Tabbed browsing comparison

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by vniow, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    I've been soley using tabbed browsers since Opera first came out with them in v5.0 or something. (I don't remember)

    I then heard about Mozilla (this is all on a PC BTW) and decided to check it out.
    Impressed with the browser, I got rid of Opera and used Mozilla exclusivly until Phoenix came out.

    Phoenix v0.1 was excellent although too buggy to be used as default. I waited for a few versions to pass until I set aside some bandwith for another big download.
    When v0.4 came out I decided to take the plunge and give it another shot and sure enough it was not only faster than Mozilla but also easier to manage.

    Then I got my iBook so I could now see how browsers worked on the other side of the fence.

    One of the first things I did was trash IE (after I used it for a bit just to see what all the fuss was about) and downloaded Chimera.
    Turns out it was faster than Phoenix on some sites but it's regular crashes and tab behavior kept me from preferring it over Phoenix.

    The Safari v62 came out and it's tab implentation was OK, nothing really stood out about it except for the little 'X' to close them (which is good for people with one button mice I guess)
    Then v64 was released with some worthwile improvements.

    Now for the tab behavior comparison between these three browsers I use the most.

    First of all I would like to say that I like this browsers implementation of tabs the best so I'm biased.

    To open a link in a new tab, all I have to do is click the middle button on my mouse and it opens in the background (another plus).
    To close it I just middle click on the tab I wish to close and it goes to the next tab right of it.
    There also doesn't seem to be a limit on how many tabs you can open in a single window, the tabs just get smaller and smaller as more of them open.


    The previos version of Camino (Chimera v0.6) wasn't as user friendly to use as Phoenix in my opinion.
    Middle clicking (yes I use a three button mouse with my Mac) did open a new link on the background but to close it I had to right click on it and select an option in a contextual menu as opposed to just clicking once and even then it went to the left which was usually a page I had already read.
    It also had a limit to how many tabs were open in one window at a time, if I had too many open it would open up new windows instead of new tabs when I middle clicked on a link.

    When Chimera v0.7 (Camino) was released I downloaded it almost immediately and noticed only one change in the tab behavopr and that was they closed to the right instead of the left which saved me many mouse clicks.
    Camino offered some other improvements as well but none of them were related to tabs. (as far as I can tell)

    Safari v62/64:

    The only thing exceptional about v62's tab implementation is that they existed. The 'X' button to close them is a welcome feature but when you'be been middle clicking to close them in another browser it was hardly new.
    Plus it went to the left which I already explained why I didn't like that above.
    It did not support midle clicking to open a new link in a new tab, the easiest way was to right click and select the option in a menu that popped up and it didn't even open the link in the background like Chimera or Phoenix, really frustrating when you're trying to open a bunch of windows at once.

    v64 was released with some improvements to the tab behavior.
    There is still no option to open a new link in a new tab by middle clicking on it but at least they open up in the background now.
    When many tabs were open in v62, the ones that were opened last just went off the side of the screen and you had to close the visble tabs in order to get to the off screen ones.
    In v64, there's this little arrow that comes up when too many tabs for the bar are open. You click on it and a little menu with the tabs pops up and you can select which ones you want to open. (very nice)
    I also like the litle progress indicator for the tabs in v64, another welcome improvement.

    Basically my biggest gripes with Camino's and Safari's tabs is their open/close behavior.
    To open a link in a new tab in Safari I have to right click and select a option in a menu as opposed to just middle clicking on it in Camino and Phoenix.
    To close a tab in Camino I have to right click on the tab and select an option in a menu as opposed to just middle clicking on it with Phoenix or clicking on the 'X' in Safari.

    Just fix those two little quips and your tabs will be closer to perfection.[​IMG]

    I know there are keyboard shortcuts to most of these but I keep my mouse much closer to me than my keyboard most of the time.

    Feel free to add anything whether it be critizism, praise, spam, flame, or just a general comment.[​IMG]
  2. Kyle macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2002
    You seem like a good person to ask these questions to:

    What is the deal with tabbed browsing? Why is it so popular? How do you use it?
  3. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    Two words, vniow: keyboard shortcuts

    It's very easy to navigate between tabs and close them with keyboard shortcuts. I find it much faster than trying to mouse everywhere, especially on a laptop trackpad.

