Tabs are one of the best things to happen to internet browsing in a long time but they do run the risk of allowing you to go tab crazy until you have no idea what you’ve got open anymore. Sometimes, I’ll find myself with up to 20 tabs open and then I’ll desperately scroll through them trying to find the page I want before Firefox does an Elvis and collapses under the weight of its own content.
Firefox Showcase is a simple plugin which allows you to go hig crazy on tabs but without losing track of what you’ve got open. It allows you to display your open tabs as thumbnails in a single window, tab or sidebar allowing you see at a glance, what you’ve got open. So rather than just scrolling through tabs (particularly fruitless if you’ve got multiple tabs open and can’t read the tab headings anymore) it offer a much more useful “visual” way of keeping track of your browsing.
The plugin includes a search bar that filters the thumbnails according to topic. So if you’ve got 5 tabs open on football, search for “football” and it will reveal instantly which tabs relate to that topic. However, the most useful aspect is probably the sidebar – rather than having tabs open, you can have each window open in a small thumbnail down the side of your screen which makes it much easier to see what you’ve got open. The slight problem with this is that by displaying every page that you’ve got open, even as thumbnails, it does tend to vastly increase the load Firefox puts on your RAM so you may experience some instability issues. However to decrease this risk, you can run the plugin in “local” mode which only displays the thumbnails for your current Firefox window as oppose to “global” which displays thumbnails for all those open Firefox windows.
Firefox Showcase is a radical new alternative to relying on tabs that makes it considerably easier to see what you’ve got open in Firefox.