• Tab Candy to bring calm to Firefox's tab chaos


    Mozilla's head of user experience for its Labs unit, Aza Raskin, on Friday unveiled a new project called "Tab Candy" that promises to dramatically change the way users manage open browser tabs.


    Tab Candy is not an extension, but a new feature that Raskin and team plan to build into a future version of the Firefox browser. In essence, it creates a desktop-like workspace for users to separate and organize open tabs into groups. When opened, these groups act like their own instance of the browser. So, say you had grouped together 5 of 50 open tabs, then opened that group through Tab Candy; you'd only see those 5 in your browser, and not the other 45. You could then jump back and forth between the main grouping and other subgroups--all without having to keep open (or track of) various Firefox windows.

    Raskin is keen to note that this level of organization makes it much easier to manage open tabs on devices with smaller screen like Netbooks. The same concept could also be applied to Mozilla's mobile browser efforts, where screen real estate is hard to find.

    The concept is still in development, and only available in an experimental version of Firefox, which Raskin has made available for brave alpha testers. Right now it's only feature is this tab organization, though many more features are coming, including search, clusters that can be set as a private browsing session, and public and private sharing of tab groups. Beyond that, Raskin envisions blending in Firefox's extensions functionality to add extra utility to Tab Candy's tab clusters, as well as implementing a memory saving feature that will put long unused tabs into hibernation so they don't suck up memory.


    The power of the browser has grown substantially in the last ten years. We now use the Web to multi-task the activities we juggle every day, like vacation plans, purchases, sharing pictures, listening to music, reading email, and writing a blog post.

    It’s hard to keep everything straight with dozens of tabs all crammed into a little strip along the top of your browser. Your tab with a search to find a pizza parlor gets mixed up with your tabs on your favorite band. Often, it’s easier to open a new tab than to try to find the open tab you already have. Worse, how many of us keep tabs open as reminders of something we want to do or read later? We’re all suffering from infoguilt.

    We need a way to organize browsing, to see all of our tabs at once, and focus on the task at hand. In short, we need a way to get back control of our online lives.

    Enter: Tab Candy.

    With one keystroke Tab Candy shows an overview of all tabs to allow you to quickly locate and switch between them. Tab Candy also lets you group tabs to organize your work flow. You can create a group for your vacation, work, recipes, games and social sites, however it makes sense to you to group tabs. When you switch to a grouped tab only the relevant tabs are shown in the tab bar, which helps you focus on what you want.




    One more thing. Tab Candy is made entirely with HTML, Javascript, and CSS. There is no native code—just the open Web. That is how powerful the web has become.

    Tab Candy is in early development. We’re at the point where we’d like more people to try it out and let us know what they think. There’s work to be done on some existing bugs and performance issues, and we’re building a motivated group to attack those issues head-on.

    Brave Alpha Testers Get It Here:

    http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/tryserver-builds/edward.lee@engineering.uiuc.edu-4d7c7a3c5ac2/

    Instant Overview—Never lose a tab again

    Tap Option-Space on the Mac or Control-Space on Windows to zoom out and see thumbnails of all open tabs. Click on one to zoom back in. It’s a quick visual way to search for that one tab you need with work research or directions to the restaurant.

    Lightweight Grouping

    Drag two tabs together to create a group to keep related tabs together. You can even name groups for all your videos, research, social sites or whatever you need. If need a group from one tab just click and drag to create one. You can easily rearrange tabs and drag them anywhere inside a group or between groups.

    Right now there is no automatic grouping, but it is a feature we are working to deliver.

    Only the Tabs You Want

    When you go to a tab in a group, you’ll only see the tabs from that group in the tab strip. That means you can focus on the task you are doing. Work tabs stay separate from play tabs. Clean tab bar, clean mind.
    Organize Your Space

    Tab Candy is not just the ability to move tabs around, you can move groups so that they fit your needs. Make the group with your calendar and email bigger so that you can see what’s new just by zooming out to Tab Candy. Hide the group with distractions in a corner. Keep things to read in a long vertical list. Because Tab Candy is in early development, there are lots of user experience changes and bugs to fix. We want your feedback. While Tab Candy is fairly stable, it might still lose your groupings or cause Firefox to operate more slowly.
    Next Steps

    Our current goals are focused on overall and start-up performance, unit tests, code documentation and refactoring. Next, we will focus on user feedback and polishing the user experience.

    The Tab Candy team is working to get Tab Candy into nightly development builds of Firefox. You can follow along as we work to improve the code.

    Source: Azarask.in

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Tab Candy to bring calm to Firefox's tab chaos started by SonsOfLiberty View original post