Closed Bug 589336 Opened 12 years ago Closed 10 years ago

Provide Sync support for TabCandy / Panorama / Tab Groups

Categories

(Firefox :: Sync, defect)

defect
Not set
normal

Tracking

()

RESOLVED WONTFIX

People

(Reporter: sheppy, Unassigned)

References

(Depends on 1 open bug)

Details

(Whiteboard: [sync-engine-addition])

It would be totally excellent if my tab sets could be synced, so that I could have the same sets on all my computers, with the same tabs in them. OMG.
Should synced tabs show up as is or should there be views into the groups from other computers? Do they add to the current set of local tab groups?

Dragging tabs between the groups will remove them from the remote machine and open them locally?
Those are good questions.

For my part, I'd actually like to have all my Firefox installs show me exactly the same thing all the time, although I know that's not necessarily what everyone wants. :)

Maybe an option to select tab sets that are maintained in sync across machines? For instance, I keep one tab set that has all the bugs I'm actively working on in it, and then one for each bug that has all the relevant documentation in it. Those two tab sets, I'd like to have appear on all my computers, so that I can instantly pick up where I left off regardless of which machine I happen to be on.
Some of this may depend on how sync and TabCandy work with app tabs, too, though.
Punting to the future. This could perhaps also be a good place for an add-on to step in.
OS: Mac OS X → All
Hardware: x86 → All
Target Milestone: --- → Future
As a minimalist solution, the "Tabs from other computers" page could be redesigned to be ordered by tab group (together with a button or context menu entry "Open as tab group").

A more ambitious solution would have the tab groups from other computers accessible/visible within the Panorama display somehow.
(In reply to comment #2)
> Those are good questions.
> 
> For my part, I'd actually like to have all my Firefox installs show me exactly
> the same thing all the time, although I know that's not necessarily what
> everyone wants. :)
> 
> Maybe an option to select tab sets that are maintained in sync across machines?

I totally agree with that. I think it's the most flexible way if one could check a checkbox on a tab group which says "sync this tab group with other machines".
Let's make this summary a little easier for searchers. Also moving to the Sync component, because I'm a realist.
Component: Panorama → Firefox Sync: Backend
Product: Firefox → Mozilla Services
QA Contact: panorama → sync-backend
Summary: Provide Sync support for TabCandy → Provide Sync support for TabCandy / Panorama / Tab Groups
Whiteboard: [sync-engine-addition]
(In reply to comment #2)
> For my part, I'd actually like to have all my Firefox installs show me exactly
> the same thing all the time

This is exactly what I want, and was really surprised to discover that Mozilla Sync doesn't do anything like it.  I'd pay money for it too, but the only thing close I can find is XMarks and they won't do Tab Groups.

-Robin
Even if I am able to sync Tab-Groups to Bookmark folders it would be handy.

Right now my work-flow is like:

1) Open bunch of bookmarks from a Bookmark-Folder
2) Add all the tabs to a Tab-Group
3) Work on it during the day
4) Keep adding tabs to the Tab-Group
5) End-Of-Day, Close the Tab-Group

Problem is the new Tabs I added to the Tab-Groups are not saved anywhere unless I add them to a Bookmark Folder. It would be handy to have the Tab-Groups Synched to a Bookmark folder thereby getting synched to all your remote devices.
(In reply to comment #12)
Tab groups are not bookmarks despite their similarity. If you'd like tab groups to be automatically turned into bookmarks at the end of a session, then you'll probably need an extension.
This feature would make Firefox the ultimate browser: tab groups visible on all machines.

One big use case for the web is to research stuff and collect interesting pages for one search topic over time. This searching of sites for a given topic spans for several days / months and on different machines. 

Implementing the above use case into the feature of always having your research topic collection group with you all the times, on all machines and in between OS reinstalls is mindblowing to say the least.

A mapping between a bookmark folder and a tab group could also be quite useful. We could view bookmark folders as a persistent state for tab groups.

This sounds awesome, I may start tackling these after I'm finished with my bachelor's thesis (of course learning the FF architecture & getting around the code will take some time).
Another simplistic solution could be,
In the "Tabs from Other Computers", Show a list of menus for each "Tab Group" with the tab group name. Under each tab group menu, show the list of tabs under that tab group.
+1

Would be great to "pin" a panorama group and have that available everywhere
Blocks: 530399
I actually have a way to do this on Windows anyways; it doesn't use sync at all, it uses Dropbox.  The description below is Win7 specific, but should be workable on older versions if you know where to put things.

