I'm Aza Raskin @azaaza. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I'm the Creative Lead for Firefox.

 

Tab Candy: Making Firefox Tabs Sweet

Sponsored by

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.

Link to the video here or download the video here.

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.

Download

This is not an extension. This is a super-early build of Firefox with Tab Candy enabled.

A Walkthrough of Tab Candy’s Features

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.

Get Involved

Start by reading the Tab Candy FAQ.

* Visit the project page or the project wiki
* Give us feedback
* Submit a bug report and see what bugs need to be fixed
* Grab the source code and get a walkthrough of the code
* Download a Tab Candy-enabled build

RT @azaaza Tab Candy: Making Firefox Tabs Sweet | Follow @azaaza on Twitter | All blog posts

View all 241 comments



Dan

To reiterate what Aza said, because I totally missed it my first few times, the download links to Firefox installers with Tab Candy integrated.



    soderberg

    Wow. Wow. Wow.

    I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to giving this a try … I’m a chronic heavy tab/multiple-window user and this functionality will save me mucho – MUCHO – time and stress.

    Are the builds on the download page only for programmer types? I downloaded something called “Minefield Debug” and feel it’s necessary to proceed with caution in case it’s not a standard app install …

    I’m using a somewhat elderly (but still highly functional) MacBook Pro running OS 10.4.11 and will be eternally grateful if I can download one of those files and run a beta version of Firefox with this new capability!


      Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Firefox drop support for 10.4 at the end of last year?



        Quinn C.

        No, if you look on their site it says 10.4 and above.


You are exactly right about how users start using more tabs with Tab Candy. I’ve found that when I use Tab Candy, that OCD type thing I have about tabs overflowing the bar is gone, and now I can have 30 or 40 tabs sitting around, without having to take longer than 5 seconds to find them



Josh

When I first heard about Tab Candy, I thought it was a stupid idea, because you would just be wasting your time faffing around with organising your tabs.

When I saw Tab Candy on a YouTube video of the Summit, I realised that I was wrong, and that TAB CANDY IS GOING TO SAVE MY LIFE!

There is so much potential for it. I’m guessing you won’t be able to squeeze all of your ideas into Firefox 4. Will we see improvements in Tab Candy in Fx 4.1?



Richard

I love this! It’s going to be a life-saver. My name is Richard and I’m addicted to tabs and suffer from info-guilt!!! Currently, I’m browsing with 156 tabs in Firefox.

I use a combination of Session Manager (for backups in case of a crash), BarTab (for memory saving), Tab Mix Plus, and Dropbox (for hosting my Firefox profile) all in the effort to make using tabs easier and safer. If you’ve had a Firefox window crash with 100+ tabs you know what a loss that feels like.

I’ve tried implementing my tabs into “links for later” via Pinboard, Delicious, and now Histori.us. They all work, but sometimes I don’t really want to save the link permanently; I just want to come back to it when I get a free second. This doesn’t happen often, because, by that time I could have opened 20-40 more tabs and started on a new subject matter. Going back through tabs to find what I was looking at that one day is exhausting.

Please, please make TabCandy as wonderful as it sounds. I can’t wait.



Aki

You’re probably aware of this, but tryserver-builds are automatically cleaned up after 14 days.
If you aren’t aware of that, you might want to copy those files elsewhere and update the link.



tribat

Neat! New must have addon if it’s out I think! :D



    Quinn C.

    Its actually a build of Firefox with Tab Candy installed, not a add-on.



David Regev

The visualization at 5:18 looks a lot like my Firefox ZUI mock-up. ☺ Perhaps that should be the default view for spawned tabs, until a tab get dragged and “broken off” of the tree.


    Hi David ! I’ve “talked” (written to you, to be exact) a bit with you before, about your ZUI.
    When reading this blog post from Aza and watching the video, I instantly thought about your ZUI ! Nice ;-)



      David Regev

      Pierre, I’m honoured!

      There is a fundamental difference, however, that is worth discussing. Aza’s ZUI keeps tabs working fundamentally the same, where a tab’s history is kept hidden behind the Back and Forward buttons. My own idea was to flatten the interface and incorporate history directly into the visualization. I can easily see pros and cons for both ways. If you’re an obsessive middle-clicker like me, who often middle-clicks instead of left-clicking by rote, then there will be no practical difference (assuming the tree view is the default for spawned tabs). In any case, this is definitely the right direction, and I’m excited to see how it works in practice first-hand.



Fritz

I almost always have over 100 tabs open. Often over 200. Clearly this is a great idea for someone like me so thank you for your work on it.

I just want to reinforce the idea of letting some tabs unload in a smart way. Since opening 100+ tabs on a shared 1.5mbps line at work … is a bad idea I’ve started to use BartTab so only some tabs load. I think App Candy will have to do something similar–but I’m not sure how. It will also need to figure out a better way to integrate with session restore, I imagine.


¡¡ZUI FTW!!
¡Pure genius!



Ashu

The video is amazing and I can see the benefit.

What if I want 2 groups to be active at the same time though?
Let’s say I have a sports group that has live text feeds and another group that has regular news and I want to switch between them without using the button all the time because it’s inconvenient. Or if I’m plying some online chess and and doing some reading while waiting for the other player to move and just don’t want to switch groups all the time to see if the other player has actually made his move. Being able to use more than one group at a time and/or pinning a group might be sensible. Obviously if you do that too much you will lose some of the better overview over your stuff but that’s the user’s choice/fault then.



patrick

I prefer https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5890/ . In fact TreeStyleTabs is the major reason for me using Firefox instead of Chrome.



    Vince P.

    Patrick, I do the same. I also run the tab tree vertically on the left side of the screen to use up some of that horizontal 16:9 screen estate since I have more of that than vertical. Finally, I’ve been using the add-on from http://www.xmarks.com to save all my bookmarks and current tabs to give me a backup on my current tab trees on multiple machines.

    I usually run around a couple dozen tabs minimum with extreme periods running into the hundreds. IE and Chrome are obviously laughable for this. Firefox is usable so far, but only with add-ons. I hold out hope for Tab Candy, but only if they also solve the memory consumption and bookmarks synchronization problems. To be clear, opening a couple hundred tabs at a time requires a LOT of memory, a lot of time, and a lot of bandwidth (which is why I normally Hibernate my machine instead of reboot it, but that’s another story). Secondly, if you’re going to have that many tabs open in a workspace via Tab Candy, then it’s likely that set of tabs is somewhat important to you. So, will Tab Candy persist these tabs to disk in a way that allows normal bookmarks utilities to deal with them (for backup, synchronization, etc). Would I be able to use something like the xmarks.com add-on to move those tabs between machines? Obviously, there’s more questions here than are under the control of the Tab Candy developers, but they’ll need to develop this in a way which is conducive to easy consumption by the add-on authors. They’re starting to take bookmarks in a direction which goes far beyond a list of URLs in folders. Now, they’re going to be storing groups, possibly sub-groups, group sizes, bookmarks, and the relative positioning of each in variable size container.

    Just my $0.02 anyway.



      Brtt

      You might want to try BarTab for your memory consumption problems.
      It’s a life saver (of sort) !


    I agree, Patrick, it would be great to have Tree-Style-Tabs working with TabCandy. It would benefit a lot from the performance-optimization that will go into TabCandy – which is my biggest problem with TreeStyle.

    So Vote for it: http://feedback.mozillalabs.com/forums/56804-tabcandy/suggestions/938007-tabcandy-groups-as-tree-style-tabs :-)

    On the other hand, I dont like that TabCandy goes in a new layer for organizing stuff but keeps the one-line-tab-bar at the top. That doesnt solve the problem for a tabcandy-group with more thant 5 website… So TabCandy needs something like TreeStyle…



      Brtt

      Indeed, Tab Candy + Tree Style Tabs + BarTab = pure win.



Fritz

Ashu, I think that could be done by holding control and the clicking as many groups as you’d like releasing. The one you clicked would show up on the left side the other groups’ tabs farther to the right. I think this would be an issue for people used to navigating to a particularly tab with ctrl+1, ctrl+9, etc.

I also think there has to be a view all option so you cal use the “List all tabs” drop down if you want. I like being able to access tabs via Tab Candy but I don’t like being limited to it.



Tim

I may be missing the point here, but 90% of the stuff you’re doing can be done using separate browser windows. Personally, I usually have several browser windows open, each with a set of related tabs. So why not work to improve this existing situation instead? Windows 7’s taskbar previews are a great start.

Stuff that’s not there right now would be: (a) labeling, which would boil down to naming a window through some sleek GUI, and (b) hierarchies, which I’m sure could be integrated nicely into the desktop metaphor.

