Tab Effects

If you are just the slightest bit familiar with Linux then I am sure that you have heard of XGL. It is what adds all of the realistic 3D effects to the windows that you drag around and the virtual desktops that you switch between. Of course, one of the most popular features is probably the 3D cube for switching between your virtual desktops.

There is a new Firefox extension in town and it is called Tab Effect (the screenshot above is from the extension, not XGL). With the assistance of a little DirectX 8 (and beyond) it is able to provide transitional effects when switching between your tabs. Now it isn’t exactly like XGL where you can manually rotate a cube for switching between tabs, but the animation makes it look like you are rotating a cube each time you switch tabs. Honestly, this is the most amazing visual effect that I have ever seen in Firefox. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like a little extra “eye candy” then this extension won’t be for you…it doesn’t make you more productive or add any useful features.

So now for the downside. I’m not sure if this will happen for everyone, but whenever I tried to create a new blank tab Firefox would crash if I was running this extension. If I was just opening a link to a site in a new tab it would be fine, but that is still quite a huge drawback for me. The extension was just released yesterday so there are a lot of kinks that needed to be worked out (and reading through the comments confirms that), but I’m sure it will continue to be developed since it is a new extension. Not to mention that this could put Firefox ahead of other browsers in terms of visual effects.

Once it stabilizes I will definitely be adding this to my small collection of extensions!