The panorama feature for the Firefox browser was introduced by the Mozilla team back in 2010. The feature essentially allowed Firefox users to manage their tabs in a more effective manner. However, Mozilla now intends to remove the feature from the browser, hoping to offer it as a separate add-on.
When Mozilla launched the feature, users weren’t given a choice to disable it. So everyone who used Mozilla had to put up with the Panorama feature.
The feature, in itself, wasn’t bad. It allowed users to create groups of tabs and then view only these groups in the tab bar, thus significantly trimming down the clutter of multiple tabs. Moreover, the feature also allowed you to view all tabs in full screen. Panorama is still available on Firefox and can be initiated with the command ‘Ctrl+Shift+E.’
Mozilla had hoped that the feature would prove to be very popular with the users. That is probably why it didn’t even bother to provide an option to disable the feature for such users who didn’t want it. But over time, the team has probably realized that this is not fair.
According to a post by Tim Taubert on Bugzilla, “Panorama has a very small user base and there’s basically no chance that we will enable it by default or even improve its visibility and discoverability anytime soon. In its current form it is indeed quite fragile and causes intermittent test failures here and there when touching platform code. We’re not going to spending any time on improving Panorama and its feature or its design and UX – thus it should just be removed from Firefox.”
The post goes on to say, “I myself still am a Panorama user and I don’t think there’s any replacement for it so I think the way to go is to provide an add-on that provides exactly the same feature. It is my belief that this will encourage contributors to help keep Panorama alive because it’s much easier to contribute to a self-contained add-on.
I prepared a patch to remove Panorama from Firefox and moved all the code an add-on that provides the same functionality. The add-on does of course only work with the patch applied to a custom build.”
So while we may soon say farewell to the in-Firefox panorama feature, those of you who really want to continue using it can always get their hands on the add-on.