But you’re the expert, Aza…


    I recognized the similarity to multiple windows, too. I think this approach is more interesting — and potentially much better — than the old-fashioned way, because there’s additional value in Tab Candy’s features. Both have a downside, however: when I’m in one window/group, I can’t see the rest of my tabs (I browse fullscreen). This would reduce clutter, but I always end up going back to one window.

    Back in February, related to the Home Tab Design Challenge, I wrote some thoughts that have a lot in common with Tab Candy. I suggested a way to tell the browser that a page is of interest, and could you please keep it around but out of the way until I’m done with it? http://alexdahl.com/thoughts/2010/02/firefox-home-tab/

    I think for any of this to be successful for most people, however, it needs to be all automatic: no resizing the area of a tab group, no choosing between view types, no expectation of labeling. The challenge is to find the balance between additional value and additional complexity. At the moment, I have to expend more effort to use Tab Candy than to just have one regular window, so I choose the latter. But this has great potential, and I hope it can achieve that balance.



Daniel

Will you be able to set a bookmark property so the browser knows what group to asign a tab to without having to tell it every time? say, all your news sites get automatically asigned to the ‘news’ group once opened?



ivv

I’ve been following the evolution of your thinking about tabs with great interest, and keep wondering about one thing:

If I understand it correctly, one of the differences between a tab and a bookmark from the user perspective is that a tab preserves the current state of the page while bookmark preserves just the page’s location. Because of the info-guilt you mentioned, we probably can’t rely on users to clean up their tabs regularly, so after a while they will will have accumulated a rather unmanageable number of tabs. Will these tabs be retired into bookmarks after some time to manage memory consumption or will the pages be saved into some kind of long-term storage?



ilovecomputers

While I enjoy how TabCandy can be extended, it could lead to bloatware if not extended gracefully. Personally, I would use TabCandy as it was simply presented on the first half of the video.

Will all those other features at the second half of the video become optional or default with the final release?


Can you do anything with Tab Candy yet if you’re not a programmer and don’t know how to build programs?



dfsjksdfklj

Awesome, you should make something similar for windows, not only tabs.


I had done something similar while at Georgia Tech. in 2009 with shiftbrowse http://bit.ly/shiftbrowse. You should try the .air prototype. The ui is slightly complicated but the feature set is pretty similar. The context based tab trees layed out in an area where you could drag them around and easily remember tab groupings using spatial memory (dragging tabs around) . Users didnt have to manually make groups, they could open different tabs in different contexts from the beginning.


I’m sure you though of this but i’m just want to say it anyway. Yhy not automate a group generation by a keyword:

Eg:

1. I search “Monster Trucks” on google.
2. I open multiple tabs.
3. Each tab opened from / via the keyword “Monster Trucks” should be automatically thrown into a group. With an option to disable or enable this feature of course. I would personally find this very time efficient.

Best of luck, awesome work.



    That sounds like something that should be handled by a Google Candy extension. Just like the Camera extension example.


Please please please make this for Chrome to!!!


Waw ! I’m actually posting with it, and I must say that it is really better than Firefox 3 !
I love that new to work, multiple windows in only-one, just waow.

Maybe, the button reset is a little weird because it cleans the actual working tabs and so you need to click it again if you want to return to them…

Well, I fear I have no bug to report for the moment, good luck for next ;)

Just a question : Will Tab Candy be integrated into Firefox 4 or will we need to add it manually through a plugin ?


Good concept, nice implementation, wont replace “tree-style tabs” for me.



Leo August

Hi Aza.
I watched the video intro to Tab Candy and found the product very excited. In case you haven’t already considered it, one thing I didn’t see in the video is the ability to shift-click to select multiple items so that you don’t have to drag them one by one into a set. Click and drag a selection rectangle around multiple items would also be nice. One other suggestion is to have the ability to change views like Windows Explorer – e.g.: by list, detail, icon, etc. Keep up the great work!


This is brilliant! I’m guilty of keeping many tabs open, so letting me see them all at once, and search them, would be a big help. So would freeing up memory from tabs that haven’t been used in a while.


Nice. It is like tabs, bookmarks (and eventually history) are all becoming one.


Aza! I haven’t followed the comments for this, but I can only assume that a lot of them goes in the same direction as mine. Wow! I am really amazed by how this will totally and profoundly change my browsing experience. You see a lot of introductions to new, exciting stuff, but it’s very rare that I can visualize how this would actually be something that could help me in what I do, but your video demo just made me really, really excited! I just keep coming up with uses for this, and I can’t wait till it’s stable and even more awesome.

Thanks and keep it up!


That is awesome!

Please please make firefox be cool again , it’s seems that every time I start it wants to update something, restart … update something again , think about what tabs where opened … wait for the flash plugin on youtube to load up for some reason , because it’s in a tab.


My first guess is that this is one of those things that will attract geeks and possibly even media, but will never find place at average user.

My strongest argument is multiple desktop. You can have multiple desktops, but they never made into mainstream, because they make wall gardens between them, and users just don’t want that.

As too much tabs appears as problem now and then, I think that most people are aware of opening multiple windows (specially as this was the only way at IE6 times, and also drag to new window was one of the main Chrome features at its release). If you could drag multiple tabs into new windows that would be more than enough.

The closest thing to something generally acceptable is for tabs to visit later. Actually, I proposed something like that when bookmarks should have been redesigned for Firefox 2 to have special bookmarks for that. But my personal solution is to have shortcut on your desktop (or open tab if it is to be read very soon) and it seems to be working.

Sharing seems impressive in video, but there is one slight problem called Facebook (and content). It is likely that I have posted all I wanted to share on Facebook already and that I have read all I wanted from there. So, why doubling the job this way?

Also suggestions seem very impressive, but if you really do that you’ve beaten Microsoft and Google and their billions of dollars put into semantic search. So… highly unlikely to come anytime soon… But good idea anyway.



    TygrBright

    Well, speaking as a non-geek “average user,” I want, want, want, WANT this! Yesterday, please.

    There’s a whole class of us non-geeks who are NOT technophobic and who are really eager to benefit from the work of all you fabulous geeks having ideas and solving problems. If it’s comparatively simple and doesn’t require understanding anything but a basic user interface, we’ll grab onto it, assuming it’s something that will improve our productivity/browsing experience/etc.



HM Weiser

Aza, Tab Candy is INCREDIBLE. This type of innovation inspires me it is precisely why i’m going for my masters in computer science and hope to specialize in HCI.

I think that this experience can make a lot of noise an a web-browser-as-an-OS type of product, and honestly I expect Chrome OS to emulate it.


The basic idea of this is the same as using a different windows for each “group”. I use different Spaces (Mac) in order to organize it further and de-clutter a given window space.

But the advance stuff, such as sharing tabs with friends, I think that is pretty powerful.

Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.



datdamonfoo

Since most people use Firefox on Windows, can you please have a video that shows how it works with the Windows client and not the ugly Mac one?


Probably a dumb question, but what are the activation keys for the Linux builds? I’m assuming they have this feature enabled because the download site includes non-Mac/Windows versions.



Alex

Brilliant.

Great video, great research, and great execution.



adminZ

The new interface and tab improvements mean little if they don’t fix the real or perceived bloat issues, those of slowness, stability and memory usage. I use FF daily and have since pre-1.0, but I’m seriously considering a switch to Chrome because f those issues. Running FF for a couple days, the memory shoots thru the roof and the responsiveness slows to a crawl and it starts to get crashy. Those are real problems. I only have a few windows open and a few of the most common extensions. If extensions are causing it, get them under control and sandbox them or something, but something has to be done or I’m gone and many more are, as well. I’ve tried Chrome and it doesn’t exhibit the same problems. I come back to FF out of allegiance to them breaking open the browser wars again and making a dent, but that only goes so far.


which Mozilla Design Challenge Summer 09 entries would you say this concept draws the most inspiration from?



ghindo

Great work! It’s really exciting to see what Mozilla has in the works for future releases of Firefox. Would it be possible for you to post the video in the entry in WebM or Theora?


    agree with @ghindo – I’m trying to do the free software thing too and the new cutting edge ideas for Firefox are only available to those who use proprietary and/or patented video codecs…


This is bloody brilliant !

I use both Firefox and Opera, with LOTS of tabs in both, and this will help tremendously.

Please, get it done yesterday !!!



