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Firefox Experiments I Would Have Liked to Try (ianbicking.org)
501 points by ingve on March 4, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 211 comments

I usually keep lot of tabs opened and I known I'm not the only one to use Firefox (or any other browser) like that.

I'm still waiting for a better UX on this use case. Bookmarks are hidden behind menus and require some work to organize and sort them: it's easier to leave an open tab in plain sight that reminds me to eventually read it and decide whether to close it or save it as a useful resource.

Last actual improvement I noticed was when Firefox stopped fully reloading every tab in session restoration.

Any actual research on user-friendly UX to manage and organize lots of potentially useful urls ?

One of the Test Pilot attempts in this area was Snooze Tabs: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/snoozetabs/

The engagement on that experiment wasn't very high, but I later went and read some of the user research and felt like there was some unmet potential: the concept was understandable, the functionality matched at least some real use cases, but it still didn't work, people didn't use it.

Obviously Pocket is intended for this purpose as well. It's personally what I use for this purpose, though there's always a kind of in-between state where you aren't quite sure what you want to do with a tab. If you make it easier to save the tab, there will always still be a point when you aren't sure if you want to save it or not...

As far as I'm aware Mozilla hasn't done deep-dive research into tabs. Not all of our research is public, but we do post a public index of the research: https://firefoxur.github.io/

I would _love_ if firefox handled lots of background tabs better, my biggest complaint is how the browser UI lags with lots of background tabs open. This seems like its a scheduling issue, operations in background tabs should be lower priority than foreground tabs and should be pre-emptable so the user interface never lags. I'd be ok with manually pinning tabs I needed to run javascript in the background.

This is on a high spec dual 8 core xeon workstation with 164gb of ram and a radeon rx480 running latest kubuntu. Less than 100 tabs open, most of them basic references. If there was a bit of hardware I could buy that would fix browser lag I would.

I use uBlock with fairly aggressive settings (so lots of scripts probably don't run), but Firefox handles 100+ tabs on a fairly average Thinkpad fine for me. Worth checking if it's running in multi-process mode as it should.

Back then I had regularly around 150 open tabs in my old Opera on a notebook with 4GB RAM without any problem. But those were the times without big js-heavy webapps/sites like these days...

Hah! A hardware browser accelerator as when you buy a hardware audio dsp. That'd be fun.

I was thinking more ram, faster ssd or better gpu... but a browser accelerator that worked would be pretty cool :)

> Less than 100 tabs

Find a way to organise your stuff better? Whip up a page of links and use that? Dirs of shortcuts or something?

Having 50+ tabs open can't be an efficient way to manage your references.

Tabs will likely be grouped by task as they are opened either around the same time or often as as a new tab from one of those windows. Another key advantage of open tabs is they save the state of the page you were on when compared to bookmarks.

There's obviously benefits to a more robust way to manage your work state. I'd view it in a similar vein as the advantages of a tidy desk: Some people lack the discipline to keep that state and can somewhat compensate for some of the disadvantages i.e. by application of spatial memory and the advantage of having everything to hand.

If people are going to do things the wrong way regardless providing them tools to improve their situation can still make sense.

Its not unreasonable, people frequently talk about hundreds or even thousands of tabs open here on HN.

I have 8 virtual desktops with different projects open, R studio and Jupyter notebook windows plus reference reading material. The work I do typically involves long running tasks and checking back on projects or doing some add on analysis. It takes way too long to get everything aligned right and started up on different monitors so this machine is always on.

I'd expect web browsers to be able to handle this without ui lag if the hardware is good enough. At this rate, I might run firefox in separate docker containers per virtual desktop just to keep it smooth. Would benefit security too...

As to the tab management, older version of Opera had tab stacking, which I've found pretty good for tab management. You could stack tabs into themselves to create a cluster of tabs that could then be rolled, so that just one of the tabs was visible, and later unrolled for using those tabs. I think Vivaldi copied the feature as well.

> there's always a kind of in-between state where you aren't quite sure what you want to do with a tab.

It feels like that's the state I'm in with regard to most tabs. It also feels like these tabs are more important than those I've already bookmarked, which seems paradoxical.

One user research task is often to give names to ideas that we don't otherwise know how to describe. Like in bookmark research they distinguish between bookmarks that represent something you saved, vs. bookmarks that represent some navigational shortcut you are creating for yourself.

For tabs, I can imagine different ways of thinking about them:

1. An activity you have to complete. Or start. 2. A piece of information you think you may need to be aware of. 3. Something that interests you, but you are leaving for when you are in some particular state of mind (e.g., ready to read something long and involved). 4. Something shared with you, that you feel obliged to respond to. 5. One of a set of things that represents some pending task. 6. Something information you may need to revisit. Or you may have finished it, but it's yet to be "garbage collected". MDN pages usually fall in this category for me – I'll quickly come back a couple times to the page, but I only know I'm "finished" because I don't come back. So it sits there.

And for each of these there's the state of "maybe". Maybe I'll need this. Maybe I'll need to be aware of this. Maybe I should reply to my friend about this.

I use tree style tabs with auto tab discard and use suspended tabs as ephemeral bookmarks. Since Firefox opens all of my previously open tabs whenever I restart the browser they can survive reboots. If a tab sticks around long enough and I don't end up reading it I'll throw it away. I've always felt like browsers were missing something in between a tab and bookmark; kind of like a scratch pad for internet rabbit holes.

Most of the time, my tabs are holding information that I'm using to complete a task. Once I complete the task I close any tabs related to it. Sometimes I leave a URI in my code as a reference to find the ideas again.

In this case the tabs act as both a reference, and a "task" waiting to be finished. If I finish the task I can close the tabs. Gives me the incentive to finish what I'm working on.

Also thank you for Python's Virtualenv, paste, and webtest. I know your not much into the Python scene anymore but your contributes still effect my day-to-day activities.

>more important than those I've already bookmarked, which seems paradoxical.

It's not paradoxical at all - bookmarks are long-term persistent storage, tabs are short-term volatile storage. Data stored on disk isn't less important than data stored in RAM, but any given datum stored in RAM is a lot more likely to be accessed in the near future.

Same reason my physical desk is full of papers. That's exactly what all my open tabs are, all the various papers and pamphlets etc sitting on my desk.

Doesn't mean I really will look at any of them any time soon though, it's not exactly a _succesful_ information organization method in either case. Which means, yeah, it might be ripe for some clever UX. It's not at all clear what this should be.

