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Chrome Google Open Source Software

With Community Help, Chrome Could Support Side Tabs Extension 117

jones_supa writes The lack of a vertical tab strip (or "Tree Style Tab" as the Firefox extension is called) has been under a lot of discussion under Chrome/Chromium bug tracker. Some years ago, vertical tabs existed as an experimental feature enabled with a "secret" command line parameter, but that feature was eventually removed from the browser. Since then, Google has been rather quiet about whether such feature is still on the roadmap. Now, a Google engineer casts some light on the issue. He says that a tree-style interface for tabs would be overly complex as a native implementation, but Google would back the idea of improving the extensions interface to support a sidebar-like surface to render the tab UI on, if someone from the open source community would step forward to do the work to drive the feature to completion.
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With Community Help, Chrome Could Support Side Tabs Extension

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  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @12:42AM (#48848077)

    Meanwhile, Firefox takes away the choice for users to have tabs on bottom (below the menu bar and bookmark bar) , like many want. Since Mozilla now has SUCH a desire to be EXACTLY like Chrome, it should be no surprise they would remove user choice, and even add an annoying and identical menu button on the right.

    Thankfully, for now, you can get sane behavior back with the "Classic Theme Restorer" add-on. Yet again, Add-on's save the day and show off one of Firefox's main strengths. Back to Chrome- who knows, maybe they will start adding user choice?

    Considering how important browsers are to a user's computer experience, I fail to understand why Chrome is so hostile to customization and why Mozilla is following that same path now. Let users put things where they want them (at least without artificial limits), and don't take away existing customization options!

    • Seriously, it's better.

      • Use SeaMonkey. It's the same Mozilla codebase, but with traditional features like built in HTML editor, email, newsreader.

      • by zixxt ( 1547061 )

        Seriously, it's better.

        Umm no its not. It's a hacked together outdated fork that is slower and more crash prone than Firefox plus a ton of add-ons do not work with it.

    • by aix tom ( 902140 )

      I just defected to Pale Moon [] two month ago.

      Absolutely brilliant. Firefox as it used to be. Configurable like it was in the good old days, with that Australis interface ripped out. (And even returned to a sane version numbering scheme lately).

      TreeStyle Tab works for vertical tabs (in contrast to SeaMonkey, where it doesnt), and with "Firefox 3 Theme for Firefox 4++ Reloaded" it works, looks and behaves exactly as the Firefox did in its best days. I finally feel "at home" again on the Internet without being i

    • by jlv ( 5619 )
      +1 for "Classic Theme Restorer"
  • My favorite feature of Firefox is load background tabs on demand, its a shame other browsers do not have this. I can start up Firefox with 200 tabs from the previous session and it starts up nice and quick, with other browsers if I did this I could go make a pot of coffee and it browser would still be loading when I came back.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      i used to do that

      i discovered chrome has a "bookmark all tabs..." option if you right click on any open tab

      pick a location for the folder (i have a top level folder full of 9 numbered folders, so it's chronological)


      so after 20-30 open tabs, i bookmark all, flush all open tabs, and move on with a much saner life

      you should as well

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I use Tab Snooze for that in Chromium. It works much better than Firefox's solution because it frees up all of the RAM used by the tabs until they are needed.

      • I use Tab Snooze for that in Chromium. It works much better than Firefox's solution because it frees up all of the RAM used by the tabs until they are needed.

        Does Firefox allocate the memory for tabs before you click on them? It doesn't seem like it.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @01:02AM (#48848109) Journal

    I see a company stepped up to do it. Google decided it wasn't what they wanted to spend their time on, but they were willing to accept it if someone else found it useful enough to do do it. Benjamin said his company will do it, so it should happen. []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Tree-style browser tabs are a neat idea. It's not very often where I'm searching for a piece of information and end up with more browser tabs than I can keep track of, but I could see how this would be a very useful feature.

    It is too bad that the Firefox project has been derailed by "developers" more interested in "contributing" UI changes than actual bug fixes to the point where I'm no longer willing to use it, or I'd go fire up Firefox and check out the tree-style tab plugin.

    • I use it all the time. Scan through Hacker News and right click open all the interesting headlines and comment sections then browse the fully rendered pages at my leisure. This is much more practical with a hierarchical vertical strip.

  • by Dan Askme ( 2895283 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @01:51AM (#48848219) Homepage

    if someone from the open source community would step forward to do the work to drive the feature to completion.

    Google/Chromium paid devs can then take all the credit. One sided deal if you ask me.

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @02:37AM (#48848297)

      Sounds more like "if you want it do it yourself" via extensions.

      That seems like a perfectly reasonable approach for something a company doesn't want to focus on.

    • if someone from the open source community would step forward to do the work to drive the feature to completion.