Fred

Hey guys , you literally just invented the cleverest way to manage tabs!
I’m a huge broweser’s tab type of guy , and lately i was thinking a way to better manage tabs.
Session managers are not so usefull, because you can create a session but if you restore one , it will replace all you opened tabs.
Tab Candy seems to solve all those problems, creating smart and alive groups of tabs.



ML

Can’t we get pass all the smoke and call this what it really is? This is SOCIAL BOOKMARKING that uses lots of DOM to manipulate webpage thumbnails inside “folders”.

I’m sorry but in its current state, it isn’t very exciting.


    Uh, respectfully, no. In short, it’s a knowledge management tool. And “social bookmarking” vacuums if it’s not done well and smoothly– which I haven’t seen done before. (See my comments elsewhere here).



Ryan M

Wow! This is awesome! Looking forward to trying it out.


Very nice and innovative.


Awesome work. I love it. I see great potential for many uses.
I haven’t looked at the current bugs and all of the documentation yet, but I see a few (very) minor issues like after resizing a group and clicking on a blank space, the 1st tab in the group is opened/focused automatically, and some tooltips (for tabs and the interface) would be nice and larger titles, but I’m guessing that I’ll be able to at least fix that last one for myself unless full page zoom could be implemented.

I’m looking forward to learning more.



Iesus

While I appreciate that the need for this is recognized and developers like you are working on addressing it, the approach proposed would be more cumbersome in terms of the cost in clicks versus the benefits provided beyond my current approach.

On high resolution monitors, I end up using between 30-60 Firefox windows with 5-20 tabs in each. To see all the Firefox windows, I set the Win 7 taskbar to display vertically and to never combine buttons belonging to the same app. Since the Win taskbar provides access to other apps beyond Firefox, it facilitates focusing on tasks where Web browsing is only part of the workflow. To see all Firefox tabs properly I use the Tab Mix Plus add-on to display multiple tab rows and to set a minimum tab width to something that makes tab titles understandable. I use the BarTab add-on to manage the memory used by all these tabs by unloading the tabs not used in a while.

The only drawbacks of the way I work currently is that Firefox consistently crashes on several computers when it uses more than 1.2 GB of memory and that BarTab temporarily makes Firefox unresponsive every once in a while when it frees up tab memory. However, these problems are related Firefox memory management, and not to a specific user interface.


    Interesting workflow. I personally find more than 6 FF windows impossible to keep up with in my brain, but I have a different workflow.

    If you didn’t see me mention it elsewhere, you might want to check out TabGroups manager. It simply gives you tabs of tabs, which simplifies things quite a bit!


      OOps– meant to say, TabGroups Manager allows you to “suspend” open tab groups, out of memory. So I can have 2K+ tabs in 500M of memory.


Of course, suddenly, there is little practical difference between bookmarks and tabs. An unloaded tab is just a bookmark that exists in some form of workspace. In fact, this is much like how the Windows 7 taskbar doesn’t differentiate between shortcuts and tasks. They’re just programs that are either loaded or unloaded.

This thinking should be applied to Firefox a little more completely. Everything is a bookmark, or a “place”. Bookmarks can be placed into workspaces (tab groups), but aren’t active until you need them (such as when you switch to a group).

Anyway, it’s worth taking time to think about the interaction between bookmarks and tab groups.


    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Bookmarks 2.0

    I’m currently using firefox over safari and chrome because its bookmark management is so much better. Only downside is that it performs really slowly on OSX.



SomeGuy

Genius!



Piero

Right now I use Chrome, but This is the kind of stuff that kills all the other browsers!

All the OS’s window management should be like this also.

Congrats. Thanks.



Joe

I must say that I was very impressed! Great work


This looks bloody awesome!
I’d like to request an option though, to still have a way of quickly and easily navigating to other tabs outside the group – I group most of my tabs together already, and I like being able to scroll forward or back a bit or CTRL+# to get to the one I want. So sort of a choice between having only group tabs showing or all tabs showing, or perhaps a drop-down list of groups similar to folders in bookmarks, but by clicking on a group name it goes to the first tab or most recently used in that group. My computer isn’t the fastest, so I’d like to have a quick’n'easy way to switch between groups that won’t increase my CPU load.



sedi

I want to be able hide/lock/encrypt tabs that contains personal stuff.. *hint* porns.


I am impressed by your thinking.
I love the idea!

But… wouldn’t you be feeling kinda weird
to see your friend’s personal browsing habits.
I don’t need to know joe’s browsing for midget porn…
but then again, I would love to know what info he’s getting in our common research project…
But … do I need so sit by and watch him all along? or should I simply wait for his good catch on email or IM or twitter or something already in place?

I actually think that apple will bring the next best thing when they will allow “phone calls” to be placed to your email address … that’s the key… link services to an email service…
(like the blackberry will use invisible messages in your inbox for control…) these should be transparent from your emails…

back to tab candy:
it’s easier and more logical to share websites like this… but sharing url’s is already an easy enough solution imho… and it’s not privacy invasive…

I’m a firefox user, and I spread it around. Corporation have a hold-off because of the use of add-ons and bandwidth… (and they don’t want to QC all our applications for another browser… hehe)

but.. keep moving forward . I will most likely use your technology someday and I thank you for that.
-Madlogik


Just out of curiosity – I know that Ubiquity also uses CTRL + SPACE as its shortcut – will this interfere with hte usability of Ubiquity?



ronicolxuo cardon

Firefox addons are primarily written in JavaScript but you should also know HTML and CSS.
http://acaimaxcleansewarning.com


This is awesome! Tabs have been needing a major overhaul to get them up to par with the desktop. With tab candy, it looks like tabs will work even better then virtual desktops.



Tom

Huge! Nice! I am really looking forwards to this ;)



Mark

Very Sweet stuff!

It would be nice if a group displayed the number of tabs present in it. If not implemented in general specifically when the tab is minimized so only the ’stack’ is showing this would be necessary.


This is simply awesome. For the last year or so I been sad to be using Chrome instead of firefox, however I couldn’t justify sticking with the current versions of firefox as they are slower, don’t render custom fonts as well as chrome, don’t have tabs on top, and haven’t supported html5 to the degree that googles Chrome does.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting some innovations to bring me back to the fox and tab candy is it. Backed up with all the other improvements scheduled for v4.

I’m just wondering if there is a shortcut key to bring up the tab dashboard?

Also, does anyone else think it would be neat to be able to assign shortcuts to tab groups? say, ctrl+1, ctrl+2 etc. This would allow for a very streamlined interface to switch between tab groups. (are we calling them tab groups? I feel like calling them workspaces. lol)



Mohamad

is it possible to make Tap Candy for Chrome in the future or is it specific to FF??


You should also be able to set a reminder on a tab – not just “why will i look at this again”, but “when must/should i look at this again”. then, when it is time for the tab to be addressed, it glows or some kind of alert shows up.

thanks this is AMAZING.


I add my voice to those calling for keyboard shortcuts :)

One to summon/dismiss the tabcandy view, and perhaps something to switch between groups. Either Ctrl + # or the equivalent of alt-tab.
But the priority is just one to summon and dismiss.

Thanks for all your work!


    Ah, sorry. It would seem that Ctrl-Space summons/dismisses Tabcandy. I just had that shortcut mapped to something else. My mistake.


Will give it a try, but people aren’t using browsers for organizing tabs. They use ‘em for browsing the web. The described activity takes too much effort IMHO. After testing my mind might change, but so far it’s way too complex and cumbersome.


    Well, he did say it’s alpha. As I say elsewhere, I use TabGroups manager to organize 2000+ tabs and keep track of projects. I don’t see how anyone lives without this functionality.

    This looks like a next step, or a parallel step with new features. I look forward to it.


So what kind of time frame can we expect until this is released in a functional beta version or as an full featured add-on? days, weeks, months? I honestly can’t wait!! Great idea!!!



Ikem

I don’t like to download a browser for something that could be made as an addon.



Ass

or just get chrome and don’t waste all that time



rms

I like this.

Just a simple question: does Firefox now opens tabs like IE? As in, if I open a couple of links in a tab they _won’t_ open in the rightmost tab section, just _next_ to the main (clicked) tab? That would be pretty cool.



Sal

To suggest that tabs are the foundation of information sharing nirvana suggests you might lay off the cool-aid for a few days. Maybe drop down into the bash shell until you rediscover some humility.



Mazer

Leaving tabs open, unread, and using up resources is like leaving books open, stacked in piles on a desk, using up work space while their spines split under the weight. This is why they invented bookmarks in the first place, so you organize your books on the shelf without losing your places in them. I’m sorry, but anything that encourages people to leave dozens of tabs open is an awful idea.

