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What Do You Want On Future Browsers? 628

Coach Wei writes "An industry wishlist for future browsers has been collected and developed by OpenAjax Alliance. Using wiki as an open collaboration tool, the feature list now lists 37 separate feature requests, covering a wide range of technology areas, such as security, Comet, multimedia, CSS, interactivity, and performance. The goal is to inform the browser vendors about what the Ajax developer community feels are most important for the next round of browsers (i.e., FF4, IE9, Safari4, and Opera10) and to provide supplemental details relative to the feature requests. Currently, the top three voted features are: 2D Drawing/Vector Graphics, The Two HTTP Connection Limit Issue, and HTML DOM Operation Performance In General . OpenAjax Alliance is calling for everyone to vote for his/her favorite features. The alliance also strongly encourages people to comment on the wiki pages for each of the existing features and to add any important new features that are not yet on the list."
On a related note, an anonymous reader writes "The Tao of Mac has put up pretty interesting list of five things that are still wrong with browsers these days, and I have to wonder — with things like AIR starting to be accepted by developers, do we still need the browser at all?"
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What Do You Want On Future Browsers?

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  • by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:35PM (#24005637)
    Laserbeams....oh yeah...and Ninjas!!!
  • stability? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by story645 ( 1278106 ) * <> on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:36PM (#24005653) Journal

    I upgraded firefox and now it decides to crash every 15 minutes, when it used to only crash every half our. So yeah, I'd just like a browser that lets me complete all my web tasks without dying on me.

    • Re:stability? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Victor_0x53h ( 1164907 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:40PM (#24005751)

      I upgraded firefox and now it decides to crash every 15 minutes, when it used to only crash every half our. (...)

      What could you possibly be doing to crash Firefox every 15 minutes? It sounds like you've got something else wrong to me. Time for a system reload.

    • Re:stability? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:48PM (#24005893) Journal

      Agree with sibling post. The only time any FF install I've got crashes it's the Linux one, whenever I try to kill a flash video before the system is done processing it.

      Otherwise it never blips, and I'm a hardcore tab whore: if I can hit CTRL-T I will.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        In case you didn't know, unless you've specified it to do otherwise, clicking the mousewheel/center clicking on a link will open it in a new tab. I don't think IE had that feature when I first came across it, or if it exists now, but it was/is one of the features I love most about FF.
    • Re:stability? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:50PM (#24005945) Homepage Journal

      The important words there are web tasks. I don't want a browser that does e-mail, instant messaging, feed aggregation, balances my check book and feeds my dogs. I want a browser where the unnecessary features have been removed, and those who want them can add them themselves. No add-ons as default, thanks!

      Seamonkey works best for me at present -- you can at least choose to install it without all the features, unlike Firefox with comes with the kitchen sink as standard. Which is kind of ironic, considering that Firefox was meant to be the leaner alternative to the Mozilla Suite, and Seamonkey is the continuation of the Mozilla Suite.

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:37PM (#24005677)

    So browsers other than IE support (to varying degrees) referencing SVG drawings using the <img> or <object> tags. But that doesn't go far enough, IMHO; since both SVG and XHTML are both XML, I'd like to be able to embed either within the other, e.g. by putting a SVG polygon or circle on a webpage (surrounded by HTML), with another field of HTML embedded inside it.

    • by jesser ( 77961 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:46PM (#24005867) Homepage Journal

      Firefox 3 does support mixed SVG and XHTML. I think the other non-IE browsers do as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bcrowell ( 177657 )

        Firefox 3 does support mixed SVG and XHTML. I think the other non-IE browsers do as well.

        The problem is that IE is never, ever going to support xhtml. They don't support it now. They don't have plans to support it. Their stated policy is to provide support for it via browser plugins, and even if the user does have a plugin, you can't write a w3c-standard xhtml file that will work. All of this applies to both svg and mathml.

        For instance, here's a nearly minimal example of a w3c-standard xhtml file with a

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:37PM (#24005687) Homepage

    More speed and less bloat.

    Make it launch in 1 second and run for years without consuming much ram as well as render the page and all text FIRST before loading graphics and other crap.

    I am tired of the bloated dead fish that browsers have become.

  • What do _I_ want? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:37PM (#24005689) Homepage

    What do _I_ want? HTML and CSS compliance. That's it. Get that done first then worry about the 'features'.

  • by nuzak ( 959558 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:37PM (#24005697) Journal

    Teledildonics. Mmm.

  • by WillAdams ( 45638 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:38PM (#24005701) Homepage

    and a decent h&j algorithm --- if only TBL had taken a closer look at on his NeXT Cube before writing


    • by jesser ( 77961 )

      What is an "h&j algorithm"?

