Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer 2.0 Available for Beta Testing

Today we're quietly making available our next generation bookmark synchronizer to people who are interested in helping us test it. If you're the kind of person who is comfortable testing new software, finding bugs, and providing feedback, please head on over and download the latest from here. Please note, however, that the current release does yet not allow you to use your own server, and the Chinese, German, and Portuguese localizations are not yet available.

What's New?

The new release (which we've been calling "Jezebel") looks similar to the old Foxmarks 1.0.1. Underneath the hood, though, it's all new, as is the server that we're also introducing today. Where the old synchronizer had to upload and download your entire bookmark set, Jezebel now exchanges only information that has changed with the server. This yields a huge benefit to users with large and constantly changing bookmark sets. We're also now able to sync favicons, something we've wanted to for a long time but was prohibitive until now. On top of this solid platform, we'll be introducing more useful features in short order.

What should I expect?

If you're upgrading from Foxmarks 1.0.1, you'll have to "kickstart" Jezebel by doing a manual sync (Tools -> Foxmarks -> Synchronize Now). This first sync may take a while, as Jezebel has to upload everything to our server. After that, it should be smooth sailing.

Note that you cannot easily mix Foxmarks 1.0.1 and Foxmarks 2.0; they exist in separate universes. If you do choose to run with Foxmarks 2.0, make sure you update all your existing installations to Foxmarks 2.0. There's no risk of data loss, but changes you make with one version 1.0.1 won't find their way to your Foxmarks 2.0 installations until you upgrade (and vice versa). Once you upgrade your first computer to Foxmarks 2.0, going to My Foxmarks will only show you Foxmarks 2.0 data -- another reason to upgrade all your machines.

Our experience so far with Jezebel in internal testing has been positive. No one has lost data (though we recommend that you back up your bookmarks before starting). There are certainly rough edges that we hope to polish off, and you may well find a synchronization error or two -- generally this means that Jezebel detects a condition that prevents it from syncing. If you discover one of these, we encourage you to contact us to let us know.

Regardless, we look forward to hearing from you -- please let us know how it goes.