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Can Firefox be made to allow an external application to query its bookmarks?

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I use a Mac. My browser of choice is Firefox (for obvious reasons!) but my productivity tool of choice is Alfred (www.alfredapp.com).

Alfred and Firefox do not work well together. At all. This is a shame because Alfred works really well with Chrome, which was my default browser up until about a year ago.

The most important feature of Alfred-Firefox interoperability is being able to quickly open one of the browser's bookmarks. As you can see from this thread (https://www.alfredforum.com/topic/11724-firefox-bookmark-search/), I have been asking for this integration for a LONG time without any success until very recently - but even that success has a caveat.

Alfred lacks native support for working with Firefox's bookmarks because Firefox doesn't make this possible. The browser locks its bookmarks away in a database. A workaround has been implemented using a Python-based workflow which depends on Firefox's old "export bookmarks" feature which is then uses to parse the resulting HTML file. However, this file is only updated when the browser is closed so if someone was to save a lot of bookmarks in a single session, those bookmarks would be unavailable to them in Alfred until that session ended and another was started. This seems archaic.

Could Firefox engineers find a more elegant way for Alfred - and similar tools since we're all inclusive here! - to work with its bookmarks, perhaps making it as easy as it is to do so with Chrome?

Thanks

I use a Mac. My browser of choice is Firefox (for obvious reasons!) but my productivity tool of choice is Alfred (www.alfredapp.com). Alfred and Firefox do not work well together. At all. This is a shame because Alfred works really well with Chrome, which was my default browser up until about a year ago. The most important feature of Alfred-Firefox interoperability is being able to quickly open one of the browser's bookmarks. As you can see from this thread (https://www.alfredforum.com/topic/11724-firefox-bookmark-search/), I have been asking for this integration for a LONG time without any success until very recently - but even that success has a caveat. Alfred lacks native support for working with Firefox's bookmarks because Firefox doesn't make this possible. The browser locks its bookmarks away in a database. A workaround has been implemented using a Python-based workflow which depends on Firefox's old "export bookmarks" feature which is then uses to parse the resulting HTML file. However, this file is only updated when the browser is closed so if someone was to save a lot of bookmarks in a single session, those bookmarks would be unavailable to them in Alfred until that session ended and another was started. This seems archaic. Could Firefox engineers find a more elegant way for Alfred - and similar tools since we're all inclusive here! - to work with its bookmarks, perhaps making it as easy as it is to do so with Chrome? Thanks
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  • Shockwave Flash 32.0 r0

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  • Uporabniški agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.14; rv:67.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/67.0

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FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4118 rešitev 57501 odgovorov

What is it that the program does with the bookmarks? Would an HTML bookmark list be of help?

Open the Bookmarks Manager; Press the Alt or F10 key to bring up the toolbar, and select Bookmarks. Hot key is <Control> (Mac=<Command>) <Shift> B.

Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled Import and Backup. Select Export Bookmarks To HTML, and follow the prompts and save it to a HTML file. Copy the file to another computer/profile. Repeat the instructions above, BUT select Import Bookmarks From HTML.

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recover-lost-or-missing-bookmarks

Mozilla search: Import {web link}

What is it that the program does with the bookmarks? Would an HTML bookmark list be of help? Open the '''Bookmarks Manager; ''' Press the '''Alt''' or '''F10''' key to bring up the toolbar, and select '''Bookmarks. ''' Hot key is '''<Control> ''(Mac=<Command>)'' <Shift> B. ''' Once the window is open, at the top of the page, press the button labeled ''' Import and Backup. ''' Select '''Export''' '''Bookmarks To HTML, ''' and follow the prompts and save it to a '''HTML''' file. '''Copy''' the file to another computer/profile. Repeat the instructions above, BUT select '''Import Bookmarks''' '''From HTML. ''' https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-or-move-them https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/recover-lost-or-missing-bookmarks [https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/search?esab=a&w=1&q=import Mozilla search: Import] {web link}
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8431 rešitev 68774 odgovorov

How does Alfred work with Chrome bookmarks?

That thread is very long...

Here's what I see as current workarounds if you are "done" with Chrome:

Bookmark Sync

You could purchase and run a program that includes a feature to synchronize Firefox bookmarks to Safari such as http://www.sheepsystems.com/products/bookmacster.html (I haven't tried it myself)

Read a "bookmarks.html" file

Apparently you have a way to work with this file. So you could use Firefox features such as automatic or manual bookmark export to create the old bookmarks.html format file, but this does take some effort.

In theory, an extension could save your bookmark updates to disk for you in closer to real time, but by default, only into the user's default Downloads folder -- other folders require you to approve the save. This could be the straightest line to automatically exporting the data, but since the bookmarks.html format is a bit messy, I don't know that it would be simple to develop. Also, you would need to point your search tool to the correct folder.


