Monday, January 30, 2006

Foxmarks 0.50 Released

Today we released Foxmarks 0.50, a maintenance release that fixes a number of bugs and makes a number of improvements to the synchronization algorithm. Users who have large bookmark collections may find that this version of Foxmarks operates more quickly.

Instructions for upgrading to the new version can be found here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Foxmarks on Mozillalinks

Mozilla links has published both a nice review of Foxmarks as well as an interview with Mitch Kapor, Foxmarks' godfather.

Check it out!

Foxmarks 0.46 Released

We've just released Foxmarks 0.46, a minor upgrade over version 0.45.

Version 0.41, it turns out, was a real stinker. If you're still using that version, we urge you to upgrade.

As always, please let us know if you see any strange behavior.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Foxmarks 0.45 Released

We just released Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer version 0.45. It has some substantial bug fixes in it related to synchronization. All users should upgrade, especially those who have been having synchronization difficulties since the last release. We believe that we've now fixed a wide swath of problems that have been dormant in the code for a long while.

Let us know how it goes for you.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Foxmarks in Other Languages?

Are you interested in seeing Foxmarks available in languages other than English? Leave us a comment indicating the language(s) in which you'd like to see us make Foxmarks available. If you're willing to volunteer to help us create the translation, mention that, too. Or drop us a line at mailto:feedback@foxcloud.com.

Foxmarks 0.41 Released

We've just released Foxmarks version 0.41, a minor upgrade that includes some improvements in the security of the synchronization algorithm. New users will automatically be downloading this version; existing users can upgrade by following the procedure outlined here.

As always, please let us know if you have any difficulties.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

International Characters now Work in My Foxcloud

There was a bug in some library code that was causing any non-ASCII characters (e.g., any non-English characters) that you might have in bookmarks synchronized via Foxmarks to display incorrectly on My Foxcloud. It's fixed now. Please let us know how it works for you.

Many thanks to Brian Kirsch, OSAF's international guru, who tracked this down.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Welcome to the Foxcloud Blog!

We've long known that we wanted to have a blog as a means of communicating news and updates to our users. Recent events related to the service outage (which we'll describe shortly) convinced us that we really needed to make the blog a priority. So here it is.

We hope to use the blog as a forum for communicating timely information and for engaging our users in whatever dialog makes sense. We'll continue to rely on our Wiki for reference information.

We want to hear from you. Please feel free to drop by and leave us a comment.

What Happened when the Lights Went Out

As you probably noticed, the Foxcloud Synchronization Server was down for about five days, starting early morning of December 31st, 2005. We realize that you may be curious about what happened, so here's a synopsis.

At about 5am the morning of December 31st, the data center that hosts the Foxcloud Synchronization Server (FSS) lost power. Some of the details are still murky, but our understanding is that the power outage was related to a more general storm-related power outage. You may have heard about the heavy rains and flooding that affected much of the San Francisco Bay Area during the holiday week.

The power remained out for about 8 hours. When it returned, the FSS attempted to restart itself, but failed midway through its restart process. Here's where it gets a bit complicated. See if you can follow this:

The FSS is based on Cosmo, an Open Source sharing server that is being developed by the Open Source Applications Foundation, Foxcloud's organizational cousin. Cosmo, in turn, relies on Jackrabbit, an open source content repository package being incubated at Apache. The problem stemmed from a bug in the Jackrabbit code that is executed during restart. Given the holidays and the somewhat complex, distributed nature of the development of this project (we're in San Francisco, but the lead engineer on Cosmo is in New York this week, and the lead Jackrabbit developer lives in Switzerland), it took us until today to isolate and develop a work-around for the problem.

We're taking steps to reduce the chances of this kind of problem recurring. We're in the process of preparing to move to a different data center that can provide us with better guarantees about power reliability and better onsite management of our servers. Also as part of that move, we'll be moving onto more robust hardware that will be more fault tolerant than what we're running on now.

We'd like to be able to promise you that the Foxcloud Service will never go down again, but the reality is that this is young software and we're still working out the kinks. These kinds of outages are an unfortunate part of that process, but we'll be working to make them shorter and less painful. And now with this blog we'll be able to communicate with you better about what's happening.

Feel free to drop us a comment to let us know how you think we're doing. We're still excited about Foxmarks and the Foxcloud Service, and hope you are, too.