> It also feels like these tabs are more important than those I've already bookmarked, which seems paradoxical.

Maybe they're not more important but they're more urgent? Since they're ephemeral whereas your bookmarks are still going to be there when you reboot.

Well, my tabs are also still going to be there when I reboot; For any modern browser that currently works and I'd consider "just losing" the tabs as a serious bug.

Yeah, but we still think of them as ephemeral. I mean if a colleague lost work from open tabs I'd put a larger portion of the blame on them than if their hard drive dies and they lose bookmarks.

I built an extension for chrome called Lovely Tabs about 10 years ago that allowed snoozing (amongst other fun features). What I found was that while very convenient, I over-relied on it and just continued to resnooze over and over again. It built up to the point where it was unusuable.

The real issue is that (many) people are bad at managing state, particularly for things they want to theoretically read later but never will. Giving them an unlimited snooze mechanism is not the answer. Either it must have constrains to force clean up, or another “solution” should be attempted instead.

Was the snooze time exponential? If it would e.g. double every time it might just work

I fear that one big advantage, that tabs kept in working memory, including pages in the back history, makes it very fast, just can't be helped beyond a certain mass of tabs. Tab suspension sure would help with crashes at the limits of memory, but with a small, full SSD only, it's limited too.

For a large amount of tabs, it is more important to have them visible and easily accessible than to have them loaded in memory. It's ok to keep only recent tabs in memory and reload older tabs, but it's good to have both shown in the same way and avoid "out of sight, out of mind".

Except if I have changed the site through interaction, or entering text in formfield. I imagine that's difficult to save. The browser can't even tell the difference between unwanted loads like ads. This way a save file could grow quite fast.

Snoozetabs and tab need to make a baby so i can snooze a group.

You could do this with tab snooze and OneTab. OneTab compresses all open tabs into a list of HTML links, and you can then pull those into a tab of just one OneTab group, and snooze that. Maybe 3-4 clicks.

I love Snooze Tabs!

I keep lots of tabs open because of "projects".

For example, let's say I'm planning a trip. I will have tabs open for Google Flights, Airbnb, Trip Advisor, Google Maps and so on. A single window is one "project". It doesn't make sense to have those tabs open all the time -- just when I need them. Yet I have to keep them open because browsers don't have a way to treat a single window as a kind of persistent tab set. The best browsers can do right now is to bookmark multiple tabs as a folder and then later restore them. That's not too useful since there's no way to update this folder the same way.

What I'd like is to have windows be "named". I want to save my window as "Puerto Rico trip" and close it. Later I want to open it again and continue where I was. At all times my tabs and history are associated with the same "project".

I've been longing for this feature for maybe 10 years now. I started developing it as a Safari extension once, but ran into limitations in the API's support for opening windows.

Doesn’t quite solve your issue, but creating a bookmark folder “trip planning” and saving all relevant sites into it and the folder onto your bookmarks bar - then right click on the new folder and click open all. I have a few sets of pages I load like this.

Such a load of hassle though. Double clicking a name section on the title bar and closing it would be way better. Have references to windows all autosave and be accessible from any other window in a window menu.

I found a chrome extension a year or so back called workona [0]. It _kind of_ did this, but was fairly limited and I gave up on it. Might be worth taking a look at for your use cases

[0] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/workona-tab-manage...

That's the reason for me to use Totally Not Panorama [0], but it seems that Panorama Tab Groups [1] development is more active.

I can have a separate named tab group for every project and also for work. It could be integrated with container tabs.

It's like old Tab Groups/Panorama that was once built in Firefox. It is a bit manual, because one has to move groups and tabs around, but it's quite intuitive.

[0] https://addons.mozilla.org/pl/firefox/addon/basic-panorama/

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/panorama-tab-...

Thanks, I just tried them both. They don't work well, sorry. Aside from the terrible UI, if I open a bunch of tabs and give them a name, then close the window, and open a new window, the groups are gone. This makes no sense. The groups must be persistent. Once named, they must never disappear.

If I open a bunch of tabs as a named group, then open a new, blank window, then enter the extension's UI, the list of groups only has my current window. Makes absolutely no sense. The "group" state has to be global (and visible on all devices, which I doubt this does).

The extensions also seem to be doing something weird by hiding tabs, which Firefox was warning me about.

I understand. I don't mind, because I keep single window and use those groups like windows. But I've been lucky with not stumbling upon weak persistency, so I get how it could be frustrating.

Warning about tab hiding is normal. I assume that something that you would find perfect also would have to use tab hiding.

They need more work or something separate, because the manual resizing of groups seems like a busy-work. I would like something more like Simplified Tab Groups, but with good syncing as you said. I'm not sure how would it work with current Firefox APIs though. If extension shows you the same group for two separate widows, what would happen if you would select the group in both of them? It would have to create additional tabs so they would not be shared. Also I'm not sure if tab hiding API allows to mix tabs from different windows. I think that what you want is not possible currently as an extension.

Not sure why tab hiding is needed. I want the extension to track my activity, not interfere.

The only two point when it needs to do something is when I want to restore a "group" that has been saved. If I close tabs or windows, nothing needs to be done; my hypothetical extension would already have saved their state to a database of some kind on every change.

As for multiple windows: An "open" group would be associated with a single window. You wouldn't be able to open a new window for a group that's already live and in use.

Try the Onetab extension. Invoke it on one of your project windows and then name the resulting link group and make it a favorite. Message the Onetab preferences to your liking first. Very clean solution.

Thanks. It's unclear if Onetab does what I want because the UI is so horrible:

- I open a bunch of tabs.

- I click the Onetab icon. It closes all my tabs. What?

- It's now showing me a page listing the tabs I had open. Ok, I can name this group. I name it "Foo". Then I hit "Restore these tabs".

- I now have my tabs back. Great.

- I click the Onetab icon. It closes all my tabs again, and this time my named group is gone, replaced with an unnamed group containing the tabs as they were. What?

- I restore the tabs again (sigh).

- I open another window with some tabs. Maybe I can save this window as a separate group. I click the Onetab icon. It closes all my windows!

It's completely nonsensical. From what I can tell, Onetab is designed to wrap all your current windows into one group that can be saved and then restored later, but restoring it actually deletes the saved group.

It's as if you had a photo scrapbook in real life that disappeared when you opened it, leaving you only with the photos. Then, when you want to put the scrapbook back on the shelf, you get a new scrapbook and put everything back in.

