Metatalktail Hour: Tabs! April 29, 2022 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Happy Weekend, MetaFilter! This week, bendy wants to know "How many tabs do you have open in your browser? What are they?"

As always, talk about whatever is up with you, just avoiding politics!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:13 PM (80 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I love this question, and my answer is, about 80, across six browser windows, and some of them have been open for more than six months. Don't judge me, those are my emotional support tabs!

This is my very last regular shift, and I start in Big Bad Corporate America on Monday! I'll still be spot-modding on weekends for a while, but this is my last official butt-in-the-chair shift, it's kinda wild.

I will leave this tab open in my browser for like six weeks in honor of my last shift. (True story, I kept the very lovely thread where mefites congratulated me on my youngest's birth open for almost her entire first year, and I read it whenever I was sad or parenting was hard or I was having a lot of hormones. It was definitely an emotional support tab!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:18 PM on April 29, 2022 [27 favorites]

too many tabs you say?
posted by lalochezia at 6:28 PM on April 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

posted by obfuscation at 6:46 PM on April 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm going to read them later, I swear!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:16 PM on April 29, 2022 [5 favorites]

Oh shit. I have 62 tabs open on mobile.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:21 PM on April 29, 2022

500, ‘cause momma ain’t raise no punk
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on April 29, 2022 [12 favorites]

posted by Greg_Ace at 7:39 PM on April 29, 2022 [3 favorites]

In this tab group? One. In my work one? Two. In my household/intranet/systems management group? A terrifying, gross, and overwhelming eight. Four more in the default unnamed place where tabs go before getting pulled into a group.

Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of browser tabs. I was very, very late to tabbed UIs in general. When browser tabs were introduced as a feature I just kept on doing what I was doing: using my operating system's window management tools. As the reality of my toolset has changed over the years I've grown to accept them with curmudgeonly grumbling, but it's definitely fodder for the piece I've been wanting to write about how people have awful taste in software.

In other news I have a three day weekend (yay, Beltane / May Day / International Worker Day thing!) and no real plans other than an afternoon of TTS with some faraway friends. I made three delicious pizzas, if I do say so myself, and there's homemade dulce du leche ice cream in the freezer.

It was a touch over 70º this afternoon and we took a nice late afternoon walk. I'm sitting out in this pleasant early evening and am in no way swarmed with bugs. Sun's about to set and it's just golden and gorgeous right now.

The begonia starts went in yesterday and I swear they look bigger already.
posted by majick at 7:44 PM on April 29, 2022 [4 favorites]

You: In this tab group? One. In my work one? Two. In my household/intranet/systems management group? A terrifying, gross, and overwhelming eight.

Me, an intellectual: What's the absolute maximum number of tabs I can open before my system is choked into immobility?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:19 PM on April 29, 2022 [9 favorites]

I am a, one tab at a time, person, unless music, or a look see, then two tabs. There is something wrong, isn't there?
posted by Oyéah at 8:28 PM on April 29, 2022 [7 favorites]

This is going to turn into one of those "sit vs. stand to wipe" type threads, isn't it?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:51 PM on April 29, 2022 [8 favorites]

This is going to turn into one of those "sit vs. stand to wipe" type threads, isn't it?

Are you asking or guessing?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:04 PM on April 29, 2022 [19 favorites]

posted by Greg_Ace at 9:08 PM on April 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

Safari: (1) my website.
Safari Technology Preview: (1) the Mastodon instance I'm tinkering with, and (2) MetaTalk.
posted by bixfrankonis at 9:26 PM on April 29, 2022

Oh, I was expecting to feel bad but now I'm feeling quite smug about having a mere 25 tabs! But some of them have been there for months.

We've got a fortunately free Milk Street cooking class I signed up for even though I never finish online courses, some music sites I've never listened to, some random things I kind of want to buy but not really, some personal improvement stuff about email harmony and face yoga, some book recommendations because that's definitely what my library holds list needs, a blog about plants, some options for wine racks to buy, a new gluten free cooking blog, and a PBS show I vaguely want to watch. One day my browser will crash and I'll be grateful for the blank slate.
posted by carolr at 9:30 PM on April 29, 2022

It is a constant fight with myself to keep browser tabs to a usable number. Right now, my laptop has two open, one to my school website (I’m in my final term! Yay!) and the other to a crossword puzzle builder.

My phone has wordle, wordle-bot, scoredle, sedecordle, a friend’s wedding site, a shopping cart open with a replacement for a bowl I smashed at 2am last week, Ask, and this page. I also have a tab group of 5 with recipes I want to try soon and a tab group of 9 with gardening info.
posted by Night_owl at 9:34 PM on April 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

Highlights! 1) Day of Action sign up for: AB257 2) The Ultimate Charcoal Tutorial, 3) Discourse on Colonialism, 4) College Internship Program, 5) AK Press Blog, 6) Advanced Motivational Interviewing training, 7) Labor Experts Dismissed the Quixotic Amazon Union Drive on Staten Island. Then They Won. These plus email, calendar and metafilter.

This is a reasonable approximation of my interests.
posted by latkes at 9:38 PM on April 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

This is my very last regular shift, and I start in Big Bad Corporate America on Monday! I'll still be spot-modding on weekends for a while, but this is my last official butt-in-the-chair shift, it's kinda wild.

Whoa! Somehow I missed this with the other site updates. You are a wonderful moderator and person! Best of luck in the Corporate gig!
posted by latkes at 9:40 PM on April 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

I have about 15 open now, including this one. Sometimes it gets up to double that. About half of them are escape-room-related spreadsheets, three of them are metafilter, there's a calendar, a google chat window, Cookie Clicker (which I just got back into again and I'm pretty sure they added some stuff since the last time I looked at it), and some misc tech nonsense tabs.
posted by aubilenon at 9:57 PM on April 29, 2022

On Mobile Safari, the limit is 500 open tabs. If you try to open another, there's a dialog box: cancel that, or close all of them. It's a small box. The choices are right next to each other. There's no "are you sure" question if you misclick. (You can recover around 200 of those by reopening last closed tab, one at a time.)

I've run afoul of this twice. I've sent feedback to Apple, requesting an "are you sure" dialog.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:05 PM on April 29, 2022 [6 favorites]

Oh my.

I have probably 120 WINDOWS open in Firefox, so ... maybe 300-400 tabs?

I asked an AskMe about it SIX YEARS AGO. (I DO use Bookmark All Tabs regularly. I STILL have 120 Firefox windows open.)

(AppleScript says it's 178 WINDOWS.) (But AppleScript exaggerates.)

They are: language study things (lots of Jisho and Reverso) and song lyrics for songs I'm learning and Drupal tips and works of art (Art Institute of Chicago, Dayton Art Institute) and Wikipedia pages and pages with images I was using for sketching practice and, of course MetaFilter threads and AskMes I haven't finished reading yet.

Over a hundred windows of things I'm NOT DONE WITH YET.

I really, really wish I could find a good AppleScript that would RELIABLY save me a nice list of all of them, a nice set of bookmarks maybe, and then I could close them all knowing I could come back to them.