      Google/Chromium paid devs can then take all the credit. One sided deal if you ask me.

      This is a sad response to read on slashdot.

      What do you think would be a good reason for a company to opensource their development if not for stuff like this? It fits perfectly in the matra "If i had the source, I could make it work the way I wanted."

    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

      I doubt it, if they are asking for it to be made as an extension, then the extension writer would get the credit.

  • I have a different idea: how about Schmidt putting slightly more pocket change into his browser team instead?

  • Er, I've had this solution (at least as a UI) in extension form: []

    • Seperate window.
      It's an ugly work-around which disrupts focus workflows.

      • I'm more partial to Tabs Outliner []. It's also a separate window, but it's modeless so it just lives to the left of my browser window.

        It's still an ugly work-around, but when stuck with Chrome it's better than nothing.

  • Get with the times (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @02:45AM (#48848313) Homepage

    After using Tree Style Tab (combined with Tab Mix Plus) for over three years now I can't imagine going back to tabs-on-top on a widescreen monitor *shudders*.

    Never mind the better use of real estate, the hierarchichal nature of the tabs (the "tree" in the name) is just brilliant.

    • This extension is one of the few reasons I'm still using Firefox, the browser has gotten pretty terrible of late. This was a feature that Opera lost during the move to WebKit as well.
      • by chooks ( 71012 )

        Sib AC is correct. I have been using palemoon with tree style tabs for well over a year. No problems.

        Palemoon overall has been a good experience. It is relatively stable (maybe a couple of crashes in a history of heavy heavy use) and speedy. It is worth checking out if you haven't already.

  • IE 11 you hit up or down arrow keys. Smooth as butter like a phone. Firefox mostly as smooth as its XP hooks limits hardware acceleration.

    CHROME? Blip blip blip tear in image when you hit up and down. Slashdoters on Windows reading this try it? Surprised?

    First Chrome had it. Then you had to go into about::flags. Now it is not even available? WTF. IE 8 in 2009 had this and Firefox in 2011. I can't even use it anymore as it feels like I am on an old computer. I hope someone from Google is reading this.


    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ugh - god no. Smooth scrolling hurts my eyes.

      I want my computer to be instantly responsive. I want my scrolling to be immediate. I do not want to waste that 0.2 seconds it takes for the page to animate into position whenever I use my scroll wheel or click in the scroll bar or press pageup/down. The page content should completely update in between monitor refreshes in my opinion. For all the reasons I hate Chrome, a lack of smooth scrolling is not one of them.

      If I wanted a smartphone experience - I'd grab mi

  • There once was a browser which supported this out-of-the-box several years ago.

    RIP, Presto-Opera

  • I used the side tab in chrome before it was dropped. As soon as it was dropped I deleted chrome from my system. Every PC I setup for anyone has Firefox with side tabs. I can have over 50 tabs open and it's the only sensible way to navigate on a 16:9 screen. There is a forum that discusses this, and the engineer who dropped it says very few used it. Well duh: you had to execute obscure commands to even enable it. Side tabs should be the default mode for any browser.

  • How do you folks deal with thousands of bookmarks? You do tag them right? Firefox's tagging facility has been able to do this for awhile, but then how does that reduce the sheer quantity, to something user-friendly? There's a decent but semi-broken extension for this also, called Tag Sieve. There's also been a feature request made to build it into FireFox native, and I hope the original developer gets the job. In the meantime, having read the user-comments, I've made the extension work, and it is wonderful.

    • How do you folks deal with thousands of bookmarks?

      If you "need" to deal with thousands of bookmarks you are Doing It Wrong. Help me out here because I honestly cannot even imagine a (sane) use case or work flow where I would actually need (much less want) to deal with that many bookmarks.

      • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

        No, I'm not doing it wrong. For example, I see tech-notes and answers all the time on, so I bookmark and tag them for future reference, so I CAN forget about them. Other forums too, since I am a developer. These add up and can overwhelm quickly otherwise, and become un-useable. Tag Sieve plus the native tools for sorting bookmarks in FireFox make my clippings very manageable and useful.

        FWIW, Scrapbook is a FireFox extension that saves selected HTML from a web page to my local disk. These l

    • How do you folks deal with thousands of bookmarks? You do tag them right?

      What? I organize them hierarchically, like I've been doing since Netscape Navigator.

  • I won't be happy until there are tabs on EVERY side at once. And nested as well. How is Chrome supposed to be CUA compatible on OS/2 otherwise?
  • I stopped using Chrome the *second* time it just stopped working correctly, because an extension I depended upon got "updated" and thus no longer worked. I can't stand having to figure out why things aren't working correctly anymore when I haven't changed anything. As long as it's impossible to lock down the software until *I* want to update it, I'll just opt out of Chrome.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"