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Do you guys remember this cool browser thingy?
January 20, 2011 3:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a Metafilter post that was about a browser ... um, application? or plug-in? or site? that featured different windows so you could drag/arrange your pages into groups by arbitrary topic or category, or work vs. leisure browsing, or whatever you wanted. Do you remember that?

I think it was being beta-tested, and I really wanted to try it out, but my computer was not behaving well at that point and I was afraid it might send it over the edge. I have absolutely no idea when this appeared, but probably some time in the last two years.
posted by taz to MetaFilter-Related at 3:45 AM (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This?
posted by Ms. Next at 3:49 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh wait a sec, I hate it when people just say 'This' and other people need to click to see what the answer was. And now I'm doing it. So anyway, the link above points to "TabCandy", about Firefox tabs which I think is integrated in the new Firefox 4.0 (which is out in beta now).
posted by Ms. Next at 3:51 AM on January 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


I don't think this is what you had in mind, but for organizing lots of tabs, I really really like Tree Style Tabs. It keeps your tabs on the side instead of across the top, and you can have sub-pages and whatnot that collapse and expand as necessary, so you might open all the FPPs you want to check out from a main Metafilter page and then collapse that group into one when you want to free up room and check out other sites. Plus you can still see part of the title of your tab even when you have a ton of them open.

The only issue is the use of space - I have a big monitor so I can afford to dedicate a portion of my screen to organizing my tabs. It comes with a whole lot of customizations about how tabs behave as well. Can't recommend it enough.
posted by Phire at 4:08 AM on January 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yes, Ms. Next! Tab Candy! Thank you! Lifehacker says that it's now called Panorama and that it will be included in FF4. Is anyone testing FF4? I'm very tempted, but worried about losing too many of my add-ons...

Thanks for that recommendation, too, Phire!
posted by taz at 4:29 AM on January 20, 2011


(For you Chrome users, you can replicate some of the functionality of Tree Style Tabs by going to about:flags and then enabling the Side Tabs. If I recall, you need to left click on one of your tabs, or the tab window, and enable it there, too.)
posted by crunchland at 4:41 AM on January 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Phire: " I really really like Tree Style Tabs. "

Holy hell, that's brilliant. THANK YOU!
posted by zarq at 6:52 AM on January 20, 2011


taz: "Is anyone testing FF4?"

I've been running Firefox 4 nightlies for the past few months. For average users, it's definitely fantastic. All of the problems I've had recently have been add-on related. If you've got add-ons that are disabled with 4, you should try installing Add-On Compatibility Reporter, which both allows you to force add-ons enabled and also report which ones might still be causing problems.

Greasemonkey and Firebug don't cooperate well together in 4, and I've had a couple of other one-off problems. But nothing nearly bad enough to make me go back.
posted by Plutor at 7:06 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does FF4 still chew up RAM and take a long time to start up? I've been off FF for months now, but Google's pushing this H.264 nonsense with Chrome, so I might go back, if they've fixed performance problems.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:51 PM on January 20, 2011


(For you Chrome users, you can replicate some of the functionality of Tree Style Tabs by going to about:flags and then enabling the Side Tabs. If I recall, you need to left click on one of your tabs, or the tab window, and enable it there, too.)

YAY! I always have a gazillion tabs running and, since switching to chrome, have been searching for a decent tab extension that would replicate this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:31 PM on January 20, 2011


middleclasstool: “Does FF4 still chew up RAM and take a long time to start up? I've been off FF for months now, but Google's pushing this H.264 nonsense with Chrome, so I might go back, if they've fixed performance problems.”

I was about to point out that Firefox also doesn't support H.264. However, apparently if you have Windows 7, there is a plugin that adds H.264 support. So... interesting. Anyway, if you don't have Windows 7, unfortunately Firefox will be just as H-264-less as Chrome.
posted by koeselitz at 1:32 PM on January 20, 2011


If I recall, you need to left right click on one of your tabs, or the tab window, and enable it there, too.
posted by crunchland at 2:00 PM on January 20, 2011


taz: Is anyone testing FF4?

