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Could someone please explain Workspaces to me? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I wish someone who really loves and uses workspaces would record a video showing how they use them. Because I've tried on numerous occasions to get into this feature, and it's just a dead end for me.

Although I do occasionally load a couple of related sites or pages, I've never been able to think of a single situation in which I always want to load a particular set of tabs at the same time. Trying to predict my browser use and organize around it has proven to be futile.

It seems to me as well that using workspaces tends to rack up memory usage a lot faster. Since the pages of other workspaces stay loaded in memory, what happens when you've loaded 50 tabs in different workspaces? Is OW now using 800 MB of RAM? Cause when I visit 50 sites, closing each page when I'm done with it, those pages are certainly not all still sitting in memory, and OW's footprint is usually around 250 MB after an hour or more of heavy use.

Some of you said you don't even use bookmarks anymore. I must be missing something, cause I don't see how workspaces could supplant the need for bookmarks. My favorites bar is like a giant personalized directory, with thousands of bookmarks organized into top level folders representing categories. I use them constantly. Despite the sheer number of them I can find and access any one of them very quickly. As far as I'm concerned, there is no possible way workspaces could replace bookmarks, the way I use them.

Here are a few questions I'd like to ask of anyone who really finds these things useful...

What do you guys use workspaces for?

Do you create a workspace for each site you visit, or do you have groups of sites that load together? Do you actually want all of those tabs loading every time, or do you occasionally end up loading four pages when you only wanted to see one, just because they happen to share the same workspace?

How could they possibly replace bookmarks?

I'm honestly interested to know. I took another run at trying to use workspaces recently, and it ended the same way as my previous attempts -- abandoning the idea and going back to working within a single window. Perhaps it's a matter of organizational style, or perhaps I'm just totally missing the point.

I want to like this feature...teach me your wise ways, o learned ones.

Last edited by Stormchild; 2006-08-31 at 06:19 PM..
I rarely need to find a 1000 different sites--I have a few sites I go to and I use searches for the rest.

As for how I use workspaces, I use them about the way that I use my mail or my desktop--I have my workspace auto-save and I just don't close anything that I every want to refer to, but occasionally I "clean up".

In mail, I occasionally move everything in my Inbox older than a month into a folder like "Archive/ByDate/Thru-2006-05".

For my desktop, I create a folder called "Junk" or "Stuff" or sometimes "untitled folder 4" and drag all the cruft into it (including the previous Junk, Stuff, and untitled folders).

In OmniWeb, I launch while holding down Shift or start a New Workspace whenever I need a clean slate.

I rarely close a window in OmniWeb if I find it has something interesting in it, instead I minimize my windows.

Then when I want to go find something, I use the Workspace window to find the window I want and I pull it into the current workspace. I also don't use tabs a lot and this would tend to interfere since you can't drag a tab from another workspace, only a full window (the original feature set for 5.0 was supposed to allow it but it didn't quite make it and hasn't been a high enough priority since).

So, I almost never actually switch between workspaces, I just treat them as big piles of bookmarks that have history associated with them instead of just a URL.

But that is me--I know other people work completely differently.
Originally Posted by Stormchild
Cause when I visit 50 sites, closing each page when I'm done with it, those pages are certainly not all still sitting in memory[...]
I wouldn't be so certain about that--the CPU hogging and memory footprint issues are likely related to the failure to properly unload all those pages.
Originally Posted by Stormchild
How could they possibly replace bookmarks?
I should note that you can also drag a window out of the current workspace into another one--so rather than have folders on your favorites bar, you can have workspaces for each of the same categories.
I have workspaces organized into different categories and these sometimes change. For example, I have a "chat" workspace which is where all the forums I frequent reside (eg, this one.) It's also the one I use when chatting with people via AIM and they send me a link.

I also have a "research" workspace. I just created this one a few days ago as my "chat" one was getting overloaded. I basically use this one when I'm looking for something. Then I keep collections of stuff together in a window. For example, I'm always researching project management solutions. So I've got a window up with tons of different tabs with all sorts of related sites.

I also have workspaces devoted to my major clients. They typically have a web-based project management solution (since we build those for our larger clients), their site and other sites related to the work I'm doing with them. For example, if one is getting a new server for specific needs, I have different windows open for them with all the info about that server, and all of the software we'll need for that.

For another client I've got their web site up, the admin to their web site and many related web sites.

I've also got another workspace just for other work I'm doing.

Then there's the bill-paying workspace, where all the sites are for the people which collect money from me (eg, phone company, ISP...) Come bill paying time, I hit an F key and go at it.

I also have a workspace devoted to my own business stuff. And another that's just "stuff" which is a pile of windows that don't fit in another category.

How do I use them? Well, let's say I'm posting on this forum and a client calls and say "hey, what was that phone number for..." so then I hit F4, click, click and give them the answer. Or maybe I'm deep in code on one project, and the same thing happens, I just hit an F key, get the info, hit another F key and I'm back to where I was.

And, no, I have no workspace for pron.
A picture says it all:

Also, here are a few example Workspaces I knocked together many moons ago.

I tend to load 90% of the same sites every browsing session (e.g. forum threads and Work related stuff not included) so Workspaces are a godsend for me.
Thanks for your replies. I see your points, and I think we essentially just have very different ways of thinking about and using web browsers. Obviously it's a good thing that OmniWeb can accomodate different styles of use, and generally manages to satisfy some of the most demanding users -- even ones who demand entirely different things.

When I was 10 or 11, what started as a list of my own collection of Nintendo games quickly exploded into a list of every game publisher and all of the games they've published, the release date, and so on. A few years later, a similar list of my music collection went promptly down the same drain. In my mind, everything automatically becomes a database, and every database demands to be exhaustively complete. Thankfully, when I design and implement actual databases, I am much more reasonable about the tradeoffs between practicality and perfection.

But my point is, I am a collector and organizer by nature, and this makes me rather rigid in a lot of ways (certainly to a fault). As soon as I encounter the slightest flaw in any system I'm trying out, I am liable to dump it immediately and revert to my established methods, and that's what keeps happening when I run into some kind of gray area when trying to adopt workspaces. It's this same nature that insists that I bookmark and file everything I'll ever want to see again. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Believe it or not, one of the biggest factors that influenced me to set up camp in OmniWeb as my main browser was the fact that it has bookmark separators. Seriously, that was one of the top 5 reasons I had to have it.

Part of me wonders if it would turn out to be an amazing and wonderful thing if I suddenly just let it all go, deleted all my bookmarks, and similar structures in other programs and information, and tossed it all to the wind. We'll see if that voice ever gets strong enough to overpower the insane nerd. Till then, it's one workspace and a massive library of bookmarks with a very serious librarian who never so much as cracks a smile.
FWIW, IME, workspaces aren't very reliable. Sometimes they lose everything inside them. I've had to restore them from a nightly backup more than a few times.
We have had some reports of lossage with workspaces... sadly, it's one of those hard to track down bugs. By the time it happens, we've lost what ever was in it to test.

We did track down one lose-your-windows-on-quit bug and fix it in the 5.1.3 timeframe.
Originally Posted by Len Case
We have had some reports of lossage with workspaces... sadly, it's one of those hard to track down bugs. By the time it happens, we've lost what ever was in it to test.
Maybe Time Machine will help ;)

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