I actually wrote a plugin that aims on solving similar kind of problem. It lets you name windows and has session persistence. No ability to save/reopen windows, but it's a neat idea. If you're interested it's Window Titler: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/window-titler...

Cool, but not sure how that helps. The whole point is being able to close a (named) window without losing its state, then later restoring it.

There's a Firefox addon called Tab Session Manager.

It's fully functional and does exactly what you say you want. It could use some UI improvements though.

I've tried it. Maybe it's buggy, but it doesn't do what I want at all, unfortunately.

Tab Session Manager doesn't have a link between your windows and the session state. All it does is snapshot the state of your browser.

For example, say I open a few tabs and save the window as the session "My trip". Then I open a new tab in the same window. This new tab doesn't get added to the session. The only way to update it is to go into the session list and click "Add to session" from the context menu.

In fact, it's profoundly stupid: With the default settings, if you open a session, then close a window, it will save a copy of your window state as a new "auto saved" session. You'll end up with an endless list of copies.

What I want: Once I've opened a session as a window, it should track all the activity. Opening a tab should add it to the session; removing a tab should remove it. Closing the window and then click on the session from the list should revive the window as it was when it was closed. In other words, a window's set of tabs is the active session at all times, and the tabs are persistent. It should be transparent, no need to click on things to micromanage it.

Create a new profile for each project?

No, I want my logins, browser history, etc. to be the same between all my windows.

I use tree style tabs (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-ta...) unfortunately it's a bit buggy sometimes, I think the original wasn't but it was rewritten for the switch to the web extensions api.

I prefer Tab Center Redux[1] Even though it has fewer features, it's very polished and reliable. Besides, I found tab hierarchies to be very "messy" in practice. I prefer having a large list of tabs with small thumbnails, with a few full-size tabs pinned to the top.


only time tree style tabs were buggy for me in last 6 months was when i implemented css changes (to remove tabs from above the address bar)

I'm kind of amazed desktop browsers don't "pause" tabs when you open more than a set amount (a la mobile browsers). It seems like an obvious enhancement.

If a user only has ten tabs open, pausing them would probably be a bad idea in most cases. However, if a user has 100 tabs open, they almost certainly don't need to have the oldest ones running the background.

Pausing based on time away from target tab rather than number of other-tabs open seems ideal to me. The Great Suspender uses this approach.

I use Auto Tab Discard if anyone is looking for something similar for Firefox.

> Pausing based on time away from target tab rather than number of other-tabs open seems ideal to me.

The two exceptions are audio (including backgrounded video) and messaging/notifications.

If I want notifications from a tab, I pin it. I think that pinned tabs are already a bit more aggressive about keeping that website "active", and it's always on the tab bar no matter how far you scroll. So for my use case at least, the suspender just has to not suspend any pinned tabs.

> I think that pinned tabs are already a bit more aggressive about keeping that website "active"

Just not... around.

Routinely, after both clean shutdowns and system crashes, firefox just loses all my pinned tabs. It's the primary thing that keeps me from using firefox as a default all the time. There's weird 'restore last session' and folder searching you can do to try to maybe 'recover' some, sometimes, but... WTH? I'm pinning things - I want them around. If I didn't want them restored on browser launch, I wouldn't 'pin' them. Unless pinning is intended to be transitory, and I just missed the memo?

Never had it lose them for me in an extremely long time. Restore last session has always happily recovered them too, if necessary.

sometimes 'restore last session' doesn't even come up when loading up. :/

It might be too late for you to see this, but this is an option in the hamburger menu, even if no pop-up window shows up when you start Firefox.

I'm using pining many years and they have been persistent so far. Crashing and losing all tabs is a risk though, but it was a long time ago.

And I imagine that some websites might do things that take a long time, like a heavy upload, download, or something that takes a lot of processing (e.g. loading a game). In those cases, I would think that people would rather just have them keep working in the background while they focus on other stuff.

Safari does. If you don't visit a tab for a while, it gets unloaded.

Wow, in that case, Safari does an incredible job deciding which tabs to pause! Desktop Safari is my primary browser, and I've never noticed.

They probably leveraged this behavior from iOS, so they had a headstart

I use an extension called The Great Suspender to do this. It's not amount based but time based.

If OpenList [1] on Chrome was ported to Firefox (ahem, someone please do this), you could do this trick: * Use openlist to copy the list of URLs that you currently have open. * Paste the list into something. I use sublime because it will remember your _unsaved_ tabs. * Paste back into a new window later with OpenList to open them all.

[1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/openlist/nkpjembld...

This extension is also really helpful for mass URL-manipulation when you're too lazy to write a full script, but want to mash on some API. Someone please make a 1:1 port :D

Just to let you know, per you request I've ported OpenList to the WebExtension format (so that it'll work other browsers as well). It's really a 1:1 port, nothing removed, nothing added.

It's available on Firefox Add-ons: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/openlist/

The sources are available on my fork: https://github.com/Outpox/OpenList

Holy damn, thanks so much. I didn't expect my cry for help to go anywhere.

I use the Simple Tab Groups plugin for this: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/simple-tab-gr...

It allows you to move tabs into named groups. Only tabs from the active group are shown in the tab bar, and you can switch between groups using an icon in the toolbar.

As a pre-Quantum Tab Groups user, I find that Simple Tab Groups is considerably more stable and has a slightly better UX than the old support. So A+ for that. I still feel like there's some missing "secret sauce" here, but I haven't had the time to really delve into the problem to suss out what that might be.

I do love that tab groups are malleable to the user's concept of organization, not some artificial notion such as grouping by website.

Unfortunately Simple Tab Groups (or maybe some internal feature it uses, probably hidden tabs) somehow leak resources and end up eating all the RAM for me.

The end of Panorama (or Tab Groups as known nowdays) was a disaster for me, as I don't hesitate having over 3k tabs open.

I've been using https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/sync-tab-grou... for hundreds of tabs.

When I open up a tab group with many tabs in it, the extension loads all of them up (snoozed) in a way that takes a little bit of time to complete, but it works well.

Is Simple Tab Groups the current best replacement option? I still haven't upgraded from FF56!

I use https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/panorama-tab-... and have been really happy with it.

You can also try https://addons.mozilla.org/af/firefox/addon/conex/

Works similar to tab groups, but each group is in it's own container.

IMO yes, and I've tried a few. It's only really now that the new tab group plugins have reached parity with the FF56 versions, but they have done :)

I also use tabs as a way to park a series of items for later consideration. It sounds like we really need a stack or queue for links (or we're treating the tab bar as that). But the tab bar eats up resources (UI real estate if not memory).

