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The note section of each bookmark has disappeared!?!?!

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Upgraded to ver 62 of Firefox browser on my Mac and I have lost any notes that I had attached to my bookmarks?!?!?!


Whatever happened to those notes???

Upgraded to ver 62 of Firefox browser on my Mac and I have lost any notes that I had attached to my bookmarks?!?!?! Whatever happened to those notes???

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 29.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.13; rv:62.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/62.0

More Information

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8583 solutions 70195 answers

The notes are there, but the box to view and edit them is gone. (It is expected they will be deleted by Firefox 64, so this is a good time to export them.)

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.

Optional: Migrate Bookmarks to Zotero

There probably are a number of tools you could use to manage notes and annotations on your bookmarks. This is one of them. I only tried it on Windows.

Zotero is an open source bibliographic/research tool for collecting references. Zotero knows how to read a Firefox HTML bookmarks file and will preserve the descriptions. You can keep your storage purely local, or you can optionally sync with the Zotero cloud.

This is a one-way trip: you can send new references to Zotero from within Firefox using a Zotero add-on, but you won't be able to read/edit bookmark descriptions from within Firefox.

If you want to try it:

The Zotero research tool is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux from https://www.zotero.org/

When you import a bookmarks.html file, it creates entries for each page but it flattens the folder structure, so it comes out like this:

  • bookmarks.html, with top-level Bookmarks Menu items
    • Bookmarks Toolbar folder
    • Folder1
    • Folder2
    • Other Bookmarks folder

When you click a bookmark, Zotero displays the Title, URL, and "Abstract" which contains the imported Description. (Screenshot #1) Double-clicking the item will launch the page in the default browser.

Zotero also has an optional Firefox Connector webextension, which allow saving new pages to a Zotero collection (either under the bookmarks structure, or other folders the user created in Zotero). (Screenshot #2)

(I didn't look at cloud sync.)

Using a second program is less convenient than using Firefox features or a fully self-contained Firefox extension. However, it might suit your needs.

The notes are there, but the box to view and edit them is gone. (It is expected they will be deleted by Firefox 64, so this is a good time to export them.) '''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. '''Optional: Migrate Bookmarks to Zotero''' ''There probably are a number of tools you could use to manage notes and annotations on your bookmarks. This is one of them. I only tried it on Windows.'' Zotero is an open source bibliographic/research tool for collecting references. Zotero knows how to read a Firefox HTML bookmarks file and will preserve the descriptions. You can keep your storage purely local, or you can optionally sync with the Zotero cloud. ''This is a one-way trip:'' you can send new references to Zotero from within Firefox using a Zotero add-on, but you won't be able to read/edit bookmark descriptions from within Firefox. If you want to try it: The Zotero research tool is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux from https://www.zotero.org/ When you import a bookmarks.html file, it creates entries for each page but it flattens the folder structure, so it comes out like this: * bookmarks.html, with top-level Bookmarks Menu items ** Bookmarks Toolbar folder ** Folder1 ** Folder2 ** Other Bookmarks folder When you click a bookmark, Zotero displays the Title, URL, and "Abstract" which contains the imported Description. ([https://prod-cdn.sumo.mozilla.net/uploads/gallery/images/2018-08-30-17-37-39-85cf9d.png Screenshot #1]) Double-clicking the item will launch the page in the default browser. <img src="https://prod-cdn.sumo.mozilla.net/uploads/gallery/images/2018-08-30-17-37-39-85cf9d.png" width="500"> Zotero also has an optional Firefox Connector webextension, which allow saving new pages to a Zotero collection (either under the bookmarks structure, or other folders the user created in Zotero). ([https://prod-cdn.sumo.mozilla.net/uploads/gallery/images/2018-08-30-17-38-39-a64056.png Screenshot #2]) <center><img src="https://prod-cdn.sumo.mozilla.net/uploads/gallery/images/2018-08-30-17-38-39-a64056.png" width="400"></center> (I didn't look at cloud sync.) Using a second program is less convenient than using Firefox features or a fully self-contained Firefox extension. However, it might suit your needs.

Modified by jscher2000

Jhartface 0 solutions 7 answers

Helpful Reply

Dear Mozilla,

I've been using Firefox pretty much since it was first introduced on the Mac. (Hmm. How long HAS that been. Wow!) It's been my default web browser for almost 14 years.

