Firefox 4.0 beta 7 updates for BarTab and Vertical Tabs

November 10, 2010

Covert BarTab-like feature in Firefox 4.0 beta 7

A few weeks ago Paul O’Shannessy implemented cascading session restore. By doing that he took a big item off my to-do list for BarTab and made add-ons like Load Tabs Progressively redundant. Not only that, the number of concurrently loaded tabs can be tweaked through the browser.sessionstore.max_concurrent_tabs preference in about:config. If set to 0, you get instant BarTab-like behaviour. Great success!

In the meantime I have fixed a few Firefox 4.0 compatibility issues in BarTab. These fixes are in the latest BarTab beta, available from the BarTab beta channel. I’m very busy working on Firefox Sync these days so I can’t promise if I’ll be able to maintain BarTab and if it will ever officially support Firefox 4.0. But thanks to Paul, one of the biggest reasons for having BarTab installed just went away!

Vertical Tabs 0.7

Vertical Tabs has received a few updates as well and is now at version 0.7. Compatibility with Firefox 4.0 beta 7 (now the minimum required version) and recent nightlies has been restored. The styling now works better when Personas (lightweight themes) are installed. Since Firefox removed the status bar, Vertical Tabs no longer rolls a custom status bar on left, either. Instead the tabs toolbar has been moved there, and it’s fully customizable. You can, for instance, put your Sync toolbar button down there! Lastly, the Tabs on Top menu item has been removed since that choice does not make any sense once Vertical Tabs is installed.

Try out Firefox 4.0 beta 7 now!

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35 Responses to “Firefox 4.0 beta 7 updates for BarTab and Vertical Tabs”

  1. Screwtape Says:

    I’m a long-time user of TreeStyleTabs, but I’ve been interested in Vertical Tabs ever since I heard about it because it looks like it has a more native look-and-feel and simpler configuration. Unfortunately, since I generally use nightly Firefox builds, I haven’t been able to try it up until now.

    I’ve just tried installing VT 0.7 on the latest nightly (it took me a while to find; addons.m.o says “0.6″ and I had to dig in the “older versions” cupboard to find 0.7), and it’s… still a bit clunky.

    Firstly, each tab is rendered with the standard tab texture (grey gradient, rounded corners at the top) rather than the list-item style I see in screenshots. Secondly, each tab is about 128px high, with the favicon, title and close-button in the top 16px, wasting a lot of space. Lastly, the “group the selected tabs” button in the toolbar at the bottom has its icon set to “downloadshistorybookmarksnewtabnewwindowsyncrss”; that is, a bunch of other toolbar icons stuck together – perhaps some kind of CSS-sprite failure?

    For reference, my build ID is: “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:2.0b8pre) Gecko/20101110 Firefox/4.0b8pre” and I’m using the default theme with no personas or other visual addons.

    • philikon Says:

      Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately I haven’t had the time at all yet to come up with a Linux theme. I bet it looks absolutely horrible on Linux. Contributions are much welcome *hint hint*, even if it’s just suggestions on what the “native” Linux style should look like (e.g. a mockup).

      • Screwtape Says:

        Ah, that explains it. :)

        I’ll try to remember to make a screenshot of the tree sidebar in the standard Linux file-manager, which might help. Poking around the existing Firefox UI, it looks like the Bookmarks and History sidebars are pretty much perfect – if you could copy those, you’d be all set.


  2. I hope people don’t see “Updating to Firefox 4 will disable BarTab” and panic / choose not to upgrade.

  3. Dao Says:

    Well, you could just release a FF4-compatible version of BarTab that sets browser.sessionstore.max_concurrent_tabs to 0 in defaults.js. This way people won’t panic and wouldn’t need to figure out that there’s a hidden pref.

  4. Spudd86 Says:

    Is this version of BarTab any different from the github master?

    I’m running Firefox nightlies so I’ve got a checkout from github that I bump the supported version on and make the XPI so it keeps working…

    I like being able to unload tabs and also the UI that shows which are loaded and which are not is nice… FF4 doesn’t entirely replace BarTab…

  5. akaxaka Says:

    Further proof that BarTab is awesome!

  6. Ed Says:

    I just came across Vertical Tabs, and much prefer it to Tree Style, both visually and the groups feature.

    However at the moment it’s on the left of the window – presumably there’s a way to move it to the right, but I can’t see how to do it. Can anyone help?

    • philikon Says:

      There’s no way to put the tree on the right and I personally have no interest in providing that feature. One of the goals of VT is native-like styling, and neither OSX nor Windows apps present their tree on the right (correct me if I’m wrong here.)

      That said, I’ll gladly accept patches that makes this an option (e.g. a pref setting in about:config.)

      • Ed Says:

        Thanks for the reply. That’s a shame, but I understand the native styling goal.

        I’m right-handed and find having my mouse change tabs on the right feels more natural than the left, the same way my OS X desktop icons are positioned on the right. It’s almost as though you have to move the mouse back across the page you’re reading to change tabs.

        I’ll stick with Tree Style for now then, but will keep an eye out for patches here, as this is the only thing holding me back from switching at the moment. It’s a really nice extension!

  7. markku Says:

    My experience with BarTab on Firefox4 is that unloaded tabs are not at all bookmarked when using “Bookmark All Tabs”. Otherwise, BarTab+FF4 would rock! =)

  8. mindugo Says:

    I believe one of the most useful features of BarTab is ability to unload inactive tabs after some period of time. This should definitely integrated in Firefox 4. In the meantime this BarTab feature doesn’t work correctly with Panorama groups – each time a tab is unloaded in hidden group, a new tab is created in current group. Do you have plans to fix this?