Keep it simple. Giving users a table of thumbnails of open tabs is a great idea, but making them group those tabs is not. If there is some way for those tabs to be grouped automatically then fine, but managing groups shouldn’t take up users’ time or attention in any way.

And as far as the rest, this can be accomplished by improving bookmarks, as opposed to reinventing them and calling them tabs. I’ve always wished that bookmarks included browsing history within them. Your interface is probably more suited to grouping bookmarks than tabs anyway so it’s not like you’ve wasted a lot of work, you’ve just been referring to tabs where you should have been referring to bookmarks instead. So keep up the good work, but get your terms straight.


    Bookmarks — no. I don’t work with bookmarks. I work with pages in front of me. In tabs. That should be the basis of the mnemonic model!

    :)


Tab Candy is not active at Minefield version 4.0b3pre ?


come on, lets be serious, no one uses 100 tabs at the same time !


    See elsewhere– I typically have 2000+. It’s useful. :)



    Brtt

    I always have around 100, be it at home or at the office (and they’re not the same).

    So let’s be serious and figure out all people do things differently.


      I do believe people do things differently and I *am* serious. 2000 is more or less my normal load on a single computer, given my workflow. And it’s very, very, very useful, because I manage to keep everything in tabs, tab groups of tabs, and windows. One project, one tab group of tabs, 30-50 open tabs each with a TASK.



        Brtt

        Uh sure, but my answer (and thus the “serious” part) was for “chrome tips” ^^



r00t4rd3d

Honestly who has that many tabs open ?

You would also need a hefty computer for using that many tabs. 5 of them tabs are java/flash and your gonna going to be able to do crap.



    Tracy

    I routinely have 20+ tabs open- many of which may be youtube or other flash videos downloading simultaneously as I continue to read & research.

    My “hefty” computer? 1.8Ghz, 2GB RAM, Vista- laptop- & it handles it all quite easily.


      Ha! I have a dual processor XP Pro laptop (OK, two of them)– running with 2000+ tabs via TabGroups Manager. :P Since it “suspends” unused groups out of memory, there is not so much of a performance hit on the 200 tabs or so I have active… OK, 300…



    Brtt

    What I said just above.
    For not screwing memory: BarTab.


    Uh, you let random pages on the web run Java or Flash without explicit permission :) :P ?



r00t4rd3d

gonna=not*


Will I be able to “unclose” a tab group the same way I unclose a tab? I often use Ctrl-Shift-T to re-open a tab I accidentally closed; and while tab candy will help me avoid accidentally closing the wrong tab, I wouldn’t want to lose this portion of my workflow when dealing with tab groups.



Greg Brown

Awesome product – and a welcome breakthrough in how people deal with web information. I wrote it up at http://www.47hats.com/2010/07/breakthroughs/



John

So basically what you’re suggesting is to group tabs. While that is a clever way to view the structure. I think what you have done is good if you have a massive number of tabs and groups open, but I think there are more user-friendly ways to go about it for the average user.

You had a button that took you to a separate page where you could manipulate the groups. I would continue to have that visualization, but that only takes place if you like control click or double-click that button. When you normally press the button, (in the browser and without opening anything separate) it moves the existing tabs down and creates a group tab above them that effectively includes all the tabs you currently have open. Then you can drag an existing tab to the group tab and it will create a new group and then everything else similar to what you have done except the only difference is the visualization.

Here’s how it would work: Imagine you have 10 tabs open, 4 about kittens and 6 about cameras. You click the button, it moves the tabs down by the size of one tab and creates a new tab called Group 1 that contains all these ten tabs. You move one of the tabs about cameras to the space next to Group 1 and it creates Group 2 containing this tab. You move back to Group 1 (which only changes the tabs displayed) and select all the camera tabs (using shift/ctrl to select multiple) and drag them to Group 2. If you want you can name the Groups just as you do.

I figure you’ve already done the coding necessary for all this, you just need to change how it works so it could be more streamlined into most users experience.


    Group Tabs: I’m replying to everyone here: TabGroups Manager exists. This has a lot of UI coolness that I look forward to, as well.



    Brtt

    You can also use Tree Style Tabs for a grouping of sort.

    Now if you’re only using a few tabs (like 10 or less), you probably don’t need to use Tab Candy.


this is totally TABULOUS!


How about some images we can click on?


This is a useful add on


This is some awesome stuff. I’m going to try it out on my netbooks and see how well it performs. Those are some great ideas!



Jonathan

I love it! There was a firefox add-on that grouped tabs, and only showed you one group at a time but it’s no longer supported for current versions of firefox. This will make my life so much easier. I use my computer for work and personal life and I often tons of tabs open for each activity but only really want to see one at a time. Thanks guys!



Billco

I never really saw the appeal of tab grouping. If I want to start a new set of tabs, I hit CTRL-N and open a new browser window, however I rarely need to do that unless I’m doing some heavy copy/paste between two browsers or working on a CMS and its output simultaneously.

I know you guys don’t want to hear this, but as a heavy multitasker myself, I say that if you think you need 30 or 40 tabs open, you need to reconsider how you use the browser. Do you really have 30 sessions open and in-progress ? Do you start filling out one form, jump to a new page and start typing on something completely different, ad infinitum ? Or do you focus on one task and let the others sit in line until you’re ready to deal with them ?

What I tend to do is I’ll middle-click a bunch of pages (i.e. on Slashdot or other aggregators), then go through then sequentially, closing each one as I finish reading or interacting with it. I never feel overwhelemed by the tabs, because I treat the tab bar like a queue. I might still go through 40 items, but since they only enter my headspace one-by-one it is trivial to manage. Since I don’t fuss with extraneous OCD gadgetry like this Tab Candy stuff, I am working faster and more efficiently.

As someone who spends most days juggling complex databases and OOP structures in my head, the last thing I need is an overcomplicated browser.



    Brtt

    Your way != the way of everybody else.

    Or if you prefer: the mileage, it does vary.



Willy

Why isn’t this integrated with the current nightlies? I saw that App Tabs made their way onto there (as my build went from b2pre to b3pre today) so I don’t see why this didn’t get added in too. Also, great job Aza love your concepts always bringing great ideas to Mozilla.



frustbox

Quite nice Ideas, but I think tree style tabs could do most of that already.

You get more overview over your open tabs:
* vertical arrangement, less scrolling
* tab “grouping” by having a collapsible tree like structure

Ok, it’s missing the feature to rename groups, but basically its the same concept … in a sidebar.


web pages as files -> web pages manager++ // file manager

>> add notes to a group
>> groups of groups

<< cf. " bartab " firefox addon 4 unloading tabs
<< cf. "Too Many tabs" firefox addon 4 a leveled tabs approach



Andreas John

Sounds great after watching the video.

As some poster noted, ff 4.0 seems to be packed with a lot of good and new features (UI and under the hood)

the concept behind Tab Candy has great potential

An interesting feature would be to utilize shortcuts to access the more often used groups and tabs (like the ctrl- in current firefox)

E.g. the first ctrl- selects the group (indicated by an number in the title) and the second selects the tab within the group.

would be a nice feature for keyboard-junkies like me ;-)

(and reminds me also a bit of quicksilver ;-)



    Andreas John

    Sorry, I meant ctrl-nr. The gt and lt were swallowed…


Very similar to the ideas going into lovelytabs.com



EdGruberman

But does this add on work with multiple browsers on multiple windows?

I want tabs in tabs in windows on each monitor. Then I could truly unleash my 64-bit, OCd, water-cooled beast so it could keep up with my ADHD properly.

I think this add on will get me a raise at work. There is no refuting how much more productive I will become with so many tabs open and organized at one point in time.



Yi

How do I download and install this?


Oh my god, I installed it… and it’s extremely easy to use with the ctrl+space shortcut. THanks a lot!!!!



    JB

    How did you download; which link did you click on when at the index page? sorry I’m new…



Andrew

Very nice.
This multispacial platform, semantic stuff and that ‘time saving’ on it remembers me the concept of the CubeZilla concept, winner on the 2009 Mozilla Design Wards: http://www.faberludens.com.br/en/node/1669
But it has a more simple interface than the 3D interface of Cubezilla.



jimmy

Just to let you know my build just updated itself, and I lost my tab candy. Which is really depressing, because already it had changed the way I use the browser dramatically.



B W

Awesome! Just awesome! Metatabs ftw! I REALLy like the idea of an elegant tab grouping solution for iPhone if that’s on the cards… Sharing a browsing session with a friend in real time will be seriously phenomenal. At this moment I am juggling around 20 tabs on my notebook; this is the feature I’ve been waiting for!



