RE: side-effect of tabbed browsing

Subject: RE: side-effect of tabbed browsing
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 14:10:45 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gene Kim-Eng [mailto:techwr -at- genek -dot- com]
> The moment I first saw tabs in a browser I took an immediate
> dislike to the screen clutter, and one of the first things I do
> upon installing browsers or their updates is turn tabbed
> browsing off. Funny thing is, I thought what *I* was doing was
> "the lazy way."

To each his special weirdness... :-)

Invariably when I'm researching something, my searches are
anything-but-linear, so I have one or two Google results windows/tabs
open, and I open each hit in a separate tab, so I can
compare-and-contrast the info on each one. Then, I'll also have two or
five tabs with in-house stuff like our time-reporting system,
Sharepoint, etc.... all things that I don't want to keep opening and
closing (several of them need authentication each time).

If I invoked new windows/instances of the browser for each of them, I
think I'd be using more system resources, and I'd definitely have more
clutter on my desktop. As well, I'd be slower to locate those windows
when I was jumping around among them. The [Alt]-[Tab] dialog shows
only undifferentiated icons, so it can become a guessing-game in a
crowded working desktop. If I insist, as I do, upon having lots of
stuff open, then I work more efficiently that way in Linux, with my
usual four separate desktops, and each desktop tending to have stuff
clustered by project or pass-time. Unfortunately, I don't get to run
Linux much at the office.
In Win XP, it all lives in the one desktop, with no easy way to cluster
related things. Even if Vista cleaned up all its major failings
tomorrow, our IT Dept wouldn't start rolling it out for at least another
two years, and I don't blame them. That leaves XP.
The Windows Taskbar does show some info about what a browser window is
looking at, or what document is open in a program, allowing me to pick
the one that I want from among several open ones. However, a crowded
desktop also means that multiple instances of Windows Explorer, of Word,
of IE, etc. get stacked, necessitating another level of clicking when
looking for stuff. When using separate-window-for-each-web-page browsing
the windows taskbar is necessarily more crowded - and therefore less
useful - it has all the instances of other currently-open programs, in
addition to all instances of browser pages. The tabs in a tabbed browser
have only the pages that the browser is currently visiting, and don't
need to also share space with place-holders for Flare, FrameMaker, Word,
SnagIt, Windows Explorer, Illustrator, The GIMP, Outlook, the
bug-tracking system, etc. [Alt]-[Tab] to the single browser window is a
quick flick of the left hand, while the right hand is moving the mouse
to the tabs. To me that's an immediate benefit.
The equivalent of tabbed browsing, for me, is the "tabbed" computing of
Linux multiple desktops (I favor KDE), or of Vista if they ever catch up
with Linux and get it working properly... ahem...

I work this way because... well, I'm cluttered?? :-)
But it's also because I'm a one-man-band lone writer, so I usually have
two or three writing projects and several other things on the go, at any
given moment. I don't have a series of distinct, atomized tasks that I
can open, complete-or-delegate in just a few moments, and then move on.
With no-one to delegate to, I tend to leave things open all day, and
come back to them as time permits, or as new developments unfold - new
info from a meeting, new e-mails about this-or-that, somebody has
updated project B's spec in Sharepoint, I've tested another function or
operation in this-or-that software or hardware, a developer has come
back with the explanation for something that seemed odd, or with the
pronouncement that it'll be shipped "odd" because there's no time to fix
it. And like that.

There's also the matter that my product lines are interrelated, so a
change that applies to one often applies to others. Makes me really wish
that Madcap Flare was more tolerant of multiple instances.

I wonder how other folks work, especially lone writers who are
responsible for the docs for multiple product lines, with a lot of
[near-]simultaneous releases going on.

The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
message and deleting it from your computer without copying
or disclosing it.


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

side-effect of tabbed browsing: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: side-effect of tabbed browsing: From: Gene Kim-Eng

Previous by Author: RE: side-effect of tabbed browsing
Next by Author: RE: side-effect of tabbed browsing
Previous by Thread: Re: side-effect of tabbed browsing
Next by Thread: Re: side-effect of tabbed browsing

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads