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Successfully imported json bookmarks file into FF19, and library view shows folders correctly, but Sidebar view shows no folders and so loses my organization.

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  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by pietertvl

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Longtime FF user. Still on 3.6.28 mostly, due to my need for my large collection of hierarchically organized bookmarks. I have 2000+. Trying FF 19 today. Successfully imported the json file from other system. Via the Bookmarks menu, Show All reaches Library view and everything is there. Except for the fact that this FF design will not let me see the contents of more than one folder at one time. Which is why I've stayed with 3.6.28. Now, a friend has shown me that I can see multiple folders AND the contents of multiple folders using Sidebar Bookmarks, just as I wish. Great! But after importing my bookmarks, all I see is a random list of bookmarks in the Sidebar view. There are no folders or subfolders so with this view I lose all the organizational structure I see in the Library.

Am I missing something? Is there a way (an addon) that would put everything in the Library Right Pane? instead of just one folder? That would be fine.


Is there a way to preserve the organization of my bookmarks after importing them, in the Sidebar view? That would also be fine.

Thanks for any helpful answers. Otherwise, back to 3.6.28 I go.

All Replies (20)

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The Bookmarks Sidebar and the Bookmarks Menu both default to the order in which the bookmarks were added. Do they match?

You can sort the Bookmarks Menu alphabetically, with folders at the top, by right-clicking Bookmarks Menu in the sidebar and choosing Sort by name. You also can sort folders using a right-click on the folder.

Does that give you the result you were looking for?

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Thanks for the speedy reply. I imported the bookmarks today into a fresh FF install. So they were "added" at the same time. So no, the two views don't match. Library shows folders, subfolders, and bookmarks. Sidebar view shows only bookmarks, in random order. No folders whatsoever in view.

I have absolutely NO wish to arrange bookmarks alphabetically. They were arranged in a particular manner in 3.6.28. Library View in FF19 maintained that order. Sidebar view disregards its completely and shows no folders at all.

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I didn't mean to imply that the Bookmarks Sidebar should match the Library dialog. It usually matches the Bookmarks Menu on the menu bar. Do those match?

I don't know why the folders disappeared. When you restore a JSON backup, you should get a perfect match.

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Try to delete the places.sqlite file and reimport/restore the bookmarks to see if that helps in case the places.sqlite file is corrupted.

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"I didn't mean to imply that the Bookmarks Sidebar should match the Library dialog. It usually matches the Bookmarks Menu on the menu bar. Do those match? "

Hmmm. That is precisely my concern. If the BM Sidebar contents don't match the Library dialog in contents and organizational structure, then this upgrade would be of no use. The Library dialog has folders, subfolders and all the bookmarks, properly sorted, on my import/restore. (Just not access within two+ folders at once.) I am not interested in settling for less than that in the Sidebar where full and easy access is possible to all bookmarks, given that this is what I can do in 3.6.28 using Old Manage Bookmarks. All the functionality in one view.

Cor-el -- looking into your suggestion next. Thanks to you both .. will be back.

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Jscher2000 - the Bookmarks Menu matches the Sidebar menu. Just a randomized list of bookmarks with no folders. Neither match the Library menu.

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Might have some clues though -- after deleting sqlite, then restoring ...

Getting error messages "A script .. may be busy ...." while it replaces the previously installed bookmarks.

chrome://browser/content/places/treeview resource://gre/components/PlacesCategoriesStart

Eventually, the re-import completed but the problem remains.

I do not have Chrome on this system, fwiw.

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ok -- that should be two separate messages, the second one appearing twice.



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You should see all bookmarks and folders in the Bookmarks Sidebar.

  • The Bookmarks Toolbar folder stores the bookmarks that you see on the (View > Toolbars >) Bookmarks Toolbar.
  • The Bookmarks Menu folder stores bookmarks that you see in the Bookmarks menu and create via "Bookmarks > Bookmark This Page" or "Bookmark This Link" in the right click context menu.
  • The Unsorted Bookmarks folder stores the bookmarks that are created by clicking the star at the right end of the location bar.

You can also check for problems with the localstore.rdf file that stores the status of open folders in the sidebar.

Start Firefox in Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions (Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem (switch to the DEFAULT theme: Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Appearance).

  • Do NOT click the Reset button on the Safe mode start window or otherwise make changes.
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Thank you cor-el for that reassurance. Unfortunately, FF does not wish to comply.

I had a spare localstore.rdf ... tried replacing that in the profile folder .. no help.

Went to safemode ... fresh FF19 install today so I already had no addons, extensions, themes. Used safemode anyway, and none of the bookmark collections appeared any different than before.

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Just now did a google search on firefox bookmarks "script .. busy" and seeing quite a few results. Cor-el, you've handled several I see.

So I'm guessing that my problems are related to these messages somehow.

It was a fresh FF19 install, and I did not bring over any part of an older profile. Just the .json file.

Its encouraging to know what SHOULD be possible here. I just don't know what else to try next.

