SilverWav's Journal

The best is yet to come…

Goodbye Firefox Its Been Fun, Hello Chrome My Cool New Friend.

Time to move on: Moving from mainly using Firefox to mainly using Chrome.

Reasons and Rationalisations:

Google:

I use a lot of Google services and I own a lot of Google devices.

Security is top notch and updates are pushed out fast, but in a way that does not bug users.

Chrome is now mature enough that I can find equivalent extensions to those in Firefox.

e.g. I have found an extension “Sidewise Tree Style Tab” that allows me to have usable vertical tab stacking.

Chrome is developing a technical lead and will be developed at quite a fast pace for the foreseeable future.

Chrome updating does not break extensions.

Although I don’t trust Google as much as I do Mozilla (banking will still be a Firefox activity), I still trust them a lot.

Mozilla:

Mozilla’s treatment of the RSS LiveBookMarks feature was for me a turning point, instead of updating the feature, it was largely emasculated.

And in point of fact the Chrome extension, RSS Live Links, looks to be a better long term proposition than my favourite Firefox extension Boox, :-( go figure.

A New World:

So here we go a whole new world to get used to :-o

This should be fun :-)

______________________________

The next few articles will note any useful tips on using and configuring Chrome.

I will back link them all here to make it easer for anyone making the same journey.

Notes: The Best Chrome Extensions For An Ex Firefox User.

Notes: Chrome’s Built In Page Zoom and Minimum Font Size – No Need For An Extension? Probably.

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Written by SilverWav

November 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm

51 Responses

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  1. Take look also on TabsOutliner. You might like it more than Sidewise. (in TO the TreeStyleTabs mode must be enabled in options, it is off by default, also it is use built in Chrome search(Ctrl-F) with highlighting instead of filtering search in Sidewise, so more context is visible around the all searched result).

    The most useful feature of TO is that some text selected in a web page can be dragged to TO window and placed as a note for some tab – I utilize this every day. Also ability to highly restructure tree using 2 panes is very powerful and based on the fact that there is no distinguishing between different nodes (like tabs ad windows) in terms what might be parent for what – so everything can be placed on everything – this really simplify for example cleanup operations – you simple drag everything in one pile before delete.

    Omnray

    December 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    • Hi Omnray,

      I tried Tabs Outliner but found it to by unintuitive and overly complicated, where as Sidewise Tree Style Tabs was very close to the Firefox extension.

      SilverWav

      December 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      • Power come with price… but really, too complicated? are you serious?

        Omnray

        December 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm

        • Oh yeah

          Tabs Outliner testing notes:

          Some Gotcha’s to watch out for:

          Enable “Tree Style Tab” and “One Click” from the options then close and open the Tab Outliner again.

          Once you have all your tabs displayed correctly click “Save and close all open windows”.

          Or use the “x” to “save” them – Yes I know this does not make sense.

          *** If you don’t then they will all be lost! *** (This should be done automatically, I was caught by this and needed to use Chrome’s restore feature to recover).

          In Chrome settings “On Start up” set to Open the New Tab page. On opening Chrome click the Tab Outliner button.

          SilverWav

          December 1, 2012 at 9:30 pm

          • Really cannot understand what you mean by “*** If you don’t then they will all be lost! ***”
            If you close you tabs (or Chrome) without saving them they _MUST_ be lost.
            TO save everything automatically in case Chrome is crashed, and it is crashed every week for me, so I can ensure you it really save everything on crash, but a normal close is a close, if you simple close something then it is not needed anymore – it must gone… I think that Sidewise doing the same, as it is hard to imagine something different actually.
            Green Cross as a save button… hmmm maybe it is strange, but really the main function for this is to close the tab or window, and this is actually more important function, so X is for close, as for me it is perfectly logically that a button which close the tab is somehow mentioned this fact, or you think that a floppy disk is more appropriate ? ; ))))

            Omnray

            December 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

            • >or you think that a floppy disk is more appropriate

              Unfortunately yes :-)

              Because everyone knows that a floppy disk icon represents “Save”.

