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?