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Why should the Description Field be removed from Bookmarks?

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Notice I didn't ask why IS it being removed. That's already been explained, and there appears to be virtually zero support among users for the removal of this feature. I have log-in information for almost a hundred websites stored in the Description Field in Bookmarks. I've been reading that many others do as well. Please understand that I appreciate volunteers taking the time to help users. That's why I first read the Bugzilla report on this "bug" but I could find no evidence of how this solution doesn't cause more harm than good. One reason for the feature's removal is that the extra coding needed to generate the Description Field is somehow burdensome on FireFox's efficiency. No evidence is given for this, although I don't doubt it may reduce efficiency by an imperceptible amount. Another claim is that very few people are taking advantage of the feature, while in the same breath admitting there was no way to actually know this!

I've used FireFox since its inception, and this is the first time I've felt compelled to find the secret handshake that takes me to the registration page so I could ask for support. I understood when, for example, Quantum broke my "DownThemAll!" extension. However, removing the Description Field feature appears to be a solution in search of a problem.

Notice I didn't ask why IS it being removed. That's already been explained, and there appears to be virtually zero support among users for the removal of this feature. I have log-in information for almost a hundred websites stored in the Description Field in Bookmarks. I've been reading that many others do as well. Please understand that I appreciate volunteers taking the time to help users. That's why I first read the Bugzilla report on this "bug" but I could find no evidence of how this solution doesn't cause more harm than good. One reason for the feature's removal is that the extra coding needed to generate the Description Field is somehow burdensome on FireFox's efficiency. No evidence is given for this, although I don't doubt it may reduce efficiency by an imperceptible amount. Another claim is that very few people are taking advantage of the feature, while in the same breath admitting there was no way to actually know this! I've used FireFox since its inception, and this is the first time I've felt compelled to find the secret handshake that takes me to the registration page so I could ask for support. I understood when, for example, Quantum broke my "DownThemAll!" extension. However, removing the Description Field feature appears to be a solution in search of a problem.

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cor-el
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One of the reasons is that there is another description field available that is used for the new tab page (Activity Stream), but it isn't exposed via the user interface. This other description field could possibly be used by an extension to manage a description (don't know if there is currently an API available or that this is a work in progress).

The description field that was removed was part of the annotations (moz_items_annos table) and the annotations have been cleanup and will all be removed. So this is about a database reorganization that had the unfortunate effect to remove the description field that was exposed in the Library and in the star (edit) dialog.

As you can see, this first meta bug about removing the annotations is seven years old and is about making all bookmark actions asynchronous (i.e. have them run in a separate thread instead of in the main thread).

  • bug 699844 - Remove the Annotations Service API
  • bug 1460577 - [meta] Remove support for bookmark annotations

(please do not comment in bug reports
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html
)

One of the reasons is that there is another description field available that is used for the new tab page (Activity Stream), but it isn't exposed via the user interface. This other description field could possibly be used by an extension to manage a description (don't know if there is currently an API available or that this is a work in progress). The description field that was removed was part of the annotations (moz_items_annos table) and the annotations have been cleanup and will all be removed. So this is about a database reorganization that had the unfortunate effect to remove the description field that was exposed in the Library and in the star (edit) dialog. As you can see, this first meta bug about removing the annotations is seven years old and is about making all bookmark actions asynchronous (i.e. have them run in a separate thread instead of in the main thread). *[https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=699844 bug 699844] - Remove the Annotations Service API *[https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1460577 bug 1460577] - [meta] Remove support for bookmark annotations (<i>please do not comment in bug reports<br>https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html</i>)

Modified by cor-el

the-edmeister
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<rant mode on> It would be nice for users who use the features which are being removed if Mozilla better coordinated removals and the addition of new features better, and Mozilla got their act with the API's for Quantum. It took them 7 years to get rid of those annotation description; Mozilla couldn't wait until the API was ready and extension developers got a version or two to come up with a "solution" via a WebExtension?

And this coming after Quantum 57 was released with a lack of API's that were needed. Yeah, some API's have trickled out of Mozilla in 58, 59, 60, 61, and 62 which is starting to achieve a bit more parity with the Australis level, but why the hell didn't Mozilla foresee the potential for users being disgruntled and just hold Quantum until suitable API's were ready,

Actually my usual rant is that Quantum should have been built on a parallel track with Australis, like starting around Fx 33 or so, and left Australis as it was at that time, That way we could have avoided the "thousand little stabs" that eventually bled Australis dry as crap was unnecessarily changed from like Fx 33 up thru Fx 56. Then maybe Quantum would have gotten a full slate of API's with Fx 57. But hey, that ship has sailed with Mozilla pumping the bilge out as Quantum was leaving port the first time without a full crew or full compliment of passengers for the first few voyages.

IMO, too many @ss-hat's behind the wheel that steers Mozilla. Ruin the experience for users, then months later provide the tools for extension developers to make a fix.