I'm using it right now! They changed the name from Tab Candy to Firefox Panorama. It's great, although it's not helping my habit of incessantly opening new tabs . I've got upwards of 100 tabs open right now, albeit broken up in smaller groups.

middleclasstool: Does FF4 still chew up RAM and take a long time to start up?

It's much better than it was a few betas back (they're on beta 9 now). It still takes a little while for it to load for me, although that might have more to do with having100 tabs open than with the browser itself.
posted by joedan at 3:52 PM on January 20, 2011


Also, I love the Twitter-esque way Mozilla is tracking feedback.
posted by joedan at 4:02 PM on January 20, 2011


I just started using ff4 and mine actually loads faster than the previous version and no memory hog issues. Pretty much the only thing I can think of is that even using the nightly build of greasemonkey, the ability to manage scripts pretty much works half the time.
posted by dead cousin ted at 5:46 PM on January 20, 2011


Yeah, it occurred to me about thirty seconds after I posted my question that they'd likely not support H.264, as it's not free. Gave it a whirl, though, and hoo boy, they finally got serious about performance issues. Chrome still beats it, far as I can see, but there are a few work-related sites that don't work with Chrome, so that's a welcome alternative to IE.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:41 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honest question: Why would anyone want or need to watch an H264 video in a web browser? I use that codec all the time, but it's a professional video codec. I upload my multiple gb files to Vimeo; Vimeo displays them in whatever codec they see fit to make it efficient- I don't even know what they use. People are still free to download my original, huge H264 file if they want it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:26 AM on January 21, 2011


middleclasstool: "Google's pushing this H.264 nonsense with Chrome"

You mean the fact that they're removing support due to patent and licensing concerns and the fact that there's an Open alternative? That "nonsense"?

You know Firefox has never supported H.264 and they don't ever intend to, right?
posted by Plutor at 6:49 AM on January 21, 2011


Oh, I guess you do.
posted by Plutor at 7:04 AM on January 21, 2011


Tree Style Tabs is awesome so far. Much better than the normal tab system, and tab candy. I liked the idea of tab candy but found I stopped using it after a few days. It was just too weird to flip to a different mode, required too much interaction.
posted by odinsdream at 8:20 AM on January 21, 2011


You mean the fact that they're removing support due to patent and licensing concerns and the fact that there's an Open alternative? That "nonsense"?

H.264 is an open standard. It is not royalty-free, but it is an open standard. Google's decision isn't about open standards. If it was, the browser wouldn't ship bundled with Flash, mp3, and AAC support. It's about trying to push the supremacy of WebM (which is not open) and take a shot at Apple.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:21 PM on January 21, 2011


... push the supremacy of WebM (which is not open)...

This page has complete SDKs for creating WebM video. What definition of "not open" are you using?
posted by odinsdream at 9:41 AM on January 23, 2011


From my arstechnica link above:
In contrast, neither WebM's VP8 nor Theora were assembled by a standards body such as ISO. VP8 was developed independently and entirely in secret by the company On2, prior to the company's purchase last year by Google. Theora was created by a group of open-source developers based on early work also done by On2. Though Theora's development can be described as an open, community process (albeit different in nature and style to the more formal processes and procedures used by the standards bodies), no such claim can be made of VP8. At the time of its development, VP8 was a commercial product, licensed by On2. Keeping the specifics of its codec secret was a deliberate goal of the company. Though it has since been published and to some extent documented, the major design work and decision-making was done behind closed doors, making it at its heart quite proprietary.

Google is now building a community around WebM (similar to that around Theora), but it hasn't taken any steps to submit WebM to ISO, ITU, or SMPTE for formal open standardization. The company is preferring to keep it under its own sole control.

