Picking Up The Crumbs

17 June, 2013 § 25 Comments

A few days ago a new feature landed in Firefox Nightly that makes closing multiple tabs easier than it was before.

I often find myself in situations where I have multiple tabs that I opened only to look at for short periods of time. Sometimes I reach this state while reading articles on Hacker News or looking at funny pictures on Reddit. At the end of looking at the tabs, it would be nice if Firefox had a way to close these ephemeral tabs so you can get back to your previous work quicker.

Close Tabs to The Right

Well, Firefox now does! If you open lots of tabs from Reddit and then want to close all of the tabs to the right of Reddit, just right-click on the Reddit tab and choose “Close Tabs to the Right”. It’s easy and quick!

Why “close tabs to the right” and not “close tabs to the left”? When we open new tabs they appear on the end, and so naturally tabs that have a longer lifetime end up being promoted to the start-side of the bar. This leads us towards the situation where closing tabs “to the right” is a simple way of closing the ephemeral tabs.

Users who are using Firefox with a right-to-left locale such as Hebrew or Arabic should see the equivalent “Close Tabs to the Left” feature.

Huge thanks go out to Michael Brennan who contributed the patches and automated tests for this feature! Unless something drastic happens, this feature will find its way to Firefox Release in just over 12 weeks in Firefox 24.

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§ 25 Responses to Picking Up The Crumbs

  • herristo says:

    Cool, now if Firefox could also get Duplicate tab entry in the tab context menu like all the others, that would be great 🙂 Ctrl + clicking or middle clicking the reload button is not very intuitive / discoverable..

  • Len says:

    I use an addon which offers both (left/right). I occasionally find left useful too.

    It doesn’t look like Firefox supports selecting ranges of multiple tabs either.

  • fbender says:

    Uh, well, isn’t that something an addon should provide? I sometimes don’t quite understand the rationale for selecting which features make it into Firefox and which one does not … e. g. I still need to rely on an addon that allows me to reload a tab with a double click / tap. I’m ok with that. At least if it means that other useful-only-in-some-cases features need to be added with an addon, too. And now this. It even adds to UI clutter by adding a new context menu entry! I’m a bit disappointed now …

    • msujaws says:

      As it exists in a context menu, it doesn’t need to be used by all users, however we do expect that it will have high usage among context-menu users. There are also talks about looking at the necessity/usefulness of the existing context menu items to see if any can be removed (for example “Bookmark All Tabs” and “Reload All Tabs”).

    • fbender says:

      I think “Reload All Tabs” should not go, but “Bookmark All Tabs” can go, as there is an entry in the bookmarks menu already (at least on Mac).

      Anyway, what do you think about a double-click-to-reload-tab feature? Does this have a chance to get into Fx, without the need for an addon?

    • Tom says:

      I thought this as well @fbender. The rationale behind Firefox is supposed to be different to the old Mozilla suite, right? Compact, light and minimal, not Swiss army knife?

      I’m all for new features that help people, but base them on telemetry of how people are using the product and an overall vision for the product. If a minority of people will use it, leave it to an extension.

      As for Bookmark All Tabs, it’s not in the bookmarks menu on Windows, so let’s not make it disappear. Oddly Bookmark All Tabs is in the context menu, whereas Bookmark Tab is in the Bookmarks menu… just one of the UX quirks of Firefox I guess.

    • msujaws says:

      What someone would call a “quirk of Firefox”, another person may call a bug. These are the types of oddities that we should fix in Firefox. We’ve been working hard to remove some of the less used features to make sure that Firefox is as nimble and agile as it has always been 🙂

      Can you please file a bug regarding the “Bookmark All Tabs” vs “Bookmark This Page”?

  • Great news. I was just wishing for this a few days ago (my Firefox is heavy enough without tossing on more extensions external to the automated snappy testing).

    (I use Chrome for private browsing since I can open a new private window with a list of one or two dozen URLs from the command line and its built-in support for this has made me envious since Firefox+Extensions gets sluggish when you’re rapidly middle-clicking away a bunch of tabs)

  • Hawken Rives says:

    Cool!

    Would you mind taking a look at bug 455722? I know that I would use a “duplicate tab” menu item more often. (IMHO).

    Anyway, great job!

  • njn says:

    You need RES, from redditenhancementsuite.com. Once installed, you can view all the images on the current page inline by clicking a single link. Great time saver.

    • msujaws says:

      LOL, you’re right, but I don’t use it because I’ve heard too many stories about it’s horrible memory abuses. Are those not of concern anymore?

  • Caspy7 says:

    We get *this* but not duplicate?
    I have the desire/need to duplicate a tab all the time. This, very seldom.

    • Caspy8 says:

      Use vimperator, a small (580 kB) addon, but immensily powerful.

      To duplicate current tab in a new tab: type ‘T, Enter’
      To duplicate current tab in a new window: type ‘W, Enter’

      I wouldn’t be suprised if after installing the addon, you’ll find some of your other addons redundent.

    • Caspy7 says:

      @Caspy8
      I already have something to duplicate the current tab. My point was that I, and I think others, have a more frequent need to duplicate the current tab than to close all tabs to the right. I don’t find my self frequently managing my tabs in this manner (X, X, X to the right).
      With this addition, we’ve pretty well mimicked Chrome’s tab context menu functionality but have left off duplicate. (I think we should trade the one for the other.)

  • james says:

    “Tree style Tabs” is the only way to go if you want to have logical management of many tabs, really. Don’t know why it is not more popular
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/tree-style-tab/

  • Tomer Cohen says:

    I am messing up with my browser tabs daily, and while closing some tabs would help me keep my tabs toolbar clean, closing all the tabs that are newer than the current tab is too drastic solution (think about “rm -rf”).

    Instead, I’d like to suggest keeping track on child tabs on every tab object. For example, if I request to close all the child tabs from Slashdot or Hacker News, all the linked articles I’ve opened in tabs will get closed, but it won’t touch tabs created by clicking on links on Digg or any other site. This sounds to me more reasonable than the logic of closing all the tabs next to the selected tab.

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