Imagine you have 3 tabs A B C and the focus is on B. Closing the tab with ^W moves the focus to A instead of C. I think that the latter would be more natural as it is similar to the behaviour of the delete key in editors. Example situation: On a newsticker page, you open every news that you are interested in with the middle mousebutton. You cannot read the news in the order you opend them if you use ^W to close the tabs. (you have to close a tab and move the focus to the next one each time)
I agree with the reporter that this is more natural. Ex: reading a message thread, you open-in-new-tab the replies in the thread, one by one. Then, to read them in the order in which you opened them, you have to continually forward-peddle to get to the next message after closing the message you just read. FWIW, the focus moves right if the leftmost tab is closed.
Al these things are being discussed in bug 105722 *** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 105722 ***
marking verified as a duplicate. if you decide to reopen this bug, please clarify why. search string for bugspam removal: SalviaGuaranitica