2 Comments

Summary:

Although I’m a big fan of Xmarks for synchronizing browser info between multiple devices, I don’t want to overlook Mozilla’s Weave project. I looked at a very early version of the prototype service, but it wasn’t ready for prime-time at version 0.2.0. Actually, any software or […]

Image Credit: Mobility Site

Image Credit: Mobility Site

Although I’m a big fan of Xmarks for synchronizing browser info between multiple devices, I don’t want to overlook Mozilla’s Weave project. I looked at a very early version of the prototype service, but it wasn’t ready for prime-time at version 0.2.0. Actually, any software or service with a leading version number of zero probably isn’t what you’d use on a daily basis, but I think Weave is getting closer to that “version one” status.

The project just hit 0.5.0, and although I haven’t tried it yet, it does extend the feature set in these areas:

  • Major performance improvements during upload and download.
  • Sync waits until you’re not actively using the browser.
  • Improved support for bookmark tags and smart folders.
  • Support for changing passwords and pass phrases.
  • Support for Fennec on Windows Mobile and Firefox on x86 OpenSolaris.

The last aspect is the biggest value-add for Windows Mobile handset owners. Obviously, the Mozilla Fennec browser is still in an alpha state for Windows Mobile, so the audience isn’t widespread. But for the few folks using it on a handheld, it will sync bookmarks and other browser data between Firefox on the computer and Fennec on the phone.

While I’m interested in Weave, I don’t know that the closed approach Mozilla is taking is the best one. Support for browser synchronization is limited to Mozilla browsers, and the data is on Mozilla servers. Xmarks, on the other hand, supports multiple browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. And you can run a local Xmarks server so that your browser data is completely under your control. I’m not writing off Weave by any means, but at this point, the closed approach is looking less attractive to me. How about you?

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  1. I find it much more attractive to be closed. I understand it will limit my syncing to firefox but I do not like third party cloud servers at all. I held off xmarks for the longest time but I just couldn’t take it anymore (I have 3 computers too right) so I had to. I feel much safer if my stuff was on mozilla, the company that made the browser. There’s nothing wrong with xmarks nor do I doubt its safety, but I just don’t feel right.

  2. so your irrational fear is not based upon technological advances or better security, just a name association?
    amazing.

    do you actually use browsers apart from firefox?
    if not, then you’ll find weave is by far superior to xmarks in the fact that it can not only sync bookmarks but also browsing history.

    if you need to have explained why syncing browsing history over multiple systems is such a good thing, then i guess you’re best off being scared and using inferior software.

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