New Tab Browser in Nightly Builds
Thursday September 27th, 2001
Doron Rosenberg writes: "New nightlies now have a tabbed browsing feature! Hit ctrl-t to open new tabs. His Hyattness recently checked it in, and has fixed most of the bugs over the past few days. Please file any bugs to the XPToolkit component.
Also, Dan Parent from OEone noticed that typing chrome://messenger/content/messenger.xul in a tab loads mailnews into the tab! Same with Chatzilla (chrome://chatzilla/content/chatzilla.xul )."
#1 Good to see...
Thursday September 27th, 2001 12:47 PM
Tabbed browsing is the killer feature for which I've been using Galeon instead of Mozilla proper. I'm not sure if I'll switch back - probably not, as Galeon is quicker and has a better UI - but it's great to see Mozilla getting this.
#2 More features
Thursday September 27th, 2001 1:34 PM
As much as I like new features, STOP IT. Get this thing released. Stop adding new features until after the mythical 1.0. If you need to add something to fix a bug, that's one thing, but someone's going to have a *really* hard time convincing me that tabbed browsing is in some way fixing a bug.
#7 open source
Thursday September 27th, 2001 3:39 PM
I think you're missing a key point of the open source development model. The core developers can work towards a release, while random other people in the world can work on what they're interested in. If the interesting stuff turns out to be cool and have little impact on the rest of the system, sure, add it in.
#9 Re: More features
Thursday September 27th, 2001 4:19 PM
He wrote this for kicks in a weekend. I'm not complaining :-)
Thursday September 27th, 2001 5:15 PM
You've obviously not had to suffer through the time it takes Mozilla to open a new window, if you think that tabbed browsing doesn't help :-)
#19 Re: Performance
Friday September 28th, 2001 2:07 AM
New window perf sucks. But tabs are not a solution to that.
#17 Re: More features
Thursday September 27th, 2001 11:45 PM
I am DELIGHTED by this feature. If there are other features of such value to users such as myself, I will be DELIGHTED to see them added in. What kind of profit-minded mismanagement requires that all further work towards 1.0 must fix only \'bugs\' in order to meet some release date \'requirement\'? 1.0 should be ready when it\'s ready, not before.
This is a huge improvement in the UI. Thank goodness the right decision was made in this case (to \'nofix\' the bugzilla bug to remove the feature).
#28 Re: Re: More features
Friday September 28th, 2001 1:01 PM
Are you a developer? If you are, have you *ever* released *anything*? Going on your premise, we may as well remove the version number, and just stick with nightlies. You can not stabilize a product while adding new features, and no amount of wishing or delight will make it happen. Do you think there might be a reason why the new milestones keep cropping up?
#29 Re: Re: Re: More features
Friday September 28th, 2001 1:46 PM
Well said. Count me among those who say that the time for new features is after 1.0. Anyone can create their own little side projects and private branches, but absolutely nothing that is not a bug fix or performance enhancement should be allowed to be checked in at this point. Otherwise the thing will never stabilize.
#32 Re: Re: Re: Re: More features
Friday September 28th, 2001 11:47 PM
"Count me among those who say that the time for new features is after 1.0....Otherwise the thing will never stabilize."
Since when are you interested in seeing Mozilla stabilize? I thought that you saw Mozilla as "a risk in case it ever achieves significant market share and complicates [your] development and test procedures." If "all that does is complicate [your] test matrix and development process" and you're just asking "for Mozilla not to hurt [you] too much" then why would you want Mozilla to stabilize. I would have expected you to be rooting for all the new features under the sun so that Mozilla will never stabilize and you could continue criticizing the project and not have to deal with supporting a second browser.
#52 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More features
Sunday September 30th, 2001 1:03 PM
I'm interested in seeing Mozilla stabilize partly out of ingrained concerns about software projects drummed into my head over the last twenty years, partly because you all seem to need the advice -- since you have lead engineers adding destabilizing features during periods where only bug fixes should be allowed, and project managers defending them instead of scolding them -- and partly because if Netscape 6.x and other Mozilla derivatives ever do become significant in terms of market share, it's in my best interest as a developer that they be as stable as possible.
