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A Fine Blend of Tabs, History and Bookmarks

Using AI or genetic engineering or quantum stripes or some sort of magic to do this
  [vote for,

I've got a ridiculous amount of tabs open on my iPad in Safari. Over on the computer, over there, I've got an even ridiculouser amount of open tabs on Firefox and similar on Chrome, on my linux machine (which now turns out to be the get shit done machine, not this iPad, who'd have guessed). What I do is (and I assume everyone else does the same, or what's the point) open a bunch of tabs on a topic, and leave them there for future perusal and evaluation, as to whether I formally want to engage in the procedure of the putting them in history ceremony. Then a coffee or so later I rotate to another entirely different topic, and do a similar thing, and before you know it, I've about thirty more tabs waiting to be useful. I do go back to them, and I do use them, and I do hunt for certain ones, and I do close down the useless ones, but with a lot of things on the go I still have more tabs open than the browsers seem to healthily anticipate in their design. Sometimes, rarely, when nothing is going correct all day, I might close them all down, mutter fuckit and go away for a while. Later, before long, I've searched for similar topics, found similar things and left a bunch of similar tabs open, and it starts again.

What I suggest is that there is no formal or architectural corner or sharp edge or line in the gravel between a bunch of tabs open, and the actual history you've been through, and the bookmarks you've chosen to save. Obviously, the things I've got control over in terms of intentional stigmergy are the bookmarks, and the bunches of tabs left open for weeks. The history is kind of snooping and being rude and following me around and even includes places I didn't go, seemingly. Plus, the history feature is rarely useful, presenting the last ten unrecognisable references to places you've been, and then jumping to a totally different user experience for every single place you've ever been all at once, named so you'd never guess.

What I'm suggesting is that using some level of machine learning, have the browser realise which pages I'm treating as precious, or at least having them open generates a preciousness indicating duration, and integrating them into a sort of mixture of history and bookmark, so that the tab needn't stay open. It could trawl through the tabs left open and migrate them and let me know it has done this and where it thinks they belong.

Thus it would let me keep fifty tabs open for weeks, but at any time I might only have about five or ten actual tabs, the rest have become proto-bookmarks with a 'special' history trail, just as visible or available as they are as tabs (which is why I keep them as open tabs instead of losing them in a bookmark heirarchy) but semi automatically managed.

Ian Tindale, Mar 15 2017

Y M I Er browser add-on Proposed a while ago... [pashute, Mar 19 2017]

Pathway http://www.visualco.../project.cfm?id=406
Seems like this might satisfy both [Ian] and [hippo]. Unfortunately, it no longer exists, and even when it did exist, it was Mac-only and only meant for Wikipedia browsing. [notexactly, Mar 20 2017]


calum, Mar 15 2017

       I suppose the crux here is that I want to see it all. I want to see everything pertinent to information trails I've encountered for the current situations. Putting it in bookmarks hides it away - no longer visible, no longer irking or irritating or pestering me by being still there. It has to be visible and very much within reach, almost too within. Bookmarks does the opposite, it tidies everything up and puts it away so that you can forget it. Tabs works by embarrassment. The problem is that browsers haven't been designed to have about fifty tabs open at once, and still maintain sensible ease of use.
Ian Tindale, Mar 15 2017

       I'm thinking Ian needs to step away from screens for a few hours and close some things down. Don't try to think of it all at once. Don't even look at it all at once. You'll fry something. Maybe you already have? That could explain things...
RayfordSteele, Mar 16 2017

       I sometimes just use folders and drag what remains of a few hours idea chasing into those.
bigsleep, Mar 16 2017

       I've still got folders of whole groups of topics of the week from years gone by, hidden in the bookmarks that I've never returned to.
Ian Tindale, Mar 16 2017

       It'd be an interesting UI experiment to try and visually blend or merge or graduate the view of tabs and bookmarks - such that tabs that stay open for long enough drift into a bookmarky end of a continuum.
Ian Tindale, Mar 16 2017

       Part of the problem is having a linear 1-dimensional strip of open tabs at the top of the browser window. If instead you had a 2-dimensional 'tab cloud' this might be more cognitively tangible.
hippo, Mar 17 2017

       Maybe you could do it with a search term record feature. This would -   

       1) Record pages visited into a specific folder.
2) Remember the search terms used (maybe multiple searches used for the folder)

       Thus the browser could offer - things you searched for in a similar vein last month. And internet mining is very much like that.
bigsleep, Mar 17 2017

       True, and I do use tags a lot in preference to folders, but there still has to be provision for visibility and reach. If I have to search, it means the thing is already lost.
Ian Tindale, Mar 18 2017

       I can stretch my Chrome browser across two monitors, total of 4096 pixels width (each monitor is 2048x1152). I have a lot of tabs open, but because of the total width, each tab is wide enough for me to recognize something about its content.
Vernon, Mar 18 2017

       It is not uncommon for me to have over 2000 tabs open in Chrome, across about 150 windows. I use an extension called The Great Suspender to keep them from taking up resources when I'm not using them. Before I found that extension, I manually killed them through the Chrome task manager when it got slow. That's still part of my Chrome startup ritual: 1. Turn off Wi-Fi. 2. Launch Chrome. 3. Click Restore. 4. Wait 20 minutes. 5. Open the Chrome task manager and kill every tab process. 6. Turn Wi-Fi back on.
notexactly, Mar 20 2017

       This is why windows was developed to crash every few use-cycles, it stops people building up great swathes of information and thus so enburdening themselves.
zen_tom, Mar 21 2017

       Then why does every major web browser have session restoration capability?
notexactly, Mar 26 2017


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