Thinking in terms of queue operations, my ideal UI would let me push tabs or links to a special bookmark folder, the queue folder.

You could use menus if you had to, but to avoid menus, there would also be a mock tab permanently open that always displayed the next page in that queue folder. I could bookmark that displayed page to save it more permanently. I could close the page, which would remove it from the queue completely. Or I could send the page to the back of the queue.

A queue folder like that would be persistent across sessions, but wouldn't load every single page on every startup.

It'd be a bit like grouping all unread tabs by default, but also constantly storing that info in a folder as a backup, and having a really easy way to pop() tabs from that folder.

"you are about to open 2,800 tabs, this may take some time, are you sure you want to continue?" Or a similar message I got a few days ago. Been spending time cleaning them up. Yep, I open a lot of tabs. I'd long ago have run out of memory but I never enable JScript, which seems to be what eats memory (palemoon on windows FYI).

I don't know if you meant JavaScript or not, but JScript is an actual thing that is (somewhat) separate from JavaScript, commonly abbreviated as JS.

> A lot of people think that JScript and JavaScript are different but similar languages. That's not the case. They are just different names for the same language, and the reason the names are different was to get around trademark issues.

Douglas Crockford via Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JScript

Yes, and the following paragraph goes on to note differences and even calls his statement "not completely true". At one point it may have been more true than it is now.

I genuinely did not know that! I've always presumed JS = JScript = JavasSript = ECMAscript. Hmm. In this case I meant the native scripting in palemoon (which is an FX fork I believe).

I have an extension that I wrote because I am similar to you and always had a hard time finding the tab I wanted. You might find it useful:


also chrome https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tabist/hdjegjggiog...

Source code: https://github.com/fiveNinePlusR/tabist

Something I have been intending to write whenever it bubbles up on my list of priorities is a "melting tab" extension, which would let you open a tab with a limited lifespan. The vast majority of tabs I open don't need to live more than a few seconds, until I read the content and move on. If I had a simple mechanism for spawning a short-lived tab, I could consume content this way and have it melt away after a few minutes without any bother on my part. I think this would solve most tab proliferation. If I want to recover the content the page would be in my history anyway.

Have you considered OneTab (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/onetab/)?

It lets you put tabs into groups. The groups are really just a collection of links. I've found it useful for not having tons of tabs open. If you have tabs open for a long time you want to get to eventually, simply dump them into OneTab. In practice, I've found that most of the links I dump into OneTab never get read. Which turned out to be quite alright for me - I've wasted enough of my life browsing the web. I now aim to dump all open tabs into OneTab at the end of each day, so I start the new day with a clean slate. If there was any important link, it's always still there in OneTab should I want to access it.

It is not open source. Someone seems to have made an open source equivalent (have not tried it): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/better-onetab...

> I usually keep lot of tabs opened and I known I'm not the only one to use Firefox (or any other browser) like that.

I'm surprised nobody's taken a cue from Apple's Stacks[1] to automatically group them by source.

[1] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209101

Tree Style Tab[0] automatically builds a tree of which tab opened which, and allows you to hide stuff based on that.

[0]: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tree-style-ta...

I use this add-on and it's great. My overall tab count has only risen a very small amount since I adopted this tool and I feel like I actually "work through" the open tabs in a more timely manner. It helps to see something like "(4)" to denote Child Tabs, and to know I have a bunch of Stuff waiting for me to sort through.

As long as they don't make it unchangeable. Of all the tab management systems I've tried, none of the automatic sorting mechanisms have worked for me as well as manual tab management.

I like overflowing tabs into multiple rows, ctrl-pgup and ctrl-pgdn to go left or right, and ctrl-tab and ctrl-shift-tab (with the ability to hold ctrl and keep tapping to skip to the next tab without counting intermediaries as visited), and I've never gotten that from any browser but Firefox (and I think Opera in the past).

One of my use cases for long-living tabs is short-living content: pretty often I have a time to take a quick look at it but not to dive deeply nor to stash it (preferably in HTML or something that's just friendlier to grep than quick screenshots). For quite some time I'm reminding myself, among other things, to look into why Ctrl-S in browsers sometimes initiates redownloads that result in pages with comments that differ from what I see in the browser at the same time.

I recommend you try the extension "Auto Tab Discard": https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/auto-tab-disc...

It uses the native tab discard method to automatically reduce memory usage of inactive tabs. This way you can have lots of tabs without slowing the browser down.

For other extensions I use: https://galambo.wordpress.com/2018/12/25/firefox-extensions-...

A very long time ago, there was a third-party macOS bookmark manager that did "smart" URL sorting, which was so much better than alphabetical sorting. Basically, it was something like sorting by:

TLD -> domain -> subdomain -> string

For example, www.metafilter.com and ask.metafilter.com would be sorted close to one another, as opposed to the former being in the "w"s and the latter being in the "a"s.

Really wish that had become the standard ...

Well, I had a go at this problem with Tab Jump List addon. It creates temporary window-specific bookmarks. Might be handy at times, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-jump-list...

> Bookmarks are hidden behind menus

Alt + View + Toolbars + Bookmarks bar

I don't really get why this defaults to hidden.

Pocket is what I use for this: https://getpocket.com/

(Unaffiliated, just a user.)

Pocket still isn't open source after being acquired by Mozilla two years ago.

I use tree style tab along with tab suspender.

What I really want is a keyboard centric power user browser. I don’t think any of the big browsers could even turn into something like that at this point. Power user feature like keyboard shortcuts are an after thought.

I want really good tab management built in through some kind of workspace. I want something more than just profiles a workspace should be kind of like an editor workspace and provide different tools to help you be productive.

A minimal UI and user configurable keyboard shortcuts would be great too.

I wish I had written down more of my thoughts but I think to sum it up - all browsers are trying to compete for the average customer. I would pay money for a power user/developer focused browser.

For now I’m trying to customize qutebrowser to get closer to what I want.

>What I really want is a keyboard centric power user browser. I don’t think any of the big browsers could even turn into something like that at this point. Power user feature like keyboard shortcuts are an after thought.

Big browsers are fine, you absolutely can browse with a keyboard in vimperator/pentadactyl/tridactyl without touching a mouse in months (I do). Other users above/below suggested vimium and vimperator-style extensions, and just look at the difference. Vimium is simple and works great in 9/10 cases, but there's always that one little element or a quirk where it doesn't work. Vimperator and its descendants work everywhere, but they often require a lot of manual labor and workarounds just to be able to put the mouse away. And the difference between 90% and 100% keyboard browsing is massive (no context switching).

