TABULOUS Firefox Add-on Expands Firefox’s Tab Capability

Blogging | Software | Website Development

Anyone who is involved with technology for their subsistence has to spend a lot of time on the Internet to keep up with the pace of change in that area. Added to this there are always additional areas of knowledge required by the individual assignment regarding idiosyncrasies of the industry, business and software requirements. We at Paladin Consultants, LLC either need a ready store of information on hand, or the ability to acquire specific esoteric information quickly to enhance our value to the project at hand.

My every working day, for instance, begins with scanning 50-100 blog sites for new developments. Of course, it would be impossible to read that many articles and still get productive work accomplished, so I have developed a set techniques to store, mark and schedule the absorption of this material.

Delicious, of course is a key component to my strategy. Most of the interesting and productive information I file with keywords on Delicious, where I can refer back to them as needed. But some content requires more careful and contemporaneous attention, and other content sometimes attracts my immediate interest. It is unwieldy to open these items in a new tab because the opening of too many tabs bogs Firefox, my favorite browser, down. Several years ago some folks created a Firefox add-on to address exactly this issue. The ‘Taboo’ add-on would save the site url and the image of its web page into a data file, which could be stored and recalled at a more convenient time. I made heavy use for that add-on in the few years it was available.

As Firefox put out newer and newer versions, the authors of the product found that they could not, or were disinterested in upgrading the product to keep up with the changes demanded by Mozilla.

But we at Paladin found the technology so useful that we forked the old ‘Taboo’ add-on for Firefox product, gave it a serious upgrade, and changed the structure that it would be easier to keep up with the frequent Firefox revisions to their browser product. We named the add-on ‘TABULOUS‘.

TABULOUS is simple and easy to use. The user interacts with the add-on through two buttons that he places on the browser tool bar on installation. The first button allows the user to save the current tab (or all tabs) into the active TABULOUS data file. This will free up the current tab for use by the user as he continues his browsing. As the current tab is saved, the toolbar button changes to remind you that it has been saved. The second button displays the thumbnail images of the saved sites in the TABULOUS data file and allow the user to choose the sites for viewing. In the ‘Viewing’ mode, there are several choices of display: by calendar, details, and in a Grid format. There is also a Tools menu in display mode which expands the power of the add-on to another dimension.

The Tools menu allows you to name save your TABULOUS file (Export). Here’s the powerful feature. Now you can export collections of sites in separate files, and import them as needed. This is an excellent way to do research on any subject: get a clean new TABULOUS file, and to through a bunch of Google pages on the subject that you are researching. Mark the interesting ones in your new TABULOUS file, and quickly move onto the next site. When you think you have a large enough population of sites marked (I try for 4-5 dozen to start), go back and cull the TABULOUS inventory, cutting and pasting salient information from the sites you have saved. This is a very powerful feature.

All in all, we have found this technique and tool to be VERY helpful and productive to our business, and to the effort of acquisition and sharing of knowledge. And, being strong believers in the principle of communal knowledge, offer this very helpful add-on to the internet community.