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Ok, I wanted to give people a heads-up on this addon's situation. Here's how things have happened to the best of my knowledge:
- philiKON created BarTab. He has a github page at https://github.com/philikon/BarTab which was last modified on March 22, 2011.
- fhoech is a coder who significantly modified BarTab. He also has a github page at https://github.com/fhoech/BarTab which was last modified on December 23, 2011. His latest update note says, "Bump maxVersion to 99." This means if you compile his version, you will be able to use it on any version of Firefox.
- Barleyman, on November 10, 2011, first mentioned fhoech's github experiment with instructions on how to compile it.
- I, myself, drhouse on November 10, 2011, using Barleyman's instructions, compiled and uploaded a new version which I named BarTabv3, according to fhoech's install.rdf version, for others to download and also use, here: http://www.mediafire.com/?7zhs6h11vii7zi4
It has close to 1000 downloads at this time.
- Sometime during this, I was made aware that another user named firefox.ext had authored an addon called UnloadTab, which basically did all that BarTab does. It seemed that the author was going to update and maintain the code for that project and so switching over made sense.
- However, checking today as of January 23, 2012, it seems UnloadTab has been discontinued. I have left a review message about UnloadTab to the author on another one of his addons and will wait to see if he replies. *He has replied - UPDATE BELOW
- Another user, midgo, has recently uploaded a minor updated version, which may be useful to some, however he has also been behaving in two misleading and unhelpful ways. The significance of this behaviour... is just that since nobody is authoritatively taking ownership of this addon, there are no admins or mods, it's up to the users to behave responsibly... and so it is shameful when someone wanting an ego-boost or to feel important purposefully spreads misinformation for their own gain out of the confusion. First, he has been acting like a coder by requesting that users give feedback about performance, which would imply he has the ability to do something about it, when he doesn't. Already some users have fallen for this misleading fakery as evidenced by their responses to him. Unless shown otherwise, it is fair to assume the uploader is not an actual coder who can make significant updates to the addon, as his profile page shows zero addons developed and his only 2 comments have been links to the addon that was uploaded, he should not be especially trusted. Second, in the coding world, the revision number should not be increased with as such a minor modification, it falsely creates the impression to users that there has been a significant upgrade in the code's behaviour itself. The uploader, not being a real coder, does not know this already or is acting ignorant in a self-serving scummy way. We also don't know if it is a compiled version from fhoech's github page, it might as well be. As it is still exactly the same as BarTabv3, with the small change allowing it to be version free by adding asterisks, skagon is correct in that it should not actually be given a new revision number, but would more accurately be called BarTabv3.1 or BarTabv3b.
- As for development on a tab unloading addon for the future, it seems we're stuck, having no active contributors or developers working on it, with fhoech being the closest. We need philiKON, fhoech or firefox.ext to return, as they are actual coders who can significantly improve and author updates, as need be, for either addon. Having said that however, both addons seem to work fine and are sufficient for my browser needs, at least for the present time being.
*UPDATE - I just received a response from firefox.ext, the author of UnloadTab, which can be read here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tabby2/reviews/332163/
He has detailed reasons why UnloadTab will no longer be maintained and says "Although development hasn't officially ceased, I make no promise regarding a future release."