I love them all. I can't bear to let them go.


Can't really bear to let YOU go, either, Eyebrows, but we must! I hope the new job is fantastic and fulfilling and just the right amount of challenging with plenty of perks and rewards and really good days accomplishing great things. We'll all be right here in your open tab flinging good wishes at you in perpetuity!
posted by kristi at 10:31 PM on April 29, 2022 [9 favorites]

I am not prepared to answer this question truthfully so I WILL tell you: I have saved 37359 tabs in OneTab since May 2021..
... which is how I get myself to close windows at the end of the day! :O
posted by lloquat at 11:04 PM on April 29, 2022 [8 favorites]

I started my job five weeks ago with six weeks of what I call "humanity PTO", plus "unlimited vacation time."

Also, the organization uses an app called Bonusly which gives us each 100 points a month to award to co-workers to say thanks or happy birthday or whatever. We can then use the points that have been awarded to us to buy things or make donations. You can see it as a social experiment but you can also think it's pretty cool.

Our 100-point/month allotment is a "use it or lose it" arrangement so you tend to give/get more point awards at the end of the month.

I got an award today from a co-worker who said, "@wb**k - Your level of curiosity and non-stop exploration is unparalleled. ☀️ #energy" and I was extremely flattered.

And it's payday and I love do-nothing Friday nights. All is well.
posted by bendy at 11:14 PM on April 29, 2022 [7 favorites]

I thought we'd had the "how many tabs" discussion awhile ago because some of us seem like people who would have done this already.
posted by bendy at 11:18 PM on April 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

How many tabs?

posted by Alterscape at 11:43 PM on April 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have two - this and email, and I'm another who struggles with the premise of the question. I might have a lot open at times, for instance if I'm doing Wikipedia edits, but when I close my laptop down I close all tabs down. I put things in bookmarks if I want to come back to them (and wish there were easier ways to classify and re-find them - there probably are). Is this not what others do or is it because people are using tablets or mobile 'phones and tabs stay open?

In other news - I'm enjoying redactle, which I heard about here; and have just successfully pitched an article suggestion to a magazine of a literary society about a particular nineteenth-century novelist. I suspect they accept all comers, but still, it's a chance to go down some book-, census- and data-related rabbit holes. Not that I don't do that anyway.

EM - good wishes for your new job. I enjoy your comments here and am glad you've said you will continue participating.
posted by paduasoy at 12:28 AM on April 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

And Night_owl, thanks for the mention of Scoredle, I hadn't come across this. Amusing to see that at the point there were two choices, I made the wrong one.
posted by paduasoy at 12:58 AM on April 30, 2022

Me, an intellectual: What's the absolute maximum number of tabs I can open before my system is choked into immobility?

At a previous job I took my laptop to an in-house help desk because it had slowed to a crawl. The Help Desk professional spent a few minutes poking around and said, "well, you have 95 Chrome tabs open I think that's the main problem."
posted by bendy at 2:56 AM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

For tab enthusiasts, OneTab is a great browser extension that will store all your tabs and even give you a shareable link to them.
posted by bendy at 2:58 AM on April 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I can't have a bunch of tabs open indefinitely, so I bookmark things and/or email myself links and then mostly forget about those things. It is a bad system, but oh well.

For me, tabs are only for things I need to actively to do before I close out this particular browser session.

I am visiting my mom this weekend, helping plant things and going through her fridge to throw out expired things and petting her small attention hog dog. It is a good weekend!
posted by the primroses were over at 4:42 AM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I currently have 91 tabs open on my computer. These include: Facebook and G-mail. Workflowy. A number of tabs about ADHD & autism, a bunch of art tutorials on YouTube, a couple of Amazon tabs regarding switchports, free astrology natal charts for me and my husband, the Lucky Mojo forum, a bunch of low-carb recipes I keep meaning to try and one for no-knead peasant bread, how to get more iron in my diet. A number of Metafilter and Ask tabs I wanted to refer back to. A couple of things pertaining to work. A site about how to program the spare key fobs I bought for our cars about a year ago (and have yet to program.)

Those are all tabs I’ve deliberately left open meaning to look at them again. Normally I would also have a lot of random “forgot to close” tabs of such as articles I read and then just navigated away without closing, but I did recently go through and close out a bunch of those. I also usually have a bunch of “new tab” tabs open because I keep accidentally hitting the little plus sign in Chrome instead of the down arrow when I’m trying to find my list of open tabs.

I also have 16 bookmark folders full of sites on my bookmarks bar that I rarely remember to look at. Hence the 91 open tabs (which I also rarely remember to look at!) ADHD is fun.

I have another 77 tabs open my phone. It’s funny to note how those seem more impulsive than the ones on my computer. Clearly a lot of things I Googled in the heat of the moment.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:48 AM on April 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

I'm on iPhone and occasionally get a message, every few months, that says "You have 500 tabs open, do you want to close some?"

Does Android have that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:12 AM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have three browsers open, but there's only maybe 17 tabs open among them. My phone usually has about 150, though, usually things looked up at the moment and instantly forgotten so I open another tab to look again.

Anyone wanna come try The Artist's Way and chat about it over in IRL? I'm starting on May 8, probably not that Karen Blair is several weeks in, others may be joining May 8 or therabouts.

The Artist's Way!
The Artist's Way!
The Artist's Way?
The Artist's Way!

posted by mochapickle at 5:41 AM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Sitting out again, getting ready to enjoy sunrise. There's a lovely dawn glow and some kind of hoot-bird going in the distance that sounds like a Hollywood sound library of an owl so it's probably something else. The crow situation appears to be that there are only a handful up and about at some medium distance.

Sat on the floor with the cat [mild warning: not a picture] who interrupted me when I went to get socks. Made a cup of coffee using the upside down technique. Might scrub the stove or something after an hour or two of milling around enjoying the morning.

I started my job five weeks ago with six weeks of what I call "humanity PTO", plus "unlimited vacation time."

That is goddamned lovely! It was a revelation when I came to my own workplace which has a similar leave policy which boils down to "I dunno, just get your stuff done?" and a healthy dose of that same humanity. 80h/year sick time, and honestly nobody really gives a shit if you clock it in. 20 days a year of pandemic time which is now more broadly "disaster/epidemic time." Unlimited jury duty coverage. Another 80h of bereavement time. No calendar month goes by without a company-wide holiday. Whole place shuts down for a week in July and a week and a half at the end of the year.

Earned my first 20 day sabbatical after my fifth year of service. Earned a second -- five weeks now! -- sabbatical last year, with my tenth. I need to start planning that out.

I was super wary of the whole unlimited PTO thing when I was hired. Time off was carefully fussed over to the n-th degree and accounted for within an inch of its life at my every prior employer. It had to be some kind of scam, I felt. Nope. Need time off for whatever? Go take it. Make a best effort to keep anyone from getting screwed over by it. Try not to take more than a couple of weeks at a time if you can avoid it, bye, send pictures.

It's like they trust me. It feels fuckin weird.

I also have a tab group of 5 with recipes I want to try soon...

