Open Bug 683146 Opened 13 years ago Updated 2 years ago

about:blank tabs not overwritten when opening multiple bookmarks

Categories

(Firefox :: Tabbed Browser, defect)

8 Branch
x86_64
Windows 7
defect

Tracking

()

People

(Reporter: murph.0912, Unassigned)

References

Details

Patch for Bug 440093 which prevents the overwriting of the current tab when opening multiple tabs also prevents the overwriting of about:blank tabs. When the current tab is about:blank, the opening of multiple tabs should overwrite the current tab because there is no threat of data loss.

STR:
1. Open an about:blank tab
2. Open multiple bookmarks.

Expected Result: First bookmark overwrites about:blank tab.

Actual Result: about:blank tab is not overwritten as all bookmarks open in new tabs.

My “use case.” At least once daily, I open a group of bookmarks. I do this by first opening a new window in my browser. If I have a page set to open in a new tab or window, I would close it leaving a blank tab. Then, I would open the group of bookmarks where the first one opens in the blank tab and the remaining bookmarks in new tabs to the right of the first one. Now, I have a blank tab at the far left that I end up closing because it is not overwritten like it was prior to this patch.

With this in mind, wouldn’t logic say to answer these questions:

* What reason would anyone have to keep a blank tab open when in the process of opening a group of bookmarks?

* What can someone do with a blank tab other than open something--a bookmarked site, a group of bookmarks, a local file or similar--in it?

* If the user was planning to open something different in that first blank tab, wouldn’t they be more likely to have already opened it in the first place prior to opening the group of bookmarks (and, with the patch for Bug 440093, that tab would be protected/not overwritten)?

As for what has been done by Bug 440093, am I correct in that the only justification for not overwriting a blank tab is for the sake of consistency?
Reposting discussion from Bug 440093"

(In reply to Kevin Ar18 from https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c64)
> (In reply to Ray Murphy (WildcatRay) from https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c63)
> > (In reply to Marco Bonardo [:mak] from https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c57)
> > > so, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c54 is right about the fact the only problematic case is when the
> > > current tab is on about:blank, we should most likely overwrite only in this
> > > case. Shouldn't be hard to do, right? Alex, do you think it's worth doing
> > > that?
> > 
> > Am I correct in assuming the implemented patch also does not overwrite an
> > about:blank tab? (This is what I am seeing on Nightly builds.)
> > 
> > Is there a bug filed already to enable the overwriting of an about:blank
> > tab? (From https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c58, it would appear to not be a difficult change to make.)
> > 
> > If not, should I file one?
> > 
> > Thanks.
> 
> No, please do not file one! :)
> 
> (I say that with a smile, but serious as well.)
> 
> Sorry, I think there was some confusion about what I was trying to say in
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c54.  Basically, I was saying "Do not make an exception for blank
> tabs" ... and then I presented several reasons why.  Unfortunately, Marco
> misunderstood me (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c57) and thought I was saying we should add an
> exception.
> 
> Anyways, thanks for bringing this up again, because I wanted to clear things
> up.  I would argue that "We should not make an exception for blank tabs. In
> other words, do not close blank tabs."  This is based on the reasons given
> in https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c54:
> 
> * Closing blank tabs would make the behavior inconsistent -- and something
> that works differently under different situations is often very bad for
> useability.
> * People might actually want to keep the blank tab open; they would then be
> fighting with their browser trying to "think" for them -- and that is much
> much worse than having to close a tab every now and then.

Thanks for the reply, Kevin. However, I must say that I do not understand the logic behind not overwriting a blank tab.

Let me start by giving you my “use case.” At least once daily, I open a group of bookmarks. I do this by first opening a new window in my browser. If I have a page set to open in a new tab or window, I would close it leaving a blank tab. Then, I would open the group of bookmarks where the first one opens in the blank tab and the remaining bookmarks in new tabs to the right of the first one. Now, I have a blank tab at the far left that I end up closing because it is not overwritten like it was prior to this patch.

With this in mind, wouldn’t logic say to answer these questions:

* What reason would anyone have to keep a blank tab open when in the process of opening a group of bookmarks?

* What can someone do with a blank tab other than open something--a bookmarked site, a group of bookmarks, a local file or similar--in it?

* If the user was planning to open something different in that first blank tab, wouldn’t they be more likely to have already opened it in the first place prior to opening the group of bookmarks?

As for what has been done, am I correct in that the only justification for not overwriting a blank tab is for the sake of consistency?

