because I can't remember using it in the last couple of years.

Not everybody has a two foot monitor.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:41 AM on July 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


You guys are making me crazy. I think I've had ten tabs or so open once or twice while researching something to buy or doing some "complex" dev work. But, see, I get what I need and put in into my code or make a decision about what to buy and then I close the tab(s). Hell, I close firefox once every couple of hours, max, just to start fresh.

The idea of opening a tab to, what, essentially add it to a "when you get time" list? I don't need my browser making me feel even more guilty about not getting to stuff.

I have this thing call a "bookmark" that I can click on when I want to look at mefi...I open a tab, click on the bookmark, read the site for awhile, and close it. How are tabs different than bookmarks the way you guys use them, other than they make your browser slower?

(I tried chromeplus for a bit but it doesn't do what it says it does, namely block ads, and no right-context menu to add filters? Fail.)
posted by maxwelton at 2:52 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next, someone will introduce hierarchical clustering of tabs. The clusters will be called "folders".

After that, someone will add the capability to search through the hierarchy of tabs to find tabs matching certain search criteria. "Smart folders" of tabs follow quickly.

Next, someone will add the ability to "tag" tabs with keywords to help facilitate searching. Hierarchical clustering (aka "the tab system") will vanish, since No True Scotsman uses anything other than smart folders.

Meanwhile, those of us who never open more than two or three tabs at a time will continue wondering what the hell the rest of the world is smoking.
posted by erniepan at 3:26 AM on July 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


I think the most tabs I've ever had open at once was five. Am I doing it wrong?

I think it's one of those "two types of people" things. On my home machine, I always have Firefox, Chrome, and Opera open. Firefox averages 10 tabs, Chrome 20 or so, and Opera is usually 30+. These are spread across my 8 virtual desktops along with my 8+ terminal windows. All of these are navigable via keyboard, except a few operations within the actual browsers.

I should learn to actually use bookmarks, but the "open tab as bookmark" paradigm is already so ingrained in me I'm not sure how I can wean myself from it.
posted by kmz at 3:29 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I open so many tabs that Firefox regularly eats up all my RAM, stalls, quits, and restarts with a message that says "Well, this is embarrassing".

As a lover of efficiency, I look forward to making the whole process happen much more quickly.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:42 AM on July 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Seems like a million dollar solution to a $1.99 problem.
posted by fleacircus at 3:55 AM on July 25, 2010


OPEN IN NEW WINDOW
posted by scrowdid at 4:27 AM on July 25, 2010


30+ tabs open atm. in Opera, i could see this being useful, and I even went through my tabs yesterday and closed the stuff I'm done with.

Although like bookmarking, I'm not sure i would actually use it, since I use my browser mostly for procrastinating. And being a highly organized procrastinator just seems wrong somehow.
posted by Greald at 4:29 AM on July 25, 2010


I use the Tree-style Tabs addon for firefox, and set it up over on the left side. New tabs show up under the original tab I opened, and the whole tree collapses when I'm in a different tab.
posted by crunchland at 4:42 AM on July 25, 2010


How much RAM do you need to open 12 Firefox tabs? That would never work on my laptop unless I wanted to see a beach ball.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:47 AM on July 25, 2010


I use Firefox on my main box under Linux, and primarily Chrome on my Linux netbook for the quick load and small screeen friendly interface (yes, I am using Smallfox, before anyone suggests it, with a couple other interface tweaks).

The only time I really have a LOT of tabs open is when I once again surrender myself to the inescapable urge to wikiwalk.

This strikes me as a lot of effort (and cool effort, mind you) to solve something that isn't really problem.

Or, am I failing to understand the need for this because I have an insufficiently interesting first name IRL?
posted by Samizdata at 4:53 AM on July 25, 2010


I'd like it in Chrome maybe. But this isn't enough for me to go back to Firefox. Especially since this seems largely similar to what new windows can do, and chrome makes it easy to open a new window or trade a tab between windows.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:53 AM on July 25, 2010


Ummmm, isn't really a problem, even.
posted by Samizdata at 4:56 AM on July 25, 2010


How much RAM do you need to open 12 Firefox tabs? I have 14 tabs open at the moment. Windows Task Manager reports about 188,000k.
posted by crunchland at 4:57 AM on July 25, 2010


I got this far: "I know that I use my browser more than I do my operating system." About 00:04. I don't think that I need advice from anyone who doesn't understand what an operating system is.

And . . .

On the other hand, that "I use my browser more than I do my operating system" comment is just... really? Do you use your browser more than you use electricity?

Ok people, put away the snark guns. I'm sure that the Creative Lead for Firefox understands what an operating system is. Would you feel better if I translated for you?

"These days people are using their web browsers more than ever. In addition to traditional uses such as research, shopping and online banking, people are using the browser instead of desktop applications: they write emails, play games, create documents and more."
posted by jeremias at 4:58 AM on July 25, 2010 [16 favorites]


Neat.

