Best not break my bookmarks boy.
This may be more of an extension feature than a core feature, but there isn't an extension out there that does it as well as it could be done.
It would be fantastic to have a feature that allows you to store & synch your bookmarks at a remote location in a format that can be read in a web browser. I regularly use 3 different computer for work and pop into Internet cafes while traveling, and never seem to have the bookmark I need in the right place at the right time.
The one extension I've found that comes close to this is Bookmarks Synchronizer that stores your bookmarks in an XML format. But it has a critical flaw that can cause you to lose your existing bookmarks and appears to have been abandonded after version 1.0.1.
Two points to make here. First, I agree with the post above. I sometimes work from home and if I find something worth bookmarking, I usually have to send myself the link at work (or viceversa). Having an online repository would be great.
I'm afraid it may be late for the second point as you guys already are in the middle of implementation. However, I read an article by UI guru Jakob Nielsen years ago that was focused on Bookmarks, History. What I found is not what I had in mind but it mentions the same concepts. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9711a.html
I'm going to propose something very radical, but please give it serious thought. Consider natively integrating Firefox with the Windows 98/Windows 2000/Windows XP "Favorites" system. I realise most people consider this to be an "evil IE feature", but all versions of Windows in the past 6+ years have included Favorites as a native, OS-level feature. Favorites are included in everything from the start menu to the "main menu" of explorer folder windows. Yes, it's part of the "Integrate IE with the OS curse", but I believe it falls within the Firefox philosophy - simple, standardize, OS-friendly user interfaces.
My proposal: If a user loads Firefox on a Windows platform that supports favorites natively at the OS level, Firefox uses those favorites - either directly, or through some sort of "transparent caching". If the favorites are cached so that Firefox can optimize them, the user should not be aware of that - they should look and feel the same as Favorites, for the most part (ie/ no additional IE, no syncronization dialogs).
An option/preference would allow the user to select which bookmark system to use (ie/ where new bookmarks go). "meta data" about the "favorite" (.url) bookmarks could be cached in firefox's bookmark file or another file somehow.
I realize this is likely to be stomped out very quickly - but consider that "Favorites" are an operating system feature - supporting favorites is no different than supporting the native Windows "File Save Dialog" or rendering scrollbars with Windows XP Themes. In addition, it provides a very easy, gradual upgrade path for Internet Explorer users. They can easily "dabble" in Firefox until they are ready to take the full plunge. I can honestly say that even as a technical user, I found the lack of automatic/transparent bookmark syncronization a severe frustration when I first started using Firefox.
I'm not suggesting the Firefox team sign a deal with the devil - but perhaps it would allow users to switch to Firefox with much less pain. :-) Nothing says that the favorites and the firefox bookmark file cannot be "merged" at display time.
Replacing local bookmarks with remote
I'd find it really useful if you could actually provide a way for extensions to override native bookmarking functionality and use an online provider -- like del.icio.us, for example. I stopped using local bookmarks a long time ago for anything I wanted to remember in the future, so "Places" functionality will be completely lost on me unless there's a way to get external services in there somewhere.
Local/Absolute dual bookmarks
I've long wanted a way to bookmark news articles that I have stored on my hard drive along with the URL. I frequently cite URLs as sources and it'd be nice to be able to quickly check the link, then source the file from my hard drive if the URL is dead. The first implementation that comes to mind is an icon to the right of the link text that summons the local file.
Other suggestions: When using the navigation toolbar, checking a bookmark's properties or sorting a folder by name (inter alia) causes the tree to close/collapse/whatever. This is annoying.
It would be great if we could shift-click and control-click to select bookmarks/folders for export from the bookmark manager.
It would be great if we could export bookmarks and optionally have the result look and behave as the links in the navbar and/or bookmark manager do (i.e., preserve file structure).
When copying/pasting bookmarks, it would be great if we had an option to allow the title(s) AND the URL(s) to be copied/pasted.
It'd be great if we could automate a periodic check for dead URLs, with a nice detailed report, but I'm guessing this is the sort of thing tons of people have suggested.
When saving pages maybe a way to make an article's publication date the file's creation date? I know this is outside the scope here...
I'm sure I could come up with more given time. I'm very glad to hear that bookmarks are going to finally get some attention.
Tagging: different than bookmarking
Recent thinking on the UI (as discussed in the newsgroups) has led us to shift from our initial thinking that tagging should be seen as an alternate way to create bookmarks, with tags simply acting as surrogates for bookmark folders. After looking at some hard questions about what that implied for nested folders, preserving existing bookmark heirarchy structures, and adjusting users' mental models, we began to see things differently.
Most recently, we've started to see tagging as the ability to do something else: specifically, to be able to mark an entry in your web browsing history as "interesting."
Here's the rationale: Bookmarks were originally intended to be shortcuts to commonly visited sites. But then the web got bigger, and people started using them as ways to remember interesting places. But then the web got bigger still, and all of a sudden the bookmarking system couldn't cope. Initial thoughts about tagging were: well, let's use tags and search to make it easier to handle large bookmark sets. But that led to some very good questions: search isn't as quick as click-click-click through a drop-down menu or click on a personal toolbar. The key was realizing that the use of bookmarks shifted and merged: a single system was being used to store shortcuts AND sites that were just interesting and that the user thought they might want to get back to. The goal of keeping all of these interesting sites is, well, to keep track of one's personal world wide web. To tag those pages that they thing are interesting and then be able to quickly search not the entire web, but across their already-experienced subset to get back to where they were. And that's why we think it's different.)