    • johny Says:

      Hello,
      I’m sure if i exactly had the same problem, but i’m running (and sticking on Firefox3), and this was solved by the last update. (of Firefox or bartab, i’m not sure wich one solved the bug)

      Yes, i’m sticking to FF3 because it needs *much* less memory thant Firefox 9 (i did some tests!) (Yes it’s also true, on my computer Firefox 9 is much faster, but useless because of to few RAM available…. sad…)

      • unhappybirthday Says:

        You should check out the UnloadTab extension. It does everything the old BarTab did and doesn’t create extra tabs when it unloads one.

  9. mindugo Says:

    I like the idea of Vertical Tabs, especially grouping. The most noticeable issues I see at the moment are:
    1. Tab tree should not be displayed in resized popups.
    2. When tab group is selected, content of the first tab in that group should be displayed instead of empty tab.
    3. App Tab handling.

    Thanks for your work and useful extensions!

  10. mindugo Says:

    Some more bugs/issues:
    - New tabs from bookmarks, links, etc. load into group header tabs if they’re empty.
    - In some cases after closing tab, a “ghost” tab is created without title and it cannot be closed.
    - While multiple tabs selection works, all selected tabs cannot be dragged&dropped into group – only the first tab from the selection is moved into group in such case.
    - If group header tab is unloaded by BarTab, group hierarchy is lost and child tabs are moved to the same level as group header tab. In some cases unloaded group header tab itself gets left indent.
    - BarTab (2.1b1) feature “Keep Pages From http://www.domain.com Loaded” doesn’t work with Vertical Tabs (0.7).

    Keep up the good work and looking forward to the next releases :)

  11. Moin Says:

    I’ve been trying to make a simpler version of BarTab for chrome, running into few issues.

    I can sort of stop tabs from loading at the start but the stop fires when I try to load the clicked tab.

    Have posted a question on Stack Overflow if you want to have a look at help out http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4428724/stop-chrome-from-loading-all-tabs-on-startup-in-my-extension


  12. The look of Vertical Tabs is great, as is its philosophy of keeping things simple. Selectable tabs are also cool. If I had one wish, it would be nested tabs (like Tree Style Tab). I open many tabs in the background and TST opens them as children of the current tab. This automatically keeps things organized without the need to manually create groups. Apart from that, I don’t need anything, I don’t even ever collapse and expand tab tree nodes.

  13. Olli Says:

    FF4 doesn’t do the “unload after xx time” trick. My wife is a rampant tabholic (200 tabs is nothing) so she does make a laptop crawl. Ejecting tabs from memory after 6 hours idle is a lifesaver.

    Hopefully the development version still lets you unload tabs from memory in FF4.

  14. Carsten Lilge Says:

    Sorry, i´m one of those users who don´t and can´t fool around in the code of their installed software: will Bar Tab be updated to work with FF4? (Does not work my computer, win7, fully updated)

  15. Vance Decker Says:

    BULLSHIT! This is nothing like BarTab which lets you unload tabs from memory.

  16. unhappybirthday Says:

    While the browser.sessionstore.max_concurrent_tabs setting may fix the initial tab load for the native session manager, Tab Mix Plus does not obey it. I was really hurting (FF crashing from memory exhaustion) after my FF4 upgrade until I installed BarTab 2.1b2. Thank you so much for continuing to work on this! I’m looking forward to a future update where auto-loading upon selection of unloaded tabs is added back in. I know I can hit F5, but I got so used to BarTab doing it for me :)

    • philikon Says:

      I’m curious why you want to still use TabMix Plus. Most of its functionality is now available in Firefox proper.

      • unhappybirthday Says:

        1. tabs sized to fit the page title
        2. multiple rows of tabs
        3. right-click –> Duplicate Tab
        4. closed tab history
        5. robust session save/management
        6. automatically opens typed addresses in new tab.

        I’m new to FF4, so some of these may be included now…

  17. Louis Says:

    I like Vertical Tabs very much. Now VT 0.8 in ff 4.0.1
    Just one slight problem: The small bar below with the two buttons jumped in one of my ff 4.0.1 profiles from below the tabs to the top just above the tabs. And stays there. Also this button bar is now very long: from the left edge of my ffox window to the right of my FF window. Bar Height stayed the same. But an almost completely empty bar for left to right is a bit of a waste of my screen.
    So 2 wishes:
    - I would like to be able to unselect this VT bar like I can unselect the Menu bar and Bookmarks bar etc.
    - I would like the 2 buttons to appear in the Customizable button list, so I can choose whether I would like them someplace else. Like in another bar.
    I use VT in combination with Tabgroup Manager (TGM).

  18. Chuck Says:

    Unfortunately, I’m stuck at Firefox 3.6.18 because I cannot move forward without BarTab. I keep enough tabs open (usually 300+) that Firefox just runs out of memory without BarTab. I tried BarTab Lite, but I need the ability to manually unload tabs and to have tabs automatically unload after x hours.

    I don’t have a problem with 3.6, though there are some nice new features in Firefox 4 that I wish I could use. What worries me though is that Mozilla’s new policy with the release of Firefox 5 is that there will be no security updates for the older browsers. So, now I’m going to be vulnerable to known exploits as long as I stay on 3.6.

    Oh well…hopefully there will be a new version of BarTab eventually.

  19. jimis Says:

    Vertical-tabs addon is fantastic, together with built-in bartab functionality I can have over 200 tabs open! I appreciate your effort and I’m looking forward to seeing panorama-compatible grouping.

    BTW I want to look at the vertical-tabs addon as an example addon, I really like its lightweightness and the fact no restart is required. Where can I find the source?


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