You can practically pinpoint the exact moment in the video where mania sets in. (3:30, yes?)

What would be handy is being able to tile several open tabs and browse them all at once. (Can I do that now?)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:03 AM on July 25, 2010


PS: Hey, Vimeo works!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:04 AM on July 25, 2010


I took "I use my browser more than my operating system" as a joke, like "I love chocolate more than life."
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:07 AM on July 25, 2010


I couldn't help noticing that he's a redditor.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:12 AM on July 25, 2010


Tab Candy looks like a nifty little option to have, especially for those of us who are addicted to command+clicking through bunches of links. I can already think of a few specific instances where Tab Candy could save me a lot of time/headache.

It's just a shame that I can't go back to Firefox after using Chrome this long. Basically the only time I use Firefox anymore is to watch Netflix streaming movies. A few weeks ago I was talking to someone about Chrome/Firefox and called Firefox "Netflix" twice in the same conversation.

No matter how sluggish Firefox seems now, they built up a ton of user goodwill between 2006-2009, and I'm always willing to play around with each Firefox iteration.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 6:38 AM on July 25, 2010


I really like the uncluttered look of Firefox 4 but I do wish you could move that ugly orange menu button onto the toolbar and smush the tabs a little further up into the empty space.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:41 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh, now I'm kind of curious about what everyone's customized browser set-up looks like.
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 6:42 AM on July 25, 2010


I'm all for this.

My extensions are 4chan, Addblock Plus, Add Bookmark Here, All-in-One Gesture (although only because Mouse Gesture Redox doesn't work anymore), Download Statusbar, Fission, Forecast Fox, Remove It Permanently, Remove New Tab Button, and Tiny Menu.
posted by cthuljew at 6:49 AM on July 25, 2010


I often open 20 or 30 tabs at once, either by using "Open in Tabs" from a folder of like-topicked bookmarks or by command-clicking* many links from a single starting page (for example, all the links from one of those many-linked FPPs on MeFi), but I don't flip back and forth between them, ever, so I don't see how this will really help.

I read one and then close it, which brings the next... which I read and then close, and so on.

I guess a tabbed browser window is more like a stack for me: Things I am about to read.

*Yes, this outs me. But I do it in Windows too.
posted by rokusan at 6:55 AM on July 25, 2010


All of the anecdotal claims in here are driving me crazy.

Firefox starts faster then Chrome from a cold a start and tends to use much less memory even with multiple tabs. But they all have strengths (even IE) and weaknesses (Safari is all weaknesses).

Also Firefox, at this point, renders HTML5 fastest.

The difference in rendering speeds between FF and Chrome is about 200 milliseconds. Lets put it this way, "The average length of a blink is 300 to 400 milliseconds" (Wikipedia). And Opera is the fastest, in any case.

Firefox also is not developed by a corporation that would love nothing more than to know everything about you so that it can package and sell you to it's advertising and marketing client. So, you know there's that.
posted by oddman at 7:11 AM on July 25, 2010 [16 favorites]


I've been considering Chrome for a while but it just doesn't seem to have the functionality/customizability of FFox. I'm running a practically-brand-new PC so I don't see the speed issue or the memory-hogging issues.

The thing is I need it to look like this. Absolutely minimal. Anything more than that and I can't browse efficiently. Anything less than the functionality I get from those extensions and I can't browse efficiently. Can Chrome replicate this?
posted by griphus at 7:45 AM on July 25, 2010


Try Firefox 4.01b (beta). It's the Chrome you'll love to love. If you love Firefox.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:52 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think that I need advice from anyone who doesn't understand what an operating system is.

Really? So where do you find your doctors, accountants, lawyers, teachers and so on?

What's that? That's not exactly what you meant? You think things would go better if we applied the principle of charity and talked to what people mean instead of seizing on irrelevant literal distinctions, eh?
posted by bonaldi at 7:56 AM on July 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


The thing is I need it to look like this. Absolutely minimal.
You *need* your browser to have an Apple IIGS emulator built-in? Yeah, Chrome is not for you, thank god.
posted by bonaldi at 7:58 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pepsi Orange and Blue
posted by sfts2 at 8:07 AM on July 25, 2010


Try Firefox 4.01b (beta). It's the Chrome you'll love to love. If you love Firefox.

If you see what I did (there) with my bookmarks bar, the new FFox beta seems to not want to let me do that. It keeps a "BOOKMARKS" bookmark on the right that is apparently unremoveable and unrenameable and makes it so that I can't combine things smoothly. Anyone found a workaround?

You *need* your browser to have an Apple IIGS emulator built-in? Yeah, Chrome is not for you, thank god.

A C64 one will do in a pinch.
posted by griphus at 8:07 AM on July 25, 2010


I think it's one of those "two types of people" things.

