Friday, January 12, 2007

Browser sessions in a tabbed world

Tabs are one browser feature that I'm super loving.
It's one of these things that I personally didn't ask for but now that I started using them I can't live without. Even more, there are features that I'd ask for now as a consequence of having used tabs. Since I use tabs what tends to happen is that I have multiple tabbed browser windows opened (can't help being a windows opener freak, although I've seen worst). At the beginning I remember it was like a bit of a conscious effort to find the right organization for my windows and tabs. Then, little by little sort of a methodology emerged (thanks but not only to the right-click open link in new tab). Common sense, each browser window is an independent thematic unit and tabs are all the involved pages with the browser window subject. It all works pretty well until the moment you need to shut or leave the computer ... that's what made me a big fan of hibernating. If the computer needs to get restarted then I'm out of luck, most probably all those interesting things I was researching or planning to research later are gone. Of course they can be bookmarked ... who has time to go back to look into bookmarks like that?
So, basically, the new feature that since I'm using tabs I'd like to have are web browser sessions. I need a way to name and save each browser session and be able to restore it completely when I'm back ideally in the same or different computer. The idea would be to login to a browser with my OpenID and that would get me to my "open web sessions" such as "work project A", "work project B", "home", "personal", "blogs", "travel", "news", etc. It does have some similarity with folder based bookmarks I guess but it would be like alive bookmarks in a way, specially if there is some type of nice graphic user interface that is showing the sessions and their relationships (graphs?).
I was looking at a post mentioning the upcoming features of Mozilla with some level of hope but really the only related feature that seems to be coming is the OpenID thing, which will be cool but it's not exactly this.


Alejandro said...

Have you tried the session manager extension ?.
I think it pretty much does what you need , unless I'm missing something...

Cecilia Abadie said...

Thanks A! this is a lot of what I was wondering about. It seems like it'll work FOR ME ... I'll confirm after some more usage time.
I just played with it a bit, but it seems too geeky, it doesn't look like it's presented in a way it can be used by general public nor it is the starting point of your browser session. Looks like a good implementation but if a browser would embrace this sessions integrally with a session manager greeting you at your start up (or not, depending on your preferences) it'd be much more cooler for general users. (kind of what you were saying in your post about usability ...)

Cecilia Abadie said...

Played with it some more ... once I changed the options it worked much better allowing me to open a session at startup. I'd just make it nicer and switch the default to open sessions at startup (as it has the check box to not show the dialog again). With the reminder it seems like I won't forget to use it and it might be a great improvement to my web usability, we'll see.