And, am I also correct in assuming that having the browser overwrite a blank tab (about:blank), but not overwrite any other tab would not be a major undertaking?

Further discussion:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c54
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c57
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c58
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c63
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c64
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=440093#c65
Blocks: 411029
In reply to Ray Murphy (WildcatRay) from comment 0.

Following of the discussion in request bug 440093.

In reply to Kevin Ar18 from request bug 440093, comment 64.

> * Closing blank tabs would make the behavior inconsistent -- and something
> that works differently under different situations is often very bad for
> useability.
> * People might actually want to keep the blank tab open; they would then be
> fighting with their browser trying to "think" for them -- and that is much
> much worse than having to close a tab every now and then.

I 400 % agree.
Consistency of behaviour leads to its predictability by the user, and predictability is the best friend of usability.
Firefox wants to put the user in control, so the user should understand Firefox' behaviour. Firefox should not puzzle the user by such a variation : same action, some times opens only new tabs, some other times overwrites the current tab.

In reply to Ray Murphy (WildcatRay) from request bug 440093, comment 65.

> * What reason would anyone have to keep a blank tab open when in the process
> of opening a group of bookmarks?

> * What can someone do with a blank tab other than open something--a
> bookmarked site, a group of bookmarks, a local file or similar--in it?

> As for what has been done, am I correct in that the only justification for
> not overwriting a blank tab is for the sake of consistency?

I prefer leaving the blank tab intact.

In addition to consistency and to letting the user feel — and be — in control, leaving the user's blank tab is in some cases *leaving a thing the user wants*.

Sometimes, I go to my computer and I know I want to open 3 sites : I create 3 empty tabs, and then, in each one, I go to the wanted site. Before I go anywhere in the 3rd tab, I do something else, like answering to the ringing phone or whatever. In Firefox, the empty tab is still there, and serves as container for my wanted site whenever I will request my wanted site. Furthermore, it serves as a reminder : like a knot to the finger : for example, it reminds me to go to my webmail to write that email to my friend.

In addition, an empty tab is not always as empty as it seems. In the about:blank tab, I may very well have already typed part, of even whole, of the address I intend to load. So, when Firefox loads a bookmark or a History entry in that tab, this data is lost ! And maybe the same goes for words typed in the Google search field.

And I imagine a similar case : I have already made a request in my about:blank tab, but the page is still loading, and that can take some time, the server can be difficult to reach. If, during this time, Firefox loads something else in that tab, unwanted data loss occurs here too.

And, on a different note, the user can very well have a blank tab and want to keep it blank. In Firefox, I usually have and keep a blank tab which I leave empty. Why ? To leave Firefox open. So that Firefox do not quit whenever I close another page. And for accessing some features, like : the menus, the Quit feature, the “About Firefox” window to view the version, the History, the Options… Because, on Windows, such features are accessible only from a tab. And because, on Windows, you can not leave an app running with no window — this must be why the name Windows ! —. That is awkward, when you come from a Mac, but that is so. And even on Firefox Mac, I am pretty sure that a few features are accessible only from a tab. A few years ago, Firefox Mac had his really awkward user interface so typical of an app coming from the dark side. Firefox Mac's UI has been much improved since, but still has some way to go.

Nicolas
Supporting Ray's opinion, I also dislike this new behavior. In version 7 all works great.
The new behaviour of Firefox 8 doesn't feel consistent to me.

If I open a single bookmarked URL, it opens in the current tab (overwriting its content). In case I don't want that, I can right-click and select "Open in a New Tab" or I can simply use the middle mouse button.

If I open multiple bookmarks with "Open All In Tabs", I had basically the same choice up to Firefox 7, but with Firefox 8 it always opens in new tabs. There's no chance to overwrite the existing one(s) which is what the user usually wants.

How can I open multiple tabs without keeping any existing tabs? Looks like this feature is missing in Firefox 8 now.

The user should have the choice to overwrite tabs or keep existing ones. (no matter if its empty or not, but that special case just makes it more obvious that there's something wrong with Firefox 8)
(In reply to Andreas M. Kirchwitz from comment #4)

> If I open multiple bookmarks with "Open All In Tabs", I had basically the
> same choice up to Firefox 7

Really ? You were able to use the existing tab*s* ? I understand that you could only open all as new tabs, like in Firefox 8, but with one difference, making the behaviour inconsistent : the first entry — only this one — overwrote the current tab. And perhaps other similar subtleties around blank tab.

> There's no chance to overwrite the existing one(s) which is what the user
> usually wants.

