This morning I had about 30 tabs open when I came into work, all documentation or reference of some sort that I will use in the next few hours. And thats about the lowest I ever get, if I'm looking up something new to me or complex it will easily shoot over 100.
The more state I can leave up on my desktop, the better.
If there were better management within the browser -- non-visible tabs were eventually unloaded, with any page-state (forms data, etc.) saved -- then you wouldn't have the memory bloat problems that occur.
The thing is that it's a very large virtual workspace to spread things out over. So long as it's organized, it's really useful.
Look to movies especially of researchers in the 1970s or 1980s who'd spread clippings and papers over all horizontal surfaces in an office, tape/pin them to a wall, etc. You want to be able to scan quickly through the space at eye-speed, not have to dig into files / organizers / storage / regenerate the information every time you want to look at it.
It's why you'd rather have a large monitor -- you can strew windows over it and see more, rather than have to manage windows and go through them repeatedly.
For those of us who write software being able to discretely switch to a certain doc with ctrl-tab or ctrl/cmd-# is much quicker and efficient than navigating N times throughout the day just to reduce the # of tabs.
Your tab related OCD shouldn't enter into our workflow ;-)
I guess I just suck at my job.
On average I have 5 groups hacker news, reddit, slashdot, google reader, google searching and documentation group. When I work I frequently move around google searching and documentation group. In my leisure time I go to other group.
For example during working I need to search about some feature of a library. I open the top tab of the google searching group middle click on the link I am interested which opens in the new tab in the group. If some time later I need to see the page again just go to the google searching group and get the tab. This way I can easily organize my tabs.
We don't read the same things apparently.
I recommend a vertical tab addon (I use Tree Style Tabs) else you'll wear out your scroll wheel on the tab bar :)
Thats exactly the extension I use! I'm really happy with it, it gave me the ah-ha moment that working with multiple tabs doesn't have to be prohibitivly painful. Thanks to it I decided to change my taskbar to be vertical too and haven't looked back. It makes for more wasted space if you're not busy, but is worth it, as UI wisdom tells us scanning horizontally is a lot harder for the user than vertically (and thats when everything fits on the screen).