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More Details on IE7 Tabs 350

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-with-the-program dept.
GraemeDonaldson writes "Another member of the IE dev team, Tony Schreiner, has revealed details of IE7's tabbed browsing implementation including the fact that the user will retain control over how tabs are handled." From the post: "Regarding script, there is no "target='_tab'" feature or any direct access to tabs from script beyond what is available with multiple windows today. We are working on balancing the default behavior for whether a window opened from script opens as in a new frame or a tab. Currently, windows that have been customized, such as hiding a toolbar or making the window non-resizable, will default to opening in their own standalone frame, whereas ordinary pop-up windows will open in a new foreground tab. CTRL-clicking and middle-clicking links will open those links in a background tab."
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More Details on IE7 Tabs

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  • middle-click (Score:3, Informative)

    by nocomment (239368) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:13PM (#12660514) Homepage Journal
    A touch off-topic but...Just for clicks I tested middle-click in safari and sure enough it opened a new tab. nice
    • by ravenspear (756059) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:21PM (#12660570)
      What is this middle click you speak of? I've been using Safari for a while but I can't test this because I don't see any buttons to "click" on my mouse.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:25PM (#12660609)
        You have to smash it open, because it's in the middle.
      • Re:middle-click (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kesh (65890)
        If you have a mouse with a middle-button or a scroll-wheel, clicking that button down tells Safari "open this link in a new tab."

        If you don't have a mouse with those features, just hold down Option when you click, and it'll do the same thing.
        • Re:middle-click (Score:2, Informative)

          by pomo monster (873962)
          In a hurry to post? :-) Option is the shortcut to download the link, actually. To open it in a new tab, you want to command-click.
          • In a hurry to post? :-) Option is the shortcut to download the link, actually. To open it in a new tab, you want to command-click.

            Guh, yes. Sorry. That's what I get for posting from a Windows PC at work while I have a headache. :)

            Mod my original post down, this one up! ;)

      • Get a new mouse ;)
    • by sim82 (836928)
      Just out of interest: last time I checked, macs only had what I would consider a middle mouse button. So how do you open a link not in a new tab?
      • Re:middle-click (Score:2, Informative)

        You can use the CTRL and Apple buttons while hitting the mouse button to simulate the same effect as a middle click or a right click. Or just attach any old 3 button USB mouse. I've got a Logitech Marble trackball on my PowerMac at work and it works fine.
    • Re:middle-click (Score:3, Informative)

      Maybe you have your mouse configured so that middle click == command click.

      Safari middle click, shift click == same as left click
      Firefox Mac middle click, shift click == opens link in new window

      On Safari and Firefox Mac:
      * cmd-click == open link in new tab
      * option-click == download link

      On Firefox Win:
      * ctrl-click == open link in new tab
      * shift-click == download link
      • revised (Score:5, Informative)

        by line.at.infinity (707997) on Friday May 27, 2005 @08:12PM (#12660996) Homepage Journal
        Actually, it should be like this:

        On Safari and Firefox Mac:
        * middle click, shift click == same as left click
        * cmd-click == open link in new tab
        * option-click == download link

        On Firefox Win:
        * ctrl-click == open link in new tab
        * shift-click == download link

        I just plugged in a mouse with three buttons that I haven't configured and tried.
  • by torrents (827493) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:14PM (#12660521) Homepage
    someone's been using firefox!!!
    • Re:sounds like... (Score:2, Informative)

      by DanteLysin (829006)
      Firefox was not the first browser to use tabbed browsing. I love Firefox too, but they folks there didn't invent tabbed browsing.
      • by h4rm0ny (722443)

        Yes - but Firefox's market share is already limiting MS's options. Note how they say there will be no target=tab function.

        Well they can't really, can they? Six years ago they would have re-written HTML without a care, added in any proprietary features they liked and declared that any rival product was broken. But now they have to ensure compatability.

        MS going down.
    • Re:sounds like... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lphuberdeau (774176)
      Middle-click or ctrl-click... yep... Mozilla (I don't like firefox!) has the exact same behavior. They should have used a different keystroke, the copy wouldn't have been so obvious.
      • Out of curiosity, why do you prefer Mozilla over firefox?
        • I kinda do too. Maybe it's the skin I've used for so long. It's very stable for me, whereas I've had some issues with Firefox, surprisingly.

          Firefox just 'feels' different. But I do use it, at work too. They're both very good but the trend is towards Firefox and that's where the new features will be focused.
        • Every time I tryed to use firefox (about every major release), I had the feeling it was a fragile application. The interface does not look nice at all. It might just be because of my config, but firefox's default configuration simply looks horrible when it comes up.

