Current Version plugins

A look at Side View: an upcoming Firefox Test Pilot project

Side View is an upcoming Test Pilot project for the Firefox web browser that adds an option to Firefox to open any link or page in the browser’s sidebar to display it side-by-side with another open webpage.

Mozilla uses Test Pilot to test new ideas and features without having to integrate the functionality right away in the Firefox browser.

The organization gathers data while the project is running and uses the data and user feedback to determine whether it is a good idea to implement a new feature in Firefox or release the feature as a standalone add-on instead.

Side View

firefox side view

Side View is not an entirely new feature as it more or less an implementation of tab splitting browser extensions such as Tab Scissors for Chrome or Tile Tabs in Firefox (use Tile Tabs WE in Firefox 57+). The main difference between the two is that Side View loads a webpage in the sidebar of the Firefox browser. The Vivaldi web browser supports the feature natively.

The Test Pilot add-on Side View adds an icon to Firefox’s main toolbar when you install it in the browser. A click on it displays all open tabs, another click on any of the open sites opens it in the browser’s sidebar.

Firefox loads the mobile view, if available, for the site in question so that you won’t run into display issues on most sites you open this way.

The main benefit of using Side View is that you can display two webpages side-by-side in the browser without having to use two different Firefox windows for that. You could use it to play a video in the sidebar and do something else in the main browser pane, or display the WordPress dashboard and a source article next to each other.

open link sidebar firefox

Side View supports a second option to load any site in the sidebar. You can right-click on links and select the “open link in sidebar” option to load it there.

Check out the project’s GitHub page to find out more about it. You find a signed add-on for download on the page as well in case you want to give it a try before the official Test Pilot project launch.

Closing Words

Will Side View make it into the Firefox browser natively or will it remain an extension? My best guess is that it won’t be integrated natively as most users of the browser probably won’t require the functionality.

Now You: What’s your impression of Side View?

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