This is something I’ve really wanted for a long time, and finally I’ve decided to ask and see if anyone’s up to the task of making it reality.
I want to have a “workspaces” feature in Firefox. That is, I want to be able to create named sets of windows and tabs and switch quickly between them. I work on a number of projects both personal and for work that involve a large number of tabs across multiple windows. I’d like to be able to compartmentalize these. There are plenty of add-ons that let you save a window’s tabs as a named group, then restore it later, but that’s not good enough.
I need to be able to do it for all my windows.
For example, let’s say I have all of the following going on in my browser at once:
Project 1: Documentation updates for WebRTC
This project has the following windows and tabs open:
- Window 1: One tab open for each article I need to update on MDN. Looking at my current situation, this window has around 25 tabs in it.
- Window 2: The WebRTC specification. This also has multiple tabs open. They’re all WebRTC specification, but loaded at different places in the spec, so I can quickly look at different parts of it. There are also some tabs opened to a couple of other specifications that are related, such as Media Capture and Streams.
- Window 3: Blogs and other resources. A number of tabs opened to various blog posts and other articles with useful information. Also a few related pages on MDN that I need to refer to.
- Window 4: WebIDL for the interfaces I’m updating documentation for, one tab for each interface.
- Window 5: One tab for each bug that I need to review and update documentation for, as well as tabs containing the reviews and/or patches that I need to look over while doing the work.
There may be others, of course. And realistically, I almost certainly have several projects just like this. I’m almost never trying to update one thing at a time. Right now I have windows and tabs open for at least seven documentation sets that I need to update.
Project 2: Researching an electronics purchase
This project has these windows open:
- Window 1: A couple dozen Google searches and loaded reviews and articles about the item or items I’m considering or looking for.
- Window 2: Tabs for the items I’m considering buying on various online stores (Amazon, Target, Best Buy, whatever).
Projects 3 and 4: General doc updates for Firefox versions X and Y
Similar window and tab setup to Project 1.
Project 5: Personal programming project
I’m writing an application for the Mac using Xcode but have to do a lot of research, so I have windows and tabs for this, too.
- Window 1: Documentation about Cocoa APIs loaded in multiple tabs.
- Window 2: Code samples and blog posts that I’m using to understand various technologies.
- Window 3: Books about networking and OpenGL opened in Safari Books Online.
- Window 4: Video tutorials.
And so on and so forth. I currently have 30 windows open with a total of 315 tabs. This is not really manageable, and many of these windows and tabs are only relevant when I’m actively working on a specific project or task. I would be more efficient, and my computer would likely be faster, if I could easily and quickly stash away the windows that don’t matter in my current work context.
Bonus points if I can set specific windows to be available in multiple or all workspaces!
The trick here is to be sure that when switching workspaces, the act of recreating windows and adding their tabs doesn’t cause all the tabs to load at once.