I suggest you ...

Release memory from inactive tabs & workspaces

Unload inactive tabs' pages from memory, and session restore them if/when their tab is next selected. This could significantly reduce Firefox RAM consumption when many tabs are open, and also greatly speed up restarts (as tabs would only be loaded as needed rather than restoring all tabs immediately). Obviously care would have to be taken with things like Flash applications which might lose their state if reloaded.

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    JomelAdminJomel (Admin, Tab Kit) shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    24 comments

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      • JamesJames commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am running FF 3.6.18 + BarTab 2.0, Tab Kit 0.6 + Categorize 0.9.6.18 on Ubuntu and have no trouble with messed up grouping. On my XP machine, I have + Session Manager, and the groups get messed up frequently.

        Bar Tab makes a significant difference in resource usage, and doesn't seem to be conflicting with Tab Kit in any way in my experience. This is especially true for my work machine that routinely accumulates in excess of 200 tabs! (I cull monthly but sometimes not, when documenting projects)

      • laddiebuckladdiebuck commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        BarTab already does this. I use it with conjunction with TabKit (or used to, until firefox 4).

      • PikachuEXEPikachuEXE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think the bartab work this way:
        When unload, it actually copy the info to a new tab, and keep it unloaded
        So the intent disappears and sometimes the order is changed
        It must be fixed by changing how the unload works in bartab
        I am going to contact the author of bartab and ask for this change

      • PikachuEXEPikachuEXE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I don't have session manager @ my workplace
        But it still happens
        So I don't think it is the cause...
        Maybe I will set up a clean portable FF and just install these 2 to see the effect...

      • woowoo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would say that it's probably Session Manager depending on whether you have it set to backup every session when closing firefox or not, usually it gives the "are you sure you want to close this many tabs" warning if so. If not that then I'm not sure.

      • woowoo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        hmm, are you using any other extensions associated with tabs? I found that happening when I had Tab Mix Plus and wondered what was up, but not with just the two. Sorry if that doesn't clear things up.

      • PikachuEXEPikachuEXE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The bartab has a small issue with tabkit
        When it unloads a tab in a group, it sometimes rearrage the order of the tab and the intent disappears
        (e.g. tab A is parents of b,c. After unload it becomes c,a, and b is child of a)
        Looks like a sorting problem...?

      • PikachuEXEPikachuEXE commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hey woo, thx for your suggestioon on bartab
        I am using this on a very slow computer (office computer)
        It works! The memory usage becomes smaller
        The (un)loading speed of FF is much faster!!

      • Isaac Fig NewtonIsaac Fig Newton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        yes, please!

        IF the powers that be do not foolishly nuke extensions-for-extensions functionality consider releasing this MUCH NEEDED feature that way :)

      • Isaac Fig NewtonIsaac Fig Newton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        yes, please!

        IF the powers that be do not foolishly nuke extensions-for-extensions functionality consider releasing this MUCH NEEDED feature that way :)

      • uglycoyoteuglycoyote commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like to put in a vote for "please do this"!!!

        I use Tab Kit to get the hierarchical tree-style tabs in vertical format (on the left). This is fantastic because usually each major branch of the tree represents one topic that I have explored and all of the leaves on that branch are the information I have found about it. Eventually I move on to searching a new topic, but I usually like to leave open the pages from the last topic for reference. Of course, I could close those pages and they will always be there in my browsing history. But the history does not have the tree information (which page was opened by which other page), so the history usually just looks like a jumbled mess of pages, not organized like the tree tab hierarchy.

        I tend to leave open those old "topics" for reference as long as I can -- until I feel that there is just too many tabs open and start to worry that it will degrade performance due to excessive memory usage. At that point it just feels like a big chore to close all of the tabs, and I don't feel right closing down groups of tabs when I'm not sure I'm finished thinking about that topic or using the reference material that I have found.

        So, I think implementing the feature described would really complete my browsing experience, allowing me to leave open tabs for an arbitrary amount of time without having to worry about performance/memory isssues. In my ideal world, I would never have to close a tab at all. The tab tree would be just like a running history bar of everything that I have looked at, some of which is resident in memory and some of which has been released from memory. The tabs would normally show the most recently opened pages, but I would be able to scroll back to see what topics I was looking at last week or the week before, and it would all retain the hierarchical format that helps me understand how I got to those pages.

        That one fellow Raven who posted here saying "definitely do not do this because it completely eliminates the usefulness of having tabs" -- I don't think he gets it. I don't think the idea here is to unload the resources of a tab as soon as you leave it. The point is to unload the resources once they become 'stale' -- the meaning of which might be something you can tune in the settings, but lets say something like "hasn't been looked it in more than 24 hours" as a working definition of a 'stale' tab. If there's a tab that I haven't looked at in a day, then I'm not going to mind the 5 seconds or so that it takes to reload that page. I'm really not keeping the tab open so that I can have instant access to it, I'm just keeping the tab open because I think I may want to refer back to it later and I think that having it still in my tab hierarchy will help me find the information again.

        So, I would highly encourage you to implement this feature. In fact, If you give me enough information on how to implement it, I will do it myself.

      • bomfogbomfog commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        FWIW:

        Bug 586068 - Cascade page loads when restoring
        &
        Bug 561149 - Startup issue: Delay loading of background tabs (BarTab-like behavior) when restoring session

        make (partial) Bar Tab-ish behavior available on trunk.

        sessionstore.max_concurrent_tabs = 0

      • Wayne MeryWayne Mery commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Having dealt with the effects of poor performance of Chrome on a laptop where it shoves data to disk, I'm a little gun shy of this idea. I'll have to see if BarTab has the same poor performance.

      • AdamAdam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It will still need to load recently clicked tabs in the background. We wouldn't want to have to wait for it to load if we just clicked it but hadn't gone to it yet. For ex) often when I read an article, I will ctrl+click the links and go to them afterward. I expect them to be loaded by then.

      • pakmenupakmenu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        BarTab already provides this functionality well and works perfectly together with Tab Kit,
        so you could either spare the effort or copy and incorporate it's coding with the authors consent. other then above comment stated, it has a 'unload' feature that unloads pages from memory after they have not been looked at (been in the background) for x (user defined) minutes. i have it set for 36 mins, but it's nice to set it to your desired value, and can be turned off. the behaviour after restart, but also when clicking an unloaded tab is configurable.

        BarTab https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/67651/

        unlike it's funny name suggests, the extention is working soberingly well without any intoxicating effects!
        BarTab: put as many as thousands of tabs on your browser and restart/resume instantly! opening only the page you are presently on, but showing titles and icons of all the other Tabs instantly. after clicking such a Tab it can be set to load immedietely.

      • eat more meateat more meat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        ABSOLUTELY YES do this

        I second the "TooManyTabs integration" suggestion. Why reinvent the wheel? But definitely loose the resource from disused- and never used tabs

      • wayne.merywayne.mery commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Raven, I don't see a problem with doing this if it integrates to TooManyTabs or is an option, or functions only on demand. Do you?

      • RavenRaven commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please ensure you most definitely do NOT do this. This would completely eliminate the usefulness of Tab Kit, and also eliminate the usefulness of using FireFox at all (other then security), since having multiple tabs open will no longer allow you to read other tabs WHILE YOUR PAGES ARE LOADING WHICH IS THE POINT OF OPENING MORE THEN ONE AT ONCE...

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