…What *some* users, numerous, want. :-) But *some other* users, numerous too, want the new tabs.

A user has some stuff on screen, and s/he wants to open a bunch of bookmarks or History entries. I find that rather logical that they open *in addition to* the existing stuff. “If the user didn't want anymore the existing tabs, s/he would have closed them or their whole window.” We are used now to multi-tasks operating systems, multi-windows applications and multi-tabs windows. When we are in Word and we open Excel, we don't expect this action to close Word. On the other hand, the user may want to open the bookmarks or History entries *in place of* the existing stuff. But this is not evident, and should not be presumed.

We definitely have two different, significant, kinds of users.

Keeping the existing tab(s) intact is the behaviour I, and many others as we see in these discussions, want and expect.

Let's please everyone and have two clear & consistent behaviours. Not mixing them in one confusing behaviour.

1/ Open all as new tabs, keeping the existing tab(s) intact. Let's call this action “Open all as new tabs” or “Open all in new tabs”.

2/ Open all in tabs, overwriting the existing tab(s). Let's call that action “Open all using existing tabs”.

> How can I open multiple tabs without keeping any existing tabs?

By first closing them or their whole window. :-) 
Or by using action 2 : “Open all using existing tabs”. But not in all cases. If you have a window with 7 tabs and you use action 2 for opening, in this window, 4 bookmarks or History entries, what happens ? I expect your new pages to load in the 4 first existing tabs, and I expect the 3 remaining tabs to remain intact.
Nicolas, you still did not explain, why this behavior has been changed compared to versions 4, 5, 6 and 7.
(In reply to Lukas from comment #6)
> Nicolas, you still did not explain, why this behavior has been changed
> compared to versions 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Bug 440093 is the one that changed the behavior.
I still don't see how keeping the current tab makes things "consistent".
If you click a bookmark, it replaces the current tab.  How is it "consistent" to change that behavior because you clicked "open all in tabs".  

I'd still consider it acceptable if it didn't keep open a lone blank tab.  If I go to open a folder of bookmarks, I usually open a new window and click "Open All in Tabs".  Why would I want the placeholder that came as part of the window work.

Nicolas, you mention that we don't expect Word to close if we open Excel, but that's specious.  Separate applications.  I do expect, that if I just generically start Word, and then open a document, that it doesn't keep a separate blank document open.  That's what happens.  

At the very least, there should be a configuration option to turn off this bothersome behavior.  But, despite some here piping up with "I want the blank tab", I'm betting they are in the slim majority.  Frankly, citing not wanting to make the lone blank tab "a special case", strikes me as laziness, not someone seeking software purity.
FYI: The applicable about:blank tab for this bug is one with nothing in it. No browsing history. Nothing in the address bar. It is just an empty tab.
(In reply to kurt-mozilla from comment #8)
> At the very least, there should be a configuration option to turn off this
> bothersome behavior.

Exactly. When I use "Open All in Tabs" I've generally finished with the currently open tab and in the rare event I haven't I open a new tab first. Now I have to click on the original tab, because the focus has already moved away, and close it. Two unnecessary clicks and two unnecessary screen redraws. :(

Please add a suitable about:config entry to allow reversion to FF7 behaviour.
Based on Comment 8, are you suggesting that this config option should overwrite the default blank window/tab in a new browser session but not new blank tabs that people deliberately opened ... or should it overwrite both?

Also, can I also assume that it should not overwrite the tab if any changes have been made to things like: typing in address bar, typing in search bar, messing with the DOM, javascript, or other items via the web tools, or basically any state tied to that tab?

> How is it "consistent" to change that behavior because you clicked "open all in tabs".

Basically: "open all in tabs" opens new tabs; so to be consistent requires you to always open new tabs, no matter the situation.  This is merely a technical answer to your question....  What this has to do with Firefox (which is probably what you really care about), is another, much longer discussion.

> Please add a suitable about:config entry to allow reversion to FF7 behavior.
Are you looking for a config option that ALWAYS replaces the current tab and all tabs after it (not just blank tabs)?  .... or do you just mean replace the current tab, leave in intact any tabs after it, then add the new tabs after those (or inserted after the current one)?  I don't recall which one was the default behavior in Firefox 7, but I think there may have been more than one different default behaviors based on how you opened the folders?
(In reply to Kevin Ar18 from comment #11)
> Based on Comment 8, are you suggesting that this config option should
> overwrite the default blank window/tab in a new browser session but not new
> blank tabs that people deliberately opened ... or should it overwrite both?