      • by WillAdams ( 45638 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:52PM (#24005967) Homepage

        >What is an ``h&j algorithm''?

        hyphenation and justification --- instead of just setting one line at a time, the system should consider the entire paragraph and set it so that all lines are as nice as possible w/ the best possible breaks.

        See the Knuth and Plass paper on it: []

        Or look at Knuth's book _Digital Typography_


        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jesser ( 77961 )

          Ahh. I think browsers tend to go for the greedy / line-by-line algorithm because it's fast and works well with incremental layout (e.g. if you receive the page from the server slowly). The speed argument may be less important since it can be argued that reading speed is more important than layout speed (cf the recent change to support kerning and ligatures). There are also internationalization issues with hyphenation. See Mozilla bug 67715.

          Is entire-paragraph hyphenation always expected, or only expected

  • Stable plugins (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chlorus ( 1146335 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:38PM (#24005703)
    I want some degree of protection from the entire browser crashing when a plugin misbehaves(***cough*** flash ***cough***)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by norminator ( 784674 )
      For me it's been QuickTime, but I second your plugin-protection request... That is, I would, if this were actually the place to make the requests.
  • by StCredZero ( 169093 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:38PM (#24005709)

    Give me 3D vector graphics, and let me play Battlezone in the browser!

    • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:50PM (#24005941) Journal

      Give me 3D vector graphics, and let me play Battlezone in the browser!

      3D vector graphics sounds nice, but (and no offense) I'd rather there was less convergence of the browser and the desktop environment.

      Browsers are inherently buggy and exploitable, or include technologies that are. Until security is locked down tight, IMHO, we should not be moving to a place where the browser does more.
      /If it isn't clear, I'm also not a fan of browser based webapps.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 )

      A game like Battlezone is actually well served by 2D vector drawing. All you have to do is do a quick rasterization of the vertexes (x2d = x3d/z3d, y2d = y3d/z3d), then pass the result to the 2D vector routines. Rendering engine done.

      While I can't view the site right now, COMET support sounds like one of the more interesting feature requirements. The only thing that I don't get is (and maybe this is explained on the currently-slashdotted site), isn't this solved by Server-Sent DOM Events []? That effectively p

  • FF3 (Score:5, Funny)

    by pla$+!k ( 1314047 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:39PM (#24005723)
    Firefox 3 ought to be enough for everybody
  • by Anonymous Coward

    First of all, I want them to fix the Slashdot effect so I can read about the other probems.....

  • An upload meter? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:40PM (#24005755)

    I'd like an upload meter.

  • Fast and clean (Score:2, Interesting)

    by us7892 ( 655683 )
    Not a bloated piece of garbage. That would be a good "feature".
  • I know what I want: an upload progress bar. We've had download progress bars for nearly two decades now, so why not the same for uploading? In this age of YouTube and such, users are uploading files in their browsers more often than ever before, and the addition of an upload progress bar in the browser (not implemented as a hackish AJAX/Flash application) would be very much appreciated.

    • Two more things I'd like to see: native support for vector graphics (in the form of SVG) and native support for video (in the form of the <video/> tag and a Free codec such as Ogg Theora). The latter is actually already written, but Mozilla isn't going live with it yet because of patent fears from certain large companies.

      How nice it would be to have integrated video support directly in the browser, though. No need for all of the hackish solutions, such as anything Flash-based, that have grown up around this gaping capability hole in the original spec. Make embedding videos into a webpage as easy as embedding text. That would be an amazing feature for a future browser.

      • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:22PM (#24006517) Homepage
        I think the problem with a <video> tag is that the sites hosting the video won't use it. I mean, if they really wanted you to be able to just download and watch the video, they would have just put a link to a .mpg, or .avi. Instead what they want to do, is to ensure, as much as they can, that you are watching it in your browser window, so that all the ads show up on the side, and so that you can't save a copy. By using tricks such as using flash, or storing the actual URL inside a playlist file, inside a playlist file, inside a playlist file, inside a playlist file, inside a playlist file, they can stop most casual users from downloading a copy of the file, or watching it in a program that is not their browser.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        native support for video (in the form of the tag and a Free codec such as Ogg Theora). The latter is actually already written, but Mozilla isn't going live with it yet because of patent fears from certain large companies.

        I thought that was because it just wasn't finished in time for Firefox 3.0, hence why they're implementing it in Firefox 3.1 [] instead. If Mozilla are worried about submarine patents, they've kept that very quiet. Apple have been quite vocal [] of their worries about submarine patents in Theora, while Nokia seem to have objected [] without knowing quite what it is they're objecting to, but Mozilla supported [] making it a part of the HTML 5 spec.

