links for 2009-04-16


Thinking Desktop


After reading the article yesterday about one of the concepts behind the future of Firefox, I did a couple of things.

First, to experience what it looks and feels like, I installed the Tree Style Tab add-on into my Firefox browser.  In my entry from yesterday, I also made reference to the importance of having access to Twitter so did some arranging to make sure that my Seesmic Desktop was always going to be available.  My new desktop experience now looks like this.

I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of customisation that is available with this add-on.  I like the hierarchy layout that it provides as you go from one link in a page to another.  It delivers a nice record of how and where you got to a particular page.  My only concern, at this point, is the amount of dead space left over.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m in search of the perfect layout to have all of the information sources collected together into a single spot.  You’ll note that in the screen grab above, I’ve got a little room left over!  However, it didn’t take long to be able to adjust to having the tabs on the left instead of the right.  In long scrolling pages like my Delicious network above, the extra real estate in the browser window is nice to have.  There may indeed be something to this.

Now, for truth in browsing – I’m fortunate to be able to install this on a screen with wide dimensions.  The above illustration is from a Macintosh set at 1440×900.  The experience is a little less thrilling when set at a conservative 1024×768.  However, the add-on does have the ability to hide and reveal the tabs which is very helpful.

I also took a look around at family and some colleagues who happened to be on the internet.  The first observation was that my fixation on a single point of info isn’t shared by all.  Much of what I saw was just a browser open and a focus on the content of the webpage.  When other information was needed, it was a matter of going to a different web resource or to a different application starting with the process of shutting down the browser to do so.  What you don’t see in the image above is that I also have an email client, word processor, and iTunes open as well.  Daughter Bubby did have a couple of apps open as she’s doing homework, browsing, and clobbering me in Word Twist on Facebook.  She refuses to go full screen with any of her apps, instead preferring to have bits and pieces visible for switching from one to the other.

So, the experiment will continue.  It was a far easier transition that what I thought it was going to be.  Even if this turns out not to be the future for Firefox, I’m thinking that the add-on may remain.  It makes tabbed browsing even more intuitive for me.

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