My work environment has changed drastically as I become more dependent on
Firefox to feed me information from the web. As such, I often have more and
more tabs open as the day progresses. Closing a tab is annoying, becuase in 15
minutes I'll probably need that page again. Since I don't close tabs often, I
end up with a huge tab list when the only thing I can see in the tab itself is
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.