    • by jesser ( 77961 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:52PM (#24005977) Homepage Journal

      Firefox had the progress bar working for uploads for a while, but then it broke []. There is pretty much nobody working on Firefox's networking code, so minor bugs like that tend to pile up more so than in other components of Firefox :( If you know someone who enjoys working on C++ networking code, please send them our way!

    • by garett_spencley ( 193892 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:00PM (#24006123) Journal

      I know that you probably realize this, but the reason for the lack of upload progress is because it's a limitation of the HTTP protocol itself. In order to upload you have to send the data in one big POST request and there's no way, via HTTP, to poll the results on the server.

      That's why, currently, upload progress bars are implemented in HTML/javascript/server-side scripting. It requires a server side script to dump the current file size on the server and some javascript to poll the server-side script. In order to get upload progress bars standard in all browsers there would be have to be a standard way, via HTTP, to poll the status of the upload on the server.

      So don't blame the browsers solely. To get this feature implemented would require modifications to the servers too. So the best way to get this feature implemented in all browsers (in a widely-accepted, standard fashion) is to call for an addition to the HTTP protocol.

      • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:27PM (#24006597) Homepage
        Couldn't you just measure the amount of data sent out over the connection? If you only count the stuff that the server has sent back the ACK packets for, you could probably get a pretty good indication of the progress of the upload. It wouldn't represent the size of the file on the actual server, but it would be a really good indicator. I think part of the problem is that it requires going a little bit more low level than generic posting code that the browser would usually call, but there's no reason it couldn't be done.
      • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:30PM (#24006641)

        the reason for the lack of upload progress is because it's a limitation of the HTTP protocol itself. In order to upload you have to send the data in one big POST request and there's no way, via HTTP, to poll the results on the server.

        You don't need to poll the results and it's not a shortcoming of HTTP. You know how much data you have sent, and you know that the server has received it because of the TCP acks.

        So don't blame the browsers solely. To get this feature implemented would require modifications to the servers too. So the best way to get this feature implemented in all browsers (in a widely-accepted, standard fashion) is to call for an addition to the HTTP protocol.

        No, it really is the fault of the browser vendors and nobody else. You don't need an addition to the HTTP protocol, in fact such a thing is pointless because it's already handled at a lower level of the networking stack.

  • by gparent ( 1242548 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:42PM (#24005779)
    I do enjoy a minimum browsing quality. However, personally, all of the competing browsers currently on the market do what I ask them to. Yes, this includes IE7. Microsoft has vastly improved their browser and I applaud them for it. However, I think there's a point where feature packing has its limit. I guess you could compare it to Microsoft adding tons of bloat to XP and making Vista instead of fixing the outstanding issues of XP. I believe there's a point where browsers are just fine, and extra features would be superfluous. I thought Firefox 2 had attained that point until Firefox 3 came out, with its many performance improvements. At this point I only think that bug fixes and even more performance improvements are necessary. Vector graphics? No thanks. My work computer already has enough trouble loading Toms hardware and slashdot properly as it is.
    • Vector graphics could actually allow your computer to load pages faster. Vector graphics are almost always smaller than raster images for images that contain vector qualities.
  • Boobies! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:46PM (#24005859)

    Seriously though how about some decent security for a change. It would be nice to have a browser that doesn't let malware pown you system with a million vulnerabilities or so. Integrate an adware/spyware protection system.

    That and boobies.

    and tabs, and decent memory management. Speed is good also. Sharks with frikin' lasers...

  • by siDDis ( 961791 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:47PM (#24005875)

    and not just one single file when I want to upload. I really hate to go that java/activex way to solve this issue today.

  • with things like AIR starting to be accepted by developers, do we still need the browser at all?"

    Until AIR is open source or the open source community releases an AIR-compatible runtime, we will always need a browser. Even then, we will probably still need it for the developers who believe that AIR development is terrible on anything but Windows.

  • by brunascle ( 994197 ) * on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:54PM (#24006007)
    browser based rich-text editing is a huge mess. of the browsers that claim to support it, there's very few functions that work universally, and everything else has to be hacked together. one of the 4 major browsers, up until the latest version, couldnt even create hyperlinks!

    we need a standard desperately, and we needed it years ago.
  • Henry Ford (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lank ( 19922 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:55PM (#24006027)

    "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse."

    Maybe we should be thinking what do we want _beyond_ a web browser?

