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BarTab 3.0 working perfectly with Firefox 8.0 Rated 5 out of 5 stars
I went ahead and following Barleyman's instructions, compiled a version 3.0, available here:
13/11/11 Update: 200 people have downloaded the file in 2 days, wow cool. I activated Memory Fox and BarTab seems to combine together with it for maximum memory reduction. To Alexmonk - feel free to make your own .xpi from the github source code.
I installed it in FF 8.0, but after restarting saw no indication of it working at all. I tried several tests and still nothing. Then I went back and reinstalled version 2.0. The phantom tab problem showed up again, which makes it unusable. Then I tried installing version 3.0 once again, restarted and this time it works 100% completely perfect. Every option functions, tabs load automatically when you put focus on them. Most importantly, the single most reason to use the addon, automatic unloading of tabs is activated. I have it set to 1 minute and still no problems after restarting the browser.
The BarTab functionality works with 'tab groups' and unloads tabs even while in Panorama mode. If you will be using groups, then I suggest going in the options menu, and setting "When closing a tab:" to 'do nothing'. If you choose 'select the nearest loaded tab' instead, then the group you have open could auto shift focus to another tab-group once that other group's last tab is done unloading.
I saw an option to 'Always keep pages from these sites loaded' and using the right-click context menu option, it works at keeping Fast Dial and other local address-based tabs open. Other than that, I am going to try Memory Fox later, but I'll experiment with that on a separate FF install base.