              (I have seen a new icon for save lately, a Document with a green downward pointing arrow).

              Hmm or looking at “Sidewise Tree Style Tab” he has called his option Hibernate/Wake… that works, as it’s not associated with Close or Delete.

              SilverWav

              December 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm

            • >If you close you tabs (or Chrome) without saving them they _MUST_ be lost.

              Actually that’s not the case. There are special rules in Tabs Outliner that should, in certain circumstances, save a tab automatically. IIRC one of these is if you add a note.

              All of these odd rules that you had to remember, were part of the reason that I switched.

              Life is too short.

              SilverWav

              December 1, 2012 at 10:44 pm

              • Very logical and useful rules. actually only ONE rule. And it is not about saving tabs at all. It is about saving you notes! It is basically say that if you add any note to tab then even if you close this tab accidentally (or intentionally) the tab will be saved anyway along with a note and a note will not gone!. So basically it say – all you notes will be preserved and must be deleted from TO manually, they never disappear because of parent tab closing.

                This is not the way how it is proposed to save tabs in TO, to save a tab or window simple save it! Directly! By using funny green cross : ) Not need to add any notes to save anything.

                Yet the fact that the tabs does not disappear without a trace if they contain notes is really very logical and cool to know it is working this way. It is expected actually! You place some note on tab, then you close a tab – it will be very inconvenient to lost a notes in this scenario.

                Omnray

                December 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm

                • heh agreed.

                  Now apply the same logic to any of the other tabs.

                  Why, on closing Chrome, should Tab Outliner close my 150 tabs?

                  It should _at least_ ask me if I want to save them in Tab Outlier.

                  SilverWav

                  December 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm

                  • Well, it will be really annoying if something will constantly interfere by “asking”. Chrome Exit is really an intentional operation. It is hard to execute this accidentally. Most of the time before exit is not needed to save anything because it was some really fast browsing session, to see a weather forecast, or latest news, or email… The Full Chrome close is actually logically does not different from some Window close. So why wee need to drop our tabs hierarchy in case of window close and save it in case of Chrome Exit? And all of this taking in account that Chrome Exit is actually really hard to execute unintentionally, so fire Save All in TO before this not a problem at all.

                    Omnray

                    December 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm

                    • >Well, it will be really annoying if something will constantly interfere by “asking”.

                      Not as annoying as losing your 150+ tabs.

                      If I am about to close large numbers of tabs without saving… that is usually a mistake.

                      SilverWav

                      December 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm

            • >If you close you tabs (or Chrome) without saving them they _MUST_ be lost.

              Yeah but who would go to the trouble of setting up all his tabs in Tabs Outline and then not want to save them if he closes Chrome?

              SilverWav

              December 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm

              • When you work with a browser you open dozen of tabs every hour, you are not setting anything, you open and close, open and close, open and close – if everything was open will stay it will be simple an another History scrapyard.

                Want to save everything before complete close? – okey – hit Save All – a one click. Want to save only some important windows – save only them – everything else will gone on close as it was not important enough, this is why we close Chrome anyway, because something is not needed anymore – so we close.
                Don’t want to save, no problem, simple do nothing – and this is most of the time when I close Chrome, as everything it was worth to save is already saved at this moment.

                Sidewise leaves all this opened in last session garbage in collapsed group – yet actually it is a garbage, it is simple not needed anyway, I have Sidewise installed for some time (need uninstall) and now this collapsed past sessions is already occupy several screens for me, without any need actually.

                Omnray

                December 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm

                • Well we obviously disagree, but I would say that the lack of auto-save is probably the main issue new users will have with Tab Outliner.

                  SilverWav

                  December 2, 2012 at 12:05 am

                  • TO does not lack auto save. Auto-save is present and works perfectly by showing all previously opened windows after every crash, that auto save which you propose is only for garbage generation and Sidewise demonstrate this clear enough.