What I sense is not likely to happen any time soon is a change in Alfred.

I think any change to Firefox, other than perhaps updating the automatic HTML export to work at other intervals, would take ages to roll out.

How does Alfred work with Chrome bookmarks? That thread is very long... Here's what I see as current workarounds if you are "done" with Chrome: '''''Bookmark Sync''''' You could purchase and run a program that includes a feature to synchronize Firefox bookmarks to Safari such as http://www.sheepsystems.com/products/bookmacster.html (I haven't tried it myself) '''''Read a "bookmarks.html" file''''' Apparently you have a way to work with this file. So you could use Firefox features such as automatic or manual bookmark export to create the old bookmarks.html format file, but this does take some effort. In theory, an extension could save your bookmark updates to disk for you in closer to real time, but by default, only into the user's default Downloads folder -- other folders require you to approve the save. This could be the straightest line to automatically exporting the data, but since the bookmarks.html format is a bit messy, I don't know that it would be simple to develop. Also, you would need to point your search tool to the correct folder. ---- What I sense is not likely to happen any time soon is a change in Alfred. I think any change to Firefox, other than perhaps updating the automatic HTML export to work at other intervals, would take ages to roll out.
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OK guys, I'm not looking to import my bookmarks.

And as already explained, I'm not looking to output static copies of my bookmarks either.

As the title suggests, I want Firefox to allow external applications to be able to read its *current* list of bookmarks for easy access, so that when I type "bm my website", Alfred opens the bookmark to my website and takes me there.

Outputting a static HTML file does not provide the solution here because I'd need to do that every time I added or removed a new bookmark.

OK guys, I'm not looking to import my bookmarks. And as already explained, I'm not looking to output static copies of my bookmarks either. As the title suggests, I want Firefox to allow external applications to be able to read its *current* list of bookmarks for easy access, so that when I type "bm my website", Alfred opens the bookmark to my website and takes me there. Outputting a static HTML file does not provide the solution here because I'd need to do that every time I added or removed a new bookmark.
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8431 rešitev 68774 odgovorov

g4r37h said

As the title suggests, I want Firefox to allow external applications to be able to read its *current* list of bookmarks for easy access, so that when I type "bm my website", Alfred opens the bookmark to my website and takes me there.

I think you have exhausted what support can do for you. Feature change requests tend to get lost here. You could submit your comments and suggestions through one or more of the following links, or recently I saw someone created a Change.org petition (no idea whether that helps):

''g4r37h [[#answer-1229696|said]]'' <blockquote> As the title suggests, I want Firefox to allow external applications to be able to read its *current* list of bookmarks for easy access, so that when I type "bm my website", Alfred opens the bookmark to my website and takes me there.</blockquote> I think you have exhausted what support can do for you. Feature change requests tend to get lost here. You could submit your comments and suggestions through one or more of the following links, or recently I saw someone created a Change''.''org petition (no idea whether that helps): * Feedback: https://qsurvey.mozilla.com/s3/FirefoxInput/ * Discourse: https://discourse.mozilla.org/c/firefox-development * Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/ * Twitter: https://twitter.com/firefox * Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Firefox
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Oh. Well considering how much Mozilla likes to talk about its "community", that is disappointing. Thanks for taking the time to post though.

Oh. Well considering how much Mozilla likes to talk about its "community", that is disappointing. Thanks for taking the time to post though.
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TyDraniu
  • Top 25 Contributor
282 rešitev 1576 odgovorov

If you can add the sqlite database support in Alfred, you should be able to read the bookmarks file (places.sqlite).

If you can add the sqlite database support in Alfred, you should be able to read the bookmarks file (places.sqlite).
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The file is locked during use, making it unusable in this case.

The file is locked during use, making it unusable in this case.
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jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8431 rešitev 68774 odgovorov

g4r37h said

TyDraniu said
If you can add the sqlite database support in Alfred, you should be able to read the bookmarks file (places.sqlite).

The file is locked during use, making it unusable in this case.

Are you sure? I've used external tools to read data out of the places.sqlite file while Firefox is running (on Windows). Maybe different SQLite libraries handle it differently.

''g4r37h [[#answer-1229867|said]]'' <blockquote> ''TyDraniu [[#answer-1229864|said]]'' <blockquote> If you can add the sqlite database support in Alfred, you should be able to read the bookmarks file (places.sqlite). </blockquote> The file is locked during use, making it unusable in this case. </blockquote> Are you sure? I've used external tools to read data out of the places.sqlite file while Firefox is running (on Windows). Maybe different SQLite libraries handle it differently.
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