I don't let these tabs linger. I mash the button that scrapes the recipe into my all-consuming recipe database with some kind of crazy parsing space moon magic, then slap the "Want to try" tag on it.
posted by majick at 6:12 AM on April 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Another 80h of bereavement time.
Correction: 20 days. I just looked because 80h seemed wrong to me after I typed it but not before I poked the post button. If you're in a situation requirous of bereavement time, 80 hours of said time seems incredibly insufficient to, you know, actually go through that process.
posted by majick at 6:24 AM on April 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Rarely more than 2-3 unless I'm actively working on a project where I'm referencing a lot of documents.

I tell my browsers to not track tabs between sessions, so that when I close the browser it's all blissfully clean the next time I open it.

I respect the super-tabbers, but it is not the path for me.
posted by curious nu at 7:27 AM on April 30, 2022 [7 favorites]

I freely admit that my tabs would be better off as bookmarks, but bookmarks have the "out of sight, out of mind" quality.

Tab census!

1 protein pancake site to send to my brother
1 page of office supplies I need to buy
5 Flickr photos of vintage ephemera
1 page about JavaScript-based Single Page Applications (yuck)
1 page of Pinboard's popular bookmarks
4 pages (3 articles and a YouTube video) that would make a good MeFi post
12 Wikipedia pages
2 pages about vintage Mac software
1 page pointing out that a naked man telling a young girl she shall marry him does not make for a beautiful love story
3 StackOverflow pages
1 Kottke post about all those books that are edgy enough to put "Fuck" in the title but censor it
1 Kottke post about a giant video display linking two distant cities
7 GitHub pages
1 page about Dutch bicycle accessories
1 page about bicycling in Missouri
2 pages about urbanism
8 MeFi posts I want to read
3 pages about literary journals
7 photos I like to look at
3 pages about Lotus 1-2-3
1 Ask MeFi page I want to read the links on
1 page about Flash games
1 page about filing WordPerfect documents with district court
1 page about graphics software
1 Google search about a quote from the show Frasier
1 Google image search about David Bowie promoting literacy
1 Google search about a now-defunct Stephen King podcast, that I cannot listen to
1 Google search about an episode of American Greed
1 page about a woman in 1940s Hollywood who made suspense films
1 page about using a laptop while lying down
4 GIFs from MeFi with past slogans
6 pages about early web history
1 page about Lotus Improv
1 article about a baggage handler who stole a plane
1 MeFi comment I disagree with strenuously
1 page about "Bowling Alone"
3 Internet Archive old versions of Microsoft Encarta
1 article about Amazon being hoist on their own petard of binding arbitration
1 blog post about UX bugs in macOS
1 Vimeo video about Stephen King
1 forum page about compiling a mod to an old PC game
2 pages about CD ripping on Linux with libparanoia
Total: 98 tabs
posted by Monochrome at 7:36 AM on April 30, 2022 [8 favorites]

I'm going to say it here because I can't say it to anyone (aside from my partner) in the rest of my life yet -- I'm pregnant! I'm 5w1d today. I'm hopeful and trying to be as hopeful as possible. So many feelings, both emotional and physical. This is a wild ride and I love it.

I want to wait to tell people because I don't want to have to talk about it if anything goes wrong. I had an early loss a couple months ago and I'm glad I talked about it to a few people then, but I want to treasure this pregnancy in my heart for a while longer before sharing. But this baby and pregnancy is all I can think about, of course! And I have a demanding new job and law school finals this week and SO much going on, so I should be focused on everything else but I can't! This is so much more important.

Morning sickness hasn't started yet but I can feel it coming on, and I just hope I can hold out through my last exam on Monday night. Then maybe I'll just be suspiciously nauseated at work but that's more deal-able.

Oh man, I can't believe that one day however long ago, every single one of us was a little embryo. The miracle of life is incredible.
posted by rue72 at 7:49 AM on April 30, 2022 [21 favorites]

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Metatalktail Hour: Tabs! | MetaTalk
posted by zengargoyle at 8:24 AM on April 30, 2022 [9 favorites]

I have hundreds of tabs open across the 5 browser windows currently active on my laptop. I hardly ever close a tab. Every once in awhile I just close out all the windows and start again.
posted by twelve cent archie at 8:31 AM on April 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

Hehe, 166. Do I win something?
cat 20220430T080421-0700_ExportTabsURLs.txt |
perl -Mutf8::all -MHTML::Entities=encode_entities -00 -ne '
chomp;@f=split"\n";print qq(<a href="$f[1]">),encode_entities($f[0]),qq(</a>\n)
' | xclip -i
(of course it's only on one line)
posted by zengargoyle at 8:45 AM on April 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

I use -- and love Safari -- and have embraced the grouped tabs. So I have one for Metafilter-related; one for Fediverse things (Mastodon, PixelFed, a jabber server chat); one for videos (National Arboretum eaglet cams is my current fave); one for sport; one for our planned trip to England this summer; and then everything else is in the disposable "open tabs". So I can close my browser and when I re-open it I see all my grouped tabs still there and if I want the disposable tabs I can open the most recent history.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 9:45 AM on April 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

zengargoyle, I was sure I'd won the thread, but that's more than me! Congratulations!


(Also, that is an awesome script. How did you generate the exported text file?)

bendy - what a lovely complement! Your curiosity and sense of exploration are indeed splendid, and it's so nice to have that recognized!

Thank you for this great question! And congratulations on the new job - where they treat you like a person! Yay!
posted by kristi at 10:07 AM on April 30, 2022

It's "Export Tabs URLs" for Firefox. It could probably be configured to make the HTML links itself but I didn't feel like reading the instructions. GitHub - alct/export-tabs-urls.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:34 AM on April 30, 2022

I used to be a "no more than 5-6 tab open at a time" person for a very long time, and in truth I think I still am in my heart—I get a little bit of agita as soon as I can't tell unambiguously what the various tabs are in my browser, beyond just "what website is that tab for"—but it's been one of the things that I have let slide over the last few years to grapple with the spottiness of my ability to promptly resolve both needful and recreational things. So right now I'm at [counting] 22 in my main browser. There is:

- personal gmail
- mastodon
- a private chatty space
- Glinn's MeFi Arty & Maker's Club that I still need to join half a year later
- google search results for photographic cutup artist Kensuke Koike to remind me to make a post about his stuff
- the IBM PC section of Fabien Sanglard's "Another World" writeup, which I've been slowly reading through in bits and pieces
- signup page for a remote backup service that I should get around to signing up for for bulk backing up my personal data in an additional non-local drive space
- Babang Luksa, a story brainwane recommended that I haven't gotten around to reading yet
- the landing page for WooCommerce, a WordPress plugin I'm experimenting with to try and get off Etsy
- an AskMe about figuring out how to celebrate stuff that came up in conversation when I was talking with my wife about not having any particular birthday plans
-, which needs a little updating as usual
- an edit page for the WooCommerce thing
- a live test page for said WC thing
- an out of date spreadsheet from some Transition Team stuff a month or so back, that's one tab I can close right now, hey
- a sudoku variant puzzle via Cracking the Cryptic
- MetaTalk thread about a discord server, which I should go sign up for because it sounds fun
- RPS article about Shotgun King which looks fun
- RPS article about Park Lane, a short creepy game set in a subway station in northern England
- the Wikipedia article for 6174, aka Kaprekar's number, which I am obsessed with as of yesterday
- related more detailed Wikipedia article on the generalized Kaprekar routine, which I have been using as a checking-my-math reference but am trying not to actually READ because I'm having math fun and don't want spoilers
- twitter, in particular at the moment this tweet i just made
- google search map results for Ed's House of Gems where my wife and I might go later today as she's been wanting to check it out
- this thread

I also have a bunch of tabs open in a few minimized Chrome windows where I'm storing related chunks of tabs I Really Will Get Back To At Some Point but needed to spin off so my already far-too-crowded main window doesn't become totally unusable. I'm not gonna dig 'em all out here.