                    The problem with with losing 150 tabs on intentional Chrome exit, without saving everything, will happen only for some rare users, such mistake is unavoidable, and only once, and most important – without any harm or even inconveniences, as this can be easily recovered by one click, using Chrome restore last closed window, why need put this garbage in tree constantly or ask anything on every close, ***if this can be so easily undone***, absolutely without any lost (as if you add some notes in this unintentionally closed window you notes will stay anyway) i really did not understand.

                    Found you review actually, a 3 stars pfffff, you have no soul : ) If this is 3 stars then i don’t know what else can deserve more in Chrome Web Store.

                    Omnray

                    December 2, 2012 at 1:19 am

                    • > If I am about to close large numbers of tabs without saving… that is usually a mistake.

                      The Chrome devs already answered this question. I saw some video where they was asked why they don’t ask if user close window with a lot of tabs and they answered that the possibility to easily undone such a mistake is more more useful and convenient, and i think they perfectly right. Of course for somebody coming from Firefox this is somewhat a news, but it is really much more handy than an automatically throughclicked stupid yes-no dialog.

                      Omnray

                      December 2, 2012 at 1:34 am

                    • By the way, i skim over, and seems all low rate reviews in TabsOutliner and SideWise have something in common – they definitely written by very “specific” people. How can anybody set 1-2 or even 3 stars for Sidewise or TO… this is really more like self review than a review for a program. And seems Sidewise was suffers more from such people, who come from Firefox with some stupid expectations, and then, instead of supporting really great peace of software (as Sideways definitely being, and TO even more, of course ; ) they simple…. ehhh. But this is a life, even the best YouTube videos always have some dislikes…

                      Omnray

                      December 2, 2012 at 1:56 am

                    • >> If I am about to close large numbers of tabs without saving… that is usually a mistake.

                      >The Chrome devs already answered this question.

                      Yes and they have unfortunately made a mistake, I am sure they will correct it eventually.

                      SilverWav

                      December 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

        • Hi Omnray,

          I can see what this guy is doing with Tabs Outliner, he is really clever and having a ball designing everything from scratch, having a lot of fun doing things his way and he has a lot of interesting ideas.

          But, Tabs Outliner’s user interface is odd and takes time to master, he actually mentions this in the huge help documentation.

          The are lots of mixed messages coming from the UI and TBH if an extension need this much in the way of help, then something is very very wrong ;-)

          Saying which, hey, if it works for you that’s great. Choice is good :-)

          SilverWav

          December 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm

          • > takes time to master
            10 minutes is a “take time to master”, yeah, you right ; )

            Amount of help texts is really uncommon (2 pages!! :-), really need simple delete it altogether, as actually it is 10 times repeat same banal things, and they is perfectly understandably without any documentation at all (except maybe the tips section, as it is mostly not about TO, and have some cool advises)

            This is a tool for everyday use, even not everyday but every 10 minutes use, I think it worth to have really the best and most powerful instrument in this case, even if it has some learning curve (yet it is ridiculous to say about any learning curve in this case actually).

            I was looked at Sidewise, good program also, but really except the one click by default it is not any different in basic use cases, and simple does not have all the additional (and really useful) features of TO. In additional it is also declare a access for all tabs content, without any reason. Maybe this is needed from technical perspective but this is mean it is embed self in every tab, so I think this might lead to not very friendly memory usage.

            Omnray

            December 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm

            • You are right this is a bit of a concern.


              Medium alert

              Your data on all websites

              This item can read every page that you visit — your bank, your web email, your Facebook page, and so on. Often, this kind of item needs to see all pages so that it can perform a limited task such as looking for RSS feeds that you might want to subscribe to.

              Caution: Besides seeing all your pages, this item could use your credentials (cookies) to request or modify your data from websites.

