Rethinking Tabs In Firefox 3.2

Like many other features in the software world, we seem to have weared out the tabs. Oliver Reichenstein proposes a browser design, inspired by media management, such that the need for tabs is reduced. Tabs, when overused, get unusable. Oliver’s approach feels like cataloguing the sites so that they are easy to find and track. However, I tend to think that with time we will evolve to break this too, just like tabs.

I personally think that tabs should be managed automatically, mostly like garbage collection. Creating a new tab should not be a required action. Links from the same domain are opened in the same tab and a new domain is always opened in a new tab. If a new tab is specifically opened for the same domain, after some time, the inactive one should be garbage collected. And maybe the 2 most active ones should be left alone and all the others should be clubbed together under the third one. Lots of maybes in there, because this is more of a rant than a design.

This might upset some who have adopted extreme tabbing successfully. But it sure fails for the common man. It will be interesting to see how the design unfolds.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. MediaMarc said:

    Interesting post. I would have to say that I’m one who has been able to manage “extreme” tabbing. I just figure that terribly hard life changing choice, “What tabs can I live without!!?” Well live without until the next time I decide to login to that particular website again 😉

  2. Larry Roth said:

    Interesting post. For me, your idea would work very well. For some people I have observered using Web browsers, maybe it wouldn’t work as well. Many people I watch open items they intend to read later in tabs. They don’t always get to them right away, and would be bummed if they were “garbage collected” before they got to them.

    Never the less, it’s an idea worth exploring. And thanks for the link to the original article, that was a good read as well.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
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