Monday, January 17, 2022

Proper tab isolation in Firefox (a request for support)

There are a few things I seek on a web browser:

  • Platform independent. While most of my work is done in Linux, I like to have the same experience in OSX, Windows, and even (somewhat) smart phones. This is also important when i recommend a browser to someone.
  • not spying on me. Problem is, most of them do, but that is a topic for another article.
  • Good privacy and security settings.

I am not particularly religious about browsers; I have used Firefox, Chrome, Safari, That Microsoft One, Brave, Opera, and a few others I can't remember the name (short of the screen capture and the crowdcity link, I am trying to type this in one sitting). I think each of them have good and bad features. Let me talk about my favourite feature in Safari; to do so I need a screen capture:

It shows the browser in incognito/secure/secret/sneaky/something mode (pick your term, collect them all). It has 3 tabs right now. The 2nd and the 3rd tabs are connected to two distinct gmail accounts: one with a ton of emails (someone needs to do some cleaning) and one which is not as popular as the first. The third one was me helping someone create a gmail account but I decided to take the screenshot before going any further. Note there are possible 3 gmail sessions using 3 different accounts in 3 different tabs in the same browser. Take your time to process that.

I will wait.

FYI, I normally would use that with slack: at time I have 5 to 6 open slack sessions -- maybe work, vendor, project I am working on (like the conference mentioned in an earlier article), and so on -- using different accounts. Or two different AWS accounts (think developer and test user). And all of that in the same browser at the same time. And they are all happy.

Now, I use Firefox a lot because it is portable and it (and its derived browsers) can be rather privacy-conscious:

There are many features it has, but this kind of tab separation it does not. They have something called containers which (1) only work in normal (not incognito mode) and (2) do not offer the feature Safari does. So this leads into...

And now my shameless request

The Mozilla people has a website where you can ask for features. People post them and they get voted on by viewers like you, thank you. Guess what I requested? Right you are: tabs that are fully isolated so you can run the same program logged in as different users without conflict. If you want to help make this happen, do create an account and vote for it. The link to my request is

Container tabs should work in private/incognito mode


20220212 Update

They are canning the site with where you submitted ideas and requests for Mozilla:

It is being replaced with a new one, but the old stuff is not being transfered. So, thanks for everyone who voted even though it no longer counts.