JB

when going to the index page for the download which link do i go to for the tab candy feature?



Bernardo

Totally loved it!! Keep the awesome work.



Tracy

Fabulous (or should I say, “Tabulous”?) idea!!!

I might just have to create a VM to test it out…very, very good idea & excellent video showing the app working- kudos!


It’s great to have all these webpages open and ready to click on at any second, but it’s a nightmare to try and remember where each is with so many open



Kama

As someone who has 71 tabs opened currently, this would be immensely helpful. I have no idea how I accumulated so many, but I must suffer from infoguilt as well. Ctrl+Space seems like it would interfere with Ubiquity, though. I can’t wait until this makes it into Firefox proper, but unfortunately it seems like it’ll be a while since it’s not even scheduled for 4.0.


    71!?! That’s nothing. Should I send you a screenshot with TabGroups manager? Lessee. 18+15+40+6+4+23+17+3+33+17+28+32+13+12+20+34.

    That’s the count for each tab Group I have in THIS WINDOW. I don’t know how anyone works without this. How… could you possibly…

    :)



      Kama

      Hey, I wasn’t trying to show off. I occasionally prune what I have opened. But even with that number, it can be unwieldy. I’m also using a 5 year old laptop and a relatively poor internet connection, so I prefer to keep resource consumption down for that reason as well. Maybe I’ll try out that add-on until TabCandy becomes more mature.



RobZ

First, I have to say that this is great idea. But I think it can be improved even further.

I have been thinking about this concept for awhile (although I have been too lazy to prototype it) and for me the missing piece to make this a truly killer feature is the way you activate the tab candy.

Currently tab candy is treated as a different mode. You have to press Ctrl+Space or click on a button in the toolbar. Both actions is an additional step outside from the typical flow of reading pages, opening new tabs and selecting tabs to view.

What if you instead treat pages, tabs, tab groups, tab group groups and beyond as different zoom levels and using the scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

Now, the scroll wheel is of course already used for scrolling but can be used for zooming by holding the right mouse button or some other button / gesture / location sensitive combination.

Scrolling the mouse wheel is a pure relative motion and can be performed much easier and quicker than the absolute motions of pressing Ctrl+Space (moving your hand to the keyboard and finding the keys ) or clicking a button in the toolbar (moving the cursor from the page up to the toolbar, clicking and then moving the cursor down again to the main window).

It is my belief that the relative motion of scrolling the mouse wheel is so natural and quick that activating tab candy this way enables the tab candy view to replace the tab list and Tree Style Tab as the way to select tabs.

Imagine if you could hold right mouse button and scroll down on the mouse wheel to “zoom out” to the tab candy view to quickly view thumbnails of currently open tabs. Move pointer over the tab to open and scroll up on the mouse wheel or press the left mouse button. After selecting the page the mouse cursor is still in the main page instead of the toolbar or Tree Style Tab sidebar.

Isn’t that easier than first scanning for the tab you want in a list, then moving the cursor of the page, aim at a thin strip, click and then move the cursor page to the page.

You want to open a page in another tab group? Scroll down some more on mouse wheel for a even more zoomed out view where you see all the tab groups. Move you mouse over the tab group, scroll mouse wheel up to zoom into the tab group and select the page.

You can take this even further by applying the ideas of previous posters to treat tab groups the same as bookmark folders and bookmarks as unopened tabs.

We can do away with one dimensional bookmark and tab lists and give users a three dimensional space to easier select and organize both tabs and bookmarks in.

The key aspect of the zooming is that it has to be easy and I believe scrolling the mouse wheel is the easiest mouse action. Simpler than both clicking and moving the mouse. Scrolling the mouse wheel is all relative movement while moving the mouse is an absolute movement where you have to aim for a specific location. Scrolling the mouse
also requires less tension than pressing a mouse button. Compare clicking while moving the mouse with using the mouse wheel while moving the mouse.


    Absolutely. Tab Candy should not be another mode or multi-mode; it should be the way of browsing! See Jef Raskin :)



    David Regev

    Well said!

    Even if you make it trivial to zoom in and out, though, the two modes will still remain. In zoomed-in page mode, ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ mean to scroll the visible part of the page within its box; in any other zoom level, they mean to scroll the entire canvas. Similarly, in page mode, ‘Zoom’ refers to the resizing elements within the fixed width of the page; in Tab Candy mode, it refers to zooming the entire canvas. Basically, the problem is that pages are contained within a container. In full-fledged ZUIs (such as Aza’s own ZoomWorld demo), pages are laid out in full on the canvas without a scrollbar. In such an environment, ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ always mean the same thing, regardless of the zoom level, and changing the size of elements is done by resizing the page in one direction.

    The negative side-effect of this non-modal model, however, is that pages take up much more vertical space on the canvas, thus making navigation within it harder. I’m not sure if there’s a good solution, other than to keep that partially-modal model that you’re requesting.


      Scalable Fabrics, anyone?

      But yes, partial-modal is probably it. I never side 100% with Jef, anyway.


    Here here! That would be awesome!



Theodore Lytras

This is one of the awsomest piece of software technology that I’ve seen in quite a long time!
It is a killer feature, and I can’t wait for it to mature and be included in Firefox stable release…


Cool! Technology is really getting very high now. Can u just imagine how life is getting easier with the help of gadgets like this.. Small but terrible. Just amazing. I’ll keep an update on the release. Two thumbs up for the students!

-Lisa Allojum
http://twitter.com/lisaallojum


I really love this idea! People are always commenting on how many tabs I keep open when I’m working and it’s become somewhat of a joke around here. This is perfect for me and others like myself who use a lot of tabs.

I was also thinking about how awesome and easy it will be to keep my clients work separated using tab candy.

It kind of reminds me of the way my iPad operates in the Safari OS and I do hope this is something that we’ll see available for Google Crome in the near future.

Great Job! Love it and can’t wait to see it develop.



Insulttoinjury

Grouped tabs? Ok, sounds a good idea. Sharing them… yeah ok but only occasionally. But, why the Apple(Trademark) format? That’s not going to look great on my meticulously chosen non-Apple PC. Don’t we already have bookmark folders that can open all at once? Can’t you just repackage that? I suppose this will be another enforced update too will it? It’s an Add-on? Try opening less tabs and fixing the performance of the browser as a priority. And “Read-it-later”, see here http://www.instapaper.com



Ryan

This is cool but seems like a lot of work for a user to name tabs.

Why not automatically via semantics create tab groups? I.e. If Im searching for cameras and I go to X page about cameras which leads me to another site about cameras or i do another search – automatically create a tab candy for this camera iNternet surfing activity.

Users are lazy, even tech savvy Firefox/Chrome users.

I can see this being also a cool way to view bookmark a la Chrome’s most visited sites.



LRN

Does it work with Minefield 4.0b3pre? Please? Pretty please? I don’t care if it’s slow, or that you can’t search (as long as that new Minefield “switch to tab” feature keep working) – that’s the most awesome feature EVER. I just DIG IT!



Alfred

I find Firefox TabKit add-on to be the perfect solution to all the tab issues you mention here, and it takes significant less effort.


    TabKit, last I looked at it, was awkward and took up a lot of screen space. You might want to glance at TabGroups Manager. Tab Candy also looks promising!



Armozel

I’m not sure where this idea will lead, but here’s my question. Do you see any way this will be integrated into the bookmarks and history functions? Because for me, I’m trained to use those things and not tab so much. I think tab candy is going to need that further integration to get other people to enjoy the functionality it offers. Just food for thought…



Tony

That look really great! I have a some concerns though. First, does publishing this early give Microsoft too much of a head start? Firefox’s tab browsing probably in important feature that cause IE to lose market share.

I really like the groups. But, I want to be able to switch to the group with one click instead of multiple. That is why I bring up multiple Firefox windows that group different topics. Maybe you can have a task bar at the bottom where I can switch between the groups.

I also have a concern with stability. If one window has too many tabs then that hurts that window, but I can move things to another window. If all tabs are in one window that can cause more stability problems. If you need to restart the browser or it become unstable, you need an easy way to recover from that. Right now I use the session manager add on. When I bring up a lot of closed tabs it takes a long time bring up the tabs and they don’t all load. Your group concept might cause similar issues.

Lastly, I am using Firefox 3.6.3 on a 1280 X 1024 MS Windows screen. I can’t see the 5 right most characters in this form despite the window being maximized and there is no horizontal scroll bar. Please resolve that on this page. It is very confusing. Thanks.



gdfgfdgfd

There has to be a point soon when you will realise you are spending more time managing your tabs than actually using the things.

