Ruby, Rails, Firefox, Anime, Mac
In: Mozilla30 Sep 2004
You may or may not have noticed this neat little “Open in Tabs” feature in Mozilla Firefox that lets you open bookmarks in a folder in tabs. Just to be clear, here’s how it looks like:
And here it is again in the context menu when you right-click on a bookmark folder:
“Open in Tabs” is also featured in Why You Should Switch to Firefox, the official “Why switch” (to Firefox) write-up. Well, this would be all fine and dandy and a plus point to the tab browsing paradigm of Firefox (and Opera, etc.), except for what appears to be a near fatal flaw in my eyes.
Here, try this in a new Firefox window. Open up 4 tabs. Make sure that there’s nothing in these tabs that you want to remember to come back to later, especially the last 2. Now try using “Open in Tabs” on a bookmark folder with just 2 bookmarks. What just happened? Firefox has closed the last 2 tabs and loaded the first 2 tabs with the first 2 bookmarks. Well, actually this is not so bad for the first 2 tabs, because you can use the “Back” button to go back to your page should you want to, but the tabs that were closed are lost.
Destructive action without forewarning? I’d think so. Bug 258244- ‘Open in tabs’ command does not respect close multiple tabs warning, reported by Thomas Rutter (who happens to be the forum admin for SitePoint Forums), asks for this to be fixed by either displaying a warning first or opening the new tabs in addition to the current tabs. I’m not to sure about displaying a warning dialog myself, as Mike Connor feels too, but appending the new tabs to the existing ones seems like a damn fine solution. Sure, you can go to about:config and set the browser.tabs.loadFolderAndReplace preference to false. But even better would be that this was the default preference in the first place. Would have saved me a lot of cursing during those times I accidentally middle-clicked a bookmark folder. And it is easy to make those accidental middle-clicks when you’re not thinking straight or not aiming properly (seriously – aren’t guys notorious for not aiming properly in the toilet?).
Bug 175124 – implement Chimera style opening tabs replace as necessary functionality also suggests another (non-destructive) way of dealing with this problem. There are also several other (at least 10) bug reports on the same issue, mostly marked as WONTFIX, with Mike Connor or some other person saying that this is “by design”.
Personally, I still feel that appending the new tabs is still the best solution, because it is what’s consistent with what you’d expect from middle-clicking – something opens in a new tab when you middle-click. Does anyone feel the same way or have a better solution in mind?