              SilverWav

              December 1, 2012 at 11:10 pm

                • Yeh, commenter is not the disinterested party… : )))
                  How can disinterested party lost a hour in some stupid discussion : ))))))))))))))))))))

                  Omnray

                  December 2, 2012 at 1:26 am

                  • There sooner will be a third player, in additional to TO and STST…
                    stay tuned ; )
                    I watch sidewise and of course watch TO, this is how i find your post actually, really trying to understand this your case and to learn something, i think that actually you wrong about being so mad about easily reversible action (reopening last closed window is really a one click) and TO is actually do it right by not storing all this rotten crap in a tree.
                    But there of course impossible to argue with all the Internet, so funny enough – you right, seems it must preserve all this garbage even if this lead later to unideal experience and polluted tree, dealing with haters is more important! : ))))

                    Omnray

                    December 2, 2012 at 2:16 am

                    • Nope. If your are clever enough then the trick is to design an extension that:

                      People want to use.

                      People like using.

                      To do that you have to be able to see things from the other persons point of view, at least sometime. ;-)

                      I actually don’t see haters being anywhere in the process.

                      SilverWav

                      December 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

                  • >Yeh, commenter is not the disinterested party… : )))
                    >How can disinterested party lost a hour in some stupid discussion : ))))))))))))))))))))

                    Heh. There is nothing wrong with being passionate about something you care about. :-)

                    SilverWav

                    December 2, 2012 at 11:25 am

            • As is :

              Your tabs and browsing activity

              This item can see the addresses and titles of websites that you visit in tabs and windows. It can also open and close tabs and windows, as well as navigate to new pages in existing tabs and windows.

              SilverWav

              December 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    • >By the way, i skim over, and seems all low rate reviews in TabsOutliner and SideWise have something in common – they definitely written by very “specific” people. How can anybody set 1-2 or even 3 stars for Sidewise or TO… this is really more like self review than a review for a program.
       

      Google has made it obligatory for Google+ account details to be displayed alongside new reviews of Android apps on its Play store.

      Previously posts could be submitted anonymously.

      The move means the reviewer’s name and profile photo – if they have one – will appear alongside their entry.

      One developer said the change should help address the problem of fake reviews. It may also boost use of the search giant’s social network.

      Android app reviews move to Google+ ID system

       

      > And seems Sidewise was suffers more from such people, who come from Firefox with some stupid expectations,

      Heh. Its always the fault of the ppl using it never the dev ;-)

       
      > and then, instead of supporting really great peace of software (as Sideways definitely being, and TO even more, of course ; ) they simple…. ehhh. But this is a life, even the best YouTube videos always have some dislikes…

      As you say some reviews are not very useful but sometimes they do point out things that the dev takes for granted, or things the dev would not have thought of.

      Ensuring that the reviews aren’t just fake should help.
       

      SilverWav

      December 2, 2012 at 11:03 am

      • Oh no, I was not said that there reviews is fake, they are clearly not fake at all : )) They are “special” in another way : )

        But you unlikely to understand this, as the user who argue that closing a 150 tabs without asking because there is an easy one click undo, and this is a common and official idiom in the Chrome platform is exactly the type of person who was leaving such reviews : ))))))))

        Omnray

        December 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm

        • Yet i am not said that this is bad, every temperament in population is evolutionary caused so obviously there is a clear need for such a people…

          Omnray

          December 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm

        • >Oh no, I was not said that there reviews is fake, they are clearly not fake at all : ))

          I think quite a lot of reviews are fake, its obviously easy to do, which is why Google is cracking down.

          The reviews that you don’t like the 1, 2, and 3 stars in the last week, are actually the ones from real people, funny that you have problems with them, but not the previous anonymous ones that give 5 stars …. OK, we understand. ;-)

          SilverWav

          December 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

          • Maybe in Android market, what a reason for a fake review for a free extension I really don’t know. Of course the developers maybe add some reviews to self. But to add a lot of such reviews need really invest a lot of time in profiles creation and things like this. I think the much faster way to obtain some reviews is simple to ask some friends, and even after that all of this will quickly become useless if extension is worthless.

            I monitor installations of TO, and some other extensions (Sidewise included) – they add every day +100 new users, sometime +200-300. So actually it is very strange that number of reviews is so low.