This concept is ridiculous, it’s like the Rube Goldberg machine of UI design. Why don’t you just open a sensible amount of tabs, or make a new window instead of this ridiculous overly engineered idea.

I mean you keep saying it’s easy to manage yet you are spending several seconds just to change a tab.


    Gosh, I love hearing this.

    I’m a busy guy. I have many projects in many areas in many languages. Using tabs and tab groups to track and respond is simply natural.

    And I hate naysayers.



      Brtt

      Seems like people love to “rate down” things they will never use…


Howdy.

I’m using TabGroups Manager at this point. Using that, I normally have hundreds or thousands of tabs open in many groups, one for each project or subproject. You might wish to take a glance at it.



Tommy

And doesn’t this overlap with the Bookmarks? Will there be any integration with bookmarks?

Never the less, a very cool feature set! Good luck!



Manu

What an awesome piece of software! I started using it right away, and now I’m addicted to it.

In my opinion, 100+ times better than Tab Mix and other extensions for us tab-junkies. Very useful, and very usable.

Thank you very much, gentleman.


Awesome tool I love it! I wish it could do 3D in a similar manner to Safari on the Mac – that looks really cool.



Abhijith

Wow! Really looking forward to this! Great idea!


Looking forward to a stable release for 3.x. Looks awesome!



Rafel

I hardly believe many of you… 70, 200… tabs at the same time… For what I see here at my environment, people looks at the same time at 2-3 web sites, not more.
70..200 web sites at the same time… I know it is not the same, but try reading 30 newspapers at the same time… doesn’t it make more sense to start with one and go on one by one until the end?



    Brtt

    Then again, just because it’s your way of doing things doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to do the same.

    You don’t seem to suffer (or even understand the concept of) infoguilt, so be happy, enjoy your 3 tabs, and in general, don’t comment on things you don’t understand, or even worse, that you don’t have a use for.


      If it’s not useful to me, no one else should have it, either! :) Down with everyone else!



0xSignus

I love your work,and I think Tab Candy is spectacular! It’s great for managing all of tabs which I have tried establishing my own “system” in which to do so, but I find yours much more efficient and very well coded (unlike mine).

But any App Tabs that you make show up in any of your tab sets, when I would like App Tabs to stay in their respective tab sets so that I can have functionality as well as keeping a neat look. Now you may already be making that fix, but I thought I might as well include that idea on top of praising your fine work.

May the Force be with you.


So, like Tim (#10291) my first thought was also that this duplicates capabilities offered by multiple browser windows. And this is, in fact, how I use browser windows — each tends to be task/subject specific, and I arrange them on the monitor in a consistent way each time.

However, Tab Candy shows the potential for greatly improving on using windows. For example, naming groups. Or (very useful) searching across groups (3:28 in video). And the Tab Candy workspace is much more scalable than when using windows. (More than 4 windows start becoming unwieldy.) You can move tabs between groups more easily, and arrange them more easily. And the interface offers a lot more promise, as you demonstrate.

I was also initially skeptical because it reminded me of Exposé, which seems like a great idea in principle, but after 3 years on OS X, just doesn’t work for me in practice. Mainly due to how it defeats muscle memory. By making the Tab Candy workspace user-defined, it avoids this problem.

However, some things still bother me. One is how it still doesn’t solve the subliminal task-switching conundrum I blogged about here:
http://blog.isotoma.com/2010/05/solving-the-real-alt-tab-problem/
(In response to one of your posts.) Again, to switch between tabs using Tab Candy, you’re forced to look away from what you’re doing, and focus on first a button, then a workspace, before getting to the tab you want. There’s no hotkey that can flip between your current tab and the last one you used. Or with two keypresses, the current one and the one-before-last.

One advantage Windows has over Mac is that you can actually Alt-Tab between browser windows, so that way, for example, I can easily hop between a bug ticket tab and the window containing the related web page. This gives an added advantage to using additional browser windows, in Windows anyway.

I’d still like to see you address these issues — whether through Tab Candy or another Firefox enhancement.



Deepak

its good for every internet user


Aza, I hope you read the comments. As it stands now TabCandy lacks any integration with the structure of the browsing experience. Right now we have windows containing tabs. It’s a primitive structure, but a clear one.
TabCandy tries to add one more layer: Windows containing tabgroups, containing tabs. The problem is that it mixes up the order; it’s not at all clear that the window contains multiple tab groups. In fact, since the button opens something resembling a page, it looks as if the tab contained the tabgroup which is well, messed up.

I know it’s not easy, but if this is supposed to make any sense it has to be clear that the set of tabs currently visible are children of the tabgroup. And that means that the tabgroup can’t be a separate interface (how much sense does it make if the top [window] and lowest [tabs] points of the hierarchy are visible, but the middle ones [tabgroups] are not?

If the tabgroups were visible above the tabbar and scroll out on click it wouldn’t be nearly as flashy, but a lot clearer.


Great work! I really appreciate a release of this one. It just looks like a real usability improvement, just like browser tabs themselves has been.

But I am unsure about the grouping-feature. Grouping things is like putting files to a directory. As with files, it might happen that a user wants to have a grouped website appearing in other groups as well. Would not be tagging a more web-like approach to this element-organizing problem?

Regards!


Yet another Emacs feature added to Firefox ;)



saif

doesnt seem to work. downloaded the the 8mb version from the win folder but nothing. it just opend my current version of firefox



mike

hey Aza what happened to the New Tab page project for Firefox… you were working on that but there hasn’t been an update in ages..

Firefox needs to have a New Tab page! and you are the man to make it!!!



daniel

is it possible to save your tab sets?



NoiseMaker

Cool! Especially the future.


…Spent 10 years of my life trying to bring a serious tree-map interface into the industry. Alas had no success… and went on to do other things. I have a paper that describes step by step a huge amount of features combining into a whole file-web tree-map system. Will be more than happy to send you the paper, for maybe it will help someone at last… The basic ‘devils advocate’ against a serious Tree-Map app or Tree-Map sys will say that he doesn’t want to learn all this new visual language, because of all sort of learning curves and stuff, and that he’d rather go to a search box and enter the same queries again and again. It took me a lot of sweat and blood to go against such a reasoning. All the best. Keep in touch if you want me to send you papers and info from the work I have done in this field. All the best. May the force be with you… (-; Roi.



    Zinahe

    Roi,

    Your document seems to be very interesting by it’s own. Why not share it to all anyway ?

    Regards,

    Zinahe


    Roi,

    Ten? I only spent two! and I wanted it in 3D…



HOH

Excellent job Aza !

That is the Firefox 4 I want to see, the true revolution.

It would also be nice to merge bookmarks and tabs.

I am looking forward to your project !


Hi Aza,

I just saw your introduction to Tab Candy and it was great! That´s really stuff users need! And I thoúght that you might need some help working on it. Though I´m not a programmer, i might help in Internationalization and localization. I´m studying Englisch at the University of Frankfurt(Germany). I think that I might translate documentation and stuff (wherever words need to be translated). I would really appreciate if you contact me.

Greetings from germany!

Andrew



Brtt

Nice idea.

I’ll cross my fingers hoping we’ll ultimately be able to rearrange tabs within a group (for the time being it seems a bit erratic), and also have something like BarTab to go easy on memory.
I, for one, don’t like the idea of having switched-off groups’ tabs removed from memory (not sure it’s on the planning though).
It probably has to do with the potential issues when switching between different groups.

The main interest (and main flaw as well) of Tree Style Tabs is having all the tabs in sight (providing you managed your nesting efficiently).
I’d love to see something that easy from Tab Candy in the future (since it doesn’t seem that way right now).


Even after two days I re-use it on purpose! Great! Sorry, I only like to say thanks. I honestly hope this will be part of the official release. Keep up being oustanding!



Mary

Tab candy is excellent for doing research online. I can separate pages by topic and easily tuck away a new-found page for when I get to that topic. I think you might have found the cure for my research ADD!


Nice work! Finally someone has taken action. I am downloading as we speak and will get back to you with suggestions if needed, but your video covered everything I could think of at the moment. Can I please get email updates? I saw that you have a Twitter account, but I don’t use Twitter. Please get back to me ASAP. Thanks!



Saif

anyone got a download link?

when I download this (below)

http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/tryserver-builds/edward.lee@engineering.uiuc.edu-4d7c7a3c5ac2/tryserver-win32/firefox-4.0b3pre.en-US.win32.installer.exe

it downloads an 8.6mb file called minefield, which I install but then it opens up my regular installed firefox version (v 3.5.1) not 4.0
Also, the tabs are the same old ones.

thanks



Brooke

I’ve been obsessing over Tabcandy since seeing it on a blog this morning. Since seeing the video, I am finding it really hard to resist the pull to recommit myself to Firefox (I’ve been dedicated to Chrome for a while now) simply for this one feature.
Kudos, sir, kudos. Redefining the Tabs genre.