In some respects it might make more sense for me to cynically attempt to destabilize the project so as to mitigate the risk posed by a new web browser, as you suggest, but I'm not that evil.
#33 Re: have I ever developed or released anything...
Friday September 28th, 2001 11:52 PM
Nick, I've been a T&I Mgr with *total veto power* to determination of which patch level of my company's main product is adequate to release as an official new version. This product generates several $M of revenue per year.
The 'DELIGHT' which I expressed is another vote that this is a 'killer feature'. If the next milestone doesn't support it (directly or via MULTIZILLA), I will stay with my old nightly build until we all have the sense to recognize a 'killer feature'. In my experience, when beta testers *REFUSE* to upgrade to the GA product because features they really want have been stripped out, it's an extremely bad situation for everyone.
I also note that the general opinion of the Developers seems to be that this doesn't appear (at this time) to have a high risk of introducing significant instabilities.
In over 20 years with several firms you would recognize as world leaders, I have *never* been involved in a software project where the Product Requirements and Design Specifications weren't being changed within the last two months of the release cycle. (Yes, I've done development too.) I'm willing to place a small bet that Mozilla won't be ready to release as a 1.0 version in November. Thus, I feel that it's way too early to declare an *iron-clad* feature freeze. The importance and risk of the proposed feature needs to be considered. In this case, I feel that the importance is extremely high, and the risk is quite low. I hope I explained my thinking a little better with this post.
With friendly respect, Rick
#3 This is great!
Thursday September 27th, 2001 1:44 PM
Just a question: CTRL-T opens a new tab, but is there a keyboard shortcut to close one? CTRL-W closes the entire window (so if you have only one window with many tabs, it closes Mozilla).
Also, is there already a way to "open in new tab"? Something like "shift-middle button" would be great, but even better would be a config option to change what the middle button does.
Other than that, great work!
#14 Re: This is great!
Thursday September 27th, 2001 8:26 PM
ctrl-f4 has been proposed as "close tab". There is a bug on having open in new tab in context menus and possibly accessible via middle-click in some cases.
#34 Re: This is great!
Saturday September 29th, 2001 2:00 AM
to prefs.js to have middle click open a new tab.
Sunday September 30th, 2001 3:15 PM
ughh. keep the function keys out of it, please.
#56 Re: ctrl-f4????
Sunday September 30th, 2001 7:38 PM
In windows, ctrl-f4 is used to close MDI windows, which are essentially movable tabs. So why not use ctrl-f4 as the close button?
#63 Re: Re: ctrl-f4????
Tuesday October 2nd, 2001 8:56 AM
ctrl-f4 is too cumbersome to use. i might as well right the tab and close from there or click the close \"x\" on the right-hand side. It would have been great to use ctrl-w like multizilla. to quit the browser they could use ctrl-q. even alt-f4 would have been a better choice.
#4 Oh, great...
Thursday September 27th, 2001 1:56 PM
You do realize they're considering taking this out now, because of the publicity it's gotten? Check bug 101973 if you want the scoop. http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101973
This thing was SUPPOSED to remain an Easter egg, that you'd only know about by checking the appropriate bug. Unfortunately, people blabbed. A shame, too; I really liked this one while it lasted...
#6 Re: Oh, great...
Thursday September 27th, 2001 2:19 PM
The tabbed browser does need a few things before it's ready for prime-time, like keyboard shortcuts to switch and close tabs (ctrl-tab, and ctrl-f4); you'd probably want to be able to drag a URL onto a tab, and you'd probably want a "Prefer new tabs to new windows" pref as well.
Why not just disable it by default, but allow it to be turned on from within prefs.js. That way, those of us who want to continue to, umm... test this new feature, can do so.
#15 Re: Re: Oh, great...
Thursday September 27th, 2001 8:28 PM
Ctrl-tab and ctrl-shift-tab already work to switch tabs. ctrl-f4 has a bug filed on it. so does dragging and that pref. :)
#23 Re: Re: Re: Oh, great...
Friday September 28th, 2001 7:21 AM
what build has ctrl-tab implemented? I'm using 2001092703 and neither ctrl-tab nor ctr-shift-tab does anything.
