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I'm usually running many different StackExchange sites in Firefox using tabs (using ReloadEvery to update every 5 minutes). Right now to check for activity, I have to manually click on the tab to see if the envelope is lighted.

How about making the icon on the tab i.e. the title text change in some way, denoting that you have activity on the page?

We already add a message count for the chat tabs, so this shouldn't be very complicated.

Possible Example:

Better Tab Bar

share|improve this question
@Lance, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. – Pops Jul 15 '10 at 19:15
@Popular, I don't think it's my problem, I think it's a problem with the Internet. Please fix it. (Adding chat didn't help me at all). – Lance Roberts Jul 15 '10 at 19:19
@Lance, I've heard of "someone on the Internet is wrong " syndrome, but " everyone on the Internet is wrong"? Good luck with that, sir. – Pops Jul 15 '10 at 19:21
@Pop: A problem? Don't raise false hopes. He could stop at the first problem he finds ... – Ladybug Killer Jul 15 '10 at 19:21
This would be a far more compelling feature request if the existing notification icon actually worked. – Craig Stuntz Jul 16 '10 at 2:08
@Craig, valid point. – Lance Roberts Jul 16 '10 at 5:35
@Lance: Let me know if this reply triggers the script! – The Unhandled Exception Sep 21 '10 at 21:22
@The, that worked great! – Lance Roberts Sep 21 '10 at 21:27
I came here to create a question with this very request in it. +1 – Kalamane Aug 12 '11 at 1:07
@LanceRoberts - Your imageshack link is broken. Any chance you still have access to that? – Kevin Vermeer Mar 11 '12 at 18:50
@Kevin, thanks, fixed. – Lance Roberts Mar 11 '12 at 21:52
Why do you need to check every tab? Use one consolidated account. The notification icon will show up on all sites with the same account. – Cole Johnson Apr 4 '13 at 19:51
@ColeJohnson, this was written before we had the type of functionality that we have today. I now do it differently with usually two tabs open, but one would work. And the way it's implemented today, they would all notify (and do, since I'm using Fosco's script, which isn't up to date, but kinda works ok). – Lance Roberts Apr 4 '13 at 19:57
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Per an idea from Josh in chat, it could be done with a GreaseMonkey style script.

One has been built for this purpose at:

Here's what it looks like (in Firefox):

enter image description here

EDIT: New version for StackExchange Inbox:

// ==UserScript==
// @name           SE Tab Notifier
// @namespace
// @description    Update Tab Title when Inbox has content
// @include        http://**
// @include*
// @include*
// @include*
// @include*
// ==/UserScript==

var script = document.createElement("script");
script.textContent = "(" + grease.toString() + ")()";

function grease()
 var notifyme = function ()
       if ($('#portalLink a.unreadCount').is(':visible')) {
               var x = $(document).attr('title');
               var count = $('#portalLink a.unreadCount').text();
               var len = Math.floor(count/10);
               if (x.substring(0,len+2) != count + ' ') {
                       $(document).attr('title',count + ' ' + x);
 window.setInterval(notifyme, 1000);
share|improve this answer
I don't think @include http://*.com will work... – The Unhandled Exception Sep 21 '10 at 20:35
You just have to change the include lines to be multiple includes of the form:*. I implemented it for all 5 urls, and took the parentheses off of the *. I'll give you the bounty next week. Thanks. – Lance Roberts Sep 21 '10 at 21:32
@Lance Editing to add a new version for the global inbox. – Fosco Nov 22 '10 at 20:41
@Lance Updated link to new version. – Fosco Apr 23 '11 at 5:17
very cool! consider listing this on stackapps – Jeff Atwood Apr 23 '11 at 11:30
@Jeff Thanks, and done:… – Fosco Apr 23 '11 at 19:51

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