Thing is, the modern web itself is super hostile to the keyboard control and power users, I don't think this has anything to do with browsers.

I'm always surprised Twitter still has j/k navigation for tweets despite its ongoing purge of the developer ecosystem.

> you absolutely can browse with a keyboard in vimperator/pentadactyl/tridactyl

> Vimperator and its descendants work everywhere

Vimperator at least has been dead for years, ever since Firefox Quantum. The switch to WebExtensions was too much, and not everything could be converted anyway. Don't know about the others you've listed.

Vim Vixen is the closest I've found for the majority of my uses.

This is taking Tridactyl into account?

It is possible to write extensions (aka WebExtensions Experiments) which are pretty much as powerful as the old Addons; the cost is that one can run them only with Developer/Beta/Aurora release of Firefox and there are no guarantees for stability of internal Firefox APIs [0][1][2].

So I managed to write a proof of concept extesion [3] which exposes API to create sequence keyboard shortcuts (eg. Ctrl+x Ctrl+c in emacs) and creates bindings to Awesome Bar prefixes for filtering suggestions [4]. Although it is heavy experimental by now.

I suppose it may be pretty easy from here to add a feature for managing all the built-in shortcuts and commands of the browser.

Besides I think there are some effords to improve shortcuts stuff in Firefox [5].

[0]: https://webextensions-experiments.readthedocs.io/en/latest/i... [1]: https://firefox-source-docs.mozilla.org/toolkit/components/e... [2]: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1397874 [3]: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2va0icchtittbnx/shortcuts-experime... [4]: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/awesome-bar-search-fire... [5]: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1303384

> What I really want is a keyboard centric power user browser. I don’t think any of the big browsers could even turn into something like that at this point. Power user feature like keyboard shortcuts are an after thought.


i tried all vim-like addons for firefox and none come close to what the old pentadactly did :(

i ended up with vim-vixen, but it's still missing a lot of functionality.

Tridactyl gives you Vim bindings in Firefox (Quantum)!


Some users are reporting that the site that hosts our beta builds is inaccessible. We're trying to figure out what's going on but in the meantime you might have better luck downloading it from Mozilla: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tridactyl-vim...

> user configurable keyboard shortcuts

This is one of those things that's sorely missing for me. Firefox has keyboard shortcuts for most things I want to do in it, but they're often really inconvenient and I'd like to be able to change them to match those in other tools I often use.

Some other things I'd love to see in a browser:

- A command palette to make functionality & shortcuts more discoverable

- Fuzzy tab search and switcher

- Customizable split panes

On the whole I think browsers could benefit a lot by learning from UX patterns in modern editors like Atom/VSCode.

Shameless plug: I built something similar[0] a while ago, maybe it's useful for you.

By default it does fuzzy tab search, (multi) selection and closing. The new advanced mode[1] turns it into something more like Quicksilver, with object->action->optional-param command sequences.

It's only on the Chrome extension marketplace, although it should be mostly compatible with Firefox.

[0] https://github.com/brumm/tabulous

[1] https://i.imgur.com/IaksQ9m.gifv

command palettes are some of the most powerful new UI designs that I've seen in recent history. PyCharm + VS Code both are immediate go-to's for me because I know I'll be able to find a feature (and the keyboard shortcut!) super quickly when I need it.

Huge wins for discoverability and usability.

It always gets me that both Firefox and Chrome both refuse to provide the ability to configure keyboard shortcuts. Sure, it's probably a bad idea to allow users to change them, but provide some easier way to do it than hacking source, please.

I've been wondering whether there's possibility of a "browser" being something other than an "application". In general I like my software decomposed into actions that I can recompose as I wish in the shell. For something as generic as "web browser" I'm not (yet?) sure what that looks like - actually experimenting seems like a lot of work.

Something along those lines was also on my (more vague) list of goals: http://www.ianbicking.org/blog/2018/02/web-small-composable-...

At least in my mind that would involve a kind of holding space separate from files (but serving some of those purposes). It's going to involve a lot of large, structured data, remote resources, and potentially "live" entities (like an open tab). All of which are still manipulable entities, but they need representations and a place to exist.

Very much in line with what I'm thinking - we should grab (logical?) beers sometime :)

In the space of "live" entities, I played a bit with something I called "genies" (out of a notion that they were "a kind of daemon" or "something that's not quite a daemon", depending on where you drew lines) where a long-running process would register itself with your shell before backgrounding, and then you could make requests of it at leisure and possibly poll in your PROMPT_COMMAND. There's a lot of potential ecosystem I haven't really fleshed out, but I did put together a libpurple client that worked that way (with a UX very much inspired by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MH_Message_Handling_System)

Are you maybe picturing something like Plan9's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acme_(text_editor), but with the panes being webviews instead of text buffers?

Maybe? Not from a visual perspective, but there may well be overlap in other dimensions - I understand Acme exposes a programmatic interface?

The UX I'm picturing is a suite of individual commands that can run from the shell against the current "state of the page", some of which would produce a display in either the shell or a separate window. One of those might be of the form of "render the whole page" but it could be less privileged a view than it is in existing browsers.

Regarding "workspaces", I find Tree Style Tabs be essential for organizing sets (and subsets) of tabs.

(I think that Tree Style Tabs change tab handling so much to the better that it's completely worth a native implementation as a part of the browser. That would be a killer feature.)

What do you feel like you're missing in qutebrowser? I've been using it for about a year now and it's been the perfect answer for me.

I really, really miss the keyboard and overall flexibility that Opera 12 provided, back in the day. With that and being able to manage a crazy amount of tags beyond giving advanced tab management was really amazing for power users.

The workspace specific functionality is an interesting idea though.

Incidentally, Vivaldi comes the closest.

Have you looked into Saka? It makes a lot of browser functions available from the keyboard.


I dont have a lot of experience with alternatives, but I have been pretty happy with luakit for a keyboard based browser.

One thing i was thinking would be also cool is improving the image view (when you open .png url for example).it would be nice if it had proper smooth zoom using mouse wheel, and some preset zoom buttons for fit to screen, 1 to 1 pixel, etc. Maybe it could also open image links in just some simple popup window.

Other than that i would really like updated bookmark and history manager.

So much this. Also the ability to change the background from black to white (with a slider or an easy to reach color picker that doesn't involve opening the console). It's so hard to notice when an image starts and ends when it has black at the sides, or to be able to distinguish transparent pixels easily.

