Sunday, October 04, 2015

Chrome and Session Restore

The Chrome Development team is talking about how much faster Chrome is at loading your tabs when you restore from a previous session. This is a totally welcome improvement, especially compared to Firefox's long superior handling of session restore by on-demand loading tabs only when you switch to them. Chrome, by contrast, has already penalized you for every extra tab you had to restore by loading them all at once and immediately.

But, something is missing from these announcements about improving the speed. On the forthy-fifth release of the Chrome browser, I would have expected and been happier with finally improving the plain experience of restoring a previous session in the first place.

Chrome doesn't even prompt you to restore your tabs or even tell you there is a session that could be restored, if you don't explicitly go looking for it.

Hidden behind the main menu button that many users don't even recognize and know is a menu, and then within the "History and Recent Tabs" you actually get the option to restore a previous session. Many users I've asked (anecdote, I know) don't even know this feature exists, and have just been assuming Chrome forgets all their tabs on close or crash.

When you do know about and use the feature, it leaves a dead empty window because it opens the previous session in a second window, and if you have pinned tabs it creates duplicates of them every time. This has felt less like weird behavior and more like buggy software for years now.

So, they make opening that old session faster? That's great, but maybe making it actually work first would be a better priority.

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I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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