Yeah, well, I also turn off my computer when I'm reading a book or watching tv...
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:26 AM on July 25, 2010


griphus, FF is well-known for being extremely customizable. So, that is probably just a beta-build bug.

Although the mozillazine forums have been a goto for this sort of thing.
posted by oddman at 8:37 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


fleacircus: "Seems like a million dollar solution to a $1.99 problem."

$1.99 problems but a tab ain't one.
posted by symbioid at 8:55 AM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hi. My name is Kozad. I am the most computer-illiterate member of the Metafilter cult.

I don't use tabs. I use bookmarks. I understand that they have different functions, but that's about it. I play piano. I don't play synthesizer. Pardon me while I go smash some weaving-looms.

Thank you for your comments though. I am not averse to learning.
posted by kozad at 9:00 AM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is possibly the most exciting thing I've seen from a browser in a long time. At work, I usually have a ton of tabs open because I'm doing webdev for several different sites at once, and all my coworkers marvel at the byzantine system I've set up using Tree Style Tabs and FlagTab to enforce some vague sort of organization on the 30+ tabs I have open (and also to compress the display and make better use of my widescreen monitor). It's a fragile system because the extensions don't really work that well together—the hierarchical grouping system in Tree Style Tabs just plain doesn't work, for example—and it's limited in obvious ways, like the fact that FlagTab only has four colours to assign so I can only ever have four groups. Plus, neither extension is all that well maintained (not a slight to either author, just par for the course when it comes to single-developer projects), and so there are bugs that may not be worked out for some time, if they ever are—and a lot of them again have to do with how they interact with one another, so I wouldn't even expect anyone to try fixing them.

Collapsible Tab Groups would've been the next evolutionary stage if someone had actually built it, but Tab Candy might go one step further. Tab Candy would basically solve nearly all of my above problems, plus add nice feature like the ability to name groups and the whole scope thing that a) only shows you tabs in the same group, and b) automatically attaches new tabs to that same group, no matter how you opened it. About the only thing Tab Candy is missing, as far as I can tell, is the ability to automatically group tabs based on URL (which is handy for when a link on your dev server points to the live server, or vice-versa—but then that's not really a question tabs were designed to answer).

Seriously, get this into Firefox 4.0 ASAP along with Chrome's per-tab process manager (and maybe a slick, streamlined version of Firebug with jQuery integration, as long as we're wishing for ponies), and you will basically have the best browser (for my purposes) ever made.
posted by chrominance at 9:14 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I think the most tabs I've ever had open at once was five. Am I doing it wrong?"

Just differently. I rarely have less than 25 tabs open at a time and 100 isn't unusual.

"I'm certainly old enough to remember when you got one browser window; you literally couldn't run two instances, but that's OK because you were on dial-up anyway."

Multiple windows and later tabbed browsing is a godsend at modem speeds. Being able to load a dozen other pages in the background while you are reading an already loaded page makes 56K bearable.
posted by Mitheral at 9:16 AM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


The difference in rendering speeds between FF and Chrome is about 200 milliseconds.

Huh. I just tried Firefox for the first time since December and it is a lot quicker. Yay Mozilla! I've been waiting for you to catch up! (I actually have a good friend who works at Mozilla, and I -want- to support his work).

For a lot of us early adopters, I think it was the significant drop in performance from FF 2.0 to 3.0 that pushed a lot of folks out. It's one thing if something comes out that's quicker, it's another when your software gets slower with a new version.
posted by yeloson at 9:18 AM on July 25, 2010


I'm certainly old enough to remember when you got one browser window; you literally couldn't run two instances, but that's OK because you were on dial-up anyway.

I remember back before we had the Internet. You wanted to Google something? You had to call them. On your rotary phone. 1-800-4-GOOGLE. Then they'd put you on hold for an hour; it cost a fortune! And for what? Just to get "Lindsay Lohan naked pix." Except it wasn't Lindsay Lohan. It was Cher.
posted by griphus at 9:21 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This seems like an awful lot of extra hassle, when tabs can be dragged and dropped to reorder them in the tab bar already.
posted by kafziel at 9:22 AM on July 25, 2010


this seems largely similar to what new windows can do, and chrome makes it easy to open a new window or trade a tab between windows.

Firefox has the exact same functionality.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:23 AM on July 25, 2010


I think this can be seen as a metaphor for Firefox as a whole -- the idea starts off cool, very sleek, clearly useful... then they get into the "and here's more stuff we're going to add!" and it begins to collapse under its own weight. Emblematic of an engineer-driven culture that doesn't always get that just b/c you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Also, whoever coined the phrase "info-guilt" needs to be taken out back and dealt with.
posted by modernnomad at 9:48 AM on July 25, 2010


The difference in rendering speeds between FF and Chrome is about 200 milliseconds.