For Google to claim that it is moving to "open codecs" is quite absurd: H.264 is very much an open codec. WebM is not.
posted by middleclasstool at 1:20 PM on January 23, 2011


Why is the historical process and lack of an official standard relevant?

You can, right this second, create content freely in the WebM format and distribute it. You can't do so in H.264.

Is this incorrect?
posted by odinsdream at 1:41 PM on January 23, 2011


It's relevant because Google's argument is that it is making this decision in the interest of supporting open standards. Which is bullshit. The standard they are pushing is not open. It is proprietary, and it is a hit against the HTML5 <video> element.

It's also relevant because web standards should by their very nature be open. Replacing Flash with WebM changes nothing as far as that goes. Imagine if Real Media were the defacto standard for web video right now -- even if it were free, it'd be a disaster. H.264 is far from being a perfect solution, because it isn't royalty-free, but it is a step in the direction of embracing open standards. The only other truly open standard that competes with it is Theora, which won't fly.

As for VP8/WebM, it is free, yes, for as long as Google says it is. And its future development takes the course they say it does, without any say from people who don't have a vested financial interest in it. That's fine for people who don't want to spend money to publish video on the web today, but it is not good for HTML5, for standards, or for the Internet as a whole. Trying to create a de facto web standard that is controlled solely by an advertising company is like putting automobile safety in the hands of BP.
posted by middleclasstool at 3:08 PM on January 23, 2011


Also, to clarify: You can absolutely publish H.264 video for free, as long as you are distributing it over the web and not putting it behind a paywall.
posted by middleclasstool at 3:36 PM on January 23, 2011


middleclasstool: "H.264 is an open standard. It is not royalty-free, but it is an open standard. "

By the standard applied in that article (that ISO agreement is the definition of open), GIF was open. If that's the standard we're using, than "open" has no meaning.

middleclasstool: "You can absolutely publish H.264 video for free, as long as you are distributing it over the web and not putting it behind a paywall."

Which is only true because MPEG-LA says "trust us, it'll always be free". Also, Free as in Beer is not the same as Free as in Speech.
posted by Plutor at 4:04 PM on January 23, 2011


middleclasstool: "As for VP8/WebM, it is free, yes, for as long as Google says it is."

Open Source licenses cannot be revoked. H.264 isn't Open, they just won't charge you for it. WebM is as Open as it comes.
posted by Plutor at 4:08 PM on January 23, 2011


I agree with you that there are some complications and motivations at work, but I still don't see how that's relevant to the actual facts at this point in time. I cannot, as far as I understand, start something like Netflix using H.264 and expect to do it without paying anyone.

At the same time, I very much can with WebM. I don't have to pay anyone, Google included, for the privilege. If I hire developers to fork WebM and make a derivative project they can do so unimpeded.

Even if you aren't willing to grant that WebM is technically a standard according to some organization, the logistical reality is that WebM allows people to create and publish unimpeded by payment schemes with an unknown future. H.264 does not.
posted by odinsdream at 5:26 AM on January 24, 2011


Plutor: "Greasemonkey and Firebug don't cooperate well together in 4"

Greasemonkey 0.9 came out in the last week. That and Firebug 1.7 beta work very very well together.
posted by Plutor at 9:54 AM on January 25, 2011


Anyone know if there is a greasemonkey or greasemonkey alternative that runs in Chrome yet?
posted by crunchland at 10:01 AM on January 25, 2011


Chrome has natively supported Greasemonkey scripts since early last year.
posted by Plutor at 11:19 AM on January 25, 2011


Although, as a developer, I would caution you to take the word "support" with a grain of salt. There's a handful of features that Chrome doesn't support which will break any scripts that use them.
posted by Plutor at 11:20 AM on January 25, 2011


Doh. Thanks Plutor. I was looking to install Greasemonkey as an extension. It never occurred to me that it was enabled natively.
posted by crunchland at 3:21 PM on January 25, 2011


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