Great! pursue your ideas. :)



Zinahe

Guys, this is brilliant !!! I definitely see myself using this quit a lot. This the next revolution is browser technology. Congratulations. You did it.

Zinahe A.


It’s amazing! Very good idea, grouping tabs… I think. :)



phong

broken in firefox 4.0 beta release.



Jeromy

I like Tab Candy in some ways but not in others. I believe the added task of organizing the tabs is not a feature I would use often. I think the ability to intuitively link the tabs together based on some logic of “if I click on a link from this page and it opens a new tab, that tab will automatically be grouped with this tab”. Also note that not everyone configures Firefox to open a new tab with every click. I hope this is helpful feedback.

v/r
Jeromy



jmc

This looked to be an eyecandy-fest-but-ultimately-useless function when i first saw it.

I tried it and it is fantastic! Great job! I’m really hoping this gets implemented in the next versions of firefox.

I know this is in the beginning stages but I’d like to give some feedback/suggestion:
When working on a group of tabs, i.e., a particular subject, I’ll have a lot of google search tabs open looking for webpages. Google and other searches are hard to identify and distinguish because the pages/thumbnails are so similar, and the thumbnails themselves don’t really give any information about what’s on the page, so i’ll have to check the title.
Perhaps it would be possible to “simplify” the searches inside a tab group by showing only the searched text instead of the thumbnail.
Another thing, but this would possibly defeat the purpose of tab reordering, it might be useful to show where a certain tab came from, as most tabs are hyperlinks from other tabs. Although the concept of subgroups is to be applied, some of these tabs will be single and won’t expand after that, and knowing where it comes from gives it automatic context.

That said, this is a great feature and I’m looking forward to the future of firefox and particularly your involvement in it!



M.

THAT is the direction I want Firefox to go.
Firefox 4 looks really promising, keep working!



Hthr

This looks brilliant. I’m fastidious with my tabs simply as a way of managing “info guilt” or overload – but I hate trying to remember where I saw something during project development that I didn’t keep up. “History” rarely helps in rediscovering the webpage and Bookmarks don’t compare to visual or spatial memory.

Apple’s Expose is one of it’s best features, it’s about time the idea moved to the web.

Mainly, I’m super excited about the potential for drag and drop sharing of webpages with other online users – it’s so intuitive and something I’ve been wanting to be able to do … forever! No more emailing, chatting or texting links – just drop! Awesome.



Chris Thomas

Well, I tried tab candy and I am a huge fan.. unfortunately the install on my mac just stopped working altogether, and no error or anything to explain why. I open the program and nothing loads up. I have it installed at work on my XP computer and it works fine(it is just much slower on the windows machine). I have been looking for a troubleshooting section, or a place to report errors, and I haven’t really been able to find any

Feel free to contact me at my e-mail if I just missed the place to report the issue or need specific software/hardware specs. As I said it worked great, but only lasted about 4 days and no matter how I remove it(I have even used appzapper to delete any related files) when I reinstall it the same issue is there.

I am not sure if it an issue with tab candy or the beta build of firefox, but I can’t find anything from them that would say it is specifically the browser.

Also, another annoying point of having it integrated into the browser is that the entire time I had it installed it wanted to install an update that does NOT have tab candy, so having autoupdate disabled by default, or only being notified about beta updates that include tab candy would make sense as that is the only reason I would use it..

None of this is really a complaint, if anything I want it back asap, it made it possible to navigate everything I have open so much easier(I usually have 100+ tabs open at all times, and not over info guild, but as you showed in the video it is because of research, future tasks, some things I use daily, social networks, etc.)

Regards.



GaryK

That’s exactly what I’ve always wanted to be able to do! You’re right on the money! :)



Mishit

Simply Awesome idea ! Like they way you present.

BTW after downloading MineFiled for Windows I updated it HELP–>Check For Updates. It removed the Tab Canday from the browser. Could be BUG.



    Stephane

    I think it’s because Tab Candy is built into the binaries Aza provides. When you update Minefield, you change the binaries to the latest, which don’t have Tab Candy built in.



      Mishit

      yeah could be. I guess we won’t have such problem once we move on from Alfa. Thanks anyways.



CBDunkerson

Love what you have done so far and the planned future expansions sound even more useful.

However, there is one seemingly obvious expansion which wasn’t mentioned… everything that is currently done on the separate ‘group page’ ought to be possible in the normal tabs window. That is, you ought to be able to display some or all of the groups as tabs, you should be able to drag one tab and drop it onto another to create or add to a group, tabs in a group ought to be draggable to the tab bar to ‘move them up a level’, et cetera.

If you think about it the same sort of separate page could have been used instead of tabs in the first place. All the same benefits apply… you then would have a two dimensional space for organizing lots of tabs and not see as much of the clutter as we currently get with all tabs on one line. However, the reality is that most people don’t have that many tabs open… and now with tab candy very few people will have that many GROUPS open. For most people a one dimensional tab bar is plenty of positional memory… their news tab is first on the left, then the current project, then whatever. By all means, keep the two dimensional page for the people who need it… but you should also see the wisdom behind the original tab design and that it still applicable to tab groups. Many users will never have enough tabs/groups to need to organize them two dimensionally… so don’t make them perform that extra click every time they want to use the grouping features.



gab

Genial!



Anonymous

Aza, is this build self contained? Will this take on the native UI in Windows & Linux like the in-content preferences UI in the planning stages?

I feel that you guys need to patent this before one of the big three do. HTC doesn’t have a portfolio to defend itself. Google just stole Bing’s sidebar layout and Images search. Apple stole the calendar app from the Courier and I can’t think of anything Microsoft have stolen in the last decade that they didn’t change enough to make their own.



    Anonymous

    On second thought, a patent for this may help later on, but I don’t think it would stop anyone doing this. Nor should it, I just hope that people remember it was Mozilla who came up with this, because many people are ill informed as to the “innovations” of Chrome.



Stephane

I just installed minefield release you posted and while the tab candy icon is present, clicking on it does nothing. What could be causing tab candy to not execute?



Callidy

Hi all,

This looks fantastic. But I need some help.

I’m having trouble figuring out which download will work for my computer/OS. I’m running Windows Vista (unfortunately) and I tried downloading the win32 version because it looked to be the most compatible with what I’m running. I installed minefield, but whenever I try to open it, I receive a message that says “This application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log for more detail.”

I’m very confused. My grandparents consider me to be tech-savvy, but when it comes to the world of programing, I’m completely lost. I want to be able to try running this while it’s in the alpha stage, but I don’t know how. Can someone help me please?



P7h

I installed Firefox Minefield 4.0b3pre (from the link above) on Windows XP (32 bit). It does not seem to be working. Neither clicking on the icon nor Tab Candy on the menu displays this Candy.
Are there issues in this build?



Mishit

I do not know what’s the purpose for RESET in tab sets but it is behaving weird. I am loosing my tab sets if I click on RESET button. BUG ??



Mishit

It will good to see the feature to RESTORE the entire TAB SET in one click if we close them accidentally.



duberry

These features are kinda cool but useless. I don’t know anybody that has 30 tabs open at once. If you do, then you need to work on your organizational skills.


Aza, can we add this to 3.6? Will it build from there?



Alejandro

Having Problems with Gmail… also, does anybody know a shortcut to the tab dashboard?



Adrian

In the video you had addressed a browsers issues with memory overloading. Wanted to throw out something. How about keeping only the active group’s tabs as active web pages. The rest are grouped, however they are just bitmaps saved in the temporary files with hotlinks activated once you open the group – kinda like opening a whole folder of bookmarks, however you can only have “open” the lowest group pages at a time.
To manage the group pictures and scalability of those pictures for broader groups – mipmap the bmp’s of the page when the groups are being viewed. If you have designated mipmap sizes for each group level (and at some point just disappearing cuz who wants to see 1 pizel) you would save considerably on memory that way also.
For scalability on overhead and file size, that should work. Can’t wait to see the end product!!!!