Honestly, I think it should overwrite the current tab if it is blank.  Someone else mentioned the state.  The default blank window/tab in a new browser window (not necessarily a whole browser session) I referred to because it's particularly ridiculous.

> Also, can I also assume that it should not overwrite the tab if any changes
> have been made to things like: typing in address bar, typing in search bar,
> messing with the DOM, javascript, or other items via the web tools, or
> basically any state tied to that tab?

I don't argue that.  I suppose others might, but I don't think it should not overwrite if I mistakenly start typing in the address and/or search bar.

> > How is it "consistent" to change that behavior because you clicked "open all in tabs".

> Basically: "open all in tabs" opens new tabs; so to be consistent requires
> you to always open new tabs, no matter the situation.  This is merely a
> technical answer to your question....  What this has to do with Firefox
> (which is probably what you really care about), is another, much longer
> discussion.

It can be argued either way, I feel.  Especially considering the action changes your currently focused tab, something distinct.  And, the consistency argument falls apart considering it is established behavior all the way back to, what, 0.x days?  (And yes, I've been using phoenix/firebird/firefox that long).
 
> > Please add a suitable about:config entry to allow reversion to FF7 behavior.
> Are you looking for a config option that ALWAYS replaces the current tab and
> all tabs after it (not just blank tabs)?  .... or do you just mean replace
> the current tab, leave in intact any tabs after it, then add the new tabs
> after those (or inserted after the current one)?  I don't recall which one
> was the default behavior in Firefox 7, but I think there may have been more
> than one different default behaviors based on how you opened the folders?

I'd prefer being able to get the old behavior back, which replaces the current tab and tabs afterwards.  Even further back, it just replaced all tabs, but I can see an argument for this being much friendlier behavior.

My bookmark folders that I use with "Open All in Tabs" tend to be 20+ items.  So it even took a bit for me to figure out this change.  Since it changed focus to the new tab, the other tabs scrolled the original(s) off the left of the tab bar.  The current tab is also not completely on the tab bar.  So at first, I thought it was a UI glitch.  I finally investigated why the UI was being stupid, and found this change.
> I'd prefer being able to get the old behavior back, which replaces the current
> tab and tabs afterwards.  Even further back, it just replaced all tabs, but I can > see an argument for this being much friendlier behavior.
If you want, you could change this bug report (or file a new one) to reflect this:

Subject: Add an about:config option to overwrite current tab when using "Open All In Tabs"

Details: details of behavior you want for this config option
First, just call me one of the millions of "general" users out there... so, with that said, I've been using Firefox since 3.0 beta and opening all-in-tabs has ALWAYS overwritten a blank-tab.  I start Firefox with about:blank as my home page for various reasons and then I may choose to open a set of tabs from say Folder-A or Folder-B etc... When I'm finished with say group Folder-A I'll close all tabs (which leaves one blank tab) and I may open up Folder-B or ?? etc.

Since the update to FF8.0 yesterday I noticed that opening those folders left my blank-tab sitting there and I thought that's strange... until I found this bug.
B4 landing here I thought that maybe my Tab Mix Plus ext. was falling apart (I wonder how many users out there are thinking the same type of thing).
 
If I have that single blank-tab sitting there and I click on a single bookmark the link opens up in that blank-tab... but if I open links from a folder and I click on Open all in tabs then that blank one is still there and.... that is NOT consistent.

With all that said, to change Firefox to behave this way starting in version 8 and where all prior versions acted in such a way that the blank-tab was re-used for the first-link-bookmark (in all prior functioning), was NOT a good idea... especially with no simple way to control it by the GENERAL USER ...(remember them?).  

If this "new" concept is to remain in Firefox then I feel that a setting in the Options-Tabs settings needs to be created... not just an about:config type entry where it seems many of these "minor" type changes are installed...basically taking away from (again, the general user) them the user-control functionality of Firefox.
Blocks: 440093
I'm not certain, but this may also be related to how "loadFolderAndReplace" was handled.  Previously FF would overwrite many tabs by default... which was a very annoying behavior -- and caused dataloss.  I don't know what they changed, but seems this is no longer default and the setting "loadFolderAndReplace" does not work anymore?


There are three different behaviors that could possibly be done here.  So...

Question to dfoulkes, Kurt Mosiejczuk, Bob_Andersson.  Which of these 3 behaviors do you think would solve your use case?

Context: referring to when you middle click on a folder or click "Open All in Tabs"...