Yes! The image zoom levels always bothered me, particularly the fact that it snaps to the size of the view vertically but not horizontally, making it hard to comfortably read vertically heavy images or use portrait-orientation displays.

A way to rotate images without having to resort to the inspector and transform:rotate(...) would be nice as well there.

https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/better-image-vie... works reasonably well but doesn't have all the features you mentioned.

Yes! I used to have an extension that allowed you to resize any image (even in the middle of a page) by holding a button and scrolling. It was fantastic, but was never migrated to the new extension format unfortunately.

That's a fantastic list of ideas for Firefox. I hope some of them got implemented as feature in the browser or add-ons.

BTW for Popup Tab Switcher, I had a similar thought and built an add-on for it, showing tab thumbnails instead of tab list. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tip-tab/

The sticky reader idea is something I myself would use. I hope you don't mind I steal the idea to build an addon with it. I'm already doing restoring saved reader mode tabs in my other add-on Session Boss. It's just an extra step to transfer that functionality to make sticky reader mode work.

One experiment they could try is fixing bookmarklets, which have been broken for over 6 years now: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=866522

Even this 20 line PR to bring back the most basic functionality has been languishing for 7 months https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1478037

Another experiment would be allowing the user to set the new tab page to a local html file without having to create two config files full of magic incantations.

I use Bookmarklets Context Menu in Firefox, it's not perfect but it works.

Read about it here: https://github.com/mems/bookmarklets-context-menu

It would be great to signify a browser window as my main window where new tabs are opened rather than using the last focused. Alternatively, I would take a way of blacklisting a window from letting new tabs be opened. As more and more apps become web-apps, I like having the apps open in multiple windows on one monitor and use another monitor for web _browsing_. Having new tabs open, hiding my email, jira, docs, etc... is a small annoyance but one that would be great to have remedied.

I just want to have my tabs stop talking to other tabs and their resources / cookies / caches / spyware / tentacles. Every tab should be a VM. I am willing to pay a significant performance penalty to achieve that. I have a password manager, and I'm 100% OK with having to sign-in for every tab as well.

I'm surprised no browser vendor actually ever tried that.

> I'm 100% OK with having to sign-in for every tab as well

I think this is the reason why people haven't done it. Most users don't want that, because it means that if you open any link in a new tab in any kind of signed in environment it'll fail. In an ideal world opening a link and opening in a new tab are functionally equivalent except for the "new tab" part.

A middle ground I'd like is for the Firefox containers function to allow you to automatically create a container for each domain you visit. That way, all the tabs I have for my logged in site will be logged in, but won't share state with anything else.

Now I'm thinking that integrating Tree Style Tab with containers could be a good way to control them; each root tab would be its own container, and children would automatically open in it.

It would be interesting to have non-tab nodes in the Tree Style Tab tree. Some of the them could be persistent and some of them could be temporary (e.g. for a new rabbit hole you're mapping)

Just in case you're unaware, you've seen Container Tabs, right? Now exactly what you want, but a pretty big step towards it.

Containers are built-in; this extension adds the interface for showing it per tab.


"Just in case you're unaware, you've seen Container Tabs, right? Now exactly what you want, but a pretty big step towards it."

Container tabs are better than nothing but what I have been wishing for for years is the ability to chroot jail a GUI application.

There would be very little performance penalty (vs. a full VM for each browser) since you aren't emulating the entire machine - it's just a chroot.

The idea is that in addition to their own root store of cookies/metadata/history/etc., each browser container could have its own IP address. I don't want to just keep my banking tab from talking to my throwaway-gmail-account tab - I want them to operate on different networks.

You can do this right now, with significant performance penalty, by running a full blown VM for each browser. There should be a way to run a GUI app in a chroot jail, but displaying to the same display.

EDIT: In fact, I have lamented this not existing for so many years I think I will have rsync.net fund it...

This is what firejail tries to do?


Anything beyond that, and I think you need qubes-os:


Yeah, I know it's a big step towards it. But it's not tab isolation — what I want is a container for every tab by default. In other words, if you can think of containerising a website as a blacklist, I don't want a blacklist, I want a whitelist, everything should be containerised by default on every tab.

You could almost certainly build this as an extension if you wanted to. It's basically what the "Facebook Container" extension does, except that extension only does it for facebook.com.

There are extensions for this.

Temporary Container (for temporary sites)+Multi-Account Container (for sites you want to allow to keep cookies etc)

There's a setting in about:config that can help with this:

privacy.firstparty.isolate set to true.

It's also available as an add-on to make switching it on and off easier, if you prefer:


https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account... and friends gets you some of the way there.

It's not exactly the same, but first-party isolation [1] sounds like it would be pretty similar.

[1] https://www.ghacks.net/2017/11/22/how-to-enable-first-party-...

Hear hear.

Can somebody speak to the challenges of such a scheme? I also really like this idea. Even for cases where I'm cool with tabs sharing state, I want to opt-in to that and be reminded with some kind of color-coding or something.

This is how Firefox container tabs work. I have several color coded tabs like Work, Personal, Gmail2, etc. It lets me use my personal Gmail in its own orange tabs then the blue tabs are my work gmail. It's made dealing with gcloud/aws and different logins for the same portals way better than my previous Chrome workflow of having different profiles I had to switch between.


I tried to do this but I can't figure out a fast workflow to achieve this. I hate having to do the extra steps long-pressing the new tab button every single time and then selecting the container type (same scenario of two gmail accounts so I can't "open in container by default"), I wish there was just an url prefix or something to open in a specific container so I could just create a bookmark for each gmail. I'm curious what your workflow is like, do you just always keep both tabs open?

Today is your lucky day. There is a Firefox add on called temp container (or temporary container) that is built on top of "regular" containers that does EXACTLY what you want.

Tab or website as part of a tab? The latter is the only way cookies will never be shared.

Here's what I want: a complete browsing history with all the keystrokes and whatnot, or a replayable browser. Sometimes I want to know how I discovered a certain page that is in my history or bookmarks but quite don't remember. It would be cool if I could trace back what I was thinking during browsing.

History is pretty broken.

Some other problems to address

- You can either search or browse by time, but not search within a time frame (as far as I know) - Pages are listed by when you opened a tab, not when you closed it. I might have a tab open for several days (or ahem years). I look things up by what I was recently doing, not when I started doing it.

it was interesting to read about the "line of death": https://textslashplain.com/2017/01/14/the-line-of-death/

the chrome doing weird things in the viewport will make users trust unsafe actions by bad actors, so don't do that.