            Omnray

            December 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

            • >I monitor installations of TO, and some other extensions (Sidewise included) – they add every day +100 new users, sometime +200-300.

              That’s an odd thing to do why do you do that?

              >So actually it is very strange that number of reviews is so low.

              I don’t thinks so most only ppl write a review if they either love the extension or hate it.

              The exception is ppl who see that it’s nearly what they want and try to provide encouragement for the dev to continue and hopefully fix things, then you give it a 3 ;-)

              SilverWav

              December 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

              • > That’s an odd thing to do why do you do that?
                Not as odd as typing there wall of text, which you decide to delete in the end unfortunately, as seems you don’t have any other arguments : ))))

                > The exception is ppl who see that it’s nearly what they want and try to provide encouragement for the dev to continue and hopefully fix things, then you give it a 3 ;-)

                Known something about that….
                Wish you a lot encouragements like this ; ))))

                Omnray

                December 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm

                • Actually you may be right, it may not have the desired affect… now that you put it that way ;-)

                  You build it and put your life and soul into it and ….. ….. and you gave me a 3?

                  Yeah I can see that’s not really… encouragement.

                  SilverWav

                  December 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm

                  • When Sidewise was first released, and for a long time after that, it was close to unusable actually because of enormous amount of bugs. For example drags even not work consistently, and many basic things like this , I am not sure all of this fixed actually, as i am not use it regularly (or at all actually), but i monitor changelog and author seems to do a great work in this direction, so maybe most annoyed things, or even all of them is already fixed.

                    So why I saying this…
                    If after release, to Sidewise come a lot of people like you, there will be no any further progress actually. As with low rates there will be no users anymore from Google Web Store, and no any reason to continue this development.

                    Yet fortunately to Sidewise, people who comment like this:
                    http://sidewise.userecho.com/topic/138408-how-often-will-you-release/
                    in support group, actually set a 5 stars rates (you can find this exact user in Sidewise reviews with 5 stars)
                    and this is a reason why you had change to find and use it. Not the people with reviews like you left to encourage somebody who you even not know.

                    Omnray

                    December 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm

                    • Yet of course low rates reviews is most useful and interesting ones… so this is all about balance. But i think for a new things is some help at start is more important then poking a dev nose in a shit… and there is better places and ways to do so.

                      Omnray

                      December 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm

                    • Yeah, well you can only go by your own testing and Sidewise has been very robust so far for a beta product:

                      Some things I have noticed:

                      1. If you are having to mess around with window placement I would recommend looking at the options and disabling “Allow Sidewise to unmaximize the dock window” and “Keep sidebar visible next to dock window”.

                      2. Select the items to go in a folder first then right click and choose “Put in new folder”.

                      This is on a 64bit Linux Xubuntu Box.

                      Oh and I have Dual screens, the right one has the full Chrome window, the left has a third devoted to the Sidewise tabs window.

                      —————————
                      |          : S :|:           :|
                      |          : T :|:           :|
                      |          : S :|:           :|
                      |          : T :|:           :|
                      —————————

                      SilverWav

                      December 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm

        • Its always easier to blame the messenger than fix the problem.

          Its always easier to make derogatory comments about those with a physical or mental disability than help them.

          Denial Isn’t Just a River in Egypt.

          You seem to be in danger of becoming a “hater” yourself.

          SilverWav

          December 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm

  2. Will add some context to this, so you problems:
    – there too many help text in some product (so you prefer the one with a subset of all the same features yet without any help text at all)
    – you don’t like the icon design
    – you “lost” you open tabs on Chrome close (yet to reopen them again is only a several clicks, basically the same number of clicks you will be have in case the tabs will be actually saved in extension).

    All of this is nuances actually, I saw many TO reviews where reviewers actually say thanks for a help, and the first few paragraphs is completely sufficient. An icon design, cannot even say anything about this… A tabs “lost” – is a common idiom in Chrome, and can be easily undone, and also have a very annoying sideeffects if will be implemented the way you propose, so this is also in question. Cannot understand at all how anyone can expect to not lost something if they intentionally close this – so clearly there is different views on this problem.