And thanks for long time support contributor volunteers like cor-el, jscher2000, and James to come up with an explanation of what happened (and to try to make excuses for Mozilla or rationalize as to "why" its gone) and also to come up with ideas for temporary solutions; and the realization that a new description field in Activity Stream might be the key to a fix via an extension if only an API was available. <rant mode off>


Not that it affects my use of Firefox. I started turning down the updates cup of kool-aid with Firefox 34.0.5 when the Search Bar was "screwed up", after I had already lost 3 extensions that I was using due to changed API's and the developers of those 3 had decided to hang up their work extensions for Firefox. I did stay with the updates on another Firefox installation using a clone of my original Profile to watch the upcoming debacle unfold, from the sidelines. By Firefox 45 (which resulted in 16 lost extensions with no suitable replacements) the debacle had unfold as far as I could live with and settled with going back to Firefox 38 ESR ("only" 5 lost extensions by then) which became the "line in the sand" that I decided not to cross until 2 or 3 versions in the Quantum era.

I do admit to using Firefox 47.0.1 for parts of each day for groups of websites where I don't need as many extensions as my main Profile or learned to live without some of the extensions that I was using in my General Surfing Profile.

I also have the current Quantum Release version installed with a couple of Profiles so I can keep up with the "progress" that Mozilla is (poorly) trying to make. Some days I wonder how many Firefox users will be around when Mozilla eventually sees the light that they are driving users away?

Disgruntled much, don't you think? And it only took 16 years for it to get to this stage for me.

'''<rant mode on>''' It would be nice for users who use the features which are being removed if Mozilla better coordinated removals and the addition of new features better, and Mozilla got their act with the API's for Quantum. It took them 7 years to get rid of those annotation description; Mozilla couldn't wait until the API was ready and extension developers got a version or two to come up with a "solution" via a WebExtension? And this coming after Quantum 57 was released with a lack of API's that were needed. Yeah, some API's have trickled out of Mozilla in 58, 59, 60, 61, and 62 which is starting to achieve a bit more parity with the Australis level, but why the hell didn't Mozilla foresee the potential for users being disgruntled and just hold Quantum until suitable API's were ready, ''Actually my usual rant is that Quantum should have been built on a parallel track with Australis, like starting around Fx 33 or so, and left Australis as it was at that time, That way we could have avoided the "thousand little stabs" that eventually bled Australis dry as crap was unnecessarily changed from like Fx 33 up thru Fx 56. Then maybe Quantum would have gotten a full slate of API's with Fx 57. But hey, that ship has sailed with Mozilla pumping the bilge out as Quantum was leaving port the first time without a full crew or full compliment of passengers for the first few voyages.'' IMO, too many @ss-hat's behind the wheel that steers Mozilla. Ruin the experience for users, then months later provide the tools for extension developers to make a fix. And thanks for long time support contributor volunteers like '''cor-el''', '''jscher2000''', and '''James''' to come up with an explanation of what happened ''(and to try to make excuses for Mozilla or rationalize as to "why" its gone)'' and also to come up with ideas for temporary solutions; and the realization that a new '''description''' field in Activity Stream might be the key to a fix via an extension '''''if only''''' an API was available. '''<rant mode off>''' -------------------------- Not that it affects my use of Firefox. I started turning down the updates cup of kool-aid with Firefox 34.0.5 when the Search Bar was "screwed up", after I had already lost 3 extensions that I was using due to changed API's and the developers of those 3 had decided to hang up their work extensions for Firefox. I did stay with the updates on another Firefox installation using a clone of my original Profile to watch the upcoming debacle unfold, from the sidelines. By Firefox 45 ''(which resulted in 16 lost extensions with no suitable replacements)'' the debacle had unfold as far as I could live with and settled with going back to Firefox 38 ESR ''("only" 5 lost extensions by then)'' which became the "line in the sand" that I decided not to cross until 2 or 3 versions in the Quantum era. I do admit to using Firefox 47.0.1 for parts of each day for groups of websites where I don't need as many extensions as my main Profile or learned to live without some of the extensions that I was using in my General Surfing Profile. I also have the current Quantum Release version installed with a couple of Profiles so I can keep up with the "progress" that Mozilla is (poorly) trying to make. Some days I wonder how many Firefox users will be around when Mozilla eventually sees the light that they are driving users away? Disgruntled much, don't you think? And it only took 16 years for it to get to this stage for me.

Question owner

the-edmeister said

I started turning down the updates cup of kool-aid with Firefox 34.0.5...

Yeah, I know how it is. I down-graded my free upgrade to Windows 10 because it was too much hassle to block the telemetry and unstable forced updates (and the default source of those updates is not Microsoft, but other updated computers in a peer-sharing scheme!). However, I'm afraid it's the lack of our telemetry that's responsible for dumbing-down this (and other) platforms, but what can we do? Swallow the blue pill? As it is now, it's a mix of users who don't know how to disable telemetry watching the Kardashians, educated power-users who DO know how to disable telemetry, and people in charge of a platform who base their decisions solely on these skewed results, so we're ending up with the nonsense FireFox is turning into.

