Home Dash Rekindles My Love for Firefox

I have been an avid Firefox user for many many years. However, sometime over the last year I have started using Google Chrome as my main browser for Gmail, Google Reader, Facebook, etc. mainly for its speed.

I still use Firefox for web development efforts. The Firefox extensions available for this is unmatched.

With Firefox 4 looking so much more like Chrome with minimal UI elements, I have started using Firefox 4 more and more.

I just came across an experimental extension that could bring me back to Firefox as the only browser. 

Home Dash is an experimental Firefox add-on that redefines the tab navigation we have gotten used to. 

With this add-on installed, you browse any website in full screen mode. You don’t see any tabs.

You can ctl+tab to switch between the open tabs as thumbnails. This is reminiscent of some tab management extensions of the past. Home Dash differs by taking a different approach. It shows only relevant tabs instead of all open tabs.

And because even these related tabs aren’t shown during a regular browsing session, your whole screen is devoted to the page you are viewing.

The main goal behind this design is to help you focus and recall (video) better.

image

Here is how Home Dash shows the related pages right now

Home Dash currently internally organizes tabs based on various relationships and displays them in that order:

  1. self: the current tab gets the highest priority and is shown first
  2. child: links opened from the current page are highly relevant
  3. friend: tabs that happened to be opened around the same time
  4. sibling: other links that were opened from the same parent
  5. parent: where the current tab came from
  6. none: an unrelated page

Another cool feature with this is that when you are opening a new tab, you are given an universal bar that could be used to input a URL or use as a search. It auto-searches your history/bookmarks to bring relevant results as you type. You can also choose a search engine as you type.

I like the approach Home Dash has taken with tab management. As a person who has atleast 20-30 tabs open by the end of the day (I know!), I think this will help will tremendously focus and recall better on stuff I am working on.

Having said that, Home Dash is still experimental and feels so. My tab thumbnails aren’t loading as shown in the demo videos. I am kind of lost trying to find tabs.

But, this project is definitely promising and I am going to try to use it for a while and see if this gives me a better workflow.

Oh, I think I need to update my top Firefox extensions list. What would you add to it?

{ via Mozilla Labs blog }

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