Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Forgiving Web Browser

A browser feature that doesn't harm your data...

"Jef Raskin proposed the First Law of Interface Design, paralleling Asimov's First Law of Robotics:

A computer should not harm a user's work, or (through inaction) allow a user's work to come to harm.

Web browsers break this law regularly. When was the last time you lost all the data you entered on a form because your browser/computer crashed or something went wrong? And how many times have you spent 10 minutes relocating a crucial (or hilarious) web page because you closed the wrong window? Entering data into a form is work. Navigating through the petabytes of information on the internet is work. One wrong move, one brownout, and poof! There goes your data, your history, and that web page.

Enter Session Manager, a plug-in for Mozilla Firefox. Since I installed it, I've lost my fear of closing windows and tabs. Although Session Manager offers a lot of features, I find I only use two: "session saving", and "undo close window/tab".

Session Manager periodically saves your browser "session". Your "session" is the complete state of your Firefox browser: every tab and every window, with all of their browsing history. If your computer or browser crashes, you can open up Firefox, select "Current Session" from the recovery window, and bam! Your browser looks exactly like it did the last time you used it. Even better, Session Manager can do this all the time, so that whenever you open Firefox, it will look exactly the same as it did when you quit."   continued ...   (Via Humanized)

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