1.  In an Explorer window, go to %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox
2.  Move the Profiles directory and profiles.ini to your dropbox
3.  Open a command window (i.e. start -> type "cmd" in the box)
4.  cd %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox
5.  Something like this, depending on your Dropbox folder name and your userid: mklink /j Profiles "C:\Users\rlpowell\Documents\My Dropbox\FireFox\Profiles"
6.  cd ..
7.  Something like this: C:\Users\rlpowell\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox>mklink /h profiles.ini "C:\Users\rlpowell\Documents\My Dropbox\FireFox\profiles.ini"
6.  Do those same steps (except step 2; just use what's already in your dropbox) for %appdata%\..\Local\Mozilla\Firefox

At that point you should be able to run firefox on each computer you've done this one, and they'll share state.

DON'T RUN IT ON MULTIPLE COMPUTERS AT THE SAME TIME.  I don't know what it would do, and you don't want to either.

-Robin
Some refinements:

- It is probably possible to do this without mklink, by hacking the profiles.ini file on all machines to have paths pointing into dropbox.  I haven't tested this, but something like:

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=0
Path=C:\Users\rlpowell\Documents\My Dropbox\FireFox\Profiles/cd09hqnd.default

*should* do the trick

- To save on bandwidth and to prevent weirdness, it is a very good idea to use the instructions at http://www.infohole.com/blog/computing/firefox-cache-location/ to change both your main cache and offlinecache locations to somewhere *not* in dropbox.

-Robin
Thanks for the heads-up, though that in no way helps this bug.
Depends on: 769744
Has the sync work group stalled? I haven't seen any updates to the roadmap lately. That would be sad as sync is one great feature but needs some more work!
(In reply to Florian Bender from comment #20)
> Has the sync work group stalled? I haven't seen any updates to the roadmap
> lately. That would be sad as sync is one great feature but needs some more
> work!

We're prioritizing a series of internal changes and adjustments to facilitate the integration of Sync with Persona, and delivering some other features. Roadmap hasn't been kept up to date, but another is in the pipe.
This needs product input before I can weigh it against the other pile of bugs that I'm plotting for the next 6 months.
Flags: needinfo?(asa)
Keywords: productwanted
Target Milestone: Future → ---
This feature request is not a priority. I recommend marking it wontfix. The Product Team has no interest in further development support for Panorama.
Flags: needinfo?(asa)
Thanks for clarifying, Asa!
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Closed: 10 years ago
Keywords: productwanted
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
as well, one of the tabs of the best things invented Mozilla allow razyuit tabs into groups, synchronization groups is essential. =((((
Exactly. Synchronizing tabs without groups seems like synchronizing login usernames without passwords, or something like that.
Aaaand this is an appropriate time to remind everyone of Bugzilla Etiquette: <https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html>.

Please use Bugzilla voting to express "I want this feature", not comments. But remember that there's already been a lot of input on this feature, and both the chief product guy for Firefox and the owners of the module have decided that this work isn't a priority right now, largely because Panorama is itself an unsupported 'orphan' feature.

Further comments on this bug are very unlikely to have a positive result.

And please refrain from implying that other contributors have an obligation to build what you want them to build. Volunteers aren't obliged to do anything, and paid contributors have their own priorities.
I'm a volunteer, I've always used Firefox (and Netscape before), installed everywhere, given advices on it to everyone I know, so please Richard don't try to shut up me, and change your tone, which seems a bit too arrogant. Please. And I've already voted ages ago.

That said, I don't know the strategies and the priorities, but reading that Panorama/Tab Groups is an "unsupported orphan" feature surprises me, it seems so useful to me. To be clear, I was only suggesting that having tabs synchronized and not the related tab groups is logically an half-implemented feature, and, like any other half-implemented feature, it could hurt the "Product".
(In reply to Diego Caravana from comment #28)

> That said, I don't know the strategies and the priorities, but reading that
> Panorama/Tab Groups is an "unsupported orphan" feature surprises me, it
> seems so useful to me. 

I think it's useful to a tiny minority of users. Most users use a handful of tabs, and quit the browser when they're done. The rest use windows.

And it has bugs, it's inefficient, and nobody to work on it. So it's definitely an orphan!

(I wrote an add-on that touches it (https://github.com/rnewman/titlegroup/), despite not using it myself, so I don't feel too much like I'm speaking out of turn when I say it has bugs and it's inefficient….)

