squinting_kitty (squinting_kitty) wrote in mozilla,

New tab --> Opening adjacent now instead of at the end of tabs

Alright, I've noticed since the most recent update of Firefox (current version: 3.6.2) the following behavior with new tabs:

If I open a new tab from a current tab, Firefox places the new tab immediately adjacent to my current tab instead of at the end of all currently open tabs. So if I have 3 tabs currently open, click a link in tab 1, it places the new tab immediately after tab 1 instead of after tab 3. It used to place any new tab at the end of all currently open tabs (e.g. after tab 3).

I want to know if there is any way to change it back to what it used to be: I want any new tab to open at the end of all currently open tabs. It's what I'm used to, so when I'm searching for a new tab that I just created, I find myself clicking on the last tab instead of, say, the second tab to find my new tab. It's annoying, especially if you have quite a few tabs open and right click to "open link in new tab" from one of the tabs in the middle.

I have looked through Firefox's options, including on the Tabs page, and I cannot find an option to change this. Any pointers would be great.

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Thanks! That did it.
For what it's worth, that's supposed to be the behaviour in earlier 3.6s as well. What I found annoying about it was that it wasn't consistent; it's probably easier to explain how it behaved for me with a diagram of sorts:
teeeee (t is the tab I'm going to click links on, e are existing, older tabs)

tllllleeeee (new tabs, l, have opened next to t, and I click another link on t)

tlllllxeeeee (new tab, x, instead of opening either next to t, new behaviour, or at the end of the tab list, old behaviour, has placed itself between the newer tabs and the existing tabs).
That's only the case if you don't navigate away from the current tab before opening a new tab from a link in the current tab. If you switch to a different tab then back again, it opens the x tab beside the source tab again:


The idea, I think, is that it assumes you want the tabs lined up in the order in which you opened them, and grouped with the source tab. If you go elsewhere and come back, though, it assumes that any more tabs you open from that same source are part of a new group, distinct from the previous group opened from the same source tab.

It actually makes sense, once you adopt the right perspective. This behavior is more of a big help to people like me than very light-duty Firefox users, I think. At any given time, I'm likely to have anywhere from about 25 to about 250 tabs open, depending on what kind of work I'm doing. Because my work involves a lot of online research, I often need lots of tabs open, preferably grouped by subject. As such, this behavior is great for me. If you only have about five tabs open, and consider each of them a completely separate, unrelated thing from the others, opening at the end is probably preferred behavior.
By the way, I just stumbled across this while looking for something else entirely, but thought I'd offer my perspective.
The idea here was that, if you have a bunch of tabs open, having to find your way back from the new tab is much more difficult if it's nowhere near the tab that spawned it. You might want to try the new behavior for a little while with this in mind.

Alternatively, this extension is absolutely amazing for keeping track of new-tab hierarchies, if you have a bit of extra screen space.

Also, shift-middleclick will both open a link in a new tab and focus it.
having to find your way back from the new tab is much more difficult if it's nowhere near the tab that spawned it

Not with the way I usually browse. I have two tabs that are open virtually all the time (Gmail, LJ). If I'm in my Gmail tab and "open link in new tab" from something in my email account, it opens at the end. I do what I need to do in that tab and then close it. Firefox used to take you directly back to the tab you used to be on when you close a new tab, regardless of whether the old tab was adjacent or the first in line. I'm not sure if it still does that or not. Anyway, since I tend to have two or more static tabs, open new tabs at the end, and then close those new tabs when I'm done with them, the old way is more efficient and functional for my browsing. If I like... kept a whole bunch of new tabs open and then navigated back to older tabs while keeping new tabs open to come back to, I could maybe see your point, but that's just not how I usually browse.
I could see the new way being really confusing (read: worse than the old way) if I were ever doing another academic paper as well. I tend to have one primary tab for initial browsing of academic databases. Then I'll open various article links in new tabs. When I'm done searching a database, I'll go and look at my articles. The new way of Firefox's browsing behavior would put them in reverse chronological order from Left to Right instead of in chronological order, so then my brain would have to try to figure out which tab went with which article when all I have is a vague sense of "Well that article I seem to recall was near the beginning. Wait. The beginning is the end (i.e. the right) now. WTF." That seems counterintuitive.
Ah, the problem kicks in when you open several tabs, go look through them, and then try to come back. Or open a new tab in the background, read the current tab some more while it loads, read the new tab, and then come back.

Yes, Firefox still jumps you back to the old tab when closing a new foreground one, which is why I suggested shift-middle-click; it will trigger that same behavior as long as you don't move around.

I was under the impression that Firefox would continue to open new tabs to the right of your current "group" as long as you stayed on the same tab? i.e., if you're on X and clicking links:


...but then if you switch to Y and back to X, new tabs will begin to open immediately to the right of X again. Am I wrong? I've only been using 3.5/6 with Tab Kit and a vanilla 3.7, so I might have missed out on the actual native behavior.
I was under the impression that Firefox would continue to open new tabs to the right of your current "group" as long as you stayed on the same tab?

Oh, I'm not sure. Um. I thought it behaved the way I described, but I've already changed it in the config file so I'd have to change it back to check.
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