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How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

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New User

How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

Firefox 3.6.28 OS 10.4.11 Ibook G4

Hi,

I back up regularly both as .json and as .html. With the .json back up, I remove the date each time I back up so there's an over-write and there's only one .json back up file in my Backup Folder.

I've never had to import bookmarks back into Firefox, but I've had a crash that's wiped out my Firefox bookmarks in the Firefox program where I kept the bookmarks in a very carefully indexed system of categories and menus that dropped down from the toolbar.

When I import .json or .html back into Firefox, will my menubars re-set to the way I had them? I remember from a long time ago using Safari, I restored backed up favorites, and what I got was a long list of titled links which wasn't anything like the way I'd set the favorites up in the first place. I hope I don't get the restoration like that this time with Firefox. In addition, when I press 'Import' from the file menu, I'm only given the option of importing from Safari. That's not what I want to do. I have "Backups" in a designated folder in my Documents in the Finder and that's where I need to pull them from.

There's something about "Profile" regarding Firefox that I've not known about that may have been something I needed to do in relation to Bookmarks.

I would appreciate any help you could provide to help me my bookmarks back in place.

Thanks,

Rafael

PS Regarding "Troubleshooting Information". I had to do it manually because the function doesn't support my veersion of Firefox.

  "# A new window will open. Click on a button called Copy text to clipboard."

Did That

  "# Paste the info in the text box below."

Did That

  * Click on the empty box above this text.

I don't see an "empty box above this text." The box above isn't empty. It contains my question.

So the following don't make sense because I already Pasted below.

   * Look at the top of your screen, and click the menu item called Edit.
   * A small box will open. Click on the item called Paste. Alternatively, type Ctrl+V or Command+V.
   * Some text will appear in the empty box.
23 REPLIES
Site Moderator

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

Hi Rafael,
Sorry you are having problems

Troubleshooting Information
I only very recently discovered that we have this function, and that it is not working. The problem is however known to developers and being worked on. (see)

Bookmarks

 I have "Backups" in a designated folder in my Documents in the Finder and that's where I need to pull them from. 

You will note that Firefox itself automatically keeps backups of bookmarks for a few days. If you have not overwritten your bookmarks repeatedly or run for many days without your structured bookmarks that is the easiest option for restoring bookmarks and should normally be the first method you try. That method will retain your Library's folder structure, with any tags keywords and additional description edits.

Please post back with how you get on and any additional questions relating to points I did not cover.

New User

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

Thanks for your very thorough reply John. I'll follow up on your suggestions. From what I've described, do you think I have a shot at recovering all those bookmarks?

In the meantime, here are some questions. Bulletted fragments are from your next to last paragraph. Hope this is clear:

  • Remember a restore from .json will wipe any existing bookmarks.

Since the crash & loss a week ago I've only added a few bookmarks and menu items which I don't mind losing.

  • You will note that Firefox itself automatically keeps backups of bookmarks for a few days…

My highly organized bookmarks (you say 'structured bookmarks') go back over a year at least.

  • If you have not overwritten your bookmarks repeatedly…

I don't understand this. Do you mean restoring or backing up? In addition, is the way I've been backing up my bookmarks as .json (I guess I can stop .html backup), and removing the date and overwriting each time OK?

  • …or run for many days without your structured bookmarks

As I am doing now for a week.

  • …that is the easiest option for restoring bookmarks and should normally be the first method you try.
  • That method will retain your Library's folder structure, with any tags keywords and additional description edits.

Should I even try that since I'm wanting to recover bookmarks that go back over a year?

SUMO Contributor

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

Hi author1892, it sounds as though you were much better prepared for this situation than most users.

If you care at all about your current bookmarks, you could export them to HTML format before restoring your JSON file. You then could import the HTML file later without disturbing the rest of your bookmarks.

If you want to test the restore and/or import processes without any risk to your current setup, you can create a second Firefox profile. That will create a new settings folder in parallel to your current settings; the new folder will start off with no customizations other than plugins Firefox finds on your system. To create a new profile and to switch between them, you can use the Profile Manager. This article describes how it works: Use the Profile Manager to create and remove Firefox profiles.

Site Moderator

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

You may be interested in TenFourFox.

Firefox 4 and later require a Mac with an Intel processor and OS X 10.6 (Firefox 16 runs on OS X 10.5).