I also also have a Safari window open with about fifteen tabs, all work-related; at some point years back I realized I was gonna have an easier time keeping MeFi biz stuff separate from personal browsing stuff if I just split it off to separate environments entirely, esp. for stuff where I have both a personal and a work-related account for something. Gmail, PayPal, Amazon, a bunch of spreadsheets and shared documents, etc. One thing I am very much looking forward to once all the MeFi transition stuff is complete is closing that Safari window and maybe never opening it again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:13 AM on April 30, 2022 [7 favorites]

About two hours ago I gave up on tab groups, having discovered that the problem I've been having is related to them and like most Apple software defects will likely not be fixed for a very long time.

This will cause me to even further reduce the number of tabs I have open at any given time.
posted by majick at 12:46 PM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

Including this tab, across my iPad, iPhone, iMac, and MacBook Pro? One. One tab.

Sometimes I’ll have up to about a dozen, but background tabs that periodically refresh themselves have a tendency to go bad. For memory and battery management purposes I try to keep such idling to as low a level as possible. I get really annoyed when I pick up a device and find its battery drained because of somebody’s poor JavaScript quality control.
posted by fedward at 2:05 PM on April 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

How many tabs?

I have been to over 150 Grateful Dead (and derivatives) shows. Been to about 50 Phish shows. Been to about 30 Radiators shows, many in New Orleans. Lots of tabs, but how many, I do not know.

As for browser tabs, count me as a minimalist. If I get up around 6 or 7, I start closing tabs.

As for bookmarks, I must have close to 1500. I keep moving the ones I use the most to the top. Then every so often, I "archive" a bunch by moving them to a Folder with the date on it. My gf uses me as her tabs and bookmarks. Hey Johnny, can you please send me that link to that website you sent me last week and the month before? Yes, dear.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:36 PM on April 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

Two tabs currently on my laptop, none on my phone, none on my e-reader, four internal wiki pages on three work machines that other people opened. Having many tabs is a thing people I love and respect do, but it isn't my thing. I reboot my laptop three times a day and go out of my way to turn off any software features that remember prior states for anything.

The number of terminals - usually launched to do exactly one task and then forgotten - is now 8 and usually ten times larger. To be fair, I *do* have a twenty thousand line org file of random notes to myself that includes a lot of URLs that I intend to read some day and a similar number of bookmarks that I can't figure out how to easily count. Perhaps that's the same thing.

In unrelated news, I got a random visit at work by someone I've been intimate with in the past and the conversation became very personal very quickly. I haven't felt either as attracted to someone or as awkward and doubtful about how to proceed since I was 16 years old. We were student peers at different institutions when we interacted in the past. We're friendly, distant colleagues of equal rank now. We've both been through a lot since then - dozens of cities, many cremated pets, disappointing jobs, marriages that are currently very amicably ending (neither sexually exclusive in principle, but in practice, time is tight.) I may be misinterpreting things; though, historically, I've always gotten this wrong in the other direction. But, goddamn, they are more brilliant and cuter than they were when we were kids.

I was five seconds from asking permission to remove our KN95s and go in for a kiss when a student knocked on the door and radically changed the scene. I doubt anything will come from this. The last thing either of us needs is yet another long distance two-body problem. Our lives are complicated enough already. But, it's good to discover that I still *can* feel that giddy and excited and unsure. It's been a very long time since I was properly twitterpated. I'm still debating whether or not to make an overt gesture now. I think we know each other well enough that doing so would not make them feel bad or ruin our friendship. And, historically, I usually misinterpret signals in the opposite direction. But, at the very least, it's a useful reminder to actively pursue our friendship. I never think of calling people, which is bad. (I realize that there are at least three people here who know both of us by name. It's probably who you'd suspect. Ask me about it in private, please.)
posted by eotvos at 2:53 PM on April 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

Lots of open tabs give me the same itchy feeling as when all the kitchen cabinet doors are open, or every light in the house is on (having a teenager means both happen frequently). I can't rest easy till I shut them/turn them off. I've usually been able to find stuff again when I wanted it.
posted by emjaybee at 2:58 PM on April 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

...there's a non-zero chance I'm back at a 4-digit tab count again, over two browsers, and that's just on my home desktop. Yes, I have a lot of RAM...

Why am I this way? I dunno, partly I remember where tabs are in relation to each other, and by their little icons, while bookmarks are out of sight, out of mind. A significant subset of open tabs are things I need to Do Something With - process or act on in some way that does not require immediate action, and at the time I open them I either lack the bandwidth to do the processing (or get distracted), and then they languish. I have a similar problem with shelves and drawers: I tend to forget or lose track of organization systems behind closed doors, and have better luck not losing things with open shelving, or with systems where there are literally labels on the front of everything. Sadly, this ends up looking cluttered or busy to lots of people.

Tab organization-wise, the thing that's been least terrible has been the older Firefox Panorama/Tab Groups style tab groups, where you literally see little mini versions of all the webpages, rather than the Vivaldi-style tab stacking, where things are a little more hidden? Somehow? It doesn't make any sense, brains are stupid. And it's only useful at a very broad level, because I'm not disciplined enough to make sure that every new tab I open is opened in the correct group or gets sorted there. I do try to offload some of this into Evernote documents sometimes - specific to various projects, where I can connect notes with links - but frankly that is work and I am disorganized and undisciplined and burned out and suck at doing that regularly enough to alleviate tab accumulation.

