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8. August 2010

Places Bookmarks Landed In SeaMonkey!

\o/ :) \o/ It's done! :) \o/ :)

Image No. 22245

Finally, after roughly 5 months of the patches being around, reviews have been completed and I could land the places bookmarks patch set (a total of 1.2 MB of diffs, about half of that removal of the old system) in SeaMonkey "trunk" today, which means 2.1a3pre nightlies starting with 20100809 and also the soon-to-come SeaMonkey 2.1 Alpha 3 will be based on the new system.

As mentioned before, this brings a number of improvements:
  • Live bookmarks, i.e. displaying feeds as "virtual" bookmark folders,
  • Microsummary support, or "live titles", allowing (optional) bookmark titles that are dynamically being updated with info from the website itself,
  • Bookmark tagging as an additional possibility of organizing bookmarks,
  • More robust storage for bookmarks (including good recovery options),
  • "Smart folders", e.g. "recently bookmarked pages", as well as saving bookmarks queries as virtual folders,
  • Bookmark icons are working much better and not being lost when they expire from the browser cache,
  • More code sharing, meaning code will be actively maintained and developed, which hasn't been fully the case with the older code,
  • Possibility to sync bookmarks (between different SeaMonkey installation, but also Firefox or Fennec ones) via Sync (will possibly even be integrated directly into SeaMonkey),
  • Easier porting of bookmarks-related Firefox add-ons to SeaMonkey,
  • And probably more.
I'll also repeat the list of noteworthy "feature losses" or changes compared to the old code:
  • "Groupmarks" are being replaced by being able to open any bookmark folder in tabs (middle-clicking a folder title or selecting the "Open All in Tabs" entry from the folder display),
  • The bookmarks.html file can still be exported to, even automatically at application shutdown, but it's not the main storage format any more. Most usages of the file can be replaced, including using it as the homepage (the sidebar panel can be set instead), but what doesn't work is switching between different bookmarks.html files as bookmarks sources. I strongly believe most use cases for that can be somewhat differently be achieved through the means of the places system, but we unfortunately don't yet have too good descriptions of those use cases and why this "feature" (I'd call it "misuse") is quite popular among a number of people.
  • Sharing bookmarks.html between multiple installations doesn't work any more, but using Sync should bring almost the same experience.

There may be some rough edges left in the SeaMonkey integration, for example, the patch for making Modern work has just not been landed yet, I finished it just before I could land the rest, but I hope it will get reviews soon.
Also, I just heard that the code I added a few weeks ago to set site icons correctly so places can use them seems to have been broken meanwhile, so the bookmarks toolbar and probably menu and manager are missing many icons - that problem is probably in our tabbed browsing code, we'll investigate it ASAP and hope to fix still it for Alpha 3.

If you are testing nightlies or the upcoming alpha, and you see things that don't work like they should, please report bugs (make sure you set a dependency on the SMPlacesBMarks bug if it's related to this feature landing). We will try to fix all the problems we can - of course your help is appreciated there as well - so we will be able to ship a great SeaMonkey 2.1!

Von KaiRo, um 23:09 | Tags: bookmarks, Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2.1 | 9 Kommentare | TrackBack: 0

2. Juli 2010

Places Bookmarks Progress - Even More Try Builds

Places bookmarks are progressing nicely: I did a number of updates in the last weeks for changes on the Firefox side (all dependencies are fixed now) and I also addressed the few review comments coming from Neil. Altogether, esp. due to the former changes, but also as the last round of patches and builds is more than a month old and doesn't apply cleanly to trunk any more, I decided to do a new round of patches and follow up previous rounds of try builds with a fresh version building on current SeaMonkey and Mozilla code. As a change landed yesterday on mozilla-central that breaks all non-Firefox applications and a lot of add-ons, I took the last revision before that for those builds, which should still work fine.

Here are those round 5 places bookmarks try builds:As with the previous rounds, please test esp. bookmarks handling in those builds, ideally with copies of real-world profiles (they might destroy anything as they are highly experimental, don't use them with any profile that has no backups) and report any issues you're seeing.

