From the sounds of it, Firefox has just perfected the browser’s tab management UI.
A new feature called Tab Candy is in the works. It’s still early in testing mode, as Mozilla’s Aza Raskin points out on his blog today, but it looks to be exactly what I need.
Another favorite feature is that Tab Candy effectively collapses different windows inside of one, so when you’re looking at one group, your others are waiting inside the switching interface. Sure you can open a new window if you need multiple Firefox windows open at once, but most of the time you don’t need the extra clutter. Currently Tab Candy has a few hiccups in use, and there’s not much I can see for keyboard friendliness yet, but it’s promising.
All of the symptoms covered in this video—50 tabs open at once, scrolling endlessly through said tabs, information guilt—these are all things I suffer from every day, and I’ve long yearned for a better way to navigate all those tabs. Tab Candy, offering an expose-style overview of all the stuff you have open, is pretty much exactly the solution I had been dreaming of.
Raskin says that this is only the beginning: features such as universal tab search, save for later, advanced tab memory management, automatic tab group assignments, multiple profile support and tab group customization are eventually coming to tab management tool.
Because Tab Candy is an early alpha prototype, the only feature this build includes is the tab group management. You can test it out now though through an early build of Firefox 4 Beta. Tab Candy is not an extension.
The web and the browser have evolved due to the rise of cloud computing and the creation of highly-functional web apps, but tabs have remained pretty much the same for the last few years. While extensions such as Tree Style Tab have addressed some of the issues surrounding tabbed browsing, they don’t redefine the experience as Tab Candy does. We’re going to be watching this project very closely.
I haven’t been able to play around with this feature yet, but it looks cool and anything that pushes the boundaries of what a browser can and should be, how it interacts with the information of the internet, then hells yes. I’m behind that.