It was discussed here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13400291

Thinking about it I came to realize that there is a much deeper cultural problem: it became the norm for users to run lots of opaque untrusted code on their computers. Every application is a threat, as it represents interests of the vendor rather than the user, and this can not be solved just by isolating UIs (the line of death) and code (sandboxing), we must reconsider the models of software distribution that we use. Maybe the Web should not at all be used as an application platform and instead focus on content and give more control of its representation to user agents.

And there actually is a software distribution model that gives grounds to trust — the one used by GNU/Linux distributions where software is not pushed to the users by vendors directly, but reviewed, built from source and packaged by distribution maintainers who represent the interests of their users. And of course, for the maintainers to be trusted, their work must be maximally transparent and verifiable. Some distributions, like GNU Guix, managed to advance this model really well, while others are unfortunately now going in the opposite direction by adopting things like Flatpak and Snap.

yes, thanks for adding a more probing analysis.

the web is still great, so i wouldn't like to see it thrown out yet, but maybe something better (built on gnu/linux?) can supercede it eventually.

open source hardware like arduino and raspberry pi is now near the point of being powerful, cheap, energy-efficient, connected, small and plentiful enough that maybe it begins to undergird trustable computing devices for wider consumption.

google is completely untrustworthy and while apple is better, it's not without its trustworthiness compromises. with mobile, there's really no 3rd choice unfortunately (waiting to see how the purism device turns out).

Wrt the "My Homepage" idea: one of the ideas driving IPFS is just this [1]. A barrier to IPFS is that they (necessarily) reject HTTP in favour of something in some ways like Bittorent.

Les Orchard wonders if some sort of profit system could bootstrap the system. The IPFS folk have proposed an interesting cryptocurrency, Filecoin [2], allowing people who want their content hosted can pay people who offer hosting services; the core idea is that proof-of-work can be replaced by proof-of-replication, which I think is a nice idea.

[1]: https://ipfs.io/#why [2]: https://filecoin.io/

"Studying what Electron does for people ... What gives the app value over the web page?"

I always assumed that the immediate benefit here wasn't to the user at all, it was to the developer who could be 100% sure what engine they were running in, and so didn't have to bother testing in multiple browsers and versions, or risk browser updates breaking their site.

But slack and spotify both have websites that offer all the functionality of their electron app, and people still install the electron apps. They devs aren't saving any effort by having an electron app if they still have to build the browser app.

My colleagues do that and having apps has some advantages (at least on Windows, no idea about MacOS or linux): You can put in your startup and not forget to start it when you log in and you can minimize it to the tray.

The Spotify website is severely limited in functionality compared to the Electron app. Playlist handling is lacking, and playlist folders are missing completely. Not to mention options for volume normalization, crossfade and similar things.

The author gives two examples in Slack and Spotify and it's pretty apparent why Electron is better than a browser. During screen sharing calls in Slack, it can capture the user's mouse and control a remote user's desktop. With Spotify, it can cache gigs of mp3s to save on bandwidth.

I don't think either of these features are possible with a standard browser because of sandboxing, nor should they be allowed.

Nitpick: Spotify is Vorbis, and has never been MP3

Also, its much easier to find people that can design for the web instead of designing for the desktop.

Different question, no? This is about Browser vs Electron, not Browser/Electron vs Native.

I think those kind of experiments should be the future of web browsers. We the people, need to take back control from online services.

* Right click and "remind me later" about this tab.

* Right click and "make a task" out of this tab.

Thanks, installed, lets see if I actually use it!

In a dev branch of beaker, I've been playing around with something similar the "Modal Page Actions" idea with a "context bar." It has actions based on what the browser recognizes about the site (stuff like "follow this site" or "view profile" or "10 comments"). I'd like to have a whole contextual sideview as well, because I'd like to render trusted interfaces for the given page, but it's a little tricky to decide when to take real-estate in the shell. Some people liked it in a demo, and some felt like it's an intrusion. The trick is, if you make it a toggle then you can't rely on the interface being there so it's hard to use for critical functions, which makes me think it shouldn't be a priority yet. We'll see about the context bar.

The "My Homepage" concept will be in the next release. Seems like a good idea.

The "Personal Historical Archive" notion suggests one specific improvement I'd love to have: full-text search of my history.

I haven't tried it myself, but there was this Show HN a while back: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17743352

It's fun to map each idea into a separate product. Reminds me of Craigslist's re-bundling [0].

From the post:

> Personal Podcast: > [...] When on an article, you can generate an audio version that will be added to the feed > [...] just send/text the link to add it to your preferred podcast app

That's exactly what we've built at https://www.narro.co - with Firefox support via good ol' vanilla bookmarklet.


[0]: http://acrowdedspace.com/post/166470695392/the-rebundling-of...

When on an article, you can generate an audio version that will be added to the feed

I believe this is possible natively in macOS. Select some text. Control-click on it and select Services > Add to iTunes as Spoken Track.

> It would monitor the page inside the browser, so it would have access to personalized and authenticated content. A key task would be finding ways to present changes in an interesting and compact way. In another experiment I tried some very simple change detection tools, and mostly end up frustrated (small changes look very large to naive algorithms).

I'm somewhat surprised by this - I would have expected a modern diffing algorithm on the HTML (after the page has finished rendering) to work quite ok. I wonder what would be the reason it doesn't?

(Author here.) Perhaps it was harder because in the other experiment I was focusing on applications like gmail. These applications would tend to rerender large portions of the UI on seemingly small changes. Also I was trying to find a region that changed, like a rectangle or a portion of the tree, so that I could show the "interesting" part of a page. These applications didn't easily split their changes into regions.

The approach where you show the entire page, and show the changes as green/red or <ins>/<del>, would probably work. But that doesn't lend itself to summarization, which is where my head was at.

> The approach where you show the entire page, and show the changes as green/red

I don't know if you know Distill.

That does this, though that shows the changes only within the part of the page you selected. It's a change detection tool which works in the browser. https://distill.io/

Ah, that makes sense! I was stuck in an "article" mindset - what if it was only used for reader mode? That might simplify the implementation and still be beneficial for what I expect to be the most common non-developer case: seeing if and how an article was changed since publication.

The statement "So using RSS would be very reasonable discovery mechanism, but an “RSS reader” doesn’t seem like a good direction on the current web." strikes me as needing elaboration.