1. "loadFolderAndReplace = true" -- this means that the current tab gets replaced with the first folder entry and then all other tabs after that one get replaced as well

2. replace all current tabs - only replace the current tab, then append the other entries to the end of the tabs list

3. replace only blank tabs - replace the current tab only if it is blank

4. replace only the default blank tab on a newly opened firefox window; not user created tabs or ones that have had data entered in them


Would a setting for #1 or #2 work?
Kevin Ar18 - #1 - current and all after get replaced is what it used to be and what I want.
Kevin Ar18
Your choices are going to be a little hard for me to come up with a specific answer because I use TabMixPlus which controls some of that stuff... plus I never use middle-click for anything.

But, as I see it... the basics here are a person has one for more blank tabs open and they are unused... any and all links that open whether via a single click on a bookmark (in this case) or an "open all in tabs" should fill those about:blank tabs.  If a user need a blank one for some reason then a simple double click on the bar will open up a blank tab... or, of course if they have the new tab icon up  there.. click it.

I did notice something just now on FF portable 3.6.24 that if I have 3 blank-tabs open and I click on "open all in tabs" that it uses the focused tab, opens up all the others normally in new tabs and what I'm left with is 2 blank-tabs.  I never noticed this before as I don't normally have more that that one blank-tab left over if I close all tabs... to me, that is not a correct way to handle tabs... all blank-tabs should be filled with real data.

So, some of this may have been taking place in the past yet I didn't notice it because of the way I managed my Firefox... but, to me, it just makes sense to use available tabs (in this case blank ones) when they are there. 

But I will say this.  If I have my Firefox set up to always have a blank tab (after closing all tabs... in this example) and I hit a "open all in tabs" somewhere I would expect that blank-tab to be used... after all, my basic Firefox is set up to not close out when the last tab is close... but to present me with a blank tab.  

Tabs are a very important function of not only Firefox but browsers in general... so, I think that whatever the end result ends up being a good UI in tab-options is critical to create happy Firefox users.

Yep, the more things are looked at... the more things get messy.
> Tabs are a very important function of not only Firefox but browsers in
> general... so, I think that whatever the end result ends up being a good UI
> in tab-options is critical to create happy Firefox users.

I fully agree. Now I am unhappy Firefox user and when it goes on like this, I will be happy Chrome user.
(In reply to dfoulkes from comment #14)
> First, just call me one of the millions of "general" users out there... so,
> with that said, I've been using Firefox since 3.0 beta and opening
> all-in-tabs has ALWAYS overwritten a blank-tab.  I start Firefox with
> about:blank as my home page for various reasons and then I may choose to
> open a set of tabs from say Folder-A or Folder-B etc... When I'm finished
> with say group Folder-A I'll close all tabs (which leaves one blank tab) and
> I may open up Folder-B or ?? etc.
> 
> Since the update to FF8.0 yesterday I noticed that opening those folders
> left my blank-tab sitting there and I thought that's strange... until I
> found this bug.
> B4 landing here I thought that maybe my Tab Mix Plus ext. was falling apart
> (I wonder how many users out there are thinking the same type of thing).
>  
> If I have that single blank-tab sitting there and I click on a single
> bookmark the link opens up in that blank-tab... but if I open links from a
> folder and I click on Open all in tabs then that blank one is still there
> and.... that is NOT consistent.
> 
> With all that said, to change Firefox to behave this way starting in version
> 8 and where all prior versions acted in such a way that the blank-tab was
> re-used for the first-link-bookmark (in all prior functioning), was NOT a
> good idea... especially with no simple way to control it by the GENERAL USER
> ...(remember them?).  
> 
> If this "new" concept is to remain in Firefox then I feel that a setting in
> the Options-Tabs settings needs to be created... not just an about:config
> type entry where it seems many of these "minor" type changes are
> installed...basically taking away from (again, the general user) them the
> user-control functionality of Firefox.

As you know, until Firefox 8.0, TabMixPlus provided two options, neither quite covered by the four (yes, 4) described in Comment 15.

a) Close all open tabs and then open the selected group of bookmarks in new tabs.

b) Close all (but only) blank tabs, keep all non-blank tabs and then open the selected group of bookmarks in new tabs.

The latest development version, TabMixPlus 0.3.8.7pre.111101a restores that behaviour in Firefox 8.0

Tab Mix Plus • View topic - Tab Mix Plus Dev-Build 0.3.8.X
http://tmp.garyr.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10888

Those two options provide what seems to me a much more natural choice of ways to handle 'Open all in tabs". As you say, "the more things are looked at... the more things get messy"
I am going to pipe in on this, my preferred behavior was the one in which my currently active tab was over-written by the first URL from the bookmark folder list, with new tabs opening for the rest of the bookmarks from that folder.