Try viewing any Slashdot thread with more than 1000 comments in FF vs. Chrome and you will loathe FF with a burning fury.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:58 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would call that what you get for viewing a Slashdot thread with more than a thousand comments.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:59 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Emblematic of an engineer-driven culture that doesn't always get that just b/c you can do something doesn't mean you should.

More of an engineer-driven userbase. If you can navigate bugzilla you're more likely to get your wishes heard than otherwise, and people who can do that are the griphus sort, who demand more-or-less esoteric functions as the absolute bare minimum for any sort of acceptable browsing.

The average users are always going to be last in this world, which is why other browsers that care about them will win, even as the losers are rapidly mouse-gesturing their way over to their 17th reddit tab to bash out a comment using a script-enhanced comment box explaining why their browser will be the hot new thing again any day now.
posted by bonaldi at 10:25 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, yeloson. I just updated because of what you said, and there's a world of difference between what I had (3.0.15, or something) and this new version. Wa-a-a-y faster. I had begun to think that the firefox project had gone into code-bloat mode, and that it was getting all netscapey.

It sounds like tab candy is perfect for the sort of user chrominance is, but it should be an add-on, not incorporated into the basic program, for the above mentioned bloat reason.
posted by Trochanter at 10:40 AM on July 25, 2010


I would call that what you get for viewing a Slashdot thread with more than a thousand comments.

Good thing that's not the point.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:58 AM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


You don't have to click the button to invoke it. Most people will probably never notice it because it's not something they recognize and anything that most people haven't done a million times already on a computer is scary.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:59 AM on July 25, 2010


Good thing that's not the point.

Good thing I wasn't joking and was totally making a point in the argument rather than making a one-liner!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:00 AM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sure that the Creative Lead for Firefox understands what an operating system is.

And more to the point what he's saying is that he's using environment which is OS agnostic. Yes, when he uses the browser he is indirectly using the operating system, but none of the actions that he explicitly takes or the features that he uses are artifacts of the operating system and for the majority of his workflow he has little reason to care which OS he's using.

This is of course the scenario that so worried Microsoft in the late 90s that they poured countless engineer-hours into breaking Netscape, close-coupling their browser to the Windows environment, and lots of other tactics involving ActiveX, VBScript and (anti-)Java. And it kinda worked; a platform-independent nettop type of experience has taken almost a decade longer to to go mainstream than anyone anticipated. The degree to which Microsoft's tactics and the horrors of IE caused this may be arguable, but it's certainly a major contributor.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:20 AM on July 25, 2010


I'd be totally fine with Tab Candy being an add-on if it's something maintained by the Mozilla group; then at least I imagine it would meet a certain standard of quality re: reliability, performance, etc. (cue Firefox memory usage jokes)
posted by chrominance at 11:32 AM on July 25, 2010


"Try viewing any Slashdot thread with more than 1000 comments in FF vs. Chrome and you will loathe FF with a burning fury."

Um. That's like telling me that a Ferrari is better than a Lamborghini because although it gets to 75mph only 1/10th of second faster, it goes from 175 to 200mph twenty minutes faster. While technically true, it really means that the difference is only noticeably better of 1/1,000,000 of the population. It's mostly a difference without a distinction.
posted by oddman at 11:43 AM on July 25, 2010


I feel like this discussion has been interesting with regards to the technical merits of browsers and the implementation aspect of TabCandy. I'm also curious about what I perceive to be a different way of really visualizing web browsing.

The thing that excited me most about the video wasn't the specific addon, as I'm sure others for other OS's will also come out as a result, but rather the paradigm shift that visualizing the browsing experience in this manner may represent. It already makes me view the session as more dynamic and static at the same time. More dynamic because of the flexibility it offers to perform multi-search and browse tasks, and more static because it turns web browsing into something that doesn't need to go away and can just be there all the time instead.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:57 AM on July 25, 2010


Tastes like misspelling. Hohoho.

Tab Candy sounded really cool until the guy started going off the rails in the last three or so minutes. All of those extra features sound horrifying to me.
posted by kenko at 12:26 PM on July 25, 2010


While technically true, it really means that the difference is only noticeably better of 1/1,000,000 of the population.

I'm sorry you're not smart or technically competent enough to drive such fine automobiles.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:28 PM on July 25, 2010


And can we kill "info-guilt" before that term gets a hold in the language? Awful.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 PM on July 25, 2010


Needlessly complicated. I don't wanna navigate away from surfing to organize tabs in another window. Feels too much like additional work.

