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Show HN: Tabbie, a tab manager for Google Chrome (github.com)
73 points by hharnisch on Dec 30, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 53 comments

I use Toby (https://www.gettoby.com/) for this and it's simply brilliant*

*Add The Great Suspender (https://github.com/deanoemcke/thegreatsuspender) if you have a tab-hoarding problem

I find Tab Snooze (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tab-snooze/pdiebia...) to be better for my tab hoarding needs. I feel that if I wanted to organize all my tabs I would just use bookmarks to do so rather than Toby. With Tab Snooze, tabs will automatically recall themselves on a set schedule - once or recurring - or "someday" randomly which is fun. I did install Great Suspender which will also help me a lot.

Nice - would be super interesting if I could snooze at work and open at home!

Nice shout out for Toby, it's a really great product!

Toby has a bunch of features that I didn't use in my workflow and I found them getting in the way at times. Nothing wrong there at all, just intended for a different set of use cases.

What's the business model of Toby?

I was going to ask the same - I read their Privacy Policy (https://www.gettoby.com/privacy) and it made me a bit uneasy. I decided not to install.

I always found treasure in HN comments, Thanks for Toby


* Super simpe, I like it

* Nice colorful icon easy to spot


* save all tabs by default, I honestly never even heard you could "select" tabs (ctrl click) and never used it until I found out it wasnt working and tried ctrl clicking tabs before saving them. Even after learning it I think it's a hassle for me to do that extra step. Logically speaking a session is all the tabs, I don't see how selecting tabs to save is the main use case but maybe I'm the odd one.

* Some way to replace tabs instead of opening a window. I like to keep my window centered, and unfortunately a new window is always shifted from the default position, and then if I close that one last, my windows never open in the same spot. Maybe a checkbox " replace tabs in active window" (or some general setting that won't need to be in the popup)

Awesome feedback here! Starting to see some patterns on what people expect it to do. Going to fix some of this today and post an update

Great work! My suggestions (in order of importance):

* if there is >1 selected tab, change button behavior to "save selected tabs" else default to "save all tabs"

* a simple "cancel/destroy" prompt before deleting a tab group - if you are a pinboard.in user, the way maciej handles this is very nice

* show tab count in parens next to each saved group e.g. "jenkins (7)"

* search/filter box at top to quickly find tab groups

These are cool! Have already pushed out a fix for the first one. There's a toggle checkbox now for that. I've added your feedback here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/139IKt9Y_ubvLnU3ITLHH.... Thanks so much!

Hey Harrison!

Wow, mind blown: the popup says "save selected tabs", which made me ask the question "what do you mean, selected tabs? I only have one tab at a time?", followed by experimentally shift/cmd-clicking tabs in the current window, and resulting in abovementioned mindblow.

Hmmm, this seems like a minimalist version of my tab manager, Tabli: http://www.gettabli.com

Tabli is based on a similar concept (being able to save sets of tabs with a meaningful name), but is a full-featured tab manager, allowing you to see all open tabs, switch between tabs, and revert to last saved version of a tab set.

What's the roadmap / vision for Tabbie and how does it differ from Tabli?

(To OP: If the projects seem similar enough in spirit and you'd be interested in combining forces and collaborating on Tabli, please let me know!)

Tabli looks great. Curiously, it doesn't mention that it syncs across computers; but looking at the docs I notice that it uses a folder inside Chrome's Bookmarks, so I guess you also get syncing for free—looking forward to testing it

Hey! Just wanted to say I did try Tabli and found it to be a solid extension. However it didn't quite fit into my workflow and there's enough features that it felt overkill for what I was trying to accomplish. The goal is to save a group of tabs with a minimal steps restore them later, just keeping it simple.

Can I suggest you describe it as "save your Chrome tabs" or something similar? Instead of "tab manager", "manager" being a sometimes over-used and hard to define word.

It's unclear to me in what way this lets me manage my tabs. I expect an easily browseable overview of all my tabs (because they don't fit in the tab bar anymore), and the ability to do stuff with them. Saving them for later use is absolutely an interesting option, but for some reason the screenshots show a cat, rather than a list of all my tabs.

How does the cat help in managing 200 tabs?

Atm I use Session Buddy for that purpose what makes Tabbie different/ better to it?

I use https://www.one-tab.com and https://github.com/deanoemcke/thegreatsuspender

p.s. There is so much good links get submitted to HN combined with all that information noise this getting to homepage ? Yeah, forced. Yes, this is really sad. p.p.s. Noting personal to this particular username, just general feeling about HN.

I too use One Tab, its great. However the one downside is it doesn't sync so I had to manually export all my tabs before reinstalling the other day. They make this easy, but it's a bit of an annoyance when I'm so used to having everything in browsers synced with the cloud nowadays.

I wrote this in another discussion:

For years my wishlist item has been a project manager that can treat a single window as a project. A bit like a stateful, window-oriented Delicious/Pinboard.

For example, say I'm looking for a sofa to buy. I might open the ones I like in a bunch of tabs to mull over. However, if I'm at work, I'd like to just close the window. Since the project manager has associated the window with a project, I can just close the window. Later, I select "Sofa hunting" from the Projects menu and off I go with the same set of tabs. If I change the tabs and close the window again, the project is automatically updated -- no need to explicitly save.

I'd go one step further: Think of the project as a "pile of bookmarks" where the visible set of tabs is a subset of all bookmarked tabs. For example, say I find a nice sofa. I add it to the pile and close the tab. The project now includes that URL, but it won't open a tab for it unless I go into the project browser and find it there and open it. So this disassociates the tab from the bookmark, but retains the "working set" that is my project session. Similar to how an IDE or editor might preserve which files I have open, but still maintain my entire project.