If this is a behavior desired by some, then there needs to be:

Open all in tabs <- the expected behavior, does not preserve current tabs
Open all in new tabs <- the behavior desired to preserve current tab contents.
RDL 
Thanks for your info... Unless there's a major issue with an extension I like to use non/beta versions as much as possible.  If the per-release version resolves all tab opening related issues mentioned here then all is fine... if not, then... oh well.  I'll check it out.

colin 
I believe TMP handles those options... there are so many I lose track.  If you're not currently using it you might want to review its options.

In general, two things come to mind with respect to this bug (topic) ...
1.  As I've monitored thousands of posts on Mozilla and MozillaZine boards flexibility of tab-management is extremely important ... so, either a full-bodied extension is required to do that or a large/all-encompassing Firefox Options menu of possible Tab related controls is needed.

2.  With respect to the reason this specific bug has been created (its title), I think that the changed incorporated into version 8 should not have been done.

Anyway, that's my two cents.  All I have to do for now is close that blank tab and go on... but I just don't think it's right... the way it is.
RDL - Thankyou
Update... I installed the TMP-pre in a test profile and played with it... then updated my default profile with it and it worked out very well ... my issue (per this bug name) is now fixed.  

But I'll say this for the general viewers here... Tabs are very important to what I call the General user... those people who basically browse the web, have some bookmarks and like a few of the extensions out there... and that's where I believe great care either needs to take place before even minor Firefox functionality-changes occur... or, an all encompassing user-controls needs to be there (in what I consider the General-user Options)as a basic Firefox tool.

I believe most of the users of Firefox don't nor do they want to get into about:config changes.
Well, I'm going to go ahead and quality what I'm about to say first.
* I really like that Firefox does not destroy/replace tabs now; that old behavior could cause you to lose several tabs/pages in just one click... so I definitely don't want to see FF go back to something that causes dataloss. :)
* I recognize that replacing blank tabs might be worth considering as default behavior (or at least the blank tab of a new window)... although it is technically inconsistent with Bug 440093 and may not be a good idea.

However, having said that, it seems there is a lot of diverging opinions on how tabs should be done.  Each person has their own needs / use cases they want.  Most interestingly, it seems many of these were once the default behavior in Firefox but got changed or even removed recently, which is extra hurtful.  Although, this does not solve this particular bug report, I filed Bug 701950 - "Add an advanced tab config menu to accomodate the diverging needs of FF users"
Maybe the UI/UX people will consider this as a way to accomodate the many different styles that have been mentioned in the comments.
(In reply to Kevin Ar18 from comment #23)

> However, having said that, it seems there is a lot of diverging opinions on
> how tabs should be done.  Each person has their own needs / use cases they
> want.

Thanks for saying this. There are different ways to open tabs. And none of them is "right" or "wrong", but there are good reasons to do it sometimes in one way and sometimes the other. Even a single user might want to do it differently during the day.

The point is, that up to Firefox 7 the user had the choice (!) to open a group of bookmarks in existing tabs (left-click) or in new tabs (middle-click), and that choice he had for every single action.

This discussion goes into the wrong direction if Firefox (9?) gets a new global option to *always* open a group of bookmarks in existing tabs *or* in new tabs. It's important to have that choice for every single time a group of bookmarks is opened.

The user (still) has the same choice for single bookmarks (overwrite versus new).

I don't really care what the default behaviour is as long as I have to choice between both, so that I can open some bookmarks in "replace mode" and right after that some others in "new mode".

Furthermore, the question came up if a group of bookmarks (when in overwrite mode, if that feature ever comes back to Firefox) should overwrite only the current tab (and then insert), or overwrite all further tabs it needs, or overwrite all tabs (and remove remaining tabs. Well, there are good reasons for all of them. If I had to pick only one, I'd prefer the first one (overwrite current and then insert) because that's what I usually need. But that
(sorry, wanted to enlarge the box but hit Save Changes accidently)

But that is something users might see differently. Don't know if it is worth the have an additional option for that (not in the GUI but in about:config). The reason I don't care here is, that my typical use case is like this: there's just one single tab open (about:blank or some old content) and I want to open a group of bookmarks without keeping any existing content. All three choices mentioned above will do this job for me.
The behavior of left-clicking vs. middle-clicking on links is well-defined.  This new behavior specifically treats left clicks as middle clicks when performed on one particular menu item.  That's clearly not consistent.