Update (July 5): As Igor Velkov (iav) noticed, I apparently built the wrong application on try. I now have done another run with the correct settings (I hope) and updated the links to point to those builds.

Von KaiRo, um 12:17 | Tags: bookmarks, Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2.1 | 2 Kommentare | TrackBack: 3

28. Mai 2010

Places Bookmarks Review-Ready - New Try Builds

Today, I could land the history performance patch, and now the places bookmarks patches are ready for review!
I fixed all bugs that have been reported to me from the previous rounds of try builds - at least I hope so - and incorporated more work to be synced up with the Firefox side of places. New patches are up on the bug, I hope Neil finds the time for the actual reviews.

And here are the round 4 try builds from those new patches:As with the previous rounds, please test esp. bookmarks handling in those builds, ideally with copies of real-world profiles (they might destroy anything as they are highly experimental, don't use them with any profile that has no backups) and report any issues you're seeing.

Von KaiRo, um 21:11 | Tags: bookmarks, Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2.1 | 5 Kommentare | TrackBack: 5

18. April 2010

New Patches And Try Builds for Places Bookmarks

I did it again - this time, exactly one month after the initial posting of a full patch set, I updated the places bookmarks patches, now even including the latest work that happened on the Firefox side.

And here are the round 3 try builds from those new patches:As before, please test esp. bookmarks handling in those builds, ideally with copies of real-world profiles (they might destroy anything as they are highly experimental, don't use them with any profile that has no backups) and report any issues you're seeing.

Von KaiRo, um 22:57 | Tags: bookmarks, Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2.1 | keine Kommentare | TrackBack: 5

3. April 2010

Places Bookmarks: Another Try

I have posted about places bookmarks try builds before, and meanwhile found a few flaws that broke a few things in the first round, have a WIP patch for getting icons set in the database when pages are visited, and ported some small fixes made to the Firefox side of places.

I have just moved to using builds with places bookmarks for my daily browser usage (and ones with L10n-merged German L10n, which should make dogfooding even more fun), so I hope I'll find out about some of the possible issues myself, but more testing from the community is highly wanted!

And here are the round 2 builds:Once again, please test those builds, ideally with copies of real-world profiles (they might destroy anything as they are highly experimental, don't use them with any profile that has no backups) and report any issues you're seeing.

Von KaiRo, um 03:22 | Tags: bookmarks, Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2.1 | keine Kommentare | TrackBack: 5

25. März 2010

SeaMonkey Places Bookmarks Try Server Builds

After a few attempts, I have created try server builds with my places bookmarks patches. Note that those are trunk builds with a huge pile of experimental patches on top, so use them with care.

Also note that they should import your bookmarks.html into places.sqlite but that's only done if you have no JSON backups in the "bookmarkbackups" directory of your profile and no bookmarks are in the places database yet (which should be the case in a profile of any previous SeaMonkey version). This also means the import is only done once - if you're using the same profile with other SeaMonkey builds and then use it with a build with places bookmarks again, you need to manually import your bookmarks.html once again - there's an option in the bookmarks manage for that.

Things that should work:
  • Auto-import of HTML bookmarks (see comments above),
  • Microsummaries (e.g. when bookmarking a bug list, you can select a "live title" with the bug count in it),
  • Live Bookmarks (adding feeds as live-updated bookmarks folders),
  • New personal bookmarks toolbar and bookmarks manager,
  • And probably more.
Known issues:
  • Icons of web pages are possibly not fetched when adding bookmarks. If I don't find out how to fix this right now or it's not trivial to fix, this can possibly be done in a followup bug when the main work has landed. Still, it might be trivial, as I think it worked at some stage of my work.
  • No new UI preferences are added, we will look into that in followup bugs. The backend supports a number of the preferences, though, like adding bookmarks to location bar search results or exporting bookmarks.html automatically. We will probably add UI preferences for those things in followups but will not switch those things on by default.
Having said all that, testing and reporting issues is very much appreciated, here are he builds:Please test those builds, ideally with copies of real-world profiles (they might destroy anything as they are highly experimental, don't use them with any profile that has no backups) and report any issues you're seeing.