          No extension I tryed impressed me at all, giving firefox no advantage over Mozilla. I don't really like the idea of extensions. To me, it's simply a way to drop support over some features. I hate the idea of having to select between multiple ext
      • Re:sounds like... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by uhlume (597871) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:51PM (#12660835) Homepage
        That's idiotic. I can't imagine why anyone would care that they "copied" Firefox et al in providing tabbed browsing, which has become a standard feature in practically every current browser -- so why on earth should they confuse people by using their own proprietary invocation method just to differentiate their product, when every other browser on the market uses middle-click?

        I can imagine the uproar from people just like you if Microsoft actually followed your advice: "They're breaking standards! They introduced their own incompatible proprietary interface just to promote browser lock-in!"

        Criticize them for their predatory business practices all you like, but this kind of shit is purely assinine.
  • by whysanity (231556) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:20PM (#12660563) Homepage Journal
    enough about tabs! as a web developer here's topics i'd like to hear about:
    • correct implementation of box model
    • support for png alpha transparency
    • full support for css2
    • support for application/xhtml+xml mime type
    let's worry about the back end before we do anything with the front end
    • enough about tabs!

      This is perhaps a little OT but I do share the parent's frustration with so much focus on tabs in IE. I converted to Firefox on 1.0.2 and I've never looked back. I love it and only use IE (at home or work) for a few ActiveX-only sites. However, I could take or leave tabbed browsing. I stay with Firefox because of the wonderful extensions and better pop-up blocking.

    • by Chromodromic (668389) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:32PM (#12660684)
      Amen, brother.

      I mean, don't we already have great browsers with tabs? I'm using one right now. All this news about tabs in IE is a little like Ford announcing a new product: a gas-powered, horseless carriage which will convey any number up to four passengers at a high rate of speed and without all the hassle horses require!

      "Yay," yells the crowd! "And it will run over standard roads, too, won't it?"

      "Standard roads? Oh, now let's not get carried away, son! No, SPECIAL roads will be required because, um, because, oh! Because ours is a SPECIAL vehicle, so we need SPECIAL roads and we'll build them and charge a minimal toll."

      "Fuck you!" yells the crowd! Microsoft won't lend full support to CSS2 because they claim it's a flawed specification, which, of course, is true, in the sense that revenue model for Microsoft was not built into it.

      To hell with this. I'm going to switch from Firefox because IE finally got tabbed browsing? Yawn. I have Maxthon installed and I *still* use Firefox.
      • What does MS's business plan have to do with correct CSS implementation?

        I know their implementation is broken, but I thought they did that just cause they're dicks and not because it impacted their business plans.

      • Microsoft announced several weeks ago that they'd support transparent PNGs and more robust CSS support. From the same website: [msdn.com]
        • Support the alpha channel in PNG images. We've actually had this on our radar for a long time, and have had it supported in the code for a while now. We have certainly heard the clear feedback from the web design community that per-pixel alpha is a really important feature.
        • Address CSS consistency problems. Our first and most important goal with our Cascading Style Sheet suppo
    • Me Too. Wake me up when the IE team decides to make IE 100% standard compliant. Now that would be news.
    • >> full support for css2

      Haha! That's a good one. Oh what a character.

    • Yeah well... I expect hell to freeze over first. However...

      1. I'm a sad, sad person but I would rather see everyone else support IE's box model. It's proposed that CSS3 will allow a person to choose which box model they are using. (I'm all for web standards and test my sites on Windows, Linux and Mac and about every browser I can, but the wc3 box model sucks ass.) Or hell, you could even add something like total-width: to CSS. I don't care. Having no way to create one object with a % width that also has pa
  • Adblock? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wallykeyster (818978) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:21PM (#12660566)
    I look forward to how Microsoft will respond to the recent challenge to their browser dominance, but anything short of Adblock for IE will keep me with Firefox. I can't believe how much nicer the Internet is with Firefox and this single extension.
    • Re:Adblock? (Score:2, Informative)

      by packetl0ss (887279)
      I can't believe how much nicer the Internet is with Firefox and this single extension.
      and a nice adblock filterset [geocities.com].
      • and a nice adblock filterset.

        Actually, I created mine as I went, used nothing complicated (wildcards but no regular expressions), have less than 20 rules, and I rarely see an ad. I have not tried to block text ads or small, out-of-the way ads; I'm really only after the annoying inline and banner ads.