#35 Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh, great...
Saturday September 29th, 2001 2:06 AM
Ctrl+Tab, Ctrl+Shift+Tab don't work on Win2K or WinXP apparently.
#20 Re: Oh, great...
Friday September 28th, 2001 4:34 AM
What sort of easter egg is this? :) Easter eggs are supposed to be frivolous, like a lizard running across the screen
#27 Re: Oh, great...
Friday September 28th, 2001 10:24 AM
No it wasn't "SUPPOSED to remain an Easer egg". No one "blabbed". Hyatt wasn't considering taking it out because of publicity. He was considering disabling it in the builds because it was a large change late in the Milestone cycle that wasn't well tested that was receiving a lot of bug reports including crashers.
#5 Links to Bugzilla
Thursday September 27th, 2001 2:10 PM
I might as well provide some links to bugs and feature requests:
Add "Open in new tab" to context menu http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101487
Tabs should have static width http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101796
Too many tabs prevents vertical scrollbar http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101774
Problem with security info in status bar http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101723
Keyboard shortcut to close tab http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101962
Drag a link to a tab should open the link http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101937
Various feature requests http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101979
Tab title sometimes beomes (Untitled) http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101831
Can't close tabs when too many are open http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101475
Disable tabbrowser because it's causing too many bug reports http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101973
So, expect the feature to be disabled for a while until some of these bugs are fixed!
#10 Help wanted, I'm sure
Thursday September 27th, 2001 4:54 PM
From the sounds of it, Hyatt's swamped and won't be able to put these bugs at a high priority. So I think it's safe to say that all of these are 'helpwanted' bugs. The more helpers, the better!
#22 Re: Links to Bugzilla
Friday September 28th, 2001 6:52 AM
The following 3 bugs have now been resolved:
Add "Open in new tab" to content menu. FIXED Keyboard shortcut to close tab. FIXED (Ctrl-F4) Disable tabbrowser because it's causing too many bug reports. WONTFIX
#64 New "Tabbed Browser" component
Tuesday October 2nd, 2001 11:00 AM
There's now a component called "Tabbed Browser" that holds the bugs for this feature. You can use this link to get an updated list of all the bugs reported against the <tabbrowser>: http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?component=Tabbed+Browser
There haven't been too many new bugs reported, so the feature is still enabled. Be sure to test this feature with the latest talkback nightlies!
#12 My window manager already does this...
Thursday September 27th, 2001 6:21 PM
I use pwm http://www.students.tut.fi/~tuomov/pwm/ , and so individual apps implementing tabbing does not interest me at all.
If I used Mac or Win32 where pwm isn't an option, perhaps I'd actually find it useful, but it strikes me as something that shouldn't be reimplemented over and over by different applications.
#24 Re: My window manager already does this...
Friday September 28th, 2001 9:34 AM
Think of it the other way. Whether a tabbing feature should exist in a particular application should not depend on which window manager the user use.
If a certain application I wrote needs such tabbing feature, can I say "Hmm, most of my users would use pwm, so I'm not gonna add that in."? I think not. Especially since pwm doesn't have a majority of market share.
#41 Re: Re: My window manager already does this...
Saturday September 29th, 2001 5:44 PM
Let's see, I use 1. 98SE, 2. ME, 3. XP Beta, 4. OS X 10.1, 5. OS9.2.1, 6. RH7+KDE2, 7. RH7+Enlightenment. That's seven environments without PWM. Get the picture?
This rocks, it's twice a good as Opera's version even with the bugs.
#58 Let's see...
Monday October 1st, 2001 6:09 AM
Let's see, I use Mozilla, X-Chat, mutt, gvim, gimp ...
That's lots of applications which may or may not have tabbing (or some other MDI) built-in. I'd rather my wm or some other system wide program provided tabbing, as that means it looks and works consistently. It's as bad as implementing a completely new and different set of menuing widgets, or scroll bars... oh, hang on ;)
Yeah, I know most people don't use pwm. But they *should*, dammit! :)
I don't really mind that mozilla will have tabbing, I just wanted to alert people to the fact there are alternatives to having it builtin, and that in my opinion the alternative provided by pwm is inherently better.