Von KaiRo, um 01:21 | Tags: bookmarks, Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2.1 | 4 Kommentare | TrackBack: 6

14. März 2010

What Places Have You Bookmarked?

Some people might remember that I had worked on the places history support we shipped in SeaMonkey 2.0 (as a side note, congrats to the Camino folks for making the jump as well).

Now I've done work on the next step, converting bookmarks to places:

Image No. 22245

I have the first part of the patch up in the place bookmarks bug report, which doesn't implement anything really visible yet, though.

There's a lot of work in this work I have done here, there are a few flaws left, and even when it lands, this is a start, not a final state of our reworked bookmarks support.
There are a lot of things we can and should improve in followup bugs, I have some ideas on that and I know other people in the community have as well - esp. in those few areas where the old bookmarks system has features the new system can't offer. And we will be working on those and accepting patches, of course.

We will do this change though, as there are a number of things the places bookmarks system can offer that the old system can't.

Here's a some of the improvements I currently know about:
  • Live bookmarks, i.e. displaying feeds as "virtual" bookmark folders,
  • Microsummary support, or "live titles", allowing (optional) bookmark titles that are dynamically being updated with info from the website itself,
  • Bookmark tagging as an additional possibility of organizing bookmarks,
  • More robust storage for bookmarks (including good recovery options),
  • "Smart folders", e.g. "recently bookmarked pages", as well as saving bookmarks queries as virtual folders,
  • Bookmark icons are working much better and not being lost when they expire from the browser cache,
  • More code sharing, meaning code will be actively maintained and developed, which hasn't been fully the case with the older code,
  • Possibility to sync bookmarks (between different SeaMonkey installation, but also Firefox or Fennec ones) via Weave Sync,
  • Easier porting of bookmarks-related Firefox add-ons to SeaMonkey,
  • And probably more.
The following "feature losses" or changes to the old code are noteworthy:
  • "Groupmarks" are being replaced by being able to open any bookmark folder in tabs (middle-clicking a folder title or selecting the "Open All in Tabs" entry from the folder display),
  • The bookmarks.html file can still be exported to, even automatically at application shutdown, but it's not the main storage format any more. Most usages of the file can be replaced, including using it as the homepage (the sidebar panel can be set instead), but what doesn't work is switching between different bookmarks.html files as bookmarks sources. I strongly believe most use cases for that can be somewhat differently be achieved through the means of the places system, but we unfortunately don't yet have too good descriptions of those use cases and why this "feature" (I'd call it "misuse") is quite popular among a number of people.
  • Sharing bookmarks.html between multiple installations doesn't work any more, but using Weave Sync should bring almost the same experience.
Note that it's intentional that we are doing this early in SeaMonkey 2.1 development so we can improve the code further based on feedback from testers. Also, we're not completely mirroring Firefox, as we're keeping history and bookmarks as separate windows, and our bookmarks organizer looks much more like our standard SeaMonkey windows. We keep the bookmarks button in the personal toolbar (which of course can be removed with the customize toolbar feature).

The work in progress I have on my desktop is so far doing quite well, almost everything is working fine, with the exception of HTML import/export (needs the relevant service to move to toolkit) and the keyword feature in the location bar (places supports it, I just haven't yet found out how to hook it up).

We will have places bookmarks in SeaMonkey 2.1, with a good number of additional features, and it's progressing well. We are trying to keep the inconveniences low for people losing something they used, please let's help together to pull this off and make it a good experience for everyone.

A lot of work is still to be done, let's work together, help each other and make it an experience that is as good as it possibly can be!

Von KaiRo, um 23:12 | Tags: bookmarks, Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2.1 | 6 Kommentare | TrackBack: 0

7. Dezember 2008

Places History Landed on SeaMonkey Trunk!