''the-edmeister [[#answer-1151565|said]]'' <blockquote>I started turning down the updates cup of kool-aid with Firefox 34.0.5... </blockquote> Yeah, I know how it is. I down-graded my free upgrade to Windows 10 because it was too much hassle to block the telemetry and unstable forced updates (and the default source of those updates is not Microsoft, but other updated computers in a peer-sharing scheme!). However, I'm afraid it's the lack of our telemetry that's responsible for dumbing-down this (and other) platforms, but what can we do? Swallow the blue pill? As it is now, it's a mix of users who don't know how to disable telemetry watching the Kardashians, educated power-users who DO know how to disable telemetry, and people in charge of a platform who base their decisions solely on these skewed results, so we're ending up with the nonsense FireFox is turning into.
Shadow110 1072 solutions 14836 answers
https://www.ghacks.net/2018/07/27/mozilla-plans-to-remove-bookmarks-descriptions/
Pj
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Chas_R said

...There appears to be virtually zero support among users for the removal of this feature...
  • I was saddened to learn of this, also. Ok, I can export what I have now into an HTM file. Now what? I have to refer to my in-house AND external Bookmarks? Manage two sets of Bookmarks?
  • The scariest thing Mozilla is about to do in a future update is CONTENT CONTROL! Yes, a future FF version will 'help' steer you clear of 'Fake News' and such. What? Mozilla/FF should stick with Security and Navigation technical stuff... Not 'thinking for us' on what is ok or not ok in content! How do people not see how dangerous this is? Big Brother at Google/YouTube... and now one day, with FF!


~Pj

''Chas_R [[#question-1232837|said]]'' <blockquote> ...There appears to be virtually zero support among users for the removal of this feature... </blockquote> * I was saddened to learn of this, also. Ok, I can export what I have now into an HTM file. Now what? I have to refer to my in-house AND external Bookmarks? Manage two sets of Bookmarks? * The scariest thing Mozilla is about to do in a future update is CONTENT CONTROL! Yes, a future FF version will 'help' steer you clear of 'Fake News' and such. What? Mozilla/FF should stick with Security and Navigation technical stuff... Not 'thinking for us' on what is ok or not ok in content! How do people not see how dangerous this is? Big Brother at Google/YouTube... and now one day, with FF! ~Pj

Question owner

Pj said

Chas_R said
...There appears to be virtually zero support among users for the removal of this feature...
  • I was saddened to learn of this, also. Ok, I can export what I have now into an HTM file. Now what? I have to refer to my in-house AND external Bookmarks? Manage two sets of Bookmarks?

Yep, I'm afraid more and more work-arounds are needed to keep the platform useful to me, and it's passing the point of diminishing returns.

* The scariest thing Mozilla is about to do in a future update is CONTENT CONTROL! Yes, a future FF version will 'help' steer you clear of 'Fake News' and such. What? Mozilla/FF should stick with Security and Navigation technical stuff... Not 'thinking for us' on what is ok or not ok in content! How do people not see how dangerous this is? Big Brother at Google/YouTube... and now one day, with FF! ~Pj

I recently read about their new “Information Trust Initiative” in which they feel they need to protect us from ourselves. If I wanted my access censored, I'd just go ahead and move to China.  : /

''Pj [[#answer-1151902|said]]'' <blockquote> ''Chas_R [[#question-1232837|said]]'' <blockquote> ...There appears to be virtually zero support among users for the removal of this feature... </blockquote> * I was saddened to learn of this, also. Ok, I can export what I have now into an HTM file. Now what? I have to refer to my in-house AND external Bookmarks? Manage two sets of Bookmarks? </blockquote> Yep, I'm afraid more and more work-arounds are needed to keep the platform useful to me, and it's passing the point of diminishing returns. <blockquote>* The scariest thing Mozilla is about to do in a future update is CONTENT CONTROL! Yes, a future FF version will 'help' steer you clear of 'Fake News' and such. What? Mozilla/FF should stick with Security and Navigation technical stuff... Not 'thinking for us' on what is ok or not ok in content! How do people not see how dangerous this is? Big Brother at Google/YouTube... and now one day, with FF! ~Pj </blockquote> I recently read about their new “Information Trust Initiative” in which they feel they need to protect us from ourselves. If I wanted my access censored, I'd just go ahead and move to China. : /

Modified by Chas_R

the-edmeister
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Pj said

  • I was saddened to learn of this, also. Ok, I can export what I have now into an HTM file. Now what? I have to refer to my in-house AND external Bookmarks? Manage two sets of Bookmarks?
~Pj

Patience! Save that HTML file until a satisfactory solution comes about.

One possible solution might be what cor-el mentioned about the Activity Stream - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1232837#answer-1151520 - and a new extension to make use that data.

''Pj [[#answer-1151902|said]]'' <blockquote> * I was saddened to learn of this, also. Ok, I can export what I have now into an HTM file. Now what? I have to refer to my in-house AND external Bookmarks? Manage two sets of Bookmarks? ~Pj </blockquote> Patience! Save that HTML file until a satisfactory solution comes about. One possible solution might be what '''cor-el''' mentioned about the Activity Stream - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1232837#answer-1151520 - and a new extension to make use that data.