Tabs Open Relative is a nifty and fairly-new Firefox extension that causes new tabs to appear adjacent to the tab from which they were opened, rather than after the last opened tab. There’s slightly more to it than that: it’s more accurate, although perhaps not more enlightening, to say that it makes the tab bar feel like a nested collection of queues, rather than a single large queue.
It’s actually harder to describe than it is to simply start using. Once you see the subtle-yet-intuitive way it alters tab-spawning behavior, you’ll get it immediately, and wonder why Firefox didn’t always work this way. The low version number of the current release, 0.1, belies the extension’s polish: I’ve yet to see it behave other than I’d expect it to in the course of its operation.
Another of its virtues, in my estimation, is a conspicuous absence of anything to configure. There’s nothing to do after installation, no new Options pane serving up a dizzying array of checkboxes, or any other kind of flimflammery to impress upon you what a sophisticated new piece of software you’ve just wired into the guts of your browser. It does its job, and dispenses with any flashy attempts to dazzle you. More software should be like that.
If I’m going to praise a Firefox extension, I also have to deliver a big, fat raspberry to the Firefox Extensions area of the Mozilla site, whose search functionality places second only to Penny Arcade‘s in the race for “worst ever”. Don’t believe me? Try searching for an extension whose name you already know. C’mon — I dare you!