    • Remember Microsoft products are used by tons of other companies, many of which happen to have or sell ad space -- if IE added adblock, I imagine it would create quite a stir.
      • Remember Microsoft products are used by tons of other companies, many of which happen to have or sell ad space -- if IE added adblock, I imagine it would create quite a stir.

        They don't have to add Adblock - they only need a programming interface like Firefox's extensions so that Adblock can be ported to it.

  • Tabs in IE7? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:22PM (#12660578)
    IIRC, didn't MS say that tabs really weren't a useful feature in browsers? It was back when SP2 was being released. People were asking many questions to MS whether SP2 would add tabbed browsing and MS said tabs weren't all that useful in browsers.
    • Re:Tabs in IE7? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rpozz (249652)
      From the article, the guy claims it was quite a bit of trouble to implement tabs for a few different reasons. I imagine that they couldn't get it ready for SP2, and they just made an excuse.
    • Re:Tabs in IE7? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by simetra (155655)
      Yeah, and they said they didn't want to use them because they would confuse users. But now, it sounds like they'll have a combo of pop-up windows, and tabs! What's the point of having tabs if you still have your pop-up windows?

    • Re:Tabs in IE7? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315)
      I used to think the same.
      Now that I use them, I hate using plain IE.

      Slight side issue, I keep on middle clicking on the little program tabs at the bottom of my screen and cursing when they don't open or close as expected.

      Do any of the OS's offer middle button support for general things, or is it mainly restricted to browser functionality?
      • Sure, there's lots of functionality on the middle mouse button, at least in *nix. Many applications use middle click to paste the contents of the clipboard. Nautilus [gnome.org] uses it to open a folder and close the current window (in spatial mode), and several window managers bind various window operations to a middle click on the titlebar.
    • by Eternally optimistic (822953) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:45PM (#12660796)
      And MS still believes they are not very useful, except they can add bloat. That's why they are now needed.
    • No, Microsoft believed (and probably still does) that tabs violate their design guidelines. However, tabs have been requested by so many people that they seem to have relented.

      Of course other products (even other MS products) use tabs, such as Excel, but in that case the tabs are keeping related items organized (as do tabbed dialogs). MS has been pushing an SDI interface for almost 10 years for discrete work items (Different documents in Word, for instance) and MDI for related items (code files in Visual
  • by quickbasicguru (886035) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:24PM (#12660598)
    Now you can do all of this in one window:
    1)Download Spyware
    2)Download Adware
    3)Download More Malware
    4)Download your P0rn
    5)Take a picture of yourself online.
  • All the old security problems were starting to bore me. Now I can look forward to an entire new set of problems.
    Just think this time next year we will be griping about things like 'hijacked tabs' and such.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:24PM (#12660600) Homepage Journal
    My windows machine is 2000. And since microsoft no longer supports me, i dont get any new features. ( or bugs ).

    This isnt a 'me' post, there are a *lot* of people and businesses that have no plans to goto XP ( or server 2003 ) in the near future.

  • Looks like customers win here. Maybe Firefox wasn't the first to ever do multiple tabs, but their popularity spurred MS to do something to make their own browser better. Once customers start seeing other features in Firefox that aren't in IE and start complaining they will be (slowly) added. Competition works! But of course we already knew that....
    • And that's been the problem with Microsoft. They've managed to obtain a near monopoly, and no matter how often Billy Gates spouted the word "innovation" it hasn't been until open source really started putting pressure on them that we're saying improvements. Left to their own devices, I'm quite sure Microsoft wouldn't have updated IE for another few years. Why would they have? They'd all but killed Netscape and Opera and Mozilla were bit players. Now they've seen, considering how long they've dominated
  • Wooo (Score:5, Funny)

    by billieja2 (848397) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:25PM (#12660610)
    This core functionality is largely catch-up to other browsers which support tabs, but a necessary foundation for future work.

    Atleast they acknowledge it finally.
  • by goneutt (694223) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:28PM (#12660631) Journal
    Okay, I'll admitt that I use IE. And I know it's full of bugs and glitches. Most of which I never see.

    Since the tabs have been a function used in other web browsers for some time, the new mass deployment will give new reason to abuse users tabs by hijack-sites, hackers, and other undesirables. I know they say there are no commands to control tabs, but that doesn't mean they aren't tamper proof.

    In esscence, will IE's incorporation of common features lead to bugs (or flaws) being found in other browsers.
  • by cryptoz (878581) <jns@jacobsheehy.com> on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:28PM (#12660632) Homepage Journal
    One of the main reasons I stay away from Windows is the extremely poor window management. Hence the reason I'm using GNOME with six virtual desktops. And I can have dozens of web pages open and still take only one spot on my bottom panel.