An incomplete list of major tab classes:
-scientific papers I need to skim and decide whether I want to download a PDF for real in-depth reading
-tabs for shit I am working on (for work, this may mean StackExchange pages for dumb R problems, papers for specific lab problems, or references regarding fellowship or grant applications or paper submissions (the authors instruction page, the detailed page about figure requirements, the actual submission page, etc.) But it also goes for non-work things like "this weird macOS bug with the '[app] is not open' popups" or "I need to replace the foldable bike tool thing I lost, let me look at the options" or "can I do this thing with Hue lights given a bunch of weird constraints" or "fuck my psychiatrist changed practices and I need a new one who doesn't suck on a bunch of axes and takes my insurance and is accessible" and so on.) This often involves a bunch of searches and a bunch of different tabs open, and I'll specifically sometimes want to keep the searches open if I seemed to phrase things in a way that was getting more useful results.
-things that I just keep re-opening anyways and so it seems not just pointless but annoying to close them. (MeFi, but also newspapers, email, some specific references I am using a lot at the moment, pages for specific GitHub projects I am working on, etc.)
-recipe variants I haven't tried and thus haven't decided whether to add them to my Evernote recipe list (possibly I should be trying some dedicated recipe app for this stuff, but to a certain extent I dread trying to keep track of more things in more places)
-fanfic that I opened but didn't read, or read but failed to bookmark or close
-things that spawn new tabs (metafilter and other forum/discussion sites with lots of posts and comments), and the new tabs they've spawned, which may linger for a while until I get to them or give up on getting to them.
-things that I looked up in the context of a conversation or show or article and that then spawned their own wikiholes or equivalents, some of which also end up lingering if I get distracted before really finishing following this tangent
-and of course things I just failed to close after I finished with them

Also as a tab hoarder, what even I don't understand are fellow tab hoarders who use Chrome and let the tabs get to the point they're illegible little triangles. I literally ditched Chrome and started using Vivaldi and scraped together the CSS to make scrollable tabs with legible minimum widths because of this (well, and a few other things, but this was a major reason). I want to make sure my tab hoard is moderately usable!
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 3:06 PM on April 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

I keep Gmail and Slack open more or less all the time, and then exactly one other tab for whatever I'm actively interacting with. My wife borrows my computer occasionally and will leave Firefox open with so many tabs that the temperature of the room has noticeably increased from the extra CPU load and I hate it.

I am a "deal with it now or never deal with it" type of person. Email comes in? Either I read it immediately or I delete it. I do not hold tabs open to "get back to them" - in fact, I almost never bookmark anything, either. Any websites I need, I'll remember the url or do a web search if I forget it. Part of this is because I access the web on like four devices with different web browsers on all of them so trying to sync bookmarks is not worth it.

I will also share my trick to dealing with emails after coming home from vacation: shift-select all emails received while I was gone and send them all to the trash. I'm not kidding.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:22 PM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'm on iPhone and occasionally get a message, every few months, that says "You have 500 tabs open, do you want to close some?"

Does Android have that?

Firefox is the best browser on any platform by far, but seems to have a long-term project of changing that in service of which it keeps eliminating useful features one by one, little by little, drip by drip, and replacing them with useless bizarre ones.* Which is to say that Firefox on Android now only counts tabs up to 99. After that you get an infinity symbol. So I have infinite tabs open, but Android doesn't seem to care.

The only way I know to count how many FF tabs I have open on desktop is to select all of a window's tabs and close them, at which point FF asks if I'm sure I want to close ___ tabs. I've never gotten to four digits in one window, but across windows it's possible. After some release a few years ago desktop performance seemed to get much much worse at high tab numbers than it used to be, so it would be nice to have a built-in count displayed to keep an eye on. Oh well.

*I had high hopes for the Collections feature when it came out on mobile, thinking I could dump my infinite tabs in a collection and close them -- but it requires you to select tabs... one by one. And on desktop I can close all tabs to the right of the current tab -- i.e. all the newest ones -- but there's no similar option to close all the tabs older than the current one and let me keep the new ones. The people who design Firefox and I apparently inhabit completely different usage planets.
posted by trig at 4:53 PM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

One fewer than I did before this reminded me about the "hey, maybe Metafilter would like this" one.
posted by clew at 5:17 PM on April 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

on my work computer, about thirty, most of them are tableau server dashboards i generally need to keep an eye on or use a lot. between my phone and ipad, about ten. I have a linux machine that i usually shut down and clear all tabs on before shutting down so can’t count that
posted by bxvr at 5:32 PM on April 30, 2022

1874 in 4 windows per Tab Session Manager. I closed around 2K Pandemic tabs to start the year off, but then Vlad had one of his bright ideas.

Edit: remembered I own other devices. Yeah, I have no idea.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 6:47 PM on April 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

Twelve, all to do with voles.
posted by HotToddy at 7:33 PM on April 30, 2022 [6 favorites]

For instance here is this gem: "The best bait for voles includes bread and butter, small nuts, cherry pits, oatmeal, sunflower or similar seeds, mixed peanut butter and oatmeal or gumdrops." Does that not strike you as rather an esoteric menu for a vole? Not just bread but bread and butter? And how the hell is a tiny vole going to get into a cherry pit nearly as big as its head?
posted by HotToddy at 7:36 PM on April 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

It would likely take a team of vole-unteers.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:07 PM on April 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I had a great day today! I hung out with another person for the first time in about a month. We went to a Banksy exhibit and had a very long conversation over sushi.

I had to shut down my laptop yesterday and didn't save the tabs I wanted to post here so I grabbed a snapshot of recent history and scrolled through it. They were clearly grouped by date. Instead of my current tabs, here are 54 links about loneliness. ❤️

science of loneliness - Google Search
Loneliness Matters: A Theoretical and Empirical Review of Consequences and Mechanisms
Loneliness – Association for Psychological Science – APS
Scientists show what loneliness looks like in the brain: Neural 'signature' may reflect how we respond to feelings of social isolation -- ScienceDaily
The Science of Loneliness: Psychology Today
Loneliness makes our brains crave people - Science News for Students
The Health and Medical Dimensions of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: National Academies
Why Loneliness Hurts So Much, According to Science
How Being Lonely Changes The Brain, According To Science
The Science Behind Why Social Isolation Can Make You Lonely - The Profile
Loneliness - Wikipedia
The profound power of loneliness: NSF - National Science Foundation
Episode 75: A Cure for Loneliness
Loneliness and Social Connections - Our World in Data
According to Science, Loneliness and Creativity Are Linked
Lonely brains crave people like hungry brains crave food: Science News
The science behind your loneliness
All Alone? Here Are 10 Tips to Deal With Your Loneliness and Depression
Loneliness can help grow parts of brain tied to imagination, study finds - CNN
Combating loneliness - Acts of kindness prevent a downward spiral from solitude to loneliness: Science & technology: The Economist
Chronic loneliness epidemic: you are not alone - BBC Science Focus Magazine
How to Not Feel Lonely: 50 Tricks to Try: The Healthy
What loneliness looks like in the brain? 'Signature' makes it different - SCIENCE News
The Science Behind Loneliness and Why it is Important to be Connected: - The University of Iowa
Patient Experiences of Loneliness: An Evolutionary Concept A... : Advances in Nursing Science
How Social Isolation Affects the Brain: The Scientist Magazine®
Scientists show what loneliness looks like in the brain: The Neuro - McGill University
Heavy Social Media Use Linked To Isolation In Young Adults : Shots - Health News : NPR
COVID-19, Social Isolation, and the New Science of Adaptive Loneliness: Dr. Paul Wong
Why Loneliness Interventions Are Unsuccessful: A Call for Precision Health
A longitudinal analysis of loneliness, social isolation and falls amongst older people in England: Scientific Reports
Social isolation, loneliness and physical performance in older-adults: fixed effects analyses of a cohort study: Scientific Reports
The Bizarre Science of Loneliness and Our Brains - NEWS TECHNOLOGY WORLD
Covid loneliness: 'I craved human touch after months of no hugs' - BBC News
Wisdom, Loneliness and Your Intestinal Multitude
Study: Recovering From Loneliness Even Better for the Brain Than Never Being Lonely - Being Patient
Phone Calls Could Reduce COVID-19 Loneliness, Is This True?: Science Times
The strange science of loneliness and our brains – nowtecblog
Loneliness in Mid-Life Linked to Higher Odds for Alzheimer's: Health News: US News
Solitude and the strange science of our brain – Jioforme
Your Gut May Predict How Wise and Lonely You Are"
What Isolation Does To The Brain - On The Mind">HuffPost UK Life
Heightened loneliness is linked to impairments in spontaneous smile mimicry, according to new psychology research
Loneliness and not living alone is what impacted on the healthcare professional’s mental health during the COVID‐19 outbreak in Spain - Cabello - - Health & Social Care in the Community - Wiley Online Library
Study: Wisdom and loneliness can influence the gut microbial diversity
Our Greatest Misunderstanding About Love: Philosopher-Psychiatrist Esther Perel on Modern Loneliness as Ambiguous Loss and the Essential Elements of Healthy Relationships – Brain Pickings
Wisdom and Loneliness Linked to Gut Microbiome
Vaccines haven’t cured loneliness in New York nursing homes: PIX11
Vaccines haven't cured loneliness in New York nursing homes
7 Signs You Might Be Suffering From Touch Deprivation
The Bizarre Science of Loneliness and Our Brains - NEWPAPER24 - Newpaper24 - Global online News around the World
Wisdom and loneliness may both depend on how healthy your gut is - Study Finds
Social attitudes and activities associated with loneliness: Findings from a New Zealand national survey of the adult population - Docwire News
Midlife loneliness is a risk factor for Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
posted by bendy at 10:22 PM on April 30, 2022 [8 favorites]