  • by shypht ( 1267660 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:55PM (#24006033)
    I don't want it to read my email, or be my RSS reader. I don't want it to be an image editor, or a word processor, or MP3 player or media library. I would like it to be standards compliant, render web pages quickly, not consume loads of ram, and be stable. If I want any of the various 'features' as above, I'll take them in a plugin-format, or through a web application programmed to standards that can accomplish that task. Or, use a stand alone program for it. I want my applications to specialize in a few things and do them VERY well, I dont want 'jack of all trades, master of none' applications that implement dozens of features (most I dont want/use anyways), that don't do them very well, and add to overall bloat/instability in the application.
    • by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) * on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:21PM (#24006493) Journal
      RSS, especially with Google's customizable news feeds, totally rocks. It is by far the very best and easiest way to scan news that matters to me -- at least, using Safari on OS X it is. (I've heard Safari on win sucks, but wouldn't know personally). For the uninitiated, Safari on OS X renders feeds just beautifully, like a web page of all your feeds. Very simple, usable, and obviously without need for some contrived "browser integration" scheme. I also use FF2 with a plugin called Brief on FBSD, that works very much like Safari's integrated reader (though unfortunately *much* slower). If they get that Brief add-on working well in FF3 and fix the crashing on OS X (for those of us using OS X and Shapeshifter) I would happily switch to FF3 for all my machines.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arth1 ( 260657 )

        If RSS rocks you, then by all means install a plugin for RSS. Don't force RSS on everyone, including those of us who have no interest in it at all.

  • A Mute Button (Score:5, Interesting)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:58PM (#24006091) Journal
    I would like firefox to have a "kill the sound" button like IE does. If I'm on a site that plays background music, I can press [esc] in Internet Explorer and get silence. In Firefox, I don't think there is such a keystroke.
  • SAFETY (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:59PM (#24006101)

    Kill 10% of the performance but bounds check everything.

    I use "noscript" and flashblocker and I havn't gotten anything yet. but a friend using firefox was trashed by a link a friend sent her. A lot of "legit" sites (esp lyrics) now inject stuff into your computer.

    I want safety first, then after that ,, safety. THEN maybe some new feature.

  • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @03:59PM (#24006109)

    IMO the most important things for browsers in the near future is the following:

    • XHTML and CSS compatibility - To save us all a lot of trouble.
    • Memory footprint - It needs to be smaller.
    • Stability - When I've got fifteen tabs open I don't want something in one of those tabs to crash the browser.
    • Some form of page rendering where browsers are able to render page layout and text without waiting for larger images and such, perhaps by figuring out how to just fetch the dimensions of images from the server somehow.
    • Properly sandboxed plugins - I want to be able to let flash run but limit the resources available to it, same for javscript and java applets..

    If all this could be done then I'd be pretty happy with the state of web browsers and would stop complaining...


  • People are looking for 14 different flavors of HTML, different scripting languages, plug ins, sandboxes and more and they somehow want all of this slop to throw in graphics ...

    maybe, just maybe, the idea of a single application that accesses all information is a dumb idea, and the right place for this sort of integration is on the desktop, after all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
      Then again. Consider the alternative. Imagine having to install a separate program for every online service you wanted to access. If all your browser had was HTML+CSS+Javascript, how many extra programs would you have to install, just to get your current web experience? Imagine how hard it would be to get things like youtube to catch on if you had to install a program to experience it. Wait.... Maybe this is a good idea.
  • Back in the day.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat . c om> on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:09PM (#24006279) Journal

    when I first heard of bittorrent, I always thought it would make an excellent addition to the http protocol to utilize bittorrent or something like it to share the content of a page, including embeded images and other media content, for as long as a browser window is open on that page, with the web site itself acting as an initial seed if nobody else is currently viewing the page. Instead of the data transfer load being placed entirely on the web server, the task could be delegated to other machines that are viewing that page, all of which ought to have the information readily available. This would have the upshot of keeping smaller websites from being crippled due to sudden surges in traffic, such as what is all too often caused by news stories on sites such as slashdot and numerous others on the web. Had things gone this way back in the day, I think I can safely say we would not be seeing P2P throttling happening the way it is today, because it would be too prevalently used by the mainstream population for general purpose browsing for the ISP's to pull it off without legitimate complaint from everyday users.

    I have to say I'd still like to see something like that... although I suspect now it may be too late, because broadband ISP's are already throttling protocols like bittorrent, so most of its potential benefit may already be gone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Vectronic ( 1221470 )

      Thats "kinda nice" in theory, but only as an Opt-In, and I can't see very many people liking it.

      Especially not those still on Dial-Up, or slow DSL, having half or more of their bandwidth helping "other people"... I shouldnt have to build a porch for my neighbours, simply because I already built my own.