The problem this is trying to solve is that the tabs tend to overflow the one-dimensional tab line. Seems like a better solution would be to use something like "meta-tabs" which you can drag your tabs into without having to refocus. Hover over a meta-tab to see a list of tabs in the group (e.g., like a drop-down menu). Click on the meta-tab to display those tabs in the usual manner.
posted by logicpunk at 1:13 PM on July 25, 2010


I fail to see how this is anything but a patch to people's inane tabbing behavior. Furthermore, I just don't see window management as the hot button issue that so many developers think it is; this is getting to be like that time in Detroit where they were putting fifty cup holders in every car. The solution is less shit in your car, and less shit on your screen. I mean, c'mon. Who does this kind of stuff, with fifty-million tabs opened up all at once to "research" a $149 purchase? I call bullshit on the whole use case.

Mozilla should put a bit of time into making a better browser. They "won" the browser war lo these many eons ago and now we hear nothing from them but stuff like this, or that they've developed new chrome that they may or may not actually ship. I used to love Firefox, but from a speed and development standpoint you just can't beat WebKit. Firefox by comparison is slow, unpredictable, crufty and prone to breaking every single extension with every single point release. The recipe for Mozilla crab cakes seems to call for lots of cake and not much crab, amirite?
posted by littlerobothead at 1:23 PM on July 25, 2010


Is Chrome really faster for people? It's always seemed noticeably slow to me. For instance, if I load the New York Times homepage in Chrome, elements will load and shift around on the page for at least two seconds. In Firefox, the entire page loads and displays instantaneously. Am I doing something wrong that makes Chome so slow?
posted by stopgap at 1:31 PM on July 25, 2010


Logicpunk:
Seems like a better solution would be to use something like "meta-tabs" which you can drag your tabs into without having to refocus. Hover over a meta-tab to see a list of tabs in the group (e.g., like a drop-down menu). Click on the meta-tab to display those tabs in the usual manner.
That seems pretty yucky, too. The point of tabs is that they don't require any memory on the part of the user; the tab bar is a shelf and the things on it are meant to be read at a glance. Once you start stuffing things in "stacks", you have to start remembering the relationships and objects that the stacks stand for. At that point the whole (admittedly fragile) UI convention basically breaks. Then you have people scrolling left and right in an endless sea of tabs trying to find a title that's sadly been truncated to "The On...". Having more hidden context underneath "The On..." doesn't really help anyone, and would end up just making it worse.

This tab metaphor just breaks eventually. It just does. This Mozilla silliness doesn't fix it. And since restraint is not a user attribute, we don't have a real solution.
posted by littlerobothead at 1:32 PM on July 25, 2010


People who use the internet differently than me deserve to die, in my opinion.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:34 PM on July 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


Doesn't this and the many similar features in things like OSX and IOS presuppose that you can recognize a web page once it's reduced to the size of a large icon? I often can't. Perhaps the next step is a metadata tag that identifies an iconic image that anyone who can use in place of an unusably diminished view of the page itself.

Apple's LINK REL="apple-touch-icon", which allows you to provide a URL a graphic to be used as the iconic view of a web app is a good start, but some extension to that which makes it easier for a server to generate distinct iconic views per-page would be useful in case you have several pages from the same site which would be indistinguishable because of their common style and format. And it'd help if the keyword didn't have "apple" in it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:08 PM on July 25, 2010


This tab metaphor just breaks eventually. It just does. This Mozilla silliness doesn't fix it. And since restraint is not a user attribute, we don't have a real solution.


Agreed. Seems similar to the way the bookmark metaphor breaks: given sufficient numbers of bookmarks, you may end up spending more time hunting down a bookmark than you would just hunting down the website again, i.e., precisely the kind of behavior bookmarks are supposed to avoid. However, given that at this point there isn't a better metaphor, attempts to push on the idea of tabbed browsing shouldn't distract me from actual browsing any more than they have to.
posted by logicpunk at 2:11 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Civil_Disobedient: "I'm sorry you're not smart or technically competent enough to drive such fine automobiles."

Stay classy, internet equivalent of the Simpsons comic book guy.
posted by Roman Graves at 2:13 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is of course the scenario that so worried Microsoft in the late 90s that they poured countless engineer-hours into breaking Netscape, close-coupling their browser to the Windows environment, and lots of other tactics involving ActiveX, VBScript and (anti-)Java. And it kinda worked; a platform-independent nettop type of experience has taken almost a decade longer to to go mainstream than anyone anticipated. The degree to which Microsoft's tactics and the horrors of IE caused this may be arguable, but it's certainly a major contributor.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:20 AM on July 26 [+] [!]

I feel like there's a disconnect here between people who use Firefox to do everything on their computer and the other 98% of people who use Firefox. We can talk about extensions and the OS-agnostic browser all we want, but the thing is most people just want to be able to view their animated gifs and WMVs and visit the same five or six sites over and over again. Most people don't care that their web browser can also be an FTP application, or a chat application. Most people I've worked with rarely use tabs. You can tell them about the wonders of the OS-angostic web browser, and they'll say, sure, but can it play my Java-based jigsaw puzzles?