Tuesday October 9th, 2001 9:19 AM
MDI, Tabs, ... are just inadequate responses to crappy window management found in most GUIs by default. This should be a feature of the environment, not of the individual applications.
In mozilla it will just cause serious UI bloat since many features need to be implemented in 2 orthogonal ways (for tabs and for windows).
#13 Where does this Leave MULTIZILLA?
Thursday September 27th, 2001 7:28 PM
Where does this Leave MULTIZILLA??????
Personally, I think this is an awesome feature.. BUT!! We already have a group working on this on their own http://multizilla.mozdev.org
Why waste time doing something that is just repetitive?
Plus... Multizilla is MUCH better.. having features that this will take a while to get close too.
(TIP; with MultiZilla installed, pressing F9 F10 and F11 gives you an "almost" complete FULLSCREAN in MOZILLA.. (minus the Windows Frame). AWESOME)
What do you all think about it? (please try Multizilla befor ranting)
#16 Re: Where does this Leave MULTIZILLA?
Thursday September 27th, 2001 8:31 PM
It leaves MultiZilla better off. The <tabbrowser> was implemented so MultiZilla can just reuse it and not have to roll its own. They seem to be pretty happy with it...
#18 Yuck Yuck Yuck Yuck Noooo.
Friday September 28th, 2001 1:57 AM
Terrible. Bloat. Sucks. MDI... bah...
They should work on "new window performance" and "back/forward performance" instead.
Friday September 28th, 2001 5:16 PM
Agreed. MDI sucks, and this feature isn't worth the user interface clutter (including keyboard shortcuts) it's going to create. (Btw, if ctrl+tab switches between tabs, how are you going to switch between content area frames, the location bar, and the sidebar?)
#39 Re: Agreed.
Saturday September 29th, 2001 6:45 AM
Exactly. Ctrl+Tab better not change. (of course getting rid of sidebar and the frames completely would be even better ;).
The proper solution is to improve navigation between multiple windows.
For people that browse always maximized this multi tab mode gains nothing in UI terms. At least on window the taskbar already has the tabs.
#31 Then dont use it.
Friday September 28th, 2001 5:21 PM
Its nice, people like it. Deal with it.
#21 outliner status
Friday September 28th, 2001 4:47 AM
What's the status on converting stuff to use the outliner? History is converted, right? Same for thread pane and folders in Mail & News. But bookmarks and preferences is not. I've read the main bug for bookmark conversion to outliner but the last comment there is pretty old and there has been no update on what's going on.. Any ideas?
Personally, there are two important issues I see with this: 1) consistency. Now bookmarks doesn't FEEL and LOOK the same as history. 2) Performance..
In my own "score card", converting all trees to outliner is top priority. I know it doesn't work like "you guys did tabbed panes but didn't convert bookmarks to outliner?!" - they are not necessarily the same developers so one isn't away from the other. I can also imagine that the people who are responsible of doing the conversion also are responsible for about a gazillion other bugs of the same caliber.. So.. don't take this as whining.. It's a status update request. :)
#25 Re: outliner status
Friday September 28th, 2001 9:45 AM
Ben Goodger is working on the conversion of the bookmarks to use the outliner... Last I heard his work is on a branch in cvs, and progressing steadily. Not sure about the ETA though.
#26 Re: Re: outliner status
Friday September 28th, 2001 10:21 AM
Yes, that's what the bug report says.. One MONTH ago. Last comment from Ben is from 2001-04-04 21:37.
#38 Re: outliner status
Saturday September 29th, 2001 5:42 AM
"In my own "score card", converting all trees to outliner is top priority."
How is converting the preferences tree to outliner higher priority than fixing any one of these http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?bugidtype=include&order=bugs.bug_id&bug_id=,67721,68488,70424,77716,78442,83414,83804,85259,85542,86519,86591,86723,86783,88155,90093,90531,92481,95179,95410,95465,95695,95847,95869,96267,96559,96648,96726,96750,97293,97407,97497,97970,98184,98736,100298,100784,101023,101423,101673,101731,101736,101740,101765,101846,101860 I just don't see how moving from tree to outliner in a single column situation like preferences has any significant value to the project. I'm sure I can find about 500 bugs that rank as considerably more important than moving preferences to outliner.
