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Pith - A different take on tabbed windows for Safari Pick of the Week
PithThe macosxhints Rating:
7 of 10
[0 to 10 lights; 10 = perfect!]
Last week, I wrote a brief blurb about using AppleScript to manage Safari's open windows in a "tab like" manner. In the comments to that article, someone pointed out Pith. Pith is a small floating window that contains a list of all of your open Safari windows, and lets you switch to any of them with a simple mouse click.

After spending some time with Pith this last week, I felt it deserved some attention as the PotW, even though it's got a few issues -- the concept is quite good, and seems to be a nearly perfect potential solution to Safari's lack of tab support.

Pith has a few preferences that allow you to change the sort order for displayed windows (by name, by age, or by window order), auto-hide other Safari windows when switching, whether windows use the same "frame" (screen location), a couple of minor visibility settings, and a slider for how often Pith updates its information. I have enabled both the "same frame" and "auto-hide" options, which basically allows me to forget that Safari is running all of the open pages in separate windows. When I click a page in Pith, it appears in the same spot every time, and the others are smoothly hidden.

Why only a 7 out of 10? Pith has some issues with CPU usage, auto-hide can cause oddities, and sometimes the wrong window is activated when you close the open window and you're using auto-hide. In addition to these known glitches (all listed on the Pith website), the biggest 'bug' I have with it is actually a feature request. Currently, the Pith window hides unless Pith or Safari is the active application. I'd like to tuck Pith into an open corner of the screen and have it available from any application -- ie an "always visible" preference setting (not always on top, just always visible). With that, I'd probably use Pith even more than I do now!
  • Currently 1.25 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (8 votes cast)

Pith - A different take on tabbed windows for Safari | 8 comments | Create New Account
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CPU Hogs
Authored by: bluehz on Feb 10, '03 10:37:11AM

Pith DEFINITELY has some CPU issues. Had it installed for a brief time, and even unactivate it was hogging resources.

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CPU Hogs
Authored by: njitkoff on Feb 10, '03 03:15:15PM

It should slow down the update rate as the number of windows gets higher, but it should use NO processing power when safari/pith is not the front most application. If you see it doing so, please let me know.

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I dunno
Authored by: torndownunit on Feb 10, '03 05:07:56PM

The whole point of tabs is to avoid having multiple windows open. It's to have all your pages neatly organized in one window. The other huge plus of tabs is the ability to save tab groups. This solution doesn't do either. Although this might be a neat idea, it really is nothing like tabs, and it's annoying that this and other products market themselves that way. There is another on Versiontracker that even has the name SafariTabs.

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Have you tried it?
Authored by: robg on Feb 10, '03 05:45:14PM

When you enable "in the same position" and "hide others" mode, it's just like tabs -- you only see one window, and switching is fast and seamless.

The only thing tabs give you (and don't get me wrong, I'd love to see them in Safari) is the ability to open more than one tabbed window...


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tab groups
Authored by: benfsmith on Feb 15, '03 10:44:31AM

Do you mean tab groups? You can do this in Pith also.

my only challenge was that even with the "same frame" being selected, new windows would appear slightly to the left each time because of the cascading functionality. Combined with FullScreenSafari.ape, this is almost as good as tabs in every way (minus the CPU issue).

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I dunno
Authored by: njitkoff on Feb 12, '03 11:11:03PM

I have never mentioned tabs or advertised pith as such in any of my descriptions. It is others who drew the similarity.

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slow and annoying but better than nothing
Authored by: adodd on Feb 12, '03 05:42:13PM

I find Pith to be slow, to the point that the beachball spins for half a minute, and it's annoying in that it's a floating window.

But, it's better than nothing, at least until Safari gets tabs. If it wasn't for Safari's much faster performance, I'd still be using Chimera soley based on the tabs.

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Authored by: jeb1138 on Feb 15, '03 03:02:24PM
I've been using Pith and I think it's an awesome concept. Since the first day of Safari I've been clamoring for tabs, but after trying Pith I'm convinced that this is an even better way of doing things than tabs. I especially think the hide-individual-windows feature is very cool and innovative -- much better for web browsing than minimizing, imo.

Yes it does have major CPU issues, but it provides enough extra functionality that I'm willing to put up with it, though I do hope the author fixes this in a future release.

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