Beltzner 19:35, 25 Feb 2006 (PST)
Excellent point! I think any redesign of a bookmarking interface in current browsers needs to address exactly this problem. But, may be there is a simple solution: two different purposes require two different interfaces that serve each purpose best. Have a look at this little essay I wrote recently: http://pubnotes.wordpress.com/2007/10/14/rethinking-bookmarks-ui/
-- 24 March 2006 --
This is exactly what I think I would use. Give me a button I can hit when I find a site that is either interesting, or that I know I'll need to get back to soon. No popups. No "Enter tags" or "Rename" dialog or nothing. Just a button that does everything for me, and lites up to let me know its done. Then put a list of 'em (with readable names) in the sidebar or bookmarks menu or history menu or as a dropdown outta the URL bar. I don't really care where it shows up. I just don't wanna have to open a new window for it. That's pretty much all I use bookmarks for. And most of them I'm more than happy to be done with after 2 days usage.
-- 19:43, 8 March 2006 --
Cheaper on bandwidth
I'm glad to see firefox will be heading in this direction. Let me make a suggestion: if need be to implement server side functionality in order to keep cached bookmarks current, just remember that server hosting would benefit from this feature -and most likely jump to the aid of Firefox- since it would reduce the ammount of bandwidth they would waste unnecessarily.
Puts Places in a Tab
Does the Places section have to be a window? These clutter the browsing space, and I think it would be much better to have the Places section in a tab itself. Opera does this at the moment with Bookmarks and History (separately). Sgd 15:52, 20 Mar 2006 (PST)
Places used to be in a tab but there were a lot of bugs related to having XUL in the content area of the window. I liked it better in a tab as well, and I hope we can go back to a tab in future releases when the bugs are fixed. ~BrettWilson
Sidebar for Bookmarks
Having bookmarks in a sidebar is the fastest access (one click) and can be used as a permanent visual reminder for bookmarks, bookmarklets, and keywords to activate bookmarks (e.g. "dt _ del.icio.us tag search" with the %s hack and "dt" as keyword that I write as a visual reminder at the beginning of the line followed by an underscore to separate it from the text). The menu for bookmarks requires at lest two clicks and is a "dynamic" visual reminder. The sidebar and the menu for bookmarks are perfect interfaces for a small number of frequently visited websites and as toolbox for bookmarklets. So, don't drop it with the new Places Interface. --Tdot 20:35, 23 March 2006 (PST)
Someone really needs to fill in the use case section. It seems like it would be important when designing a UI. Somebody in the groups suggested this case: "One example is the deletion of a place. ... That used to delete just one instance in one folder for decades, and now you change it, including dataloss." Things that delete data should be done with a dialogue. Something that asks if you want to entirely remove the bookmark(s), or just remove it(them) from that category, and maybe an "Always perform this action" checkbox at the bottom.
I looked through the UI and didn't see any UI on deleting bookmarks at all, but I apologize if this is a repeat of something. --wjjohnst April 13, 2006 3:20(CST)
Browse Bookmarks, then Save!
A feature of Konqueror I always loved was that you could drop down any menu from your Bookmarks and click "Add Bookmark Here".
I use my Bookmarks Toolbar and rarely the Bookmarks menu. It would be great to just click that category I want from the menu, navigate to one of my sub-menus and then click "Add Bookmark Here". I find this method much more speedy than using the "Bookmark This Page" function.
If I want to organise my bookmarks the Bookmarks Manager will still be there, but when I want to quickly mark a page, I want to quickly mark it.
Also, there are often situations when I might want to add several pages from a site or sites all in reasonably quick succession. Using the "Add Bookmark Here" function is the slow way of doing things.
Bugman 23:52, 15 May 2006 (ACST)
index ALL and pinpoint SOME
I am extremely surprised that even in Firefox 2 we still have no more than this completely obsolete and unpractical bookmark functionality to go back where we once were (apart from history of course).
The solution is so simple! Of course the hierarchical organization of bookmarks is a nonsense and we'd be better off with a keyword/tag approach. Yet the solution I would retain is even simpler to implement and use: just put ALL the visited URLs back to a user chosen period of time in a local or remote htdig/glimpse style database, storing the last visits date as well. Also allow the user to add an extra pinpoint to URLs of particular interest to him/her and you're done!
Indexing everything is important so that the user does not have to worry about not forgetting to bookmark, especially when there are several pages of interest within the same website.
Well now OK the index might get big if an extensive surfer wants several years of storage. But this should not normally grow beyond the capacity of present hard disks. And remote storage is of course an option.
Why looking further for awkward and complicated schemes most users will neglect to learn ?
A functionally equivalent approach would be to ask Google to add your name, the date and your eventual pinpoint in their database when you visit a site ;-)
--Alexandre Oberlin 12:42, 31 December 2006 (PST)