    Once Safari "officially" has tabs I'll move from Chimera/Camino.
  4. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    That's exactly what I do on my iBook but on my PC or Powermac, the keyboard and mouse are much farther apart (wireless on the PC) so clicking one mouse button is easier than using the keyboard in that case.

    As for why I use tabs.....

    My iBook only has an 800x600 screen rez so if I want to open a bunch of pages at once it would be incredibly difficult to manage a bunch of seperate windows.
    Even on my 17" monitor it's difficult to manage a bunch of windows, tabs make it so much easier.
    The reason why I open a bunch of windows at once is that it makes much better use out of my bandwith and saves me a lot of time while getting more info.
    While I'm reading through one page, I can have 15 opening in the background and go through those sequentially, I couldn't do that if I only had one window open, I could only do one at a time which is not a good use of my bandwith in my opinion.[​IMG]
  5. guitargeek macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2003
    I have to agree with you about Phoenix. It's the best browser I've used, period. It's so much lighter and faster, I love it.

    One thing, though, middle clicking the tab doesn't close it for me... in linux OR windows, and I'm using version .5 ... I'd like that feature, though. Was it somehting you hacked in (like maybe in user.js?)
  6. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    Vniow, I don't know if you already knew this, but in Camino, you can customize the toolbar to include a Close Tab button. It will close whatever is the active tab. That makes it one-button-mouse-friendly.
  7. richie macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2002
    Melbourne, Australia
    All this talk of closing and opening of new tabs - I found the best way in Chimera, when I used it as my main browser, was to use Mouse Gestures to open, close, change tabs. They take a day or so for you to get used to them, but then it's difficult to tab without them.

    eg: I hold down a modifier key, and 'scrub' with the mouse to close a tab; if I do a longer scrub (back and forth more times), the entire window closes. Very nifty :D

    A bit off-topic I know, but still...
  8. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I love safari. I don't really know why I prefer it over Camino. I think there are subliminal messages all over OS X telling me I should use all mac software. Well, it's pretty much working.

    How is everyone playing around with v62/64 already? I feel like I'm in the dark. Doh:mad: :confused:
  9. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    Nothing I hacked, it's aways been there far as I can tell, it'e neve worked in the Linux version for some reason, but always in the Windows.

    I've got 'Open a tab when middle-clicking in a Web page' turned on in Tools/Preferences/Advanced/Tabbed Browsing, maybe that does the trick.


    Coolness, I haven't bothered to customize the menu yet so I never saw it.[​IMG]

    And what are these mouse gestures, are they embedded in the OS or a 3rd party plugin?
  10. orangefoodie macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2003
    Entirely TOO FLAT Ann Arbor, MI
    You can get the Opera-like mouse gestures XPI for Mozilla/Phoenix/Camino here:

    You should try them - I didn't like them, other people swear by them. YMMV.

    On the other hand, I've just found out the AMAZING beauty of Phoenix. So fast. So elegant. So Safari-like in its design concept - to have a slim, un-bloated happy browser that does its job as such. On Win32 it beats Mozilla and anything else you can throw at it hands-down, but I haven't yet been able to test it on a mac - I imagine it would clearly outperform Camino. The best part with Phoenix is that you can have the contents of folders within your bookmarks all load as tabs. Mozilla and Camino offer a similar feature, but they're treated as a bookmark clump instead of a folder, making it terribly annoying to manage. Not to mention the Safari-like presence of the Google search right next to the address field... :D

    Adding a question to those who have tried Safari V64 (I haven't gotten a chance to play around in the Maclab yet): Do you know if the bookmark-folder-loading-as-tabs emulates Mozilla? Or does it go with the more elegant way of Phoenix?
  11. Jaykay macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2002
    A 3rd party program called Cocoa Gestures (works with most browsers and a load of programs)

    Attached Files:

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