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How can one compare two differnt versions of bookmarks?

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  • 4 have this problem
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  • Last reply by TTWB

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This is a configuration management issue. I use Windows 10, latest version of FireFox. I routinely back up my book marks. I can import and export. The issue is I have two devices - laptop and desk.

When I get an apparent FireFox crash and the bookmarks get scrambled in one or three folders I'd like to clean these up.

By routine saving of bookmarks I will have one with a date time stamp of X and the other having a date time stamp of y. I want to compare and then edit X versus Y

I would like the date added to really be the date added, not some other date that appears to be a synchronization date/item (I don't know). When I restore bookmarks I also lose the date added. Why this is relevant is sometime one is visiting sites for a reason and that time frame will have grouped sites relevant to the session. Other wise one can search or file by name of site or location.

I have ~18 thousand bookmarks in ~70 folders

Is there an easy way?

I know one way is to export the bookmarks as a HTML file and copy that file into an excel spread sheet and use conditional formatting to identify duplicates. Now one knows the duplicates to include file folder name. If one decides to delete the duplicate, then of course the file folder name disappears and one is left with the set of non-duplicates with no link to folder, or when added.

Just checking, because FireFox has great features and maybe this feature is also available. Thank you

A bit off subject.... What would be really neat is the ability to only export/import one folder and or be able to compare just one folder. The file "bookmark date.json" looks like a text file of some sort, but I know nothing.

This is a configuration management issue. I use Windows 10, latest version of FireFox. I routinely back up my book marks. I can import and export. The issue is I have two devices - laptop and desk. When I get an apparent FireFox crash and the bookmarks get scrambled in one or three folders I'd like to clean these up. By routine saving of bookmarks I will have one with a date time stamp of X and the other having a date time stamp of y. I want to compare and then edit X versus Y I would like the date added to really be the date added, not some other date that appears to be a synchronization date/item (I don't know). When I restore bookmarks I also lose the date added. Why this is relevant is sometime one is visiting sites for a reason and that time frame will have grouped sites relevant to the session. Other wise one can search or file by name of site or location. I have ~18 thousand bookmarks in ~70 folders Is there an easy way? I know one way is to export the bookmarks as a HTML file and copy that file into an excel spread sheet and use conditional formatting to identify duplicates. Now one knows the duplicates to include file folder name. If one decides to delete the duplicate, then of course the file folder name disappears and one is left with the set of non-duplicates with no link to folder, or when added. Just checking, because FireFox has great features and maybe this feature is also available. Thank you A bit off subject.... What would be really neat is the ability to only export/import one folder and or be able to compare just one folder. The file "bookmark date.json" looks like a text file of some sort, but I know nothing.

Chosen solution

I'm troubled that bookmarks "get scrambled in one or three folders" after a crash. Do they get moved among folders, or is the problem that the order changes from whatever you had before to alphabetical, date added, or arbitrary/unknown?

Sync could be altering the Date Added; originally I'm sure it really is the date added in the particular installation of Firefox were it was added, but passing through Sync may alter it -- I haven't tested enough to notice. (I created a Firefox Account and set up bookmark sync, but didn't actually want to connect my phone so there's no cross-talk and the older bookmarks still show their added dates as of 2004 in the Library window.)

Other than manually recording the date in the bookmark name or description, I can't think of a way to preserve the information in fields that are created and maintained automatically.

TTWB said

What would be really neat is the ability to only export/import one folder and or be able to compare just one folder.
The file "bookmark date.json" looks like a text file of some sort, but I know nothing.

Sadly, Firefox does not have any feature to export a subset of bookmarks. There might be an add-on that can do that, as there are extensions to de-duplicate bookmarks.

A .json file is a text file, but the internal layout is very densely packed and not intended to be easily understood by humans. More info on JavaScript Object Notation.

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Chosen Solution

I'm troubled that bookmarks "get scrambled in one or three folders" after a crash. Do they get moved among folders, or is the problem that the order changes from whatever you had before to alphabetical, date added, or arbitrary/unknown?

Sync could be altering the Date Added; originally I'm sure it really is the date added in the particular installation of Firefox were it was added, but passing through Sync may alter it -- I haven't tested enough to notice. (I created a Firefox Account and set up bookmark sync, but didn't actually want to connect my phone so there's no cross-talk and the older bookmarks still show their added dates as of 2004 in the Library window.)

Other than manually recording the date in the bookmark name or description, I can't think of a way to preserve the information in fields that are created and maintained automatically.

TTWB said

What would be really neat is the ability to only export/import one folder and or be able to compare just one folder.
The file "bookmark date.json" looks like a text file of some sort, but I know nothing.

Sadly, Firefox does not have any feature to export a subset of bookmarks. There might be an add-on that can do that, as there are extensions to de-duplicate bookmarks.

A .json file is a text file, but the internal layout is very densely packed and not intended to be easily understood by humans. More info on JavaScript Object Notation.

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By the way, if you have two HTML-format bookmark export files, you could do a text compare of the HTML source code using this tool:

http://winmerge.org/

Unfortunately, the dates are coded as some number of seconds from some date in the past rather than human-friendly dates, so it's not a helpful technique for comparing dates.

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Thank you for the insight and possible alternative approaches.