Shaver very helpfully pointed me towards Drew Willcoxon’s Bookmark Tags extension this morning. Despite having to futz with hacking the maxVersion so it would install on Firefox 1.5 RC3, it seems to be working nicely.
As far as I can tell, the extension itself doesn’t seem to introduce any revolutionary technology, it simply takes advantage of the existing Firefox bookmarking system, and makes it much, much easier to keep your bookmarks organized.
After installation, the extension adds two items to the Bookmarks menu, adds some UI elements to the Add Bookmark dialog, and adds a new “Tag Browser” system.
Add Bookmark Dialog
The premise (as I understand it) is simply that adding a “tag” to a bookmarked URL places a copy or reference to that URL in a folder of that name. Multiple tags places the URL in multiple folders. Adding a tag to the system adds a folder of that name in your bookmarks. The Tag Browser streamlines the process of tagging existing bookmarks, as well as browsing through the tagged items. Double-clicking a bookmark in the Tag Browser opens that URL in the main Firefox window.
Bookmarking existing URLs is very easy when you’re in the Tag Browser — you can navigate through existing lists and folders of bookmarks, then just right-click on the bookmark (or folder, if you want to batch-tag all items it contains), and select Properties.
Bookmark Properties dialog
Given that the extension is based off the existing bookmark system, it does suffer from some of its associated limitations. For example, my Bookmarks menu, when displaying the tag folders, is unmanageably long since I added several dozen tags (and, therefore, folders) to it this morning. Also, the Bookmark sidebar search doesn’t seem to include folder names in the results, which is a bit of a pain in the butt. Alas.
The only feature I think is really missing right now is the ability to search tags and bookmarks in the Tab Browser, but I get the feeling that might be sort of complicated. Not being an extension developer, I really have no idea 🙂
Anyhow, kudos to Drew. This extension has helped me efficiently deal with the unbelieveable mess my bookmarks had become over the past couple of years.