The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Notes on a Browser History Mechanism, Part III

Your web-article "Notes on a Browser History Mechanism, Part II"
Wed, 23 Sep 2009 15:42:05 +0000 (GMT)

Hello Sean,

I just saw your article about the "History Tree" Firefox add-on at;

I am the author of History Tree and have just tested it and made it available for Linux and Mac. See; The reason for the delay is that I use mostly Windows and have only recently tested History Tree other platforms.

You were of course right to be surprised that it was initially for Windows only, since its mostly written in JavaScript. However, I had to test on Linux and Mac, since I am a bit of a perfectionist in that way.

I hope you find time to try History Tree out and that you find it useful Perhaps we will then see “Notes on a Browser History Mechanism, Part III” ?

Best Regards,
Norman Solomon

There is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist. And I would like to thank Norman for emailing me about the new version of History Tree.

I've tried it out, and I like it. It does what I described seven years ago, only it looks a lot better, and definitely has more functionality that I expected. But seven years ago I wasn't using tabs. I am now, and my only complaint about History Tree is how it handles tabs.

[History Tree screen shot]

The screen shot shows the history for four tabs I have open in Firefox, with the second tab having quite a bit of historical branching (the red box is the current page being displayed). My issue is that the second tab was opened from the most recent page in the first tab (which is off the bottom of the screen), and the third tab was opened from … well … I forgot which page in the second tab I opened it from. Same with the fourth tab. That's my complaint—there's no indication of which tab was created from which page.

I am at a loss as to what Norman can do for this. Drawing lines showing which page a tab was created from would get horribly confusing. Perhaps if you mouse over the first page in a tab, it could change the color of the page which created the tab in the first place? And then what to do when said page isn't visible?

But other than that, it's a very nice piece of work.

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