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Description section is missing from bookmarks along with all stored data; how do I get it back?
I had very important notes for work and study in the description section of my bookmarks - as many others did as well, I'm sure - however, as of a recent Firefox update, I've lost the description section and all of my work (quotes from lengthy sources related to health matters, extremely important research for work-related projects, and personal notes on books, etc.). How does Firefox intend to compensate for these losses?
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The description field has only been removed from the user interface in the Bookmarks Manager (Library) for now. This description field is still present in the places.sqlite database and you can export the bookmarks to an HTML file or create a JSON backup to have a backup copy that includes the descriptions.
There are treads about this change that is also mentioned in the Firefox Release Notes.
- [/questions/1232448] Bookmark Descriptions Missing After Update?
Note that Firefox 62.0.2 has been released.
- Help -> About Firefox
Nevermind. After I typed in my question, and then created my account, I noticed that someone else asked a similar question to my own; in the column next to my question there's one that's titled "Firefox updated to Quantum and I lost all of my Bookmark descriptions".
The solution is exporting the bookmarks into an .html file or a .json file (though the description data may be removed some time in the future).
I'm not sure of how one opens json files (I think that most of us have only ever used them to import into Firefox), and the descriptions as they're stored in the HTML file are very difficult to manage (they could take an unreasonable amount of time to reformat). Is there a way to (re)access the original formatting?
Also, does anyone know how to delete question? The person replying to the post mentioned above seemed to work for Firefox. His answer began as follows:
"Hi, as per the release notes, we haven't yet removed the actual descriptions. They are still stored in the database for the time being (they will be removed from the storage sometime in the future, but we haven't decided when yet).
You can export your bookmarks to json or HTML format from Firefox 62 and it'll include the description fields automatically."
I'm surprised that a company that seems to value privacy only accepts your questions and problems if you post them publicly, and even more surprised that it doesn't have an easily accessible delete-function.
Thank you cor-el.
Is there anyone that could help me with my second (though related) inquiry?
Unfortunately that app. isn't working for me. I got to add-ons, extensions, click on options beside "Booksmarks Notes" (a section in which it says "Notes can be imported from a bookmarks.html file."), scroll down to the bottom of the section, load my bookmarks.html file by clicking browse, but once it's mounted in that subsection, the "Import" button remains a dull grey button that I can't click; no bookmarks "Descriptions" are loaded.
I checked to see if other people were having similar problems at <https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/bookmark-notes/reviews/>.
"how to restore... notes I collected over more than 10 years?
Sorry but Firefox is going to be replaced soon in my computers. Too many features are being removed suddenly without any prior information."
"*really* steamed about losing the Notes section to Firefox (can you say PISSED?) ... I'd have to say to Mozilla, that the now-gone Notes section of the bookmarks was one of the VERY most important feature of Firefox to me. Now that it's officially gone, I may have to re-think what browser I use. Chrome and Internet Explorer (or the current substandard offering from MS) do NOT offer a notes section, so Firefox has happily been my browser of choice. FIX THIS MESS, MOZILLA, AND SOON."
One person mentioned a Page Memo extension, however it's also giving me the same issue (in the case of Page Memo, I get the message: "Your file is not valid"). I tried the .json files as well, and though the button became clickable in Bookmark Notes, same problem, and Page Memo displayed the same message as it did for the .html file.
The developer referenced the <https://github.com/emmyemi/bookmark-notes/issues> page, and someone said that they switched back to Firefox 61 for the moment. This would give (some) people a (crude and ultimately unacceptable) chance to copy and paste their information into MS word or text documents.
Does anyone know of a safe source from which people can download a version of Firefox 61?
You definitely need a HTML backup.
You can try to open the HTML backup in a Firefox tab to check if it is really an HTML file. Also make sure the file has a .html file extension.
You can switch to the Firefox 62.2.0 ESR version if you want to revert to an older browser. The Firefox 60 ESR version will receive security updates for about a year untiln Firefox 68 ESR gets released. Firefox 60.2.0 ESR:
(This is about the Bookmark Notes extension v1.1.2)
The Import button isn't enabled until the file is parsed and there are some glitches in that process.
As a workaround, you can create a slimmed down file of just bookmarks with descriptions. I have that as as option on my tool that takes your JSON-format backup and converts it to HTML -- make sure to check the box for "Bookmark Notes importable" to select that format:
- https://jscher2000.github.io/Firefox-File-Utilities/bookbackreader.html (updated now)
- (currently down) https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html (to be updated later)
It worked for me. 462 mostly useless descriptions imported. ;-)
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Thank you for all of your help Cor-el.
I tried searching for a version of Firefox 61 before making the inquiry but couldn't find an official Firefox page. Glad to see that there's one available for Firefox 60.
My bookmarks.html file was definitely an HTML file. My computer is set to show file extensions, and I remember opening it and exploring it in a Firefox Window.
Thank you jscher2000 for your response as well. Parsing would have taken far too long in my case; with the <https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/> link Cor-el provided, you just click on the downloaded file, and within a few seconds you're ready to access your descriptions in their original formatting.
The formatting was extremely important for me because of the number of links documented and the meaning that the formatting was used to give/organize (e.g. using this search term, from this source, to that source, to that source - with lots of very important text, and what looked like references sources, included along the way); some of the links weren't even up any more, meaning that it could have become impossible to verify the quotes, and certainly impossible to the discuss the history of the sources used , which themselves were part of the object of study. I'm involved in Social Justice Work, so the notes/descriptions were anything but useless.
Unfortunately, the removal of the descriptions function means having to keep texts files on the computer (leaving information even more vulnerable to the illegal and inappropriate discriminatory activities of U.S. government agencies, and leaving Social Justice sources even more vulnerable to harassment and all-sorts-of-abuse-you-wouldn't-believe from those and related agencies/groups). Even having to keep additional files open while noting important parts of sources like Radio Programs (Chairman such and such, 1:23:45-1:24:39, topic-label) slows down computers more than removing the Description function / notes section speeds it up (I don't imagine as many people seriously using "Tags" or "Keyword" sections - particularly for their intended use), and deters documentation / usable research. I get the move towards a more 'modern' stripped-down style, but this wasn't the function to remove, and 'modernism' today / 'post-modernism' means incorporating the needs / aspirations / freedoms of a very diverse group into decisions about style and functionality, enabling those people, not making things harder for them.
Here's hoping this thread helps many more people, and that Firefox can accommodate it's base better in the future (hopefully bringing back the discussed function).
I'm still looking for a way to delete my rushed communications (an option for some point in the future); still no delete button... maybe I could edit all of my posts, leaving a "[Private Message]" 'tag' instead, under the original title, of course... it's you're expertise that they really need, and, saving even more time, hopefully not even that... eventually.