As I mentioned before, I've been working on places history UI for some time now to finish up the switch of SeaMonkey trunk to places on the history side of things. (No, we're not changing anything related to bookmarks at this stage!)

After a few iterations of the patch, we've now arrived at a stage where we decided to land it in trunk - the point of time after alpha 2 and early in the alpha 3 cycle is carefully decided, as we know it's a large change and the current state is not perfect yet. It also needs a good amount of testing and feedback before before releasing it on a wider audience, esp. since it touches a core feature of the browser.

So, what does that mean for a user of SeaMonkey nightlies or self-compiled trunk builds? Here are the main differences between the old and new history implementations:

New features:
  • More intelligent algorithm to search and list items in the location bar dropdown, including search in titles and in the middle of URL/title strings
  • Not keeping all history loaded in memory (less memory needed)
  • Information stored in a SQLite relational database on disk instead of the clumsy mork database format used previously
  • Storing more history (180 days instead of 9 days by default) without performance decrease or memory increase
  • Can sort the history manager on columns not displayed
  • Can search sidebar and manager inline with a search bar
  • Can change the grouping in the sidebar
  • Hovering the history sidebar updates the status bar
Unchanged features (among others):
  • No bookmarks included in location bar searches
  • No combined history and bookmarks window
  • Bookmarks storage and management is completely unchanged
  • Location bar dropdown stays in the same layout as before, with one item per line
Missing features:
  • Can't group the history manager
  • History sidebar only shows the title (you can't pick or sort columns)
  • Open Link in New Window/Bookmark only appears when one link is selected
  • Can't delete all history from a site or domain
  • No First Visited, Hostname (minor) or Referrer columns
  • No Select All context menuitem (minor)
  • History manager hover doesn't update the status bar

Some of those missing features will be implemented with patches following up on the big landing done right now - we hope to get things like grouping in the history window even before alpha 3. We also will be adding a few UI preferences based on this work, esp. for tweaking how the location bar search algorithm works - the new code gives us some possibilities there but we didn't stuff this into the current patch to not make it even larger than it is now.

If you're not too fond of what you heard about the location bar search algorithm (which is basically the same as used by Firefox 3), please give it a try for at least a week of daily browsing, it learns from what entries in the search results you actually choose to load, and you won't see its full extent unless you give it this possibility to learn how important which sites are to you.

I hope that in the end, the increased amount of history stored and the improved search capabilities will enhance our users' browsing experience as much as it will delight anyone who has had the misfortune to read the source of the mork history. ;-)

Von KaiRo, um 14:21 | Tags: Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 6 Kommentare | TrackBack: 1

3. Oktober 2008

What Places Has SeaMonkey Been At?

I've been using places history in SeaMonkey for a long time now, getting the awe... er, helpful search algorithm that this new implementation brings right in SeaMonkey's urlbar.
As nobody picked up UI work for sidebar and history window though, we still can't make this system available for new users and need to stick with the old, outdated, unmaintained, mork xpfe history backend.

Yesterday, I decided I can't stand that any more and started copying code from mozilla/browser/ to suite/ - first the history sidebar panel, then all stuff it pulls in, then I injected parts of places organizer into the SeaMonkey history window, until today I arrived at this:

Image No. 20404

Note the search results of the urlbar matching URLs in the middle and page titles, sorted so that stuff I've been visiting more often is at the top. Both the grouped sidebar view and the table-style history window have a simple search bar now, and due to retrieving only needed stuff from SQLite instead of loading everything into memory, we can vastly increase the amount of URLs we can store in the history.

This is not ready to land, I still need to do a lot of cleanup in the code, as we don't need to pull in all kinds of bookmark stuff, and we need a few functions added to utilityOverlay before this can be checked in - but I came to actually working code much faster than I had expected. And I hope all SeaMonkey testers will be able to store all the places they've been to in the shiny new format by Alpha 2!

(P.S.: Expect the official Alpha 1 release this weekend!)

Von KaiRo, um 22:58 | Tags: Mozilla, places, SeaMonkey, SeaMonkey 2 | 3 Kommentare | TrackBack: 1

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