I got an email from LastPass that they’re dropping Xmarks on May 1. Xmarks is a cross-browser bookmark sync service that I’ve used for a long time to keep Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari on multiple computers using the same set of bookmarks.
Once it’s gone I can still sync Firefox across devices, Chrome across devices, etc., but that doesn’t help with syncing Firefox, Chrome, etc. with each other.
That said, it’s been a bit flaky for a while:
- Anytime I came back to a system without using it for a while, it would have trouble syncing and have to re-download everything.
- Sometimes it gets confused by the different folder layouts.
- Since Firefox dropped their old extension API, the new extension hasn’t worked well with my scheme that drops all cookies when I close the browser except those on sites I want to stay logged into.
Maybe someone will pick them up again, like when they planned to close down in 2010 but LastPass bought them and took it freemium. On the other hand, I’m not sure I would trust someone who wanted to buy them now. Maybe I should pull my data early.
Whatever the case: If you sync bookmarks across different browsers, what do you use? Would you recommend it?
It’s not a huge surprise, with all the major web browsers adding their own bookmark sync services, but Xmarks (formerly Foxmarks) is shutting down in January.
I figure I’ll just use Firefox Sync, Chrome sync, Opera Link, etc. to share bookmarks between the desktop and laptop, but what I really liked Xmarks for was its ability to sync different browsers together. I’m always switching between Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari (and occasionally IE when I’m on a Windows box) and it’s nice to have them all on the same set of bookmarks.
I guess it’s back to periodically exporting from my main browser and importing in the secondary ones, unless I find a tool or find the time to read up on the bookmarks formats and write one.
Update: Xmarks lives!
I use Firefox, Opera, and Safari on a regular basis on three computers at home (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and two at work (Windows and Linux). That’s 11 sets of bookmarks that I’d like to pare down to 2.
del.icio.us helps somewhat, especially since I discovered I can add it as a search in both Firefox and Opera, but web apps have a certain amount of delay that doesn’t work for the most frequently-accessed sites. And I don’t want to add yet another web app, I want to sync the bookmarks in each browser.
Most of the solutions I’ve found (.Mac, Google Browser Sync, Opera 9.5, various Firefox extensions) are geared toward syncing two or more copies of the same browser on different computers. What I want is to bookmark a site in Firefox on one computer, and have it show up in Safari on another.
Update: I have since discovered XMarks, which does exactly what I need on Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari (but not Opera, though I use it a lot less these days).