      Plus, I imagine security would become an issue, anyone with a web-browser could potentially find out what you have been browsing since the last time the cache was cleared, or even much longer considering somet

  • Sockets (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:14PM (#24006373) Journal

    Sockets. Raw sockets. Stop pretending with AJAX, with Comet, and just cut to the chase. Why this isn't the first thing on the AJAX agenda beats me.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:30PM (#24006651) Homepage Journal
    Built in support (i.e. enabled by default for millions of users) for OpenPGP trust model [] for SSL certs. Kill the CA oligarchy by giving them serious competition, where an identity can be certed by any number of CAs, partially trusted through a WoT, etc.
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:32PM (#24006699)
    Since you asked, I'd like the browser to become the operating system. Then any hardware that could run the browser could run everything else.
  • by FunkyELF ( 609131 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:41PM (#24006849)
    Right now browsers are limited to linear forward and back. Branching would be nice to see graphically too. Then maybe I wouldn't need so many darn tabs open.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @04:53PM (#24007057) Homepage

    The user must be in charge. Not the remote site. Not any "toolbars". Specifically,

    • All "toolbars", "branding", codecs, DRM keys, and other installed browser helper objects must show as clearly identified items that can be easily disabled, restored to their initial state, or removed completely.
    • Nothing is ever downloaded to any place other than the browser cache without explicit interaction from the user. This specifically includes codecs and DRM code.
    • Pages cannot disable menus or menu items. The "back" button always works, although pages are permitted to notice that they were reached via the "back" button.
    • If the user chooses to disable popups, all popups must be disabled.
    • All pop-ups must be on top. No "pop-unders".
    • Pop-ups are treated as subordinate pages of the page from which they were launched. When the parent page closes, so must the pop-up.
    • Ad-blocking support should conceal from the remote site that the ad is being blocked.
    • Windows that are not on top should be limited in their resource consumption when they have active content running.

    You get the idea. When it's user vs. website or user vs. toolbar, the user wins.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nyctopterus ( 717502 )
      I think allowing popups, or indeed letting pages control window size, position or arrangement at all was a colossal blunder. It's completely unnecessary today. I say remove it. Or, to maintain some sort of backward compatibility, have new windows appear within the bounds of the original. Pages should only control their own space, not control my browser.
  • A working cache (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @05:02PM (#24007181)
    How about a working browser cache??

    Pull up a reasonably complex web page (e.g. NYTimes). Click on a link. Now hit the "Back" button. What takes so *ing long to repaint the previous screen that was displayed less than five seconds ago and so is (hopefully!) still in the browser's cache?? I can frag alien life forms at 72 Hz, but a simple browser page repaint takes a visibly long time?

    And - do not under any circumstances pop up a new friggin' window unless I ask for it.
  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @05:07PM (#24007271) Journal

    It would save a lot of time.

  • #1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @05:12PM (#24007345)

    The #1 thing I want out of Firefox is threading.

    Even IE has a separate thread for flash objects or other tabs.

    It turns the FF browsing experience into one that is usually slower than IE and infinitely more frustrating when the browser is too busy rendering stuff in the background to listen to the user trying to use it.

  • a "tiny" mode (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @05:21PM (#24007447) Journal

    A mode you can set and keep in preferences to minimize the amount of real-estate the controls take, for small screens like on sub-sub-notebooks. Ideally there would be nothing showing except a small row of buttons on the title bar for most used gestures like "back" and "home". Give me an option to get rid of all that cute real-estate-chewing crap at the top of the browser.

  • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Monday June 30, 2008 @09:00PM (#24010141) Homepage Journal

    I really hate when I CTRL-Click a bunch of links, and suddenly there is a hodgepodge of unintelligible sound as the Flash ads and/or videos on those sites all start playing at once. I want the ability to:

    * tell which tabs are making noise at any given moment (a little flashing bubble on each tab would do fine)
    * mute a tab's sound
    * "solo" one tab with a maximum of two clicks -- all other tabs producing sound are muted

    If I could pan/mix each tab independently, that would be even nicer, though most of the players that cause this problem in the first place do allow for individual control.

    Another nice feature would be "anything you can see, you can save", negating the need to pile on plug-ins to capture flash video, but I can see why they might not want to offer this by default.

    Another one with a somewhat fuzzy target would be "stop loading crap like this". If a site keeps pushing pop-unders from AdultFriendFinder, I want to be able to say to the browser "I just don't want to see their crap, don't even load it" no matter what domain it comes from. As I said, a moving target, but it would be nice.

    Finally, it would be nice if I could move tabs between multiple browser windows.

Memory fault -- brain fried