4 tabs: this one,, search and metachat.

That's all, folks.
posted by mightshould at 4:53 AM on May 1, 2022

Like I said, it's a long weekend, so here is more from me that nobody asked for:

We went with our daughter, who is currently employed part time by the park and rec department in an administrative position, to take some measurements of a fly-casting pond that someone had requested a duckling exit ramp for. In theory she should have just farmed the whole project out to maintenance. It's just that she doesn't really roll that way on matters such as these. Looks like there's one corner that's closer to the likely nesting locations and several options for potential ramp attachment. 17" from the lip of the deck to the bottom of the pond. She's in design phase now.

Made popcorn just before I jumped on TTS with my friends yesterday. For the first time in years, I somehow managed to pour off way too much of the unpopped stuff midway through the process. I think of myself as pretty damned good at popcorn making so this tiny error is still rattling around in my brain for some reason. It was good popcorn all the same.

The game of Eldritch went well enough. We pulled an easy Old One, I got to use my literally 35 year old laptop as a dice roller thanks to 11 lines of BASIC I wrote a year or two back. After four hours of slow progress we're still not really getting our asses kicked yet. Next week we should be able to finish out.

I'm not actually a huge fan of board gaming in general but TTS is pretty great: I get to spend some time with people I like (who actually do like board gaming), don't have to commit to a slog or a game that I'm not enjoying because it's so easy to change games, and we can save the table for next week. A+ tool for being what has become an important social lifeline for geo-diverse friends in the middle of a pandemic.

Subsequent to this I made a really damned fine grilled cheese sandwich, two cheeses on buttered sourdough. It was not ambitious cuisine in any way whatsoever yet intensely satisfying. Conked out before 10 and up a bit early as a result.

No plans whatsoever today. I kind of want to cook Fun Project Food of some kind. I think there's going to be some pepper sauce production going on for a while later so the availability level of the kitchen is not yet known. I could just wind up making my improvised Szechuan crispy beef or something.

In the dark of the morning of a day with nothing to do, the possibilities seem almost overwhelmingly numerous.
posted by majick at 5:19 AM on May 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm on Team Not Many Tabs. Right now I have a total of seven tabs open - Google News (my homepage), Gmail, MetaTalk, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Duolingo (learning Spanish). If I have more tabs open than that, it's usually because I'm reading articles that I've previously saved to Pocket.
posted by Roger Pittman at 10:15 AM on May 1, 2022

I am a, one tab at a time, person, unless music, or a look see, then two tabs.
posted by Oyéah

I'm another who struggles with the premise of the question.
posted by paduasoy

I thought it was just me. Browsing various hyper-online spaces like Reddit and Discord, I hear about folks with the number of tabs hitting double or triple digits. And I do not understand.

If I have a second tab open, it's often for white noise or music. I generally focus on one task, but I will open another to Google something or check social media as well.

I feel pulled in too many distractions when I'm online as is, so I don't personally see the use of multiple open tabs. If it's something I wanna come back to, I bookmark it. Plus, I worry over slowing down my already temperamental browser. Also, don't tabs disappear when you shut down? Or are your computers always running?

I assume there's a rationale; I've just never had it explained to me.
posted by xenization at 11:11 AM on May 1, 2022

On this computer, my personal laptop:

1. My personal email
2. My personal calendar
3. A LinkedIn tab I'm not using any more and forgot to close
4. A document I really need to work on tomorrow
5. A paper on standard clinical recordings of visual evoked potentials (EEG) that I'm not actively using
6. The thing that was a FPP a little while back, I'm still checking back for updates occasionally
7. Instructions on how to reprogram the key fob for my car, I've been meaning to do this for a while
8. Space Engine, I'd like to play around with it one of these days
9. The website for a textbook on bioelectromagnetism that I've been working through occasionally to refresh/improve my understanding of some of the physics of electrophysiology.
10. The actual text of said book.
11. Deep Learning of Dynamics and Coordinates with SINDy Autoencoders
12. A review paper on closed-loop deep brain stimulation
13. The Github page for Richard McElreath's Statistical Rethinking course.
14. How conditioning on posttreatment variables can ruin your experiment and what to do about it
15. Important cities of the Early Dynastic period of Sumer, which I started but didn't finish watching and forgot to get back to
16. The Github page of a colleague of mine
17. Another review paper on closed-loop deep brain stimulation
18. The exact same paper apparently (?)
19. A video about the history of the Inca that I finished but forgot to close out
20. An atlas of the rat brain
21. The website of a company that manages scientific data sharing
22. Causal Inference in Statistics, which I've been meaning to get to but haven't yet
23. A paper on local field potentials in the subthalamic nucleus
24. Another paper on LFP in the STN
25. Why do things stick to each other? a Royal Institution lecture that I wanted to watch but forgot about until just now
26. Tantalus grasping at social heuristics, a talk by Richard McElreath on the statistical analysis of social network data
27. Future computers will be radically different, a Veritasium video on analog computing and neural networks
28. The Cambrian Explosion and the evolutionary origin of animals with Professor Paul Smith, another video I wanted to watch but forgot about until just now
29. Mycology 101
30. A private JupyterHub instance
31. Google's goofy "foobar" thing they use for recruiting people who search for programming terms, I'm not really looking for a job from them but the programming puzzles are actually pretty fun
32. A lab equipment supplier's website
33. The Wikipedia page for "Graph traversal," which I'm not using any more
34. A page from the Python documentation
35. The silly shark-themed idle game that was an FPP a while back
36. Painting a landscape with maths, from a YouTuber who was the subject of an FPP recently
37. Another page from the Python documentation
38. My work email
39. A guide to Python packaging
40. A recent Adam Neely video
41. This page.
posted by biogeo at 10:30 PM on May 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