Recently you removed the ability to keep 'Notes' within bookmark properties. I cannot tell you how CRITICAL it is to me (and others in this thread) that you restore this functionality.

I see this the following ways --

1. The actual act of restoring it (code wise) is mindless. You already have the code, after all. Put it back. (If you're phasing this out for coding reason pertaining to security or whathaveyou, please explain.)

2. If very few people use this function it doesn't mean a replacement exists. The external program that's been suggested is useless. THE VERY BEST PLACE to store info about a site is within the bookmark itself. It is elegance and simplicity itself.

Dear Mozilla, I've been using Firefox pretty much since it was first introduced on the Mac. (Hmm. How long HAS that been. Wow!) It's been my default web browser for almost 14 years. Recently you removed the ability to keep 'Notes' within bookmark properties. '''I cannot tell you how CRITICAL it is to me (and others in this thread) that you restore this functionality.''' I see this the following ways -- 1. The actual act of restoring it (code wise) is mindless. You already have the code, after all. Put it back. (If you're phasing this out for coding reason pertaining to security or whathaveyou, please explain.) 2. If very few people use this function it doesn't mean a replacement exists. The external program that's been suggested is useless. THE VERY BEST PLACE to store info about a site is within the bookmark itself. It is elegance and simplicity itself.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8583 solutions 70195 answers

Hi Jhartface, I don't think Descriptions are coming back soon.

Next steps:

This will depend on your needs.

(A) If you just need to consult the existing descriptions: the HTML file may be good enough.

(B) 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 (as noted above) to store your bookmarks and descriptions.

(C) If you need to access descriptions within Firefox, but it's not essential that they be properties of your bookmarks: you could investigate new extensions. These may be rough for the first few weeks/months as user concerns are addressed and you may want to consider extensions that associate notes with their own list of sites rather than necessarily tying them to bookmarked addresses.

I don't have any recommendations at the moment.

(D) If you can't live without descriptions integrated with your bookmarks: 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 10-12 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 might not have descriptions, either.

More info on this option: Switch to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) for personal use.

Hi Jhartface, I don't think Descriptions are coming back soon. '''''Next steps:''''' This will depend on your needs. '''(A) If you just need to consult the existing descriptions:''' the HTML file may be good enough. '''(B) 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 (as noted above) to store your bookmarks and descriptions. '''(C) If you need to access descriptions within Firefox, but it's not essential that they be properties of your bookmarks:''' you could investigate new extensions. These may be rough for the first few weeks/months as user concerns are addressed and you may want to consider extensions that associate notes with their own list of sites rather than necessarily tying them to bookmarked addresses. ''I don't have any recommendations at the moment.'' '''(D) If you can't live without descriptions integrated with your bookmarks:''' 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 10-12 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 might not have descriptions, either.'' More info on this option: [[Switch to Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) for personal use]].
Jhartface 0 solutions 7 answers

Hi Jscher,

Thanks you for helping us and others. (I just added this as an edit and meant to earlier but couldn't find the 'edit' button.)

I appreciate the solutions but you're watering down the complaint. All but one of the solutions addresses the need -- and that one forces me to abandon feature updates that have been really awesome lately.

Now --

a. The exporting HTML is helpful in the sense of rescuing what could have been lost. I do appreciate that FF didn't eliminate this entirely.

b. I am right in thinking Zotero doesn't sync with Firefox? What I specifically mean: I add Bookmarks to Firefox... export... and Zotero keeps the ones I had (with notes) but updates any changes?

c. Waiting for plugins wouldn't be a bad idea but someone (you?) suggested the notes in Firefox (but not visible) might be going away soon too.

d. (explained above)

I'd like someone from FF to explain to me the harm of leaving Notes right where it was?

Hi Jscher, Thanks you for helping us and others. (I just added this as an edit and meant to earlier but couldn't find the 'edit' button.) I appreciate the solutions but you're watering down the complaint. All but one of the solutions addresses the need -- and that one forces me to abandon feature updates that have been really awesome lately. Now -- a. The exporting HTML is helpful in the sense of rescuing what could have been lost. I do appreciate that FF didn't eliminate this entirely. b. I am right in thinking Zotero doesn't sync with Firefox? What I specifically mean: I add Bookmarks to Firefox... export... and Zotero keeps the ones I had (with notes) but updates any changes? c. Waiting for plugins wouldn't be a bad idea but someone (you?) suggested the notes in Firefox (but not visible) might be going away soon too. d. (explained above) I'd like someone from FF to explain to me the harm of leaving Notes right where it was?