Furthermore, it hasn't had discoverable UI for several releases: without manually customizing the toolbar, you won't even know that Tab Groups exists. That's essentially the same as removing the feature.


> To be clear, I was only suggesting that having tabs
> synchronized and not the related tab groups is logically an half-implemented
> feature, and, like any other half-implemented feature, it could hurt the
> "Product".

But there's plenty of tab state that isn't synchronized: we don't sync the *window* that contains the tab, let alone the tab group, and of course we also don't sync any state (cookies, page location, etc.), nor app-tab status, nor….

There's a ton of things that we'd want to add or fix about tab sync before we reach supporting Tab Groups, even if Tab Groups was a maintained feature with product backing. When you consider that it's not even visible in primary UI, there's no motivation at all to prioritize this work. And then there are dozens of things that my small team wants to fix before we even rework tab sync, you can see why this is an obvious WONTFIX.

Blunt, but there it is.

I imagine that if anything is going to change to reconcile this inconsistency, it's that Tab Groups gets removed, perhaps re-emerging as an add-on.
I do not want anyone to influence, this is your product. We are just ordinary people who does not use as housewives, 1-2 tabs, and to work, breaking multiple tabs into groups for easy work. I do not care, this feature will be in addition to or in a box with firefox, I just would like to ask if it would be a ticket remained addition, because this functionality is very important.
A little away, a browser chrome, and you know one of the most important points, which does not allow me to start using it, it is a group of tabs, I do not want to have trash out of 200 tabs.
Thank you for reading the comment.
I'm sorry, I don't want to spam and even as a heavy panorama user I understand you reasoning. It's a broken feature and apparently it's not used. 

However you also say most users only open a few tabs per session and then abandon it. That means tab-sync is also a pretty useless feature.

Why would you bother syncing tabs if you only have few which you don't even save. I would to use it but a plain list of 100+ tabs doesn't help me much. Imagine dropbox being just an enormous list of files. I'm sorry but tab-sync is unusable/useless in it's current state.

As of panorama it would be awesome if someone could dedicate it some time. Besides there were some promising prototypes released a while ago. Also it would be really nice if you could get the existing features to work correctly before adding new ones. When FF4 was released you used to boast with it and then you quickly forgot all about it.

I really wish for you to be wiser with adding features in the future, so you'll only add those which you intend to support.
I was surprised that Tab Groups is not mainstream and deemed an orphan.  However I do detected its neglect due to its performance, UI presence, and advertisement.  Once I introduced my non-technical wife to the concept she also was addicted.  She had a group of Social Media sites, Christmas shopping sites, Work related sites, and personal hobby.  Previously she had 1 window with 40 tabs, but she could have also maintained 4 windows.  Both solutions are extremely messes and inefficient in my opinion.  Personally I am a developer and have 20 Tab groups on various research topics.  Once you regain a single browser window with a few tabs your stress level goes down and you are addicted.

My point is that if tab groups were front and center (Advertised Heavily) in the Firefox UI, it would go viral.  I would go as far to say that people would collectively switch to Firefox because "they have Tab Groups".  My wife did this after a brief demonstration, and now her desktop does not look like it got hit by a pop-up virus.
I think Panorama had/has its own little cult following and that's because it is the natural evolution of the fundamental idea of tab management. I believe that as users come to live in a more connected world, the idea of managing tabs from multiple devices in an overview like approach is only natural. That said, the comments here don't help. I'd suggest that anyone that's interested, takes this discussion to the User Groups and set forth a plan there, to resurrect Panorama from the ashes in a community led project. Perhaps it could be done via Github, I would certainly welcome such a project.
(In reply to Jake from comment #31)
> I'm sorry but tab-sync is unusable/useless in it's current state.

See Bug 821020. It's presently "good enough", but by no means "good".

(In reply to Paul [sabret00the] from comment #33)
> That said, the comments here don't help. I'd suggest that anyone
> that's interested, takes this discussion to the User Groups and set forth a
> plan there, to resurrect Panorama from the ashes in a community led project.

Thanks, Paul. Yes, Bugzilla is not the right place to do this kind of arrangement. If there are enough people with enough time on their hands, something might happen.

(I can't comment conclusively, because I don't know the overall product strategy for tabs.)
Depends on: 865594
Component: Firefox Sync: Backend → Sync
Product: Cloud Services → Firefox
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