Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Foxmarks leaves the nest

As of a couple hours ago, Foxmarks is now available for download from the Mozilla Addons site, the officially-sanctioned repository of Firefox extensions. What does this mean?

First of all, it means that we're now sufficiently confident in Foxmarks' reliability and stability to unleash it on users who don't consider themselves to be risk-takers when it comes to using new software. Many thanks to those of you who were willing to take a risk with us to help us get to this point. Your use of Foxmarks in real-world situations and your reports of problems encountered have been invaluable to us as we've focused on building an extension that does what you want, is easy to use and is reliable.

In addition to providing better visibility to interested users, being on the Mozilla Addons site confers some technical benefits in terms of downloading the extension (Firefox is configured to download extensions from the Mozilla site out of the box, as opposed to downloading from our site, which requires some user gymnastics) and keeping it updated. The Getting Started process should be easier now.

Opening up to a larger community will, of course, have its challenges. Even in our semi-private beta program, the influx of new users that came every time someone posted something about us on an influential blog often revealed new problems, some operational and some in the software design implementation. Each time through one of these cycles, we learned something new and tried to improve. We think we're well prepared for the new users that will come our way through the Mozilla site, but only time will tell.

What's next? That largely depends on what happens in the next couple of weeks. We're hoping for smooth sailing, which would free us up to implement the backlog of new features that have been building up over the past couple of months. We'll post here as we know more.

In the meantime, feedback from users is always appreciated.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Foxmarks 0.66

Today we released Foxmarks 0.66, our second release candidate. It fixes a single bug that affected users who received the "New sync file detected" dialog and then selected "Download" -- the bug would cause the same dialog to appear again erroneously during subsequent synchronizations.

This is our second Release Candidate. Please don't hesitate to tell us about any problems you encounter.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Foxmarks 0.65 Released

We just released Foxmarks 0.65, which we are considering our first Release Candidate. It's a very minor update over version 0.64, including some missing items from the Japanese translation (thanks, Premier!) and fixing One Last Bug.

If you encounter problems of any sort, please let us know. Otherwise, we're shippin' it!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Foxmarks 0.64

We just released Foxmarks 0.64, primarily as a fix to a problem inadvertently introduced in the previous version that caused a spurious warning message to appear ("New Sync File Detected") for many users. Sorry about that!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Kudos from around the Web

Mitch has started blogging again, including a recent post where he's collected people's opinions about Foxmarks from their online postings.

Managing localization?

We've posted before a general query looking for people to assist in the localization of Foxmarks, and a handful of people have responded with specific offers to help us produce translated versions of Foxmarks in various languages. As noted earlier, Premier was one of the first to offer such help, and his Japanese translation has been part of Foxmarks since version 0.55. We've also received offers to help with translations in Dutch, German, Spanish, and Chinese.

The obstacle that has prevented us from moving forward on this is not knowing how best to manage the localization project. For instance, what kinds of tools and instructions do we need to provide to localizers? How do we manage changes in the UI that need then to be reflected in changes to the localization? What's the best way to organize the work of (and communicate with) localizers?

If you've been on either side of such a localization project for a Firefox extension, we'd really appreciate your input. If there's a localization project that you think has worked particularly well, please let us know.

We'd really like to see Foxmarks in as many languages as possible, but inasmuch as we're relying on the good will of our volunteer localizers, we feel it's really important to be efficient, well-organized, and have a clearly thought-out plan before we proceed.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Foxmarks 0.63

Today we pushed out Foxmarks 0.63, a release that inches us closer to exiting beta. This version fixes a long-standing problem with separators not syncing, and implements a facility for recovering gracefully from a situation in which you had to perform an upload rather than the normal sync -- the latest version allows you to merge that uploaded file with your current bookmarks, or simply download it and overwrite what you had stored locally. Finally, version 0.63 now displays the Terms of Service in the Setup Wizard when you go to create an account.

As far we know, there are no oustanding bugs other than the ones listed on the Known Bugs page, none of which are on the short-list for being fixed. So if you see anything that doesn't look right (especially any kind of synchronization problem), please let us know. We're getting nearer to wrapping this up into a formal release.