I’ve been looking over the comments from the earlier Web Browser Homepage post and there were certainly a large number of people who said they were using about:blank, mostly for speed reasons as well as the distraction reason. And some other interesting situations / use cases that people mentioned happening, here’s a quick breakdown.
Persistent Browser Sessions was a topic touched upon a number of times by different people. Having the browser know what sessions you used last time and bringing those back after a crash or having it remember a state you want to have every time you open the web browser.
Many people use a local file:// link to bookmarks.html or another local page of links and useful things they maintain
Straight up about: (which I didn’t know existed) gives a quick loading page that reminds you what version you’re running.
Several mentions of Speed Dial from Opera, which I have to say looks very nice.
Some people use planet, which probably loads fairly quickly and keeps you up with what’s happening in your world / universe.
Bill had an interesting solution of using the about:blank page with custom sidebar of file:// links, lots of speed and the ability to jump off to new places.
A couple mentions of using del.icio.us bookmarks page also with specials tags like “workflow”, i.e. links you’d go to often
Many people used the set | of | tabs | for | homepage which opens multiple pages in different tabs at once, several people mentioned that the order of the pages was very important. Some people even put in the about:blank at the end of their list of tabs so they have the last one ready to go somewhere new.
Adam mentioned loading his router’s status page because it’s really fast and can have some useful information sometimes.
Walters and I have been talking about the web browsers homepage, bookmarks, and history and how they all relate for a little while now. A couple weeks ago we started working on something that we think could help this situation we have with them.
- History is valuable. You keep doing the same things over and over again on your computer, especially in your web browser. Why isn’t that part front and center?
- Bookmarks are a management task. Bookmarks have a tendency to become stale over time and end up as clutter unless you careful prune and manage them like it was your garden. At the same time the sites you bookmark are probably the ones you go to most often, then what did you need to bookmark them?
- A Homepage is usually a waste of time. Went through the specifics in my last post, but a homepage just isn’t all that useful. With all the amazing ideas listed above we have an excellent base to make something little bit more useful for all of us collectively.
So we created something we called the Firefox Journal. It only works with Firefox 3 right now, but we’re working on that. Here’s the point of it, in bullet format.
- Show the Places You Visit Most
- Auto-Clean up and tidy the display of your Recent History
- Allow quick Searching of your History and Bookmarks
- Help to perform Alternative Searches
So try it out! It won’t take much time to get it up and running so you can see what we’re up to. It’s dead simple to hack on this (i’m doing some of the hacking) and improve it. We need help with the HTML layout and the Querying of the places.
I’m also working on a “live” history system that pulls RSS feeds from the sites you travel to down into your history view such that we can say: Colin Walters – LiveJournal (2 Posts since your last visit) instead of just the URL. Cool stuff!