My work computer probably has a similar number of open tabs, about half of which are various pages in the Python documentation.
posted by biogeo at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2022

On my work computer:
1) Work email
2) A test I had to print out for a student
3) A link to a Zoom meeting
4) A product page for clear plastic book display easels
5) Work intranet
6) Page for college maintenance requests and IT requests
7) Zoom meeting
8) Zoom meeting
9) Product page: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
10) Product page: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
11) Product page: Discovering the Great Masters: The Art Lover's Guide to Understanding Symbols in Paintings
12) The ACRL academic library statistics survey
13) Instructions for that survey
14) Personal email
15) Department of Transportation appointment page (apparently I have to schedule an appointment 2 weeks out if I want an updated address on my driver's license)
16) Bombay Frittata recipe
17) Bank of Montreal account application
18) Google calendar
19) Product page: No Lo Vieron Venir (a book of essays by a Chilean Marxist politician)
20) "Are you going to be okay financially when you retire" calculator
21) Interlibrary loan
22) Love and Cringe in the American Novel by Andrew Seal
23) Cute journals from Mossery
24) Product page: Un Verdor Terrible by Benjamin Labatut (published in English as "When we Cease to Understand the World")
25) Library databases
26) A link to a reading of a poem called "What's Fun Until It Gets Weird," which I am now making a note to self that I have to watch at home because I'm not going to watch it on my work computer and there's no point in it hanging out in my tabs forever
27) Product page: All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
28) Product page: Our Endless and Proper Work: Starting (and Sticking to) Your Writing Practice
(n.b. : I feel extremely called out right now)
29) Product page: The Best Horror of the Year Volume Thirteen
30) Queer Theory for Lichens
31) Product page: Reproductive Justice: An Introduction
32) Twitter
33) Essay by Simon McNeil on Žižek and "aesthetic castration"
34) Discord
35) Upcoming writing classes from Catapult
36) A truly invaluable guide to getting an Excel spreadsheet to correctly sort Library of Congress call numbers
37) A sudoku
The Morning News Tournament of Books
39) Lincoln Michel on "Show, Don't Tell
40) Weather
41) Reddit
42) Tickets to the upcoming Mountain Goats show in Des Moines
43) Slate
44) Metafilter
45) This page
posted by Jeanne at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2022 [3 favorites]

I am a, one tab at a time, person, unless music, or a look see, then two tabs.


....In other "or talk about whatever" news - I am both delighted and frightened in equal measure to have actually GOTTEN a plot in my local community garden. They were having a big membership drive yesterday in the garden, which is literally around the corner from my building and would be a lovely spot to sit and chill with a book on a summer weekend. So I threw my hat in the ring just for the garden access. I'd never get a plot, I thought, the demand was bound to be too great.

....And then I got a plot. And, apparently it's a good one (at least one of the other members said so when she saw me looking it over).

So I spent most of Sunday in an intense state of "now what" Google searching, in which most of the tabs that were open on my browser were search results for "easy garden layouts 4 x 4 plot may planting nyc" or "how much compost is too much" and "replanting tomatoes each year soil needs" and such. I was warned that the person who had that plot last year used tomatoes, and so I would want to add nitrogen to the soil - I've thrown a bucket of compost in there and may throw in another bucket tomorrow, and the plant shopping will come mid-May. I've settled on a sort of "Italian/Cajun/salsa garden" approach, with tomatoes and peppers, a few onions, and a cilantro plant and a basil plant; that will do me good for the cuisines I eat most often, and if all the tomatoes go belly-up I'll still have the peppers and the herbs to work with.

The whole thing is also going to make me some new friends. There were a bunch of returning members, one of whom has the plot next to mine and enthusiastically welcomed me; he said that he planted flowers in his plot this year since he was going to be traveling most of the summer, "but since that's the case, help yourself to my flowers in August while I'm gone." On the other side of me was a dude who was also new, and also similarly clueless and was pumping the garden's "expert" for advice. I also signed up for the garden's "beautification" committee since they mentioned wanting to create "cute seating areas" here and there and that was exactly what I wanted to do in the garden in the first place. Everyone involved is ridiculously nice, and I suspect I'll be chilling out there a lot this summer and into the fall even.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

I am not naturally a tab keeper opener, but on my phone, I have recently developed one tab group that stays open permanently and contains:

posted by jacquilynne at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

My teenage son, who has no trouble having 40 open, thinks i've got issues because my personal max is like 5 for any period beyond an immediate issue where i'm comparing things by opening a new tab for them.
So a snapshot of my day might range from 1-20, but my ideal is < 5
right now Gmail, the Ukraine mega, ask, discord and weather underground. (oh and this one, but only until i press post.)
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:44 AM on May 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

318 open in Chrome.

Yeah, people comment on it when I have to share my screen on zoom calls...
posted by piyushnz at 11:59 AM on May 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

> I feel pulled in too many distractions when I'm online as is, so I don't personally see the use of multiple open tabs. If it's something I wanna come back to, I bookmark it. Plus, I worry over slowing down my already temperamental browser. Also, don't tabs disappear when you shut down? Or are your computers always running?

You can set your browser to re-open tabs when it re-opens, so no, they don't automatically disappear. But yes, I also leave my computers running (I stream music from my home desktop, and I frequently enough need to do things on my work desktop, logging in from home/elsewhere). Even my laptop just goes to sleep, it doesn't get actively rebooted unless it's misbehaving.

> I assume there's a rationale; I've just never had it explained to me.

As to the rationale: Several others above have attested to bookmarks having - for them - a problematic "out of sight, out of mind" quality that tabs don't. That's true for me, certainly. I lose track of things that are less visible, like bookmarks (and I have similar issues with physical storage - I work better with open shelves or at least labels than plain cupboards and boxes and drawers). I have a visual memory and so if I'm trying to look up, say, a specific paper on monooxygenases or obscure R errors, I'll often remember the (often related) tabs that were open around it. And finally, I don't necessarily want all of these things in my bookmarks indefinitely - many of them are things I haven't dealt with, and while some of them I might want to access afterwards, many would just clutter up my bookmarks and make my bookmarks useless (and would make "clean up bookmarks" into yet another chore to fall behind on). Basically, as long as I have enough RAM for the number of tabs I have open, tabs mean less work and easier recall than bookmarks for me.
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 1:32 PM on May 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

As an early Windows user three or less. I still remember the old days.
posted by Splunge at 2:51 PM on May 3, 2022

Yeah, I try to keep it under 10 if I can, but theme up like tasks or topics in separate windows. Most recently, because Gentleman Jack has started up season 2 and I am here for all things Anne Lister, I have a bunch of tabs open relating to the topic of episode 4, aka Xmas 1834. Namely, the original journal entries (both in Anne's own handwriting, thanks to hard working archivists at West Yorkshire Archive Service) and the transcriptions (thanks to the code breakers), a podcast episode about the date by rabid a Mariana Lawton fan, some great tumblr posts of gifs and fan art from the episode and series, my favorite fan group FB page Shibden After Dark.