    My point is that "tabbed browsing" is not a god-like feature. It's just something that helps with a user's window management (the ability to be able to have a bunch of web pages open at one time without making a huge mess is NOT a web browser problem, it's an entire usability issue for the whole machine).

    Yes, I know there are attempts at virtual desktops in Windows, but they all suck. I've tried them. They're either too slow, don't work properly (ie, they leave the minimized windows on the task bar the entire time...I don't get how thatworks).
    • Multiple desktops is the one thing I simply couldn't live without any more. I'm pretty much a dedicated Fluxbox user nowadays, and the ease of flipping between desktops makes my life a helluva lot easier. I go work on a Windows box and it just drives me nuts.
    • The "desktop" metaphor sucks and deserves to die. Hell, I can't find anything on my *real* desktop why would anyone organize a WM that way? Surely there's something better by now.

      There is... tabs should be a feature of the window manager, not the application (unless it's a tabbed dialog).

      On my desktop I use Ion WM, a tabbed window manager. Apps open full-screen or within a subdivision of the main window, providing tabs for navigation.

      Ion WM works with some applications better than others. It would be nic
    • For anyone looking for a virtual desktop manager for Windows, check out XDESK [xdesk.info]. Yes, the website looks awful, and yes the options screens are dreadful, and yes it's bloated with features you'll never use, but at the core is a very solid and fast virtual desktop manager, complete with a very nice pager.

      It's Shareware. They have a 30-day trial version, as well as a free 'lite' version.
  • Monopoly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jesus IS the Devil (317662) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:29PM (#12660640)
    No Thanks. Microsoft is full of crap. They sit around and do NOTHING for the past 3-4 years (since they slaughtered Netscape). And now that finally there's competition they get off their lazy a$$es and steal other people's ideas once again.

    M$ gets no respect from me.
    • Re:Monopoly (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      "And now that finally there's competition they get off their lazy a$$es and steal other people's ideas once again."

      So.. did FireFox 'steal' their ideas from Opera, then? They don't get your repsect, either?

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not thrilled with MS's laziness with IE either, but 'stealing' tabs? Please. It's a standard feature for web browsing and has been for years. It'd be really dumb of MS NOT to include it. FireFox did a good job of, pardon the expression, lighting a fire under MS. Now the Fi
  • Good ol' M$ (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cataclyst (849310)
    Glad to see that M$ is taking the time to address the REAL concerns facing it. Like how to emulate the UI of better software without that whole originality concept getting in the way. Maybe it'll even be impressive enough for some of the potential end users to forget why people started switching away from IE in the first place: the security holes bigger than -[insert 'yo mama' joke here]- worst...priorites...EVER...
  • I'd like to see comparison notes with Firefox. Any slashdot hacker/software-engineer care to elaborate how the Firefox team has handled some of the issues this IE engineer has raised?
  • Rip Off! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Entropy248 (588290)
    This is totally a rip-off (from the user standpoint) of standard Firefox behavior. Nice innovation. But, they didn't mention the ability to drag tabs around (to change the order) though.

    It also seems like they are quite sincere in catching up fully in the browser feature race. Now IE will have a pop-up blocker and tabs. Sounds a lot like we again have a nearly identical major feature set as a neat bulleted list for marketing. Plus, IE will forever have a faster start-up time (by cheating).

    We need to stay

    • Re:Rip Off! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by The Bungi (221687)
      This is totally a rip-off

      Wait... are you saying Mozilla invented tabbed browsing? Surely you jest. What exactly is MS "ripping off" here?

      Plus, IE will forever have a faster start-up time (by cheating)

      Cheating how?

  • by bluGill (862) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:34PM (#12660700)

    I know tabs are the killer that takes users from IE, but I'd prefer they work on their rendering. Their CSS doesn't work.

    We make all our sites to work in Konqueror now, and only minor tweaking is needed for Firefox and safari. Easy enough, all are so close to the standard that there is little difficulty. IE doesn't work. We have to spend three times the effort to make it work in IE without breaking the rest. (We have chosen to not detect IE and give you a different page. I'm still not sure about the wisdom of that)

    Typical Microsoft though, make it look nice, who cares if it works right so long as the users don't know.

  • by DrIdiot (816113)
    I'm sure that Microsoft will sell IE7 as "cutting edge" software, especially since those ideas were implemented by TBE in Firefox before IE7 was even considered.

    "Did you hear about the new IE7? It has tabs, that's like, totally, new technology. Only Bill Gates could come up with something so genius!"
  • Why? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by bit01 (644603)

    Why is a minor detail of a closed source, unhackable software product that isn't even released yet a front page story on slashdot?