#44 Re: Re: outliner status
Sunday September 30th, 2001 3:04 AM
Might help work around bug 86723 (Prefs crash)? http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=86723
#40 Re: outliner status
Saturday September 29th, 2001 3:01 PM
Is there any cases where the old tree widget is preferable? Can the tree widget do things the outliner can't do? Just interested really...
#49 Re: Re: outliner status
Sunday September 30th, 2001 12:42 PM
Yes. Tree is a lot better for having arbitrary content in the cells than outliner is.... outliner can do text and now images, but not much else.
#36 This is Wonderful!
Saturday September 29th, 2001 5:33 AM
<P>I love this feature! If only I could configure Moz to open a new tab instead of a new window when some random site wants to open one for me. It's also useful if I want to post a link on a message board (such as this one) but I can't remember the URL off-hand. I can open a new tab and go to a bookmarked page without losing my other page. Even if opening a new browser window was just as fast as opening a new tab, switching between tabs is a lot less confusing then switching between multiple windows (windows on top hide the title bars of windows below, etc). <P>I know a lot of people on this board are complaning, but many non-technical people that I know (girlfriend, relatives, etc) that are currently using Netscape 6.1 were very impressed by this feature. They were all eager to know if this would be included in Netscape 6.2. <P>As for the fear of adding such a large feature so close to 1.0, I can only remark that I haven't had Moz crash on me since I started using this (and I use it everytime I browse). Of course, my own personal experience can't be extrapolated to represent everyone else's - I just want to note that I have found this to be stable.
#37 Re: This is Wonderful!
Saturday September 29th, 2001 5:35 AM
Damn - should have read the above "No HTML is allowed in your text" message before hitting submit. Here is the message again, formatted properly for your viewing pleasure:
I love this feature! If only I could configure Moz to open a new tab instead of a new window when some random site wants to open one for me. It's also useful if I want to post a link on a message board (such as this one) but I can't remember the URL off-hand. I can open a new tab and go to a bookmarked page without losing my other page. Even if opening a new browser window was just as fast as opening a new tab, switching between tabs is a lot less confusing then switching between multiple windows (windows on top hide the title bars of windows below, etc).
I know a lot of people on this board are complaning, but many non-technical people that I know (girlfriend, relatives, etc) that are currently using Netscape 6.1 were very impressed by this feature. They were all eager to know if this would be included in Netscape 6.2.
As for the fear of adding such a large feature so close to 1.0, I can only remark that I haven't had Moz crash on me since I started using this (and I use it everytime I browse). Of course, my own personal experience can't be extrapolated to represent everyone else's - I just want to note that I have found this to be stable.
#42 Re: This is Wonderful, but it is crash-prone
Saturday September 29th, 2001 8:08 PM
I also feel that this is an impressive "killer" feature which should be supported. However, I can consistently crash my Win32 nightly build of 2001092603:
Open two tabs to the same site (for example, right here in the mozillazine forums). Put one tab on a reply, and the other tab on a first-level parent message. Then close the parent message tab. Immediately click the link (near the top of the remaining tabbed page) to "Return to Top of Thread".
This directs the remaining tab to reload the exact content of the just-closed tab. I suspect that Mozilla attempts to reload some data from a a memory location which has just been released in the tab closing/cleanup process. Access Violation.
If my guess is correct then this is a simple problem, easy to diagnose and avoid. I'm still pleading to KEEP the feature!
#43 Simple Crash Instructions
Saturday September 29th, 2001 8:39 PM
The duplicate URL isn't necessary. All of my crashes have been caused by closing the original 'parent' tab pane, and attempting to run the browser using only the second 'child' tab. After closing the first tab, any change of URL in the remaining tab pane causes a crash.
Therefore the problem is not related to the content. Rather, it seems that closing the primary tab pane releases some critical data which is not duplicated in 'child' tabs, causing the browser to crash when the 'child' attempts to run without the original 'parent' present.