In Feb 4, 2007 I wrote in mozillazine:

«First of all : I love tabs, so many suggestions are about tabs.
suggestion 2: We can put tabs on groups (in a separate button) so restore them all in once (so we have our debug, stores, search or news groups of tabs)
suggestion 3:Opening Firefox will not refresh all tabs, refreshing should come if you go to a tab or press ‘refresh all tabs’ button
suggestion 4:Firefox should ask for our main password at start, so if anyone cames and we want to visit a forum will not see our main password.
New suggestion #9:Group of tabs. Tabs with different session memory, thus grouped. – Example : I have 4 forums to look at everyday and 4 bank accounts to manage. I don’t mind if somebody cames and steals forums passwords, but I do for my bank accounts. So grouping them could be a solution. This is just like having 2 different instances of FF and manage them.»

Candy is the solution.
Congrats my friend!


awesome, gonna love it



Benjamin

I love tab candy but is there a way that I could install it on firefox 4.0 beta 2 like an addon, without installing minefield?



    Minhquan Nguyen

    There isn’t a way yet to do that. The developer has stated that for the alpha version of Tab Candy, it will not be an extension, just an application included into a (semi-)unstable build of Firefox 4.



      Benjamin

      Okey thanks anyway.
      Btw, tabcandy doesn’t work with firefox 4.0 beta 2, I installed minefield with tab candy but when I click on tabcandy it doesn’t do anything…



TygrBright

I’m not a developer or coder or any variety of geek, just a reasonably non-technophobic end user who likes stuff that makes my work easier. Here’s how I see using this:

I’m working on a project: A presentation that can be customized on the fly by letting different audiences vote on “chapters” to be included in that day’s workshop. So I’m researching maybe 10, 15 or so topic groupings for each chapter. The presentation is delivered in person with a live browser running in the background, so that when I get to (for example) the chapter on “Financial Reporting” I can quickly go from the presentation slide to the browser with various pages ready to look at (“Here’s a site that covers regulations for X category of reports really well.”)

To accomplish this now, I’m setting up and running multiple browser windows, one for each chapter that MIGHT be voted on by the audience at the beginning of the workshop session. In each one, I’m opening all the bookmarks currently saved and grouped for that chapter.

This is klutzy because I can’t readily see from all the thumbnails of browser windows which chapter is which, and have to take valuable presentation time to organize them.

I can see having tab groupings with chapters all set up, and titled, and just zinging right onto that. Love it!

I would ESPECIALLY love it, if I could save tab groups like I save bookmark folders. It would be so much more convenient to simple open a browser window and go to my Tools>Tab Groups menu and click on a titled tab group and have ALL of those sites open at once, in tabs, ready for me to use.

I am not at the level of understanding builds, and I am on a 64-bit Windows OS, so I’m reluctant to try an alpha download. However, when you have a beta version ready to go I would be thrilled to have a chance to test it out!



Johel Kbo

I like it (tab candy)



Al Chirico

I just viewed your Tab Candy presentation and I just had to say 2 things; Tab Candy is an amazing, innovative enhansment to web browsing that’s been long overdue and that your presentation was very well done.

Nice job overall.



raja

hi, beautiful idea loved it , honestly this is wats been missing, but apart from my congrats wat i was wondering about was yur ideas abt its future if one does go to that extent, referring to the last part of the video presentations, wont it make the system slow, cumbersome. basically wat i was sayin was to keep it simple streamlined and not rely jst on faster processors and systems, but on faster and leaner software code. but all in all this is gonna change the browser scene, u r on a winner here mate a real winner , cheers


I couldn’t get it to work for me when I downloaded it a couple of different times, but I’m very excited about Tab Candy and WANT IT and NEED IT NOW!!! So hurry!



Kevin

A few suggestions for Tab Candy:

1. Say you’re too lazy to click the Tab Candy button or make tab groups. Why not have the ability to make a grid of premade tab groups (like workspaces in Mac/Linux) and have the ability to use keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + Left/Right/Up/Down Arrow to switch groups? You already have the Spaces aspect of virtual desktops implemented for browser tabs as Tab Candy’s current functionality.

2. Options should be added to each tab’s right click menu to allow moving the tab to a certain tab group, and have it disappear from the current group. Analogous to windows on my Linux box.



    Chris Thomas

    I sort of think that your first idea could be implemented easier and smoother than the way it is being done with tab candy. If you open a window for each “category”, then put each window in its own spaces window, we could switch between them all with much less memory issues associated directly with the way this has been developed. It would be great if he could work out a system like that since the way it is being done now has so many issues.. I may use that very idea until something more stable comes of this :) Thanks for bringing up the thought!



Guest

Почему комменты только на английском?? Россияне ау!



Chris Thomas

It is odd, I couldn’t get it to work on my mac no matter what I did, so I started using normal firefox again, and when it crashed, I went to use minefield again and it worked. I noticed that each time my primary firefox was trying to update or when it had issues, tab candy would stop working.

Also, I liked someones comment about storing tabs as a jpg or whatnot, I think that is something similar to what google chrome does to keep memory usage down, and that could combat the problem I was having speed wise.. it became incredibly slow. It also seems that the longer I leave it open, the slower it got, and in the end for my mac to perform correctly I had to do a reboot.

A simple idea would be for it to use the bookmarks toolbar as a way to access categories, once my tabs are organized I would gladly just use that to access categories! I have never understood why we can scroll thru tabs, but they didn’t make the bookmarks toolbar scrollable too?

Last thought– An automated process of taking tabs that you have organized and bookmarking them to a folder, then being able to switch categories that way(your current tabs would go into a folder, and new tabs would open) would keep memory usage issues at bay, and speed wise it could compete with the current way of switching which is a bit slow.

All in all, I like it.. but usability is an issue to the point I can’t use it. I really think that tab-candy could be it’s own browser, and that trying to make firefox perform this way is where all the slowness comes from. If this was being done with google chrome, I could see it working alot smoother, but all in all, this COULD be a NEW browser all together, built to work this way specifically..

Keep up the good work, but I hope you are reading the feedback/ideas here as some of them could not only make it a better final product, but more useable in general.

Regards,
Chris


Hi, I’m a photographer in Russia now, but I used to be a designer for quite a few years. And i have a question. Is there any techincal problem standing in the way of the following feature: let tabs group by hierarchy. I’ve opened google, searching for a camera, then i went to few sites, and there for some more websites and so on, but i still seach for camera. Why should I drag tabs here and there, when it is obvious i’m on a task? I’t easy to distinguish task – when I open a new blank (or home) tab or bookmark myself (myslef means via bookmark menu, toolbar or typing in adress bar) – it means I start a new task, and all the tabs from now on should go in a new group for this task. I think this feature should be perfect addition to your excellent addon. At the same time I will always have opportunity to interfere via tab candy.

Thank you!



Jim

That was a brilliant idea having an update that gets rid of Tab Candy. The automatic update removed Tab Candy completely.



Philipp

Integrate group sharing with giver (http://code.google.com/p/giver/) would be awesome!
Just imagine how intuitive sharing work in the office might get … no emails, IM msgs anymore with links!



Eric Kolotyluk

Tab Candy is the best thing since tabs. I really hope it makes it to the Firefox 4 release. Things still seem a bit shaky so I hope the focus will be on stabilizing things before adding more features.



GekFrk

Simply genious, but I think performance will kill the effort.


Love this idea. I’m a mac user and love spaces – so this is perfect.



Anthony Deschamps

Tab Candy is a great idea, but App Tabs are great as well, because my important tabs like email and calendar are always there. It would be great if, whatever tab group you are in, your App Tabs always show up (or at least give us the option). So App Tabs wouldn’t belong to any tab group, but rather be separate from the whole system.



adrien

Sorry but is it something else than a full-screen bookmark manager? I mean, what’s the difference between having a tab open or not at that point when you have hundreds open?



J.Mattos

Fenomenal Idea. I will install and I will give you my considerations and suggestions.

Thank you for your development.


Tab/Task grouping is super important. I’m not sure a solution this complex is really the best way to do it though. It seems to me there are simpler, less intrusive solutions to this problem, that would cause less clutter.



Abhishek

TabCandy is awesome ………. is it available for Chrome ?


Option-Space on the Mac

Using option-space on the Mac is not the best of all ideas, it is already the default Mac shortcut for non-breaking spaces:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=587505



Daniel

Is there any binary of Tab Candy available for the Solaris/SPARC platform ?

Kind regards.
Daniel



Paul

Right ON!

Just what I was looking for – I also suffer from having 20-30 tabs open at once and I use them just like you showed in the Video!!!

Thank you!!!

Paul



Ireland5

PLEASE add captions to the video about the new tab candy in Firefox!!
Thank you.



shmithers

I dont want any of this tab candy BULL CRAP!!! Give me tree style tabs integration!


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