Got Firefox with too many tabs open?
Posted Thu, 22 Jun 2006
Obviously, searching for a tab is extremely difficult when all you have for identification is horizontal location and a tiny icon. I had previously resorted to a Monte Carlo-style method of finding tabs, which is just a fancy term for "keep clicking random tabs until you find the right one." Again, this has the obvious side effect of wasting time and annoying me.
I set out yesterday to write a Firefox extension to solve this issue. I've got a prototype working pretty well, but a friend recently pointed me at Reveal. Reveal is a Firefox extension that lets me search titles and urls of open tabs for a page I'd like to view. It can search the page text, but I imagine that it is quite cpu intensive, so I don't bother. I installed it, and while I don't care for the thumbnails, the searching is fast and useful. However, I have doubts of it's speed when running on slower machines (this particular desktop is 3.4gHz).
With about 15-20 tabs open, it seems to perform pretty well. I am uncertain as to how well it scales. Being able to turn thumbnailing off entirely might be an option worth trying. For now, Reveal solves the problem well enough.
I have lots of ideas about how to search pages quickly without having to search the entire text content - like only looking at "important" tags such as the H1-H6 series, etc. I haven't needed page text searching yet, though, so I'll wait on spending time on that particular problem.