This is just my experience, mind, but these features are something that an average user would never touch. I would even argue that 98% of Firefox users aren't aware of ABP, and for the most part don't know they want it.

This add-on isn't for those people. This is for the people that feel a tiny pang of fear every time they hover their pointer over the little X on the tab.
posted by gc at 3:03 PM on July 25, 2010


I downloaded Chrome because of this thread, but I got about 30 seconds into it before I realized it doesn't have a No-Script-esque addon. I can't imagine surfing without No-Script, for both security and just getting unwanted crap off my screen.

I am the type of surfer that could use some advanced tab-sorting functions, but this Tab Candy just looks like more clicking and tiny icons to manage. I don't want a separate tab management screen. I'm lazy and impatient -- just let me drag and drop stacks or something.
posted by jess at 4:19 PM on July 25, 2010


I find it interesting that the motto is "Making browsing delicious" because I use my Delicious toolbar to organize my tabs already.

I don't think I would download this extension because I try not to have too many tabs open at once. If I have more than five or so, that is my signal that I am not focusing; I need to tag them or close them and move on. Too much multitasking is bad for my productivity, and having more ways to play around with my multitasking would be doubly bad.
posted by TrarNoir at 4:30 PM on July 25, 2010


I only do liquid internet nowadays.
posted by mannequito at 5:21 PM on July 25, 2010


I'm lazy and impatient -- just let me drag and drop stacks or something.

That's what I was thinking. Just have it so if you drop a tab on top of another, a group is created -- just right in the tab bar...
posted by Trochanter at 6:33 PM on July 25, 2010


So… he's basically created a more elaborate interface for what is essentially putting your tabs into separate browser windows.

Congratulations, you've invented hot water!
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:03 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, I use FF, Chrome, and Safari all but interchangeably. I just log in to different sites for different things with different browsers. Like I have flashblock on FF, but if I want to watch a playlist on youtube, I'll open it in Chrome (which has no flashblock installed) so it autoadvances. My preferences for each browser has more to do with what it can do, not how it runs. Chrome, for example, chokes on embedded .wmvs. It just can't figure out how to play them. And Safari seems to be the only browser on OS X that views PDFs inline without having to start save a copy to Downloads and open Preview. And sometimes, I just want to store a different set of logons (e.g., personal gmail in FF, professional in Safari).
posted by Eideteker at 9:33 PM on July 25, 2010


NolanRyanHatesMatches: "Huh, now I'm kind of curious about what everyone's customized browser set-up looks like."

Hoo boy. When I started using Firefox again after dabbling in Chrome for awhile, I was pretty determined to pare down the interface to be as minimalist as possible. This was the result. My screen resolution is pretty high, so I cropped out a lot of the Google whitespace and the empty taskbar space at the top and bottom, but otherwise the UI is as shown.

I got this look by hiding the title and menu bars and moving all the menu items to the Firefox button. My bookmarks are in the sidebar, which slides out whenever I mouse over to the left-hand border. With these changes, the entire menu space at the top is actually a pixel or two slimmer than the Google Chrome version.

I experimented with various autohide extensions to tuck away the menu and status bars like the sidebar does, but it turned out to be too much of a hassle (interference with the find bar, difficulty in clicking links close to the top or bottom of the screen, etc.).

