Google Chrome Tabs – Vertical / Side tabs

If you’re a Firefox user you are no doubt aware of the ability of your browser to allow you to have your website tabs either horizontally (along the top) or vertically (down the side) displayed. Well what about Chrome users?

In this age of busy browsing where if you end up traversing as many sites as I do during a single search you no doubt find you have a whole host of tabs open, most of which are useful but maybe not right now. So you leave these to come back to later right? Well, not if you do another search, perhaps visit some other sites and build up an impressive collection of tabs. Soon enough you can’t actually find the tabs you want because the text is so small! Thats right, I’m talking about Chrome.

One of my biggest annoyances with Chrome is the fact it doesn’t support vertical or side tabs, yet it can run the game Angry Birds, really?
Your Chrome tabs are permanently fixed in the horizontal position, with the UI not open for modification or extensions that is likely to remain that way until they decide otherwise.

It did support them for quite a long time but as an experimental flag you could set, this flag got yanked last year (around November 2011) with the following reason given;

Sidetabs were an experiment that didn't pan out. They're in a half-working
state and should be removed, says Glen.
We'll try to come up with other approaches for this use case.

Quoted from:

This is frankly a load of rubbish, their argument is the amount of time needed for code verification and testing is needless for an experimental feature, best job is to put it down and not worry anymore. Later on one of the devs responsible for the decision explains that there just was no demand for the feature.

Lets be realistic, how many users of Chrome are power users? Ok, alot, but against the mass of home/educational users we’re just a drop in the ocean, also the feature was hidden in a little known menu (well it was experimental, they don’t want to leave it out there) which leads to the question, how do they know if wasn’t in high demand if they made the choice for the users?

A more scientific and realistic way to gauge usage would be to add it as an option in the menu (with an explanation that it doesn’t look pretty because its experimental) and record how many times it is used. You can’t realistically gauge user demand if you don’t throw the feature in to begin with.

Anyway, rant over. Just needed to get my own thoughts out there, bring back side tabs.

Have a read here for some more details and some ideas on how you can help to try and get these back, its a good blog post and some valid points.

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