Archive for December 19th, 2012

A chrome extension for examining tab events and ids

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Yesterday I was on a call with a friend who told me that when he enters a URL into an existing Chrome tab, the tab id changes. He asked if I’d ever seen that happening, and I said no. I told him his code was probably to blame :-)

Anyway, I wrote a quick Chrome extension, called Tabsanity, to log all 8 tab events with the tab ids, as well as to run a simple sanity check on tab ids after every tab event.

All the action is in the Javascript console for the background page.

To see if you’ve got the issue my friend has, open a tab and go to In the JS console you’ll see the tab id. Now go to the URL location bar, enter, and go to that URL. If Chrome is behaving properly for you, the tab id involved wont change. If you have the issue, the console log will show you that Chrome (quickly) removes the existing tab, creates a new one, and loads the nytimes page – resulting in a different tab id. We were both running Chrome 23.0.1271.101 on a MacBook Air. The same behavior happens in Incognito Mode with all other extensions disabled, and regular mode.

You can install from this link or get the source on Github.