Of course, where the UI is minimalist, the add-ons are overflowing! I've got 36 of them right now, but most of them perform small, useful functions:
Adblock Plus: Duh.
BugMeNot: Automatically logs in to registration-walled sites like nytimes.com
Chatzilla: An IRC client.
Chrome View: Adds that menu button in the upper-right to open the current page in Chrome.
Compact Menu 2: Collapses all the menu items into a single customizable button.
Copy Link Name: Adds what it says on the tin as a context menu option.
Element Properties: Adds this context menu option back after it was removed.
ErrorZilla Mod: Supplements the standard "Server Not Found" page with buttons that query Google's cache, Coral Cache, the Internet Archive, etc.
Fast Dial: A customizable start page with thumbnail links to your most-visited sites.
Find In Numbers: Adds a Chrome-style counter to the Find bar showing the number of matches.
Forecastbar Enhanced: Adds a forecasting widget to the status bar.
FoxyTunes: Allows you to control iTunes and other media players from the status bar instead of switching back and forth.
Google Gears: A Google product that allows local syncing of data from Gmail and other services.
Google Notebook: A web-based Notepad that is kept in the status bar. Development has ceased; I'm not sure if that link (direct download) still works or if Google accountholders can access the service if they didn't register with Google Notebook before it closed down.
Google Toolbar for Firefox: Does a few useful things like location awareness, automatic translation, and redirecting of broken links.
Greasemonkey: A versatile customization tool that maintains userscripts which modify pages on-the-fly.
Hide Caption Titlebar Plus: Removes the title bar and relocates the minimize/maximize/close buttons.
Linkification: Automatically converts plaintext URLs to links.
Menu Editor: Allows customization of what menu items appear and in what order.
Mouse Gestures Redox: Adds mouse gestures to Firefox.
MR Tech Toolkit: An extension management add-on that allows useful things like disabling/enabling all extensions at once.
Open Image In New Tab: Adds what it says on the tin to the righ-click menu.
Organize Status Bar: Does what Menu Editor does, but for the status bar. Good for getting rid of all the little icons that so many extensions like to add.
Paste and Go 3: Adds a Chrome-style "paste and go" option when right-clicking the address bar.
Rapportive: Adds a sidebar to Gmail containing the social profiles of the people in each message.
SearchWith: Lets you search selected text using an assortment of sites.
Sidebar Autohide: Activates the sidebar when you mouse over the edge of the screen. Useful for bookmarks.
StayInOnlineMode: Kills an annoying bug where Firefox will sometimes go into offline mode even when a connection is available.
Stop-or-Reload Button: Combines the stop and reload buttons.
StumbleUpon: Procrastination 2.0.
Stylish: A customization tool that does a handful of things Greasemonkey doesn't.
Tab Mix Plus: Allows fine-grain control of tab behavior.
Tabs on top: Implements Chrome-style tabs at the top of the screen.
Unofficial Google Translate Firefox extension: Allows inline translation of selected text.
URL Suffix: Prevents the Firefox feature that navigates to .org or .net domains if the Shift/Ctrl keys are accidentally pressed while hitting enter in the address bar.
Xmarks: Syncs bookmarks with an online database.
Some of these claim they're not compatible, but you can use the MR Tech Toolkit one to force-install without any trouble.

Anyway, combined with shortcuts, keyword bookmarks, and some UserChrome.css tweaks, Firefox does pretty much exactly what I want it to do. And only uses... *checks* 250 MB of memory! Yikes. Hopefully multi-processing in the next version will make it easier to identify and eliminate the bloatiest extensions.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:46 PM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I got this far: "I know that I use my browser more than I do my operating system." About 00:04. I don't think that I need advice from anyone who doesn't understand what an operating system is.

I literally got that far. The video kept freezing on "operating sys."

I'd be more into tear-off and draggable tabs, so I could yank a tab into a new window without copy-pasting the URL and so I could sort them between windows.

Uh... firefox already does that.


I think you need an extension. I know Tab Mix Plus enables Move to New Window for tabs.

How do you do it without an extension?

Yeah, this still seems silly. We're talking about tab buckets, right? (I did not see the video.) I'm not sure why it's any different/better than using windows to groups tabs. That's what I do.

It seems about as useful as tagging bookmarks. (Bookmark keywords are essential, but tags? I don't get it ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:32 PM on July 25, 2010


mrgrimm - what's the difference between "bookmark keywords" and "tags"?
posted by symbioid at 11:04 PM on July 25, 2010


I think you need an extension. I know Tab Mix Plus enables Move to New Window for tabs.

How do you do it without an extension?


Just drag a tab out of the Firefox window and it'll make a new window. Drag a tab from window to another to move it to that window. There is no extension required, and this functionality's been in since a couple of versions after Chrome came out. I have no idea why people think you need an extension for this.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:08 PM on July 25, 2010


I have no idea why people think you need an extension for this
You really can't come up with one? If you squeeze and squeeze surely "because at one time you did need an extension for it and these guys might have missed the news that it was added to the browser" will eventually come to mind, no?

I Just tried it on my Mac too, and it's funky as hell: only way I could get the tab to move window was by dragging from tab bar to tab bar. I took me a few goes compared to Safari; if I handn't known it was there I'd have given up.
posted by bonaldi at 1:21 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm amazed because it's been implemented for ages now.

Maybe it's different on the Mac. On Win7 all I have to do is drag the tab out and I've got a new window.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:28 AM on July 26, 2010


Hell, I even squash all my browser controls on to one line to get more space, and just after taking that screenshot I removed my Home button because I can't remember using it in the last couple of years.

F11

How much RAM do you need to open 12 Firefox tabs? That would never work on my laptop unless I wanted to see a beach ball.

I'm not sure. I've never run out, but my desktop has 12 gigs of ram.

The difference in rendering speeds between FF and Chrome is about 200 milliseconds

200ms is definitely noticeable. It doesn't mater but it's definitely noticeable. Like a temporal smudge. A 200ms lag makes things feel slow. Since human reaction time is about 250ms it actually doubles your flinch reaction time.
posted by delmoi at 3:48 AM on July 26, 2010


Holy hell you people use a lot of tabs. How do you get any work done with all of this web browsing?
posted by chundo at 7:46 AM on July 26, 2010


F11

And have to hit it again to access my menus and taskbar? Ewwwwww.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:39 AM on July 26, 2010


and weaknesses (Safari is all weaknesses)

Huh. And here I use Safari more than any other browser, including Chrome, because it works really well for me (unless I'm working and need Firebug.)

