Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th May 2009 22:42 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones Tabbed browsing is pretty much the norm by now, with even someone like me (who disliked it vehemently for a long time) finally giving in and start using tabbed browsing (thanks to Chrome, by the way). Well, apparently, Mozilla thinks its time to move on. They believe tabbed browsing has become obsolete, and are asking users to come up with a better alternative.
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Opera's Windows Panel
by Dave_K on Tue 19th May 2009 09:51 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

Opera users who place their tab bar on the side, or developers looking to improve tabbed browsing, should try turning on Opera's Sidebar and bringing up the Windows Panel.

This has quite a few advantages over the conventional tab bar. For example:

-It displays all the open tabs in all Opera windows, grouping tabs by the window they are in, and allowing you to show or hide the tab list for each window.

-You can use it to drag and drop tabs between browser windows, without having to place the two windows side by side on screen.

-It allows you to select multiple tabs by shift/ctrl clicking, just like selecting multiple bookmarks, these can then be dragged or closed as a group.

-There's a search field that allows you to filter the tab display. This is great if you have a lot of pages open, both for quickly finding specific pages, and for efficient window management. Want to close a bunch of ebay listings you no longer need? Type ebay into the field, select them all, then hit delete (or right click and select close) and they're all gone.

-As the Windows Panel is in the sidebar it features the sidebar's placement options and ability to quickly be shown/hidden. You can even have the Windows Panel as a separate floating window if you wish.

Add to that the many advantages of Opera's MDI interface features, like the ability to place tabs side by side, or contain correctly sized pop-up windows within the main window, and it has a massive advantage over most other browsers when it comes to managing a large number of pages.

See this article for a screenshot of this Opera feature:

http://cybernetnews.com/2007/05/25/opera-tip-moving-tabs-around-wit...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Opera's Windows Panel
by cb_osn on Tue 19th May 2009 21:19 in reply to "Opera's Windows Panel"
cb_osn Member since:
2006-02-26

See this article for a screenshot of this Opera feature:

http://cybernetnews.com/2007/05/25/opera-tip-moving-tabs-around-wit...

That's exactly what I want my web browser to not look like. If Firefox starts heading in that direction, Chrome will become my default browser.

We don't need better tab management. We need something that fits between tabs and bookmarks. I imagine that most of the people that have dozens or hundreds of tabs open do so because they've come across content that they want to read later-- but they only want to read it once. It doesn't make sense to store a "permanent" bookmark that you'll have to categorize and then go back and delete at some time in the future.

I don't know what the answer is, but anything that involves more widgets and panels and less screen real estate for content is a failure. And if it has the bonus of including a hierarchical tree view, it's a double failure.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Opera's Windows Panel
by Dave_K on Tue 19th May 2009 22:29 in reply to "RE: Opera's Windows Panel"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

That's exactly what I want my web browser to not look like. If Firefox starts heading in that direction, Chrome will become my default browser.


Opera's user interface is highly configurable. If you don't like the layout and aesthetics in that screenshot then it can be completely different for you.

We don't need better tab management. We need something that fits between tabs and bookmarks.


Why? I'm open to new ideas, but I don't think it's necessary to add a completely new feature when the combination of bookmarks and tabs can work perfectly well.

Bookmarks for sites I'll want to visit again in the future, organised so that I can find them quickly. Tabs for the temporary pages I'm reading through in the short term, like the day's news stories and forum posts.

With the ability to easily sort tabs between windows, a way of quickly searching/filtering open tabs, and an efficient way of listing them, tabs work just fine even when 100+ are open.

Personally I can't think of anything that would fit between the two without adding needless complexity.

I don't know what the answer is, but anything that involves more widgets and panels and less screen real estate for content is a failure. And if it has the bonus of including a hierarchical tree view, it's a double failure.


In that screenshot the tab bar is misleadingly included along with the Windows Panel. In reality the Windows Panel is a complete replacement for the tab bar, saving that valuable screen real estate. In addition, Opera's sidebar can quickly be hidden and only shown when necessary, allowing for a very minimalist browser.

As for it using a "hierarchical tree view", all it does is sort the tabs by the window that contains them. There are only two levels of "hierarchy", allowing you to hide the tab listings for specific windows to save space in the panel. I'm curious how you would improve on this?

I'd suggest that you actually try this feature for a while, rather than judging it based on your first impressions from a screenshot.

Reply Parent Score: 2