#50 Re: Re: This is Wonderful, but it is crash-prone
Sunday September 30th, 2001 12:44 PM
That's bug 101554 and it's fixed
#53 it's fixed using build 2001092908
Sunday September 30th, 2001 1:11 PM
it's fixed using build 2001092908
#57 Re: it's fixed using build 2001092908
Sunday September 30th, 2001 9:23 PM
Yes, I started downloading 2001092908 last night (installed this morning and it works fine). Thank you both (riconeo and bzbarksi) for your replies here, where its easy for everyone to see.
#45 great, but give us some space back
Sunday September 30th, 2001 5:11 AM
please remove the home button from the personal bar so we can permanently close that. It's waste of space - the other items are above already. Put the home button on the mainbar and also make the mainbar smaller as an option. Losing way too much real estate as-is.
but like the tabs...though maybe they should be at the bottom as in opera.
#46 i love the mulit-tab features..
Sunday September 30th, 2001 11:04 AM
it's great... personally i had prefer mozilla multi tab then the multizilla which is really buggy. :)
#51 Re: i love the mulit-tab features..
Sunday September 30th, 2001 12:44 PM
The point is for Multizilla to use this tabbing widget.
#47 how to auto open the tab browser function?
Sunday September 30th, 2001 11:14 AM
i'm wondering how to auto start the function upon starting the mozilla instead of pressing 'Ctrl T'.
Btw, i would like to take back some of the words that i had posted abt multizilla. I feel that it's still buggy becos of it's far more functionality then the mozilla 'Ctrl T'. Hopefully, Multizilla would iron outs its critical bugs soon and ... it would be a complete replace for mozilla 'Ctrl T'.
Hope i didn't offend any loyal Multizilla fans out there... :)
#48 Re: how to auto open the tab browser function?
Sunday September 30th, 2001 11:48 AM
If you discover problems with MultiZilla, please report them to us. It has no use to rand about it here. You might even help us and other MultiZilla users with your feedback.
Monday October 1st, 2001 9:54 AM
The tabs are nice. The ability to open new browser windows inside the main browser window is the main reason I still used Opera. I like being able to let webpages load in the background while reading the page in the foreground. I also like being able to close every window with a single click. The preloading thing seems more useful too.
#60 Might lead way to great debuging tool!
Monday October 1st, 2001 1:17 PM
>Error: isItemSelected is not defined >Source File: chrome://global/content/console.js >Line: 141
I wonder if this will help us track down more bugs!
#61 Re: Might lead way to great debuging tool!
Monday October 1st, 2001 3:37 PM
It will only help bug hunting if you report it to bugzilla.mozilla.org
#62 Anyone else got DNS problems ?
Tuesday October 2nd, 2001 8:18 AM
Sometimes Mozilla would just decide the second page I load is on the first page's server. I would open Google, do a search, then make one result appear in a new tab, and tada! the URL's domain name is replaced by 'google.com' which leads to a nice 404. :(
I don't know what's the problem with that, but as I have seen it happening a LOT in Opera 5 and in Mozilla ever since I started testing Multizilla, I suppose it's a bug in the tabs management, or in the domain resolving area, or I don't know. This bug didn't appear in a multizilla-less, pre-tabs Mozilla build on another computer, until I upgraded the build to a more current one (20010928).
#65 what about...?
Tuesday October 2nd, 2001 6:01 PM
What about adding the list of tabs to the sidebar? It's always more convenient to list them vertically rather than horizontally, because then the captions won't be so short when you get a lot. Also, you wouldn't have to "lose" the extra space occupied by the tablist as of current...
Could be a pain in the ass for the users which are not comfortable with / doesn't want to use the sidebar though.
Just my 0.02$ =)
#66 How come tabs solves the memory leaks?
Tuesday October 9th, 2001 8:54 AM
The tabbed browser has significantly improved mozilla for me since I no longer have to close and restart it after, say, fifty new windows worth of memory leaks have started thrashing my system.
So, how come the memory management of the tabbed system is so much better than the new window one (being naive for a moment -- I would have thought it would have been easier the other way round with all the memory leaks ditched when the window closes...)