Monday, September 27, 2010

Xmarks Sync is Sunk

I, along with millions of other people, am a fan of Xmarks. But today's Xmarks blog post by Todd stated that this wonderful tool will be shutting down. They just weren't able to make a profitable model out of it. The new Firefox Sync definitely doesn't help matters. While I'm a big fan of Xmarks, I consider baking Sync into Firefox to be bloat.

I first started using Foxmarks to synchronize my bookmarks across my home and work computers. As time went on, I found a few other aspects very useful and unfortunately Sync lacks them. The first item is the ability to separate my bookmarks into groups. At work I'll bookmark intranet sites, but I can't use them at home. At home I have bookmarks that I'll never visit while I'm at work.

The next feature was syncing between IE and Firefox. While I use IE Tab Plus to embed IE into my Firefox, sometimes I need to actually open IE. Xmarks has it so that the very same bookmarks are there.

My current mobile phone is just a phone. When I travel, I like to have the ability to log onto Xmarks and have access to my bookmarks from any computer.

I think the name Firefox Sync was poorly chosen. It is a very limiting name and has the connotation that it will never work with anything other than Firefox.

The Xmarks team was clearly able to overcome these items, so I hope that Mozilla will as well. My 30 seconds of searching didn't bring me to a list of enhancement requests in Bugzilla for either Firefox Sync (or Weave), but I'm sure someone will read this and quickly let me know where to go.


Ibrahim Awwal said...

Well, maybe Firefox Sync will end up working with other platforms. They did make Firefox Home which is basically sync for iPhone/iPod (syncs bookmarks and stuff and opens them in the native browser).

Kroc Camen said...

It depresses me that Mozilla would actually ship this. They seem to value the Firefox brand more than they do their users.

Not everybody is going to use this feature, why must it be forced on everybody? Why the hard work to par down the unwanted UI to then only add an irremovable sync icon in the statusbar?

Whose head do we have to bang together to get Mozilla to see sense?

Thomas said...

Kroc, you're off base, please look again. There is no status bar icon, there isn't even a status bar anymore.

And Sync is not forced on anyone - don't want it? Ignore it.

Regarding the inevitable bloat argument: Sync was only allowed to land until all performance metrics proved that there was no cost, so the point is moot.

kairo said...

I agree with the bad name choice on "Firefox Sync", esp. as it e.g. works with SeaMonkey as well. ;-)

Dathan Nicholson said...

I'm an avid bookmarker, I have 23,000 bookmarks and I use Google Reader, therefore I can access them from anywhere. I have them organized under 260 categories, called tags. Google provides a bookmarklet for adding a tag to a web page and has the added bonus of copying a highlighted section, adding your own notes and sharing. I also use the bookmarklet in my iPhone. I highly recommend Reader not only for this but also because it's such a great RSS tool and once you subscribe to feeds you've created a personal directory that you can then search.