    And because all of this you set 3 stars, which, if we will see some other extensions, with really 3 stars average is actually more like “highly not recommend for anyone!”.

    Yes, in result of implementing all you proposal we really obtain a Sidewise! But it is less feature rich product! It is clearly have all rights to exist and also very cool and good. But to blame and “not recommend” a more solid product and really innovative something only because there is feature less and because of this a simple alternative?

    You recommendation is actually a request to dumbing down a word ; ) Its say – don’t innovate, don’t try, don’t invent anything new – the bored busy masses will not like such things!

    I think this makes it’s clear that sometime there is some problems is in “messenger” actually. Do we really NOT NEED a TabsOutliner? As you review actually suggest! Do we really must always prefer more simple Sidewise instead? (It is by the way was released a month after TO, or something like this, so logically it was learn something from it, at least have a possibility and time to make the Hibernate button more logical).

    This is what bother me… slightly, as it is unavoidable, so… anyway, think it is time to end this talk – was really interesting talk for me, please excuse me if I say something harsh, i really not mean anything like this.

    Best regards.

    Omnray

    December 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    • Will add some context to this, so you problems:
      – there too many help text in some product (so you prefer the one with a subset of all the same features yet without any help text at all)
      – you don’t like the icon design
      – you “lost” you open tabs on Chrome close (yet to reopen them again is only a several clicks, basically the same number of clicks you will be have in case the tabs will be actually saved in extension).

      All of this is nuances actually, I saw many TO reviews where reviewers actually say thanks for a help, and the first few paragraphs is completely sufficient. An icon design, cannot even say anything about this… A tabs “lost” – is a common idiom in Chrome, and can be easily undone, and also have a very annoying sideeffects if will be implemented the way you propose, so this is also in question. Cannot understand at all how anyone can expect to not lost something if they intentionally close this – so clearly there is different views on this problem.

      And because all of this you set 3 stars, which, if we will see some other extensions, with really 3 stars average is actually more like “highly not recommend for anyone!”.

      Yes, in result of implementing all you proposal we really obtain a Sidewise! But it is less feature rich product! It is clearly have all rights to exist and also very cool and good. But to blame and “not recommend” a more solid product and really innovative something only because there is feature less and because of this a simple alternative?

      You recommendation is actually a request to dumbing down a word ; ) Its say – don’t innovate, don’t try, don’t invent anything new – the bored busy masses will not like such things!

      I think this makes it’s clear that sometime there is some problems is in “messenger” actually. Do we really NOT NEED a TabsOutliner? As you review actually suggest! Do we really must always prefer more simple Sidewise instead? (It is by the way was released a month after TO, or something like this, so logically it was learn something from it, at least have a possibility and time to make the Hibernate button more logical).

      This is what bother me… slightly, as it is unavoidable, so… anyway, think it is time to end this talk – was really interesting talk for me, please excuse me if I say something harsh, i really not mean anything like this.

      Best regards.


      Wow, Are you the developer?

      I ask because I cant see anyone else getting this upset about a 3 star review…

      Awkward :-(

      SilverWav

      December 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      • >This is what bother me… slightly, as it is unavoidable, so… anyway, think it is time to end this talk – was really interesting talk for me, please excuse me if I say something harsh, i really not mean anything like this.
        Best regards.

        Don’t worry about that I thought it was getting a bit redundant and sometimes veering off topic so I have pruned some of the posts.

        SilverWav

        December 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      • Suppose I am. Awkward? So you think it is awkward that the developers will demonstrate some unindifference to what they do?

        Omnray

        December 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm

        • No I meant that this was a socially awkward situation, because I didn’t know, (nor did you say) that you were the developer.

          I just thought that you were a fanboi of TO ;-)

          SilverWav

          December 2, 2012 at 6:37 pm

  3. > please excuse me if I say something harsh, i really not mean anything like this. Best regards
    well, must say I write this before i saw you decide to kill our discussion. So maybe i will take back the excuses and regards ; )

    Omnray

    December 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    • Yeah I thought it was getting a bit redundant and sometimes veering off topic so I have pruned some of the posts.