Modified by Jhartface

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8583 solutions 70195 answers

Helpful Reply

Hi Jhartface, there are other threads where people have commented on why this decision was made. I choose to focus on other questions.

b. I am right in thinking Zotero doesn't sync with Firefox? What I specifically mean: I add Bookmarks to Firefox... export... and Zotero keeps the ones I had (with notes) but updates any changes?

Changes in Zotero do not synchronize back to Firefox, change in Firefox do not sync back to Zotero. After the initial export/import, you can add references/bookmarks to Zotero from their Firefox add-on toolbar button, but the input of the Description needs to be done in Zotero.

c. Waiting for plugins wouldn't be a bad idea but someone (you?) suggested the notes in Firefox (but not visible) might be going away soon too.

In Firefox 64 they are expected to be deleted. Add-ons cannot access the Descriptions in Firefox, they would need to be imported from your HTML export file or in some other way.

Hi Jhartface, there are other threads where people have commented on why this decision was made. I choose to focus on other questions. <blockquote>b. I am right in thinking Zotero doesn't sync with Firefox? What I specifically mean: I add Bookmarks to Firefox... export... and Zotero keeps the ones I had (with notes) but updates any changes?</blockquote> Changes in Zotero do not synchronize back to Firefox, change in Firefox do not sync back to Zotero. After the initial export/import, you can add references/bookmarks to Zotero from their Firefox add-on toolbar button, but the input of the Description needs to be done in Zotero. <blockquote>c. Waiting for plugins wouldn't be a bad idea but someone (you?) suggested the notes in Firefox (but not visible) might be going away soon too. </blockquote> In Firefox 64 they are expected to be deleted. Add-ons cannot access the Descriptions in Firefox, they would need to be imported from your HTML export file or in some other way.
Jhartface 0 solutions 7 answers

Thanks for the assist M.C. JSCHER

(fine arts pun)

Oh... if you could tell me where that discussion happen I'd be obliged.

Thanks for the assist M.C. JSCHER (fine arts pun) Oh... if you could tell me where that discussion happen I'd be obliged.

Modified by Jhartface

the-edmeister
  • Moderator
5391 solutions 40026 answers

First off, Bookmarks didn't have a "Note" field, it was named Description and was accessed via Bookmark Properites which is available in the contextual menu in Bookmarks in a variety of places in the Firefox User Interface. That feature was hidden in Fx62 and the data will be deleted come Fx64 in December, per current plans.

A new extension is available (but as of now lacking an Import feature which is planned for a version 1.1) that jscher2000 didn't mention. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bookmark-notes/ And the developers "issues" page is here with information about what is being planned for new features he intends for that extension. https://github.com/emmyemi/bookmark-notes/issues


Mozilla doesn't explain why they do what they, but speculation gained by reading a number of Bug reports (Bug reports are used for many things beyond merely tracking and reporting "bugs") this is what my thoughts are:

  • Descriptions is a part of "annotations" which will be disappearing in pieces, to be replaced with new code that won't create a "bottleneck" as "annotations" has done. Code dating back over 20 years with Netscape and the later Mozilla open source spin off.
  • That Descriptions feature was only used by ~ 2-3% or the Firefox user base, so I imagine it wasn't deemed as a critical feature. It may be possible that another similar new feature which is semi-related to Bookmarks can be adapted by the Mozilla developers or used by an extension developer.
  • IMO with having only 2-3% usage rate I doubt very much if Mozilla is going to do anything with Firefox itself with regards to a new "notes" feature for Bookmarks, especially seeing that an extension is available.
  • But it may be possible via a new feature for ActivityStream which was pointed out by another support contributor a few days ago it another thread about this loss of "Descriptions" for Bookmarks. But I woudn't "hold my breath" while waiting for Mozilla to come up with a replacement; and if they did eventually do that, it too would probably be "packaged" as an extension from Mozilla, "six of one, half a dozen of the other".
  • As far as a "discussion", just look thru this forum for "Description" threads. I bet that in the first 5 pages here you'll find a dozen or more threads just like this one. So much anger and too much stress for those of us who provide volunteer support, so many of us concentrate on "solutions" and avoid too much thought about the "why was this done to me.
First off, Bookmarks didn't have a "Note" field, it was named Description and was accessed via Bookmark Properites which is available in the contextual menu in Bookmarks in a variety of places in the Firefox User Interface. That feature was hidden in Fx62 and the data will be deleted come Fx64 in December, per current plans. A new extension is available ''(but as of now lacking an Import feature which is planned for a version 1.1)'' that jscher2000 didn't mention. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bookmark-notes/ And the developers "issues" page is here with information about what is being planned for new features he intends for that extension. https://github.com/emmyemi/bookmark-notes/issues ----------------------------- Mozilla doesn't explain why they do what they, but speculation gained by reading a number of Bug reports ''(Bug reports are used for many things beyond merely tracking and reporting "bugs")'' this is what my thoughts are: * Descriptions is a part of '''"annotations"''' which will be disappearing in pieces, to be replaced with new code that won't create a "bottleneck" as "annotations" has done. Code dating back over 20 years with Netscape and the later Mozilla open source spin off. * That Descriptions feature was only used by ~ 2-3% or the Firefox user base, so I imagine it wasn't deemed as a critical feature. It may be possible that another similar new feature which is semi-related to Bookmarks can be adapted by the Mozilla developers or used by an extension developer. *IMO with having only 2-3% usage rate I doubt very much if Mozilla is going to do anything with Firefox itself with regards to a new "notes" feature for Bookmarks, especially seeing that an extension is available. *But it may be possible via a new feature for ActivityStream which was pointed out by another support contributor a few days ago it another thread about this loss of "Descriptions" for Bookmarks. But I woudn't "hold my breath" while waiting for Mozilla to come up with a replacement; and if they did eventually do that, it too would probably be "packaged" as an extension from Mozilla, ''"six of one, half a dozen of the other"''. * As far as a "discussion", just look thru this forum for "Description" threads. I bet that in the first 5 pages here you'll find a dozen or more threads just like this one. ''So much anger and too much stress for those of us who provide volunteer support, so many of us concentrate on "solutions" and avoid too much thought about the "why was this done to me.''
Jhartface 0 solutions 7 answers

I tried that add-on offered generously by that developer, but I've since found a stupid easy solution: the keyword field.

I had tried the 'tags' first and found it wouldn't accept capital letters, rendering it useless for my needs. I must have been so frustrated that I didn't even notice the 'keyword' field.

It acts exactly the same way as what I recall being called the 'notes' field. Meaning it SYNCS such annotations with FF Sync. So if I need info off of one of those fields it's available everywhere.

Would it cause the world to end for FF to make the keyword field a little larger? So that it could hold three lines of content?

I tried that add-on offered generously by that developer, but I've since found a '''stupid easy solution''': the keyword field. I had tried the 'tags' first and found it wouldn't accept capital letters, rendering it useless for my needs. I must have been so frustrated that I didn't even notice the 'keyword' field. It acts exactly the same way as what I recall being called the 'notes' field. Meaning it SYNCS such annotations with FF Sync. So if I need info off of one of those fields it's available everywhere. Would it cause the world to end for FF to make the keyword field a little larger? So that it could hold three lines of content?

Modified by Jhartface

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8583 solutions 70195 answers

Hi Jhartface, the keyword field has a special behavior: it is a short code you can use to load a bookmark from the address bar. For example, if you had yt as a keyword for some page on YouTube, typing yt and pressing Enter would load the bookmark to that page.

Apparently the field can store a lot more text than necessary for its purpose, but that is why it is there and has a single-line edit control.

Hi Jhartface, the '''keyword''' field has a special behavior: it is a short code you can use to load a bookmark from the address bar. For example, if you had yt as a keyword for some page on YouTube, typing yt and pressing Enter would load the bookmark to that page. Apparently the field can store a lot more text than necessary for its purpose, but that is why it is there and has a single-line edit control.
Jhartface 0 solutions 7 answers

Thanks

I bet that feature will be as rarely used as the one that was taken away.

Thanks I bet that feature will be as rarely used as the one that was taken away.