If some people want the inconsistent behavior, make it a setting.
Please restore the previous behavior; at least as a configurable option.  I use the "open all in tabs" feature a lot.  When I open a new browser window and use "open all in tabs", I don't want my homepage to remain open and I don't want to have to make my homepage "about:blank" in order to get that.  It seems that most of those who are defending the change in FF8 are those who don't use the feature much and those who do use it are complaining about the change.  Who made the decision to change this?  Was there a public discussion about it?  Such changes to the user interface shouldn't be made without giving the users a chance to comment.
(In reply to kevin@cameron.com from comment #27)
[...]

+1, I clearly agree.
It should be noted that these changes were based on legitimate concerns.  It should also be noted that there were many users who did not like the previous behavior as well.

First before anyone reacts to this message, please read what I mean by "the previous behavior"

In FF, "The previous behavior" caused tab folders to overwrite many other tabs without any warning (not just 1 tab).  This was disliked by a number of people because it caused you to lose tabs you had opened... and any data you may have had in those open tabs/webpages.  I do not know any of the details behind the change (all I know is that it is different now).  However, FF no longer erases other tabs for you (including the current one you have open).
As you might expect, this was a rather touchy issue with a number of people because it caused you to lose data; so there are people who would be concerned about switching back to the old style that overwrites several tabs.

Having said all of that, obviously many want a way to re-enable this old behavior, as well other similar behaviors like in Comment 27.  What is really odd is that Firefox has no config option to do this.  I totally agree that this is very weird not to have some way to re-enable it; usually you would expect that from Firefox.

Anyways, I think this issue is deserving of it's own report to stress how important some of you feel it is.  I already filed Bug 701950 about adding a pretty options menu for this... but perhaps another approach is needed....

So... I am trying a different tactic.

To everyone in this thread, see Bug 703435
In it I suggest 3 config options that would restore a lot of the various old behaviors (but not all the ones mentioned in this thread).

P.S. Keep in mind several things:
* There is no conspiracy against you or this behavior (I am not a FF dev either). :)
* People in this bug report are actually asking for 4 or 5 different behaviors/things at the same time ... but they are all closely related so it's easy to merge them together in discussion.  (I listed 3 of them in Bug 703435.)
Blank tabs are a special case. They exist as a placeholder to allow the user to obtain focus and interact with the toolbar and navigate without replacing an existing tab or when no other tabs are present. Blank tabs are Firefox's load dialog; in my view they should not be preserved when bookmarks are loaded.
This issue has somehow been fixed, possibly through an update of an add-on.  Opening a group of bookmarks now overwrites a blank tab.  I am using 32 bit operating system and software.
(In reply to watchman from comment #32)
> This issue has somehow been fixed, possibly through an update of an add-on. 
> Opening a group of bookmarks now overwrites a blank tab.  I am using 32 bit
> operating system and software.

"for me" perhaps would have been an appropriate qualifier, and without information on your exact operating system and your Firefox version your comment is not too useful to anyone else here.

I suspect that perhaps you are using the 'Tab Mix Plus' extension and you have just been automatically updated to the newly published latest general release version 0.3.8.7. That version behaves like the development version in this respect.

Tab Mix Plus :: Add-ons for Firefox
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-mix-plus/
Will this mis-feature ever be reverted to the previous (desirable, to me) behavior or at least have an about:config control?  This is a constant annoyance when I can't intentionally overwrite whatever my current tab is when opening a bookmark folder.  If I want to preserve the tab I'm on, I just open a new tab before opening the bookmark folder - which is the same behavior the browser has when opening a single bookmark.

Current behavior is inconsistent and illogical.  Users who want to not overwrite currently open tabs when opening a bookmark folder simply have to hit ctrl-T beforehand.
I'm working a lot with opening a group of tabs, and now I always end up with an empty or unused tab that I have to close manually afterwards. That is bad GUI design.

Obviously, this behaviour was changed because somebody complained that opening a group of tabs had overwritten his precious existing tabs. Okay, instead of changing the behaviour of the left mouse button, why wasn't the behaviour of the middle mouse button changed a little bit in a way that it does what the left mouse button does now? Including an additional menu option on right mouse button that gives the choice to "Open" a group of tabs in a destructive way and "Open in New Tabs" in a non-destructive way. Same as for single bookmarks.