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This almost sounds that there is a problem with the JSON file that you used to restore the bookmarks.

In which folder(s) are those bookmarks located?

Are that all sub folders of the Bookmarks Menu folder?

Are they visible in the Bookmarks menu drop down list (menu bar or Firefox menu button)?

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In which folder(s) are those bookmarks located?

I retrieved it from PC1, FF 3.6.28, via a search. I just picked one with the most recent date. Copied to desktop and emailed to PC2. On PC2, using FF19, its wherever the Restore placed it.

Are that all sub folders of the Bookmarks Menu folder? Sorry, no comprendo.

Are they visible in the Bookmarks menu drop down list (menu bar or Firefox menu button)? The json files? On PC1, 3.6.28, via BM menu and Restore, I see six backups available.

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I'm not talking about location of files on the hard drive (computer), but about the bookmark folders that you see in the Library and other places like the bookmarks sidebar where the various bookmarks are located in Firefox.

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Sorry, then Cor-el. But that leaves me confused.

"the bookmark folders that you see in the Library and other places"

I ONLY see folders and subfolders in the Library view.

None of those folders or subfolders - not one (of the 100s), is visible in either the Sidebar view, or the Bookmarks menu view.

So then I don't know how to interpret your questions above.

In the Library view, all of my bookmarks and folders and subfolders collapse into one folder, if I close them all.

One other thing, is that in the Library view, all the bookmarks and folders are arranged in the order that they came from, PC1.

On PC2, as I've tried to indicate, the Sidebar view and BM menu contain random ordering of individual bookmarks ... and not one of those that should be at the top, are at the top.

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Quote: In the Library view, all of my bookmarks and folders and subfolders collapse into one folder, if I close them all.

How do you close all folders?

If you close the All Bookmarks folder in the left pane in the Library then you obviously won't see bookmarks

Are you sorting the bookmarks in the Library on PC2 (Views > Sort)?

Can you export the bookmarks to an HTML file to see if importing that file after having deleted places.sqlite works?

You can open such a HTML backup in Firefox via File > Open File to see if all bookmarks are present.

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In the Library view, everything functions as Mozilla would have it. Yes, individual bookmarks are not to be seen, except in the right side pane. And only from one folder at a time. Returning to the beginning, that was my complaint with Show All Bookmarks and why I've stuck with 3.6.28 coupled with Old Manage Bookmarks.

And that's why I asked if anyone is aware of an addon to make the contents of more than one folder visible in the right hand pane of the Library view in FF 4 and up. I've even tried Mike S's "hack" of OMB to see if I could make "Organize Bookmarks" return on FF19. No luck.

So Library View works as it "should". But that's insufficient for my needs.

You've indicated that Sidebar view SHOULD function as I wish. But so far, barring a fix, I don't see folders, subfolders nor individual bookmarks in the order that they started in, from PC1. I don't know why that failed. I'm happy to keep trying things, til the moon turns green.

Proceeding along -- sort Library? Yes, sorting works. But since the Library is functioning, unsorted is my preference. To make the Library View FULLY ADEQUATE though, I'd want to see bookmarks in different folders viewable at one time. What I need is the Sidebar view with all the folders showing, replicating the Library's View hierarchical structure.

HTML export and import? I'm sure I can import one into FF19. But I don't know how to export them from PC1 as my bookmarks are in .json format. When I try to do that, the dialog window confines me to selecting an HTML file, and so I can't export the .json file I have. I'm sure there's an easy answer, but its not intuitive.

Thx P

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An HTML export and a JSON backup are different formats and you shouldn't mix or confuse them.
An HTML backup file is simply an HTML file (file extension .html) with link (<A>) tags for the bookmarks and folders use an H3 tag.
Importing an HTML backup will merge the bookmarks with existing bookmarks.
A JSON backup (file extension .json) stores more types of data in JSON (object notation) format and restoring a JSON backup will replace all current bookmarks.

You can only see the content of one folder at the time in the right pane in the Library and that is the folder that is selected in the left pane.

To see multiple folders you would have to use the Bookmarks sidebar and make sure that the folders are open (click the + or arrow to toggle).

What exactly do you see in the sidebar?

Can you attach a screenshot?

Use a compressed image type like PNG or JPG to save the screenshot.

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OK ... I don't know how I converted a .json file to an HTML file, but I found a BM collection from two months ago. Sent it over, imported it.

Same results. Library View displays as expected. Lots of folders on the left.

Sidebar view is the same as before. No folders.

The difference this time, is that I did NOT get the js error messages when I imported via HTML, versus .json.

And it went much faster. (I would still welcome guidance on how to convert .json to HTML, please.)

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I wonder whether something changed between Firefox 3.6.28 and Firefox 19 which is causing these restore problems. As long as you're experimenting, you could try restoring in an intermediate version of Firefox (e.g., 10) using a Portable version to see whether you get a full restore. They are all available here:

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