There are some extensions out there that do similar things, but don't get the ergonomics right. There's a couple of "session managers", but they are dumb: You "load" a session, and then "save" it. Changing the window doesn't automatically update the session, and closing the window destroys your session. Safari also lets you bookmark a bunch of tabs as a folder and reopen them again, but there's no link between the folder and the open window.

I haven't tried this extension, but on first glance it looks to me like it makes the same mistake as other tab managers? I.e. you have to manually "save" and "load" named sessions?

Somewhat related:

I want a simple clean page like Safari's Favorites on iOS, with just beautiful icons (using high dpi mobile icons instead of the favicon), a simple label. Able to drag/drop to organize them however I like on a simple grid. That's all I need.

Is there an extension to do that? A beautiful grid of icons, clean, no fuss ?

Safari's Favorites on iOS is just great. I tend to use it as a "reading list" so I don't have to deal with the bookmarks for temporary things, and also for permanent sites I visit often.

The only thing I'd improve over Safari's Favorites (iOS) is to show a subtle grid when you start dragging items, and to allow user to leave empty blocks in the grid. That way you can personalize even more by arranging icons in groups (kinda like windows desktop icons with "align icons to grid").

Curious how that would work in chrome, would you drag in individual tab into the chrome extension?

The behaviour can be in line with desktop.. ie. click extension to get a choice to add current page to "favorites" (assuming extension manages the new tab as well, which is where the shortcut would go). Only when in the new tab page, I'd allow drag and drop of the icons.

It's pretty nutty to think just how crude the Google Chrome default tab page is. I'm not sure why it is that way. I don't think the page screenshot is that much helpful. Some sites look good and the thumb is pretty recognizable, others are relatively random.

Actually, I wonder if an extension can pull the "apple-touch-icon-precomposed" hi dpi icons in the meta tags?

Cool stuff. Been search quite a bit recently on Chrome for something that resembles Firefox's Panorama (https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/tab-groups-removal), later available as an add-on (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/tab-groups-panorama...). I've yet to find anything like it where with a key-combination you can get a visual Exposé-like grouping of your tabs.

What do they gonna do with my page view statistics? Why everyone have to poison a useful tool with Analytics tracking code. If it's about to provide some usage statistics, sure they can ask and collect my usage data anonymously. But why GA?

The short answer is GA because it's free and allows for collecting events. I wasn't sure how people would use the app so I wanted to measure a few events. One specific question I had at the beginning was "would people want to save and close tabs". The answer so far is yes they do, but only 15% of the time. Not sure if that means to keep or remove the feature yet though :D

A snapshot of the data I'm collecting https://cl.ly/0Y0h0s1N3t0K

I would recommend to write much more informative README file so your potential audience would know what to expect from this extension. These look like good resources: https://www.ctl.io/developers/blog/post/how-to-write-a-readm... and http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2304863/how-to-write-a-go...

There is also Spaces, not maintained, but it works flawlessly for me in multiple environments (it was broken for some time in Vivaldi, but now it works again) https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/spaces/cenkmofngpo...

Works nicely. However note that you should explain CTRL on Windows, not CMD button to select. Also might want to make the highlighted tabs a bit higher contrast when CTRL-clicking as I didn't really notice at first. For usability maybe make them swap to inverse color or something more bold to convey selection.

I think the multi tab selection is not part of the extension, but is integrated in Chrome itself. I recently discovered it by accident and found it to be super helpful to do things like splitting a group of tabs into a new window.

Does it sync?

Current implementation uses the local chrome storage api (chrome.storage.local). Could probably swap that out for the sync api (chrome.storage.sync). Haven't tried that yet though https://developer.chrome.com/extensions/storage#type-Storage...

switching to sync storage is very easy as all api calls should be identical. just remember that the maximum size for stored objects is lower in sync storage (only 8mb I believe)

I guess it should do both (despite more complications), although I'm a FF guy so not the target.

Updated to the sync api, says it could take up to an hour to publish.

Thank you. I'll try it.

I love your logo :D

It's nice but I can't help but think of the limitations of Chrome extension APIs. All these Chrome tab managers put together probably only do 50% of what Tab Mix Plus does for Firefox :(

Doesn't seem to have an option to add tabs to existing sessions. I take it the workflow for this requires you to open the session and re-save it with the remaining tabs?

The question is, can it sync across devices? (Linux/Windows) I've been looking for a FOS alternative to TabCloud.

He says yes downthread - it now uses chrome.storage which syncs automatically.

Cool, I might try and port this to opera!

I've been using FreshStart for that for years, but I like that this one is open source.

How secure is it to use these types of extensions? Are they able to sniff all my logins etc?

If you are worried if the installed-through-the-store version is the same so you could just unpack it and compare with the code release. Or pack that yourself and install it, but updates through the store should at least prompt you when the extension asks for more permissions than it currently has.

The current permissions can be seen in the manifest: https://github.com/hharnisc/tabbie/blob/master/manifest.json

The extension can store data (synced if you are logged in to chrome), get metadata about and manipulate your tabs (including the URL, which might be security-relevant), and can call Google Analytics.

Thank you! Exactly the type of answer I was looking for.

Dude, it is a open source project. You can have a look at the code.

Doesn't say anything about the compiled product that I download from the Chrome store?

actually, you can still inspect the code for the "compiled product" you download from the store- your chrome path contains a directory containing all extensions, finding them is a little bit hard, because they use their keys as foldernames but you can actually still inspect the source


Cant it be compiled and installed manually? Or downloaded and verified?

Are there any tab managers that intelligently group tabs together by type/topic?

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