Then again, different people have different needs, which is why a fertile browser ecosystem is good (plus, it keeps people like me employed, being a webdev and all.) For instance, the time it takes me to render my first web page of the day is MUCH shorter in Safari than in any other browser -- because, out of habit, I always click the Safari icon first (a sad fact of usability, user's habits are, but it is what it is.) Any "this browser is better because (user-specific need) and you should use it" is going to make my eyes glaze over, versus "for me, this browser is better, because when I do (user-specific need) it's so much (benefit)."

Having said all that: have you ever browsed MeFi in Links? It's pretty great.
posted by davejay at 10:23 AM on July 26, 2010


Note to PB: if you see a sudden spike in visits from Links, you have me to thank.
posted by davejay at 10:23 AM on July 26, 2010


mrgrimm - what's the difference between "bookmark keywords" and "tags"?

In Firefox (and Chrome, I believe), bookmark keywords are terms that you can use in place of URLs. For example, the keyword I use for http://www.metafilter.com/lofi.mefi is "mf" - I type mf into the address bar and I go to the lofi URL.

Bookmark tags are terms that can be applied to bookmarks in order to organize them. I tend to still use folder organization, so finding bookmarks isn't that hard for me. (Plus, I assign them all keywords that I can obviously remember (e.g. "SF Gate Sports" is "sfsports" and "Gmail" is "gm") so I rarely search for bookmarks anyway.

The cool thing about keywords is that you can use them to create variable URLs, e.g. search strings or other URL functions. For example, set the URL "http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/search.mefi?site=mefi&q=%s" to a keyword of something like "mfs" (for MeFi Search) and then you can type in "mfs [variable]" instead of using the actual search box, e.g. "mfs poop" becomes "http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/search.mefi?site=mefi&q=poop"

BTW, if someone knows a method of creating multivariable bookmark keywords in Firefox (or Chrome), give me the tip!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:43 AM on July 26, 2010


Oh yeah - the keywords - i forgot about those - I don't tend to use them (but for search strings they're great). The awesomebar tends to remove the need for shortening. I just type me and it selects metafilter as the most commonly selected site.

I really love the awesomebar and it's one thing i miss in chrome. I do end up using folder organization. Tags are interesting, but it's so much work to tag everything when you save.
posted by symbioid at 11:33 AM on July 26, 2010


Since the introduction of the awesome bar, I've completely lost the will to organize my bookmarks.
posted by oddman at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I Just tried it on my Mac too, and it's funky as hell: only way I could get the tab to move window was by dragging from tab bar to tab bar. I took me a few goes compared to Safari; if I handn't known it was there I'd have given up.

Indeed. I didn't know it was there and I never needed it (b/c I already had Tab Mix Plus).

Still, I think I prefer Ctrl-Alt-N (or does that work in regular Firefox now too?) The clicking and dragging, as bonandi mentions, is pretty janky and slow and you can end up with multiple extra windows cuz it's so slow you think "Oh I must have missed it." and do it again.

Since the introduction of the awesome bar, I've completely lost the will to organize my bookmarks.

Mostly true, but I have a lot of work addresses that all start with the same term, so an organized list still comes in handy.

The only problem I have with the Firefox awesomebar is that I mostly want it to search my recent history (e.g. if I've just been to a New York Times article on bed bugs, I type "new york times bed bugs" and it will suggest that article), but when my history gets to any decent size (weeks), the searching that the awesome bar does really slows down Firefox performance.

Is there anyway to limit how far back in your history the awesomebar searches? I know you can set it to search "only bookmarks" but that's not what I want. I want it to search bookmarks and visited pages from the last 24 hours *AND* I still want to keep pages from more than 24 hours ago in my history.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:08 PM on July 26, 2010


Hm. I must have the perfect hardware to run firefox (OS X 10.4 with 1 gb ram). Mine never seems to crash, and I usually have around 20 tabs open with 5-6 addons.

Also, Chrome doesn't support Tiger, so I can't even compare the two.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:39 PM on July 26, 2010


Thanks to this thread, and someone very nicely memailing me this lifehacker link, I now have a teeny tiny Firefox. Kinda yay on my big fat PC, but total hurrah on the netbook as I can move the taskbar back to the bottom of the screen again and banish horizontal scrolling forever, or at least until someone reacts with comedy horror to something.

Also, BarTab, since I shut down my PC overnight and really don't care for the thirty second "omg you have forty tabs open" Firefox restarting grind.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:28 AM on July 27, 2010


Thanks to this thread, and someone very nicely memailing me this lifehacker link, I now have a teeny tiny Firefox.

You can make the forward/back buttons smaller (and thus that whole bar, I think) with Alfred Kayser's Littlefox.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2010


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