    M$ advertising wastes enough of our time already without giving it away.

    This is quite clearly a marketing move by M$ to create mindshare for when the new M$IE version is released and I for one am sick of such manipulation.

    ---

    Keep your options open!

  • Tabs are going to confuse most users for some unknown reason, but due to popular demand, IE7 will finally have them?

    Wow.

    But on an aside, will they be using that mentality and implementing them in a similar way as others, or will microsoft go their own way again as usual and set their own standard which they will try to force everyone to adhere to and firefox and the likes will be forced to implement something similar?
  • If they patent the "middle click to open a tab" and the "control click to open a tab" the OpenSource community can so own M$

  • by Some_Llama (763766) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:44PM (#12660788) Homepage Journal
    "whereas ordinary pop-up windows will open in a new foreground tab. "

    Hmm, how about ordinary pop up windows not opening AT ALL!?!?

    I have just started using Firefox and I love how most pop-ups are blocked, and the ones that do happen to pop thru open in a new Background window so they are easily killed...

    from TFA:
    "We are working on balancing the default behavior for whether a window opened from script opens.."

    How about let me choose what behavior I want from my browser instead of making all of these "defaults" which I will end up changing anyway because they are usually the less intuitive choice. sheesh.. i'll just stick with Firefox.

    Side note, since changing to Firefox, my 4 home systems which my family uses (that used to fill up with spyware weekly) have been running spyware free now for 2 weeks. Thanks Mozilla...
    • There are legitimate uses for popups. For example, we run "web kiosks" at school that allow students to register for classes and such. Occasionally, we need to send a student outside of our site to a state or federal site and we tend to open those up in new popup windows so that they can get back to our site just by closing the window, otherwise there would be no way for them to get "home" (they don't have a back button either in kiosk mode).

      Otherwise, 2 or 3 times a day we have to send someone to the ki
  • In my opinion, Microsoft could create something called Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 Tab Security Center. This technology would protect the user by providing a "delete=all" tag, which would run a background task in the OS kernel that would delete random files in random locations in the filesystem. This is the One Microsoft Way to make the user really really secure.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday May 27, 2005 @07:57PM (#12660882)
    As a web developer, I am looking forward to seeing IE7. Seriously. While I do recommend Firefox to people when the opportunity comes up, all I really care about is the rendering. If IE7 does a good enough job with CSS and the DOM in general that I can code something once and it'll work most of the time in all the common browsers, I'll be one happy camper.

    I know we'll never reach the point where 100% of code will "work on all browsers the first time, every time". But if IE's performance gets to the point where its quirkiness is no more of an issue than Safari's or Gecko's, then that'll be good enough for me. Right now IE probably adds 30% to my development time for any project, because the reality is things have to work acceptably well in IE.

    • by toddestan (632714) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:24PM (#12661790)
      If I was you, I would be dreading IE7. I'm sure it will be a little bit better at CSS and DOM, but it will have it's quirks and bugs that you'll need to program around - which will be nothing like the current quirks and bugs found in current versions of IE. And to add to the headache, I'm guessing you'll have to still support the various versions of IE6 for quite a long time into the future.

  • whereas ordinary pop-up windows will open in a new foreground tab

    ... another way to open pop-ups.
  • FTA:

    Currently, windows that have been customized, such as hiding a toolbar or making the window non-resizable, will default to opening in their own standalone frame, ... The rationale for opening only customized windows in a new frame is that this seems to correlate with scenarios where showing a window on top of the current window is desirable

    The interesting thing is that I read this blog post yesterday, then I also ran across something on the Firefox tips page [mozilla.org]. It basically says that by setting bro

  • Tabs are great, sure, but there are things more important than tabs in a modern browser. Now if MSIE actually implemented cascading style sheet 2 standard that would be something. But even that is not enough anymore.

    They have to support XPI extensions and have to be compatible with FireFox to become an option for me at this point. I don't care about browsers that don't support XPI extensions any-longer.

    But I am biased, I have created 2 extensions myself: Russ Key [slashdot.org] and Leet Key [slashdot.org]. Unless I can set these a
  • 10 to 1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Snaller (147050) on Friday May 27, 2005 @10:59PM (#12661951) Journal
    It will be a crappy implementation which favors the advertizers and not the end user.

    (And if they could fix their damn stylesheet bugs: When you select 'ignore font sizes' it is supposed to ignore line height as well!)
  • by SQLz (564901) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:27AM (#12662509) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft will patent some small thing about tabbed browsing that 100 Firefox pluings will have done for years.

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