Mozilla’s Test Pilot program for the Firefox web browser lets you try out experimental new features to help decide whether they should be added to future versions of Firefox.
Today Mozilla is introducing two more, which you can try out by installing Firefox Extensions.
For example, Side View can let you watch a video while you’re composing an email or updating a spreadsheet. Or you can use it for comparison shopping between two stores.
I’ve been a two-window workflow guy for as long as I can remember, but that typically means opening two separate browser windows and placing one on the left side of the screen and another on the right. Side View lets you do the whole thing in single window, by giving you split-screen tabs.
Once you’ve got two pages open, you can drag the center bar to the left or right to make one page larger and the other smaller.
The advantage is that you can let some tabs take up the full width of your monitor, while viewing others in a split-screen mode. Once the extension is installed, just select the Side View option from the toolbar, pick the tab you want to combine with the current tab and you’re off to the multitasking races. You can also right-click on links to open the new page in a Side View pane without leaving the page you’re currently on.
I don’t know if it’s enough to make me give up my two-window ways, but it’s an interesting idea.
Firefox Color lets you build a custom theme for your browser by changing background textures and colors for different elements including toolbars, background tabs, search text, and more.
Mozilla notes that not all Test Pilot experiments graduate to become full-fledged Firefox features. The company has launched 16 experiments to date, and only three have been incorporated into Firefox so far: Screenshots, Containers, and Activity Stream.
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