(Author here.) The RSS feeds of major news sites gives a list of articles and titles, but a large portion don't give anything more, and the remainder give excerpts. So the RSS feeds are more like a headline ticker. It's a good way to get an up-to-date list of news posts, but not news content.

A front page of different news sources is in effect a headline ticker. And you still have the links to the articles which give you detailed information via Open Graph / Schema.org / h-entry markup.

As a heavy user of feeds I always wanted a feedreader in my browser, but more with the list in the sidebar and a content main, like in a traditional feedreader. Firefox' Live Bookmarks did that for a while, but of course Mozilla killed it. Safari's Twitter integration hat the same model for a while. Also Opera. But UI-wise all solutions weren't as great; hindered by integration into bookmarks of general non-nativeness.

Like the current top comment I find it frustrating that browser makers stopped caring for the power user demographic and effectively stopped competing with UI features. My ideal browser would be a mixture of the feedreading capabilities of NetNewsWire 3.2 (Subscribe to a shell script!), the storage modell of Evernote and such, the tab management of TreeStyleTabs but with the taste and elegance of OmniWeb 5, the native integration and resourcefulness of Safari and the configurability of old Opera.

To be clear, I'm not disagreeing – it's just from a technical point of view RSS is limited. The next step I'd want to take is to use that list of updated URLs to fetch content, get Open Graph metadata, maybe try text summarization, etc. Traditional RSS readers were basically ways to browse the content of a bunch of RSS feeds, and we need a little more these days to build a good product.

I thought this was going to be about stuff like Ubiquity: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Labs/Ubiquity

Loved that back when they tried it.

Here's an old screenshot: https://imgur.com/O8rN9fK

Since there doesn't appear to be any on the site.

It was great. Just directly interact with all kinds of apis from a commandline-like environment, within your browser.

With how popular command palettes have become (in things like text editors), I'm a little surprised this hasn't stuck for browsers. I really enjoyed the various implementations of this kind of thing for browsers but often found them lacking in ways that I think a native implementation would be more effective.

I have been working on the timed repetition one for the past couple of years.


It's a Chrome extension & web app for highlighting bits you read online. Then it generates flashcards for you to review on a spaced repetition-type schedule. No Firefox extension yet, but shouldn't be hard to port over.

Very interesting read, quite impressed with the other experiment proposals.

What I'd like to see is a Fire-Pixie, a sort of a Rust/Go/Dart or whatever rewrite that is modular----sorry, has modular support for HTML5/beyond features that I could enable. Or install. As modules.

With some sane common base of modules, that does not include <video> and <script> and such. An HTML1/5 base if you will. That is about fifth of what is in the spec, sorted by common usage among the more traffic-heavy sites on the Internet, crucially ommiting the annoying and colorful and tracking functionality altogether.

Do I need to lay this out further? Because, oh boy, I so can do that. For like 16KB right off the top of my head.

Sticky reader sounds like a feature users would want and publishers would hate. TL;DR - pages from certain sites are always displayed in reader mode. Of course, this would cause havoc with any advertising. That said, I'm all for it!

I mostly use Open in Reader View(1), but there's also Automatic Reader View(2), which fits your description better.

(1) https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/reader-view/

(2) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/automatic-rea...

Safari has had that exact feature for a few years at least.

If advertisers don’t want me to use it they shouldn’t be so obnoxious I NEED to.

iOS has this feature already built into Safari, but it's well hidden: Long-press the reader icon.

Firefox on iOS also has this feature. Just touch the little paper sheet in the URL bar.

If the paper sheet icon is not there, prepend about:reader?url= to the url to activate it manually. It even works most of the time even while Firefox thinks it can't be used on this page.

That only displays the reader; it's not persistently applied to every page on the site.

I'd love to have Sticky Reader Mode for a site, except that Reader Mode also eliminates site navigation sometimes. So, on some sites that display stories chapter-by-chapter, you lose the "next" button, and have to turn off reader mode, hit "next", and turn reader mode back on.

Try Safari then. The feature is nicely integrated and works well

The cloud browser concept is intriguing, as a quick weekend project I whipped up this simple demo: https://gitlab.com/epitactic/cloudbrowser - using Google Chrome instead of Firefox, but it runs headless on a VPS and lets you browse most websites. Comments/feedback welcome, I'm trying to get it posted as a Show HN soon. Here's a live demo on a VPS: https://cloudbrowser.website/

One satisfactory solution that had existed in the early days of Firefox was the use of group tabs that you could access at a click of a button. They were an excellent solution that I wish could be reimplemented.

Change Scout is actually one of the basic reasons to deploy Huggin... so you can monitor pages for changes and get emails.

Shameless plug: I made a FireFox extension called Check4Change which, well, you can probably guess...

I could be the minority here, but I really enjoy the Pocket recommendation I find in my Mobile Firefox. I'd like for Desktop Firefox to show them as well, as well as sinking, so I get the same recommendations on both mobile and desktop.

I wish I could get adjustable windows in Firefox. I spend a lot of time in a browser and I have a very large monitor. With one OS window to alt-tab through but multiple pages open at the same time, that would be killer.

The add-on Tip Tab [1] has a view to show all tabs of all windows, and let you use the TAB key to cycle through all of them, with the RETURN key to activate the current tab. So you can have multiple windows open with different sizes at different locations of the screen, and still be able to cycle through them. Not sure whether that would help.

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tip-tab/. (shameless plug for my add-on)

This used to be possible with the Tile Tabs add-on, but the updated Tile Tabs WE is somewhat neutered, unfortunately.


Adjustable how?

I was hoping to see them give Ubiquity one more shot as part of the experiments.

I would like for FF to remember the volume...

Am I the only one who still keeping Opera installed because it can pop-out video into a new window?

The "My Homepage" experiment sounds like a decentralized social platform right?

This is really cool and well presented! Lots of interesting ideas as well.

Maybe Firefox could "Experiment" with making trackpad pinch to zoom work like every other browser first.

Test Pilot is closing? Does that mean that the Mozilla Corporation no longer has a backdoor in Firefox through which they can install plugins in the same way they installed the Mr. Robot advertisement plugin some time ago? https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/16/16784628/mozilla-mr-robo...

Holy crap, I don't remember hearing about this. Yeah I'd rather not have that. Reminds me of the Ubuntu hubris and their built-in ads.

You just have to wonder what it is that makes big open-source companies so disconnected from their userbase. Still better than Google in practice, but Google's PR is much better.

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