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Bring back Bookmark Descriptions lost in 62.0
There have been large discussions about Bookmark Descriptions. There are some awkward workarounds but Bookmarks are essentially a hierarchical data base with Notes/Description capability. Web site logons are getting very, very complex with many keywords and alternate authentications. The description field was the best way to remember and store all of these keywords and unique ways to search that particular web page. It worked extremely well before it was removed.
In what release will the Bookmark Description field be reinstated?
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Please Back Up Now
Your Descriptions data should still be present in the database in Firefox 63. It is expected to be removed in Firefox 64. Here is what I can suggest at this point:
Step 1: Export your Bookmarks
To do that, you can export bookmarks to a locally saved web page (HTML File). Please see this article: Export Firefox bookmarks to an HTML file to back up or transfer bookmarks.
That creates a web page, so you can open it in a Firefox tab, or in any browser. You'll notice the descriptions nested below the linked titles of the bookmarks that have descriptions. You can use Find (Ctrl+f) to locate the bookmark you're looking for.
This will depend on your needs.
(A) If you just need to consult the existing descriptions from time to time: searching in and copy/pasting from the HTML file may be good enough.
(B) If you need to access descriptions within Firefox, and prefer not to downgrade: you could investigate new extensions. For example, https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/bookmark-notes/ will provide access to Descriptions in the sidebar, and can import the file you created in Step 1.
(C) If you need to occasionally update the descriptions, but don't need them within Firefox: you could consider using a reference program such as Zotero to store your bookmarks and descriptions. See: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1233617. This form of storage might be more resilient than an add-on if you don't make regular backups of your Firefox profile data, and cloud storage is optional.
(D) If you can't live without descriptions just the way they were in Firefox 60: you may consider the Extended Support Release of Firefox 60, also known as ESR. The ESR track was designed for companies that only want feature changes on an infrequent basis. So Firefox 60 ESR will only get security updates for the next 8 months, staying stable with the features of Firefox 60. Then ESR will jump to a new version, expected to be Firefox 68. We don't know what Firefox 68 will look like; it probably won't have descriptions, either, so keep making backups.
More info on this option: Switch to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) for personal use.
The description field that was exposed in the Bookmarks Manager (Library) won't be restored in future Firefox releases.
The annotation API that is used for the description field is running on the main Firefox processor thread (i.e. uses synchronous access) and this affects the responsiveness of Firefox. There has been an effort to move all places transactions from the main Firefox thread to separate (asynchronous) processor threads. There is another description field present that is used for Firefox Home (Activity Stream) page it has been decided not to create an asynchronous interface for the description field that was only exposed in the Bookmarks Manager (Library) under More. You can still create an HTML or JSON bookmarks backup to have a bookmarks backup that includes the descriptions. You can look at an extension like this as an alternative.
I will go back to an older (before 62.0) release of Firefox :( Making Firefox faster is a nice goal, as long as you don't remove functionality. Bookmark Description is essential for me to navigate through seldom used web sites without spending a day getting through login and finding a web site option 15 clicks into the site.
Unfortunately, I now must block all future Firefox upgrades and patches of Firefox until you bring back the feature.
(D) If you can't live without descriptions just the way they were in Firefox 60: you may consider the Extended Support Release of Firefox 60, also known as ESR. The ESR track was designed for companies that only want feature changes on an infrequent basis. So Firefox 60 ESR will only get security updates for the next 8 months, staying stable with the features of Firefox 60. Then ESR will jump to a new version, expected to be Firefox 68. We don't know what Firefox 68 will look like; it probably won't have descriptions, either, so keep making backups. More info on this option: Switch to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) for personal use.
Sorry if this is kind of OT, but I'd like to ask for advice related to this strategy. I am using esr (currently 60.3). What is the most efficient way to keep tabs on what features are changing with the regular releases, so that I will be able to -- if necessary -- prepare for them when the next esr "jump" happens (in this case, to 68)? Is there some sort of subscription that will keep me apprised of all the "regular version" changes without my having to just proactively search for info every so often? Thanks.
Hi Rick216, a lot changes in a year. There are of course Firefox release notes, but those only hit the high points:
Here on the support site, when you view an article, it adapts to your version. You can expand the Editing Tools in the left column and select a different version to see whether anything import to you changed in that article. Not the easiest method.
This site is great for Firefox news, but there are a lot of articles to wade through between major updates:
If you find something easier/better, let us know.