I've tried the add-on "Tab Mix Plus" but it does way too many fancy things and I also don't like the idea to use development builds to make it work with recent Firefox releases.
I am also experiencing this new 'feature' and wishing I could revert its behavior, but I will add something to the thread there that I haven't seen mentioned.

In previous versions of FF, the behavior was in fact controllable - if I right-clicked on a folder in my bookmarks bar (which I usually kept open on the left side) and selected "Open all in tabs" it would overwrite the current tab, regardless of it being blank or populated.  However, if I control-clicked on the folder, it would open all in tabs, but would preserve the left-most tab, regardless of its status.   It was a predictable behavior, I used it both ways, and it was one I did not mind right-clicking for to use sometimes.

Having to remove the unwanted blank tab is hardly Earth-shattering, but still is a change in behavior and adds to my tab-count.  If I need a blank tab, I can create/add one easily enough.
I'm the one of the duplicate bug... Couldn't find it anywhere here, ther's so much info available on everything...

I just wanted to mention my routine: Opening Firefox, about:blank, open bookmarks folder Social Media, and occasionally a different bookmark folder. So when finished on Facebook, I need to close it separately, as the 'Open all in tabs' function has been buggy since v. 8.0 (been using 7.0 until last week, where I was forced to update because v.7.0 didn't support Flash/JavaScript anymore.) I've always downgraded to 7.0, for this stupid bug... It was just now when I was forced to use these buggy versions, that I realized I could submit a bug report... (As the Feedback section is being spammed with nonsense).

My suggestion to fix this bug. As there are two kinds of people, the ones who liked it the way it was, and the ones who complained about the ease of things.

Suggestion: Create an option in the preferences -> Tabs section, making it possible to choose whether to handle Tabs the way FF v7.0 did, or the way it's handled now (this particular bug, to be more precise. Every active tab should be used for opening multiple tabs. So if I'm at Facebook, I can open multiple tabs, and it rewrites my Facebook tab.)

And last: I want to apologise for creating a duplicate bug report. When creating the report, this thread wasn't suggested. So I thought it wasn't handled yet. My apologies.
It could just be a simple option, with a tick box and a phrase like: "Open multiple bookmarks, starting from the active tab." Or a little bit more rephrasing needed, I'm not naturally English...
Can you please fix this annoying regression introduced recently? I do not see a conflict between the requested fix in bug #440093 and the bug described here as stated in the title. Why is it so hard to keep existing tabs with loaded content, but replace an empty tab?
I really do not like this new functionality.  Not only is it not actually consistent (As has been stated, opening a single bookmark opens over the current tab, regardless of what that tab is -- opening multiple bookmarks should do the same.  Enable middle click on "Open All in Tabs" to not open in the current tab for consistent behavior) it leaves empty tabs that I have to waste time closing constantly.

If a new consistent behavior is desired though, what about this as a compromise: Open All in Tabs will only overwrite your current tab if your current tab is your Home page.  That will get rid of blanks for those of us who start on a blank page, and minimize data loss risks for everyone else (Since they'll only overwrite their home pages).  This wouldn't be ideal for me, but it would be a drastic improvement over how things stand now and would not be an exception specifically for about:blank
(In reply to bianary from comment #42)
> I really do not like this new functionality.  Not only is it not actually
> consistent (As has been stated, opening a single bookmark opens over the
> current tab, regardless of what that tab is -- opening multiple bookmarks
> should do the same.  Enable middle click on "Open All in Tabs" to not open
> in the current tab for consistent behavior) it leaves empty tabs that I have
> to waste time closing constantly.

Agreed. IMO there is this concept called "surfing", meaning you hop from one web page to another within the same tab. For some reason when using "open all in tabs", people bury this concept for fear of data loss. But these same people are ok with a single bookmark replacing the content of the current tab.

If there really is a preference by a majority of people to not overwrite the current tab, have the middle click toggle the old behaviour. Choice is good, because no matter what the preference is, there are situations when the opposite behaviour is wanted.
In addition to about:blank , similar empty tabs like about:newtab or about:home should also be either re-used or closed when opening all bookmarks of a folder ("open all in tabs").
Severity: normal → S3

The severity field for this bug is relatively low, S3. However, the bug has 3 duplicates and 12 votes.
:dao, could you consider increasing the bug severity?

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Flags: needinfo?(dao+bmo)

The last needinfo from me was triggered in error by recent activity on the bug. I'm clearing the needinfo since this is a very old bug and I don't know if it's still relevant.

Flags: needinfo?(dao+bmo)
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