otsukare Thoughts after a day of work

Browser Wish List - Tab Splitting for Contextual Reading

On Desktop, I'm very often in a situation where I want to read a long article in a browser tab with a certain number of hypertext links. The number of actions I have to do to properly read the text is tedious. It's prone to errors, requires a bit of preparation and has a lot of manual actions.

The Why?

Take for example this article about The End of Tourism. There are multiple ways to read it.

  • We can read the text only.
  • We can click on each invidiual link when we reach it to open in the background tab, that we will check later.
  • We can click, read and come back to the main article.
  • We can open a new window and drag and drop the link to this new window.
  • We can ctrl+click in a new tab or a new window and then go to the context of this tab and window.

We can do better.

Having the possibility to read contextual information is useful for having a better understanding of the current article we are reading. Making this process accessible with only one click without losing the initial context would be tremendous.

What I Want: Tab Splitting For Contextual Reading

The "open a new window + link drag and drop" model of interactions is the closest of what I would like as a feature for reading things with hypertext links, but it's not practical.

  1. I want to be able to switch my current tab in a split tab either horizontally or vertically.
  2. Once the tab is in split mode. The first part is the current article, I'm reading. The second part is blank.
  3. Each time I'm clicking on a link in the first part (current article), it loads the content of the link in the second part.
  4. If I find that I want to keep the second part, I would be able to extract it in a new tab or new window.

This provides benefits for reading long forms with a lot of hypertext links. But you can imagine also how practical it could become for code browsing sites. It would create a very easy way to access another part of the code for contextual information or documentation.

There's nothing new required in terms of technologies to implement this. This is just browser UI manipulation and in which context to display a link.

Otsukare!