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Summary:

WWD’s Mike Gunderloy covered Mozilla’s Weave project back in December, noting its usefulness in synchronizing bookmarks between a user’s various installations of Firefox…essentially moving a Firefox user profile into the cloud. Monday saw the release of a major update to Weave, bringing in several new features […]

WWD’s Mike Gunderloy covered Mozilla’s Weave project back in December, noting its usefulness in synchronizing bookmarks between a user’s various installations of Firefox…essentially moving a Firefox user profile into the cloud.

Monday saw the release of a major update to Weave, bringing in several new features and, tellingly, locating Weave at a subdomain of Mozilla, named ‘services‘, implying that Weave will be the umbrella for a number of web-based service coming from Mozilla’s commercial arm. Also telling is the hackable and very social URL issued to a user on signup (in my case, http://services.mozilla.com/user/imran)

So what’s new?

  • Installation is much simpler, being no more complex than installing any other Firefox plugin, though worryingly users are warned to backup their local firefox profile prior installation (likely a results of Weave’s experimental status).
  • The ability to store not only bookmarks, but browser history, cookies, passwords, form entries and the current set of open tabs – essentially all the data necessary to ‘resurrect’ your Firefox profile on another device…I wonder if Weave will extend to Mozilla’s non-PC efforts for mobile devices.
  • A manually configurable synchronization tool to keep your online and local profiles aligned.
  • Encryption of data during synchronization and indeed the possibility of sharing profile data with third parties with the user’s consent.
  • The potential for XMPP-based notification.

Though Weave is far from stable and various features still work in a haphazard manner, the current update illustrates an exciting path to the future for Mozilla, finally moving into the cloud, application data from most web worker’s most powerful and useful application.

The possibilities for Weave are enormous, notably the possibility of sharing parts of your profile with third parties. Perhaps Weave and Firefox will be the nexus points at which OpenID, Data Portability and the Open Social Graph will be centralized and useable enough to break into mainstream usage.

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  1. Andrei Potorac Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    I can’t wait to start using it. Currenly I use Foxmarks Sync, and it’s doing a good job, but having something built in would be great!

    Here’s to another 10 years of Mozilla. :D

  2. I can’t help but want to hold back a while at least until the more advanced betas are released. Any word on how stable the current one is right now?

  3. I’ve been waiting for this to develop- I like the google bookmark sync plugin but it makes so much more sense to have your browser handle it. Sooner or later we’ll be able to have roaming profiles on Firefox!

  4. I’ve installed it on my MBP (not the main machine) and will see what it is like. It was acting a little funky when I installed it, but seems ok now.

    Foxmarks is what I am using mostly, and before that Google Browser Sync, which they should still support!

  5. @Jon Yeh I had some failed syncs early on, but it seemes to be working OK right now.

    @Herbert – it seems o be running fine on my MacBook Pro, so do give it a whirl!

  6. I’m using it now (0.2). It seems reasonably reliable but not 100%. The biggest gripe is that whenever you quite FF3 you’re left with a little pop-up saying “syncronising Weave” or something – sometimes it hangs around for a few minutes until it does its thing.

  7. WebWorkerDaily » Archive First Look: Mozilla Snowl « Thursday, August 7, 2008

    [...] heels of Mozilla Lab’s call for participation in exploring the future of the browser, and the experimental Weave service, comes Mozilla’s efforts to move messaging beyond email and to the types of [...]

  8. nontoxicmike Friday, August 8, 2008

    I rely pretty heavily on Google Browser Sync and since that’s not compatible with (and have no plans to support) FF3, I’m stuck using 2. Foxmarks is great but syncing my saved passwords is essential. I wish the development of Weave was moving along faster than it has been.

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