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May 14, 2011 / thebengaliheart

Live and Dead sessions

I have come up with this model as the solution to the problem of persistent session storage and tab grouping –

Sessions in Rekonq will be of two types – dead sessions and live sessions. Sessions of both kinds will be showed in a unified panorama-view

a sketch of the panorama view

Let me describe each kind of session in detail –

  1. Dead sessions – These are displayed as grayed-out in the panorama view. Basically, the dead session views are read-only, so that one can have a look at the tabs in it. These sessions are not yet loaded. When we click on the load button, the session gets loaded in Rekonq and opens up in a new window. Now the dead session becomes a live session.
  2. Live sessions – These sessions correspond to open windows. When a new window opens, a live session starts. Dead sessions can be loaded to live sessions, whilst creating a window and opening all the tabs of that session in it. Tabs can be closed or drag-dropped in the panorama view between live sessions. Since live sessions can be mapped to windows, any changes in the window affects the live session, and vice-versa. When a window is closed, its live session becomes a dead session. This can also be done through a panorama view. We can also add new live sessions from the panorama view. The sessions that were live when Rekonq was closed are loaded as live sessions automatically when Rekonq starts the next time.

This hybrid system of managing sessions has quite a few advantages over traditional session management like in Kate or Konqueror –

  1. Tab grouping is made easy. When the tab clutter increases, one can go to the panorama view, create a new session, and drag-drop tabs into it.
  2. The division of tabs into activities like ‘work’, ‘study’, ‘games’ can take place using sessions, while loading only the ones relevant at a time. Thus memory and bandwidth is saved by not needing to have all tabs open at once.
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14 Comments

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  1. peterix / May 14 2011 11:26 pm

    Hmm. Maybe put the on/off button to te left of the title so it isn’t so close to the trash button? I can imagine people clicking on the wrong button by accident.

    • thebengaliheart / May 15 2011 1:44 am

      Yes surely will keep such things in mind when designing the UI. This is just a rough sketchup.

  2. kyriakos / May 14 2011 11:26 pm

    Seems Like A Great Solution!

  3. Matija "hook" Šuklje / May 14 2011 11:31 pm

    That sounds a bit like a cross-over between KDE’s Activities and Firefox’ TabCandy (default in Firefox 4).

    I *really* like the session = window idea. Even under tabbed windows, this makes perfect sense 😀

    Now if these sessions (and bookmarks) could be tied up with Nepomuk and Activities, this would be awesome indeed!

    • thebengaliheart / May 15 2011 1:47 am

      I agree that it is inspired by Firefox 4’s panorama.

      As for Nepomuk and Activities, yes I have had that in mind right since I set out to do this. Once I get this working, I’ll probably integrate it with Activities.

  4. akreuzkamp / May 14 2011 11:58 pm

    Perfect.
    This is exactly what I have dreamed of 🙂
    Just wrote a comment on your last blog, which goes in this direction, it’s nice to see that you came to the same conclusion.
    Just one small remark:
    I think it may be better to put the “dead” sessions in linear bar, with the big preview showing in a tooltip on hover. Then the “dead” sessions don’t take too much space.

    Again, thank you for it, this is one of my few urgently wanted features left 🙂

  5. Nanoha / May 15 2011 12:31 am

    It would be awesome to see this become reality.

    And with rekonq getting better and better, I must wonder if it might replace Konqueror as web browser in KDE in the future.

  6. The User / May 15 2011 1:57 am

    Would be cool as KPart with arbitrary KParts managed…

  7. Glen Ditchfield / May 15 2011 8:16 am

    So does this replace bookmarks? A dead session is much like a bookmark folder, and loading a dead session is much like “Open folder in tabs”

    • thebengaliheart / May 15 2011 3:22 pm

      not quite. You cannot add tabs to a dead session. And moreover, bookmarks are maturing nicely into something many people will find damn useful – annotations. You can annotate parts of web pages with some text of your choice. See this GSoC proposal for Nepomuk – http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/proposal/review/google/gsoc2011/phaneendranh/13001

    • Andrea Diamantini / May 16 2011 1:23 pm

      No, I don’t think this is going to replace bookmarks. But I agree we can try providing a “bridge” between these two concepts.
      Something like: “save this session as a bookmark folder” or “open a session starting from this bk folder”.
      Not sure. Maybe it will be easy 🙂

  8. Darkstar / May 16 2011 12:13 am

    I’ve been looking for something like that in the most popular browsers for a loooong time. It’s exactly how I surf the web. I constantly keep ~20 tabs open with stuff to “check out later” (for any definition of ‘later’). This is great news, and it would even make Konqueror/Rekonq my default browser on my company notebook, which is running windows 😉

  9. Andrea Diamantini / May 16 2011 1:33 pm

    Tirtha, I really like the way you are improving your idea. So, very well done 😀

    Just a few questions to let you continue thinking about:
    – why a dead session should be just “read-only”? Are you sure this is needed?
    – Is your concept in any way related to the “sessions” we use to restore on startup/crash.
    – Did you start also thinking about the technologies needed to?

    Anyway, again. The starting seems very promising. Keep up the good job!

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