For an unofficial Firefox 17.0.2 ESR compatible version (TenFourFox) that runs on PowerPC Macs with OS X 10.4.11 or OS X 10.5.8 you can look at:

Site Moderator

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

The Firefox automated bookmarks are cumulative. I think at present by default it is a snapshot of your bookmarks made on each of the last ten days. Each of those have your bookmarks backups/snapshots that exist on those days even if some of the individual bookmarks were initially made years ago. They have the folder structure that existed on the day the snapshot was made.

The easiest thing to do may be to create some additional profiles for tests and experimentation so that you see what happens. This is relatively easy once you get used to it, but is considered advanced, and not documented properly or supported in this support.mozilla site.

'Take care when using profiles'. Until you fully understand what is happening do not delete or rename any profile (just get rid of the shortcuts if you are no longer using a profile.) It is very easy to loose not only Firefox information, but other information if you delete or rename profiles (Profile names change, but profile folder names do not. Profile folders get deleted regardless of content)


If you have not overwritten your bookmarks repeatedly… 
I don't understand this. Do you mean restoring or backing up? In addition, is the way I've been backing up my bookmarks as .json (I guess I can stop .html backup), and removing the date and overwriting each time OK? 

If you restore from .json you overwrite whatever your current bookmarks are. If you import from HTML you merely append the new bookmarks.

Normally there is little point in making a backup and restoring from it UNLESS you run into problems and maybe you have a corrupted bookmarks library. Even if you make backups they are to a certain extent redundant because of the automated backups that are available.

But if something bad happens to your profile you may also loose the automated backups. Additionally the main bookmarks database includes your history information. The file is places.sqlite. The History is not backed up or stored anywhere else so it may be very useful to backup the file boookmarks.sqlite (Or your complete profile).
edit I meant to say places.sqlite no such beast as boookmarks.sqlite ;-)

See previous links.

New User

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

cor-el, John99, jscher2000,

Your replys are comprehensive. Thanks. I'll study these things and test and apply and get back to you later.

Sincerely,

Rafael

Site Moderator

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

Note that Firefox 3.6 versions only have 5 JSON backups that rotate (pref: browser.bookmarks.max_backups).
A backup is created each day that Firefox is started and the oldest is removed to make place for a new backup.

Importing an HTML backup or restoring a JSON backup will only affect the bookmarks and not other personal data.

Restoring a JSON backup will replace all your current bookmarks (you get a warning about that) and you can't import a JSON backup to add (merge) bookmarks.

Importing bookmarks from an HTML file adds the imported bookmarks to the already existing bookmarks, so you may need to remove duplicates.

New User

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

OK Cor-el. Right now I just have some general questions about how this support site works.

  1. Why is John99's first reply, "Sorry you are having problems" repeated, first within my original question under 'Helpful replies' less his logo on the left, secondly, as his original post of same with his logo to the left? Guest it has to do with the "Go to answer [heart]1" logo. Is that so? Is that in order to make a continuous document that only includes, sequentially, the replies I've picked as 'helpful'?
  2. I may have missed something—I haven't delved deep into your instructions yet—but from what I've described, do you think I'm going to be able to get my bookmarks back in the way I had them structured before the loss? Overwriting the bookmarks I've added since the loss doesn't concern me because it's only been a week, and the new ones aren't that important and a collection hasn't been built up yet.
  3. Yes, I'll be attempting to use TenFourFox once I get my bookmarks back. From what little I used it, I liked the features it offerred for my OS 10.4.11
Site Moderator

Re: How will my .json and .html backed up bookmarks import?

Why is John99's first reply, "Sorry you are having problems" repeated, first within my original question under 'Helpful replies' less his logo on the left, secondly, as his original post of same with his logo to the left? Guest it has to do with the "Go to answer [heart]1" logo. Is that so

If a reply is picked as helpful, but no reply is picked as a solution the helpful reply gets promoted. Unfortunately the software looks only at the first picked helpful answers. If anyone (not even thread owner or even logged in  !), picks two helpful answers they remain the selection (Or at least that is how it worked until recently, may have changed) Anyone who is signed in (and not already voted) may vote for helpful posts,not just the thread owner .

Only the first two helpful posts get promoted. (IIRC there was talk of making it the two with the highest vote count but not sure if that was implemented)


Is that in order to make a continuous document that only includes, sequentially, the replies I've picked as 'helpful'? 

Not sure I understand what you are asking.


The method this forum uses for helpful replies is imho not good. Basically the first two chosen by any poster in the thread are listed. But we need to remember it is designed for a single question per thread