      SilverWav

      December 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      • That’s what I name awkward – a deleting and censorship a live and not indifferent discussion in a some godforsaken blog.

        really disagreeably… by//

        Omnray

        December 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm

        • 1. No I meant that this was a socially awkward situation, not that you were an awkward person.

          2. I only started pruning when you started calling me “special” so I don’t think you can start throwing around words like censorship. ;-)

          3. Remember you came to my home on the web, my house my rules.

          [UPDATE] OK I don’t think it puts you in a very flattering light… but all the posts have been restored.

          SilverWav

          December 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm

  4. Joel Thornton
    updated 1 hour ago
    Essentially, Sidewise requires this level of access because it has to communicate with each individual tab/page for various pieces of information that are used to construct and display the tree’s contents.

    For example, Sidewise uses the referrer (opening page’s url) of each page to help it uniquely identify which page goes with which row in the tree (e.g. during session restore). Currently, this information can only be obtained in Chrome by asking each page for it. Similarly, Sidewise needs to communicate with each page to ensure that we have the correct page titles and favicons at all times.

    Other features such as the Youtube timer also rely on this kind of page communication. And future features, such as “search text on all pages” from the sidebar, will require this permission as well.

    The real problem, from an extension developer’s perspective, is a lack of fine-grained control over what an extension needs to see on a page. Currently, it’s basically an all-or-nothing affair. If I need one bit of information from a page, I have to request permission to see the whole page.

    I will give some thought as to whether page-access could be made into an optional permission. Having it disabled would definitely impact some pretty core aspects of how Sidewise works, and I’m not sure the penalties in tree functionality/accuracy would be worth it. I suspect users might find the limitations it introduces to be annoying or confusing.

    I will be open sourcing the Sidewise codebase in the not too distant future, at which point other developers can independently verify that Sidewise does not do anything bad with its access to these permissions.

    Until then, the best I can offer you is my personal promise that Sidewise does not, and never will read or collect any of your personal information without your explicit permission.

    http://sidewise.userecho.com/topic/139860-can-this-extension-be-coded-to-work-with-out-reading-every-page-that-you-visit-medium-alert-your-data-on-all-websites/

    SilverWav

    December 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm

  5. Author of Sidewise here. Just thought I’d offer a few comments in response to the discussion above.

    I think TO is a good extension, and if I had known about it when I started working on Sidewise I might have just tried to contribute code to TO instead! Though TO and SW tackle the “tab tree problem” in somewhat different ways, it is clear my core vision for SW has many similarities to TO’s.

    I think SW and TO each have their respective strengths and weaknesses at this time. Unsurprisingly, for my part, I prefer SW to TO in their current forms, but TO does have some useful features that SW lacks. Some of these are features I would like to eventually add to SW, such as having Notes and Groups in the tree. Many of these ideas were on the SW roadmap before I discovered TO. That being said, I think SW’s long term vision diverges considerably from TO’s and my priority is chiefly on implementing several “high-value” features like Tree Style History that will further differentiate SW from TO.

    Regarding the “Last Session” windows accumulation in Sidewise: This will be changing soon. The next major feature I am releasing is a ‘Recently closed’ pane which will collect all closed tabs/windows and old “Last Session” windows, and allow you to reopen them from there on demand. So this clutter will be going away.

    For my thoughts on reducing Sidewise’s required permissions please see http://sidewise.userecho.com/topic/139860-can-this-extension-be-coded-to-work-with-out-reading-every-page-that-you-visit-medium-alert-your-data-on-all-websites/

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. Discussions like these are actually very helpful to a developer as they let us see our product from an outsider’s perspective.

    Joel Thornton

    December 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    • Hi Joel,

      Thanks for the information, very interesting.

      Oh and welcome to SilverWav’s Journal :-)

      SilverWav

      December 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm


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