Anne Lister, previously; Gentleman Jack Fanfare page.
posted by ikahime at 10:35 AM on May 4, 2022

The only other tab I have open at this time is Col. Sanders Radio Bloopers
posted by majick at 10:54 AM on May 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

I found out tonight that my husband had never heard of the "this is just to say poem" and thought the various Facebook posts and comments I've made riffing off of it over the years were just me being weird.

"I thought it was a Tumblr or 4Chan thing" he says.

I feel like all y'all are the ones who can best appreciate how fucking funny that is.
posted by Jacqueline at 7:10 PM on May 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

Bookmarks have been roundly neglected by the browser makers. I don't know why they want to make them such a drag to use, organize, and access.

I am a Super Tabber, a recent discoverer of OneTab, which holds...let me check...2193 links, which was my tab count when I found it and said to myself, I says, "rhizome, you're going to make a fresh start and close tabs when they are irrelevant or unimportant or when you're done using them. I'm at about 200 again it looks like, and it looks like around 60 are about sound deadening my car. It's a complicated subject! How do low-tab people comparison shop online?
posted by rhizome at 7:37 PM on May 5, 2022

How do low-tab people comparison shop online?

Oh, my natural state if computers didn't suck would be about 30 tabs, but (A) computers suck, and browsers and web sites suck more, and (2) I derive great satisfaction from closing the tab(s) when I'm done with a particular thing. When I'm working on a coding thing I'll have a bunch of tabs open to various bits of documentation and Stack Overflow and whatever, but then when I finish the thing all the tabs go POOF. It got to be such a habit that I'll close things I don't need right now and just go dig them out of my history again later if I need them. Comparison shopping is the same. Many tabs open, closing individual tabs as things are ruled out, and then get rid of them all. So satisfying.
posted by fedward at 8:01 PM on May 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Simple Tab Groups. Periodically shove unused tabs into a tab category, and open that set of tabs as and when you need them.

So, in my main category: two. Overall about 200, but all within easy reach.

My main problem is Pocket which definitely needs a clear out.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:33 PM on May 8, 2022

currently open tabs in this window:

Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid - The Atlantic
Facebooks Dangerous Experiment on Teen Girls - The Atlantic
Ask v. Guess Culture exists. What about trying v. not trying culture? - Tryhard natural passion | Ask MetaFilter
Songs that sound like other songs, but three or more of them? - music melody riff | Ask MetaFilter
Apt Pupil (film) - Wikipedia
The Running Man (King novel) - Wikipedia
Stephen King | The Dollar Baby Program
Riding the Bullet - Wikipedia
The Walled Off Hotel
Dolans Cadillac (film) - Wikipedia
Exposed by a Strava KOM: The many lives of a fake pro cyclist - CyclingTips
Apple Stops Production of iPods, After Nearly 22 Years - The New York Times : back support office chair
When Abortion Rights Are Under Attack, What Do We Do?
Menstrual extraction - Wikipedia
Out of the Alley | The Nib
What Fresh Hell Is This? Perimenopause, Menopause, Other Indignities, and You - Heather Corinna
Estrogen Matters
Alex Papadimoulis .NET Blog - Pounding A Nail: Old Shoe or Glass Bottle?
Treasure Sentimental Items | Shop at KonMari | Marie Kondo Official
Every Bay Area House Party - by Scott Alexander
List of songs about Boston - Wikipedia
A Clockwork Orange (novel) - Wikipedia
Big Mouth (TV series) - Wikipedia
Soul Quest Overdrive | ATHF Wiki | Fandom
Soul Quest Overdrive Season 1 - watch episodes streaming online
Mechanical Watch – Bartosz Ciechanowski
San Francisco’s Big Seismic Gamble - The New York Times
After Texas, Florida abortion fights, corporate America braces for the end of Roe - The Washington Post
Jill Hazelbaker Takes Control of Ubers Narrative to Emphasize Safety - The New York Times
201 Leavenworth St - Google Maps
No Country for Old Men Shirt Feminist Tshirt Uterus Pro | Etsy
Obituary of Duff Otis Clingman | Funeral Homes & Cremation Services...
2022 Pulitzer Prize Winners & Finalists - The Pulitzer Prizes
The Failures Before the Fires: Dozens Die in Chicago Buildings Where the City Knew of Fire Safety Issues | Better Government Association
Jennifer Senior of The Atlantic - The Pulitzer Prizes
frank: sonnets, by Diane Seuss (Graywolf Press) - The Pulitzer Prizes
William Langewiesche: The Sinking of the Estonia - The Atlantic
America’s Richest School Serves Low-Income Kids. But Much of Its Hershey-Funded Fortune Isn’t Being Spent. — ProPublica
Knives Out - Wikipedia
man’s search for meaning - Google Search
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone - W H Auden
Nothing Beautiful Survives the Culture War - The Atlantic
3 Ways to Make Your Mom Happier on Mothers Day - The Atlantic
David Brooks: The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake - The Atlantic
50 Years Later: Revisiting The Rolling Stones Unsurpassed Exile On Main Street - Glide Magazine
The correct way to wash the dishes is | MetaFilter
The Sliced-Crosswise Only-On-Tuesday World - Wikipedia
A Cartoon from The New Yorker
A Cartoon from The New Yorker
Edibles — Laurie + MaryJane
Home Burial by Robert Frost | Poetry Foundation
Has the ACLU actually lost its way? - charity | Ask MetaFilter
Help me understand life as a truly broke American - poverty | Ask MetaFilter
$2 a Day
$2 a day poverty in America: the debate, explained - Vox
Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott: 9780812986952 | Books
Step Inside the Thai Cave in Augmented Reality - The New York Times
Kennedy v. Bremerton School District (U.S. Supreme Court, 2022) | Anti-Defamation League
How Tucker Carlson Stoked White Fear to Conquer Cable - The New York Times
Opinion | Tucker Carlson confirms it: ‘I lie’ - The Washington Post
Public Mass Shootings: Database Amasses Details of a Half Century of U.S. Mass Shootings with Firearms, Generating Psychosocial Histories | National Institute of Justice
PDXWIT-Mentorship-Program-October-29-2021.pdf - Google Drive
biopic +glasses - Google Search
Metatalktail Hour: Tabs! | MetaTalk
“Being Poor,” Ten Years On | Whatever
Being Poor | Whatever
posted by bendy at 8:34 PM on May 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

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