Two New Features Coming to Firefox to Keep You in the Browser
Life within the browser is a place people find themselves more and more as web applications creep into our personal lives and the business world. Simple builds of Google ChromeOS are starting to pop up with some frequency now. ChromeOS will be an operating system that is simply an interface between you and all of your applications and data which will be living, breathing and resting in the cloud. The transition from traditional client/server and desktop applications to a pure web based experience is going to take place over a long period of time and there are some that question if the full leap can be made. Make no bones about it, the full leap will be made. The question is how and over what period of time. No one can definitively give an honest answer to that question. It will be different for different people and different industries. Given the legal world's normal rate of technology adoption, I have no doubt that a lawyer will be asked to turn off the lights and close the door on traditional software architecture. It will happen most likely after the power supply blows out on the only machine left that could run WordStar 3. This is where the browser comes in; as the bridge. The good old gateway between your hard drive and an Amazon EC2 cycle of processing power will be around for a while, so you might as well get comfy. Firefox has always been a browser for the tinkerer. It's ability to add functionality from extensions that are as simple as changing the font a web site presents itself in to editing a YouTube video has always made it the browser of choice for those that like to customize the experience. While perusing through my RSS news reader, I came across a couple of stories on some new, as in future, functionalities of the Firefox browser that I think will make life in the browser a little less claustrophobic. The first was on a project being worked on called "Tab Candy" which will help you categorize and make sense out of the tabs across the top of your browser that have replaced the rows of icons across your toolbar. Perhaps you are like me and still have both. Tab Candy looks to me like it will be great for keeping track of your case research. Here is a video clip of what the developer is planning for functionality. The second was on a feature that will be in Firefox 4 when it is released later this year. This feature will allow you to keep tabs open that are home to your web applications that you use frequently during the day, like webmail or calendar. Maybe it's your favorite new web based practice management application. Here is a video on what is currently being called "App Tabs" Hopefully, as we all learn to get comfortable in the browser, developers will continue to add clever ways to make the transition to web application life a smooth one. Go at your own pace, but don't forget to turn the lights off when you're done.