Panorama/Tab Groups Going Away

I saw this discussion in the mozillaZine Firefox Builds forum today in reference to Bug 836758 – Convert Panorama into an add-on and remove it from Firefox. It took me a minute to recall what the heck was Panorama/Tab Groups. Personas came to mind but then that was themes, not tabs. Then it hit me, it was this promising feature for power users (or people who like to have a lot tabs open) introduced in Firefox 4, but then it became disabled by default in future releases.

There is still a small user base for this feature who have been using this since it was introduced. The purposed add-on would be installed (or the user prompted) if tab groups are detected once this feature is removed from the core Firefox build. So in theory, current tab group users wouldn’t lose their settings.

Not sure what to think of this. On one-hand since the user base is so small may be it is better to be add-on, but if the developers hadn’t hidden this feature right after releasing it two-years ago may be it would have a larger user base. The latter which may have given Mozilla justification to develop and enhance this feature.

Reviewing the bug there is currently no Target Milestone (version) specified. We are still a couple weeks away from the next merge which means this could still end up in the current nightly for Firefox 21 (due May 14, 2013) but likely won’t see this until Firefox 22 (due June 25, 2013).

10 Comments on Panorama/Tab Groups Going Away

  1. Part of the reason behind removing it is that the platform code is taking thumbnail/preview capture of your tab as you surf used primarily by panorama. On some page this can get quite expensive and can cause Firefox to stutter. This is a high cost to impose on most users in case they happen to trigger Panorama. It needs to be moved towards something that is opt-in so that it doesn’t slow down the average user that doesn’t use this feature.

  2. I wondered what happened to this. I would strongly suggest considering making this a part of the Firefox Metro experience, perhaps even the basis for it. It makes a hell of a lot more sense as a feature for touch.

  3. It’s a sad sad new 🙁 I’m a big fan of Panorama and I don’t understand why they don’t work to make it better

  4. I use it on a regular basis. It’s very practical if you do a research for work (for school, jobs) which takes a lot of tabs. It’s also one of the few ideas Mozilla didn’t take from Chrome…

  5. I love using it for porn. I can make a big wall o’ boobies to whack off to.

  6. Seriously, this FF Panorama is one reason I have never considered Opera or Chrome. Does anyone know when/where we may see the add-on?

  7. The Angry Power User | August 14, 2013 at 12:15 AM |

    Oh, god damn those “average” users!

  8. It was the reason I switched few of my friends from Chrome to Firefox… Even my 8-year old son uses this!

    I’m not an average user and I use my PC for more than Facebook. (I’m not an ultra-nerd programmer or haxxor either.) And year after year my PC is less and less friendly for me. Tons of crap get removed from apps, designers start caring about UX, etc. so in theory everything should be better. But it isn’t, because awesome features get removed too.

    Tools for web developers have small userbase too and are really unnecessary and confusing for regular user. Why aren’t they made into an addon? (Why NaCL and Google Printing aren’t addons in Chrome?)

    As someone said above, it would be REALLY useful in touch interfaces; a killer feature.

  9. Panorama idea is good, but implementation lags far behind.
    The problem is that it has small funcitionality. Just create Tab-groups without possibility to save, open, export, import, merge (just copy actions you can do with sessions i.e. bunch of groups). If the interface would be made decent – it would be invaluable tool.
    In its present state it has no real usability for power users at least.

  10. Whaaaaat I’m using it on daily basis since it came out…. Why remove that? I always keep around 1200 tabs open. But to make it happen I use unload tab extension and session manager.

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