Friday, November 30, 2007

Foxmarks 2.0.32 Released

Earlier today, we released Foxmarks 2.0.32, an update that includes several important fixes and additions. If you are already a user of Foxmarks 2, we strongly recommend that you upgrade. If you are still using Foxmarks 1.0.1, you are welcome to upgrade, but please make sure you upgrade all of your computers -- the old version and the new do not interoperate.

This version is a candidate for our re-launch of Foxmarks 2 on the Mozilla Add-ons site. If you see any problems with this version, please let us know here or via support@foxmarks.com.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Foxmarks 2: It's Alive!

For those of you who have been anxiously or patiently waiting:

We have now returned the Foxmarks 2 service to operation! This will allow users who have downloaded Foxmarks 2 to resume normal synchronization, and we believe that there is sufficient capacity to handle the current base of installed Foxmarks 2 users.

However, we do not yet have enough capacity to handle the huge influx of users that results when we make the extension available on the Mozilla Addons site, so we won't be offering Foxmarks 2 there until we have substantially increased our capacity. If you need to download the Foxmarks 2 extension, please visit this page to get the latest.

If you're uncomfortable seeing how sausage is made, we welcome you to install the original Foxmarks 1.0.1 extension, available on the Mozilla Addons site. To downgrade from Foxmarks 2 to Foxmarks 1.0.1, simply reinstall the extension from that link, and you should be good to go. We'll make sure, by the way, that the Foxmarks 1 server is not impacted by Foxmarks 2 this time around.

We've said it before, but we'll say it yet again: we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, and we absolutely appreciate your patience (and kind words of support!) as we work through these problems. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them here or mail us at support@foxmarks.com.

Now, if you don't mind, we're going to go take a nap. Good night, Gracie!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Trouble with Foxmarks 2

If you haven't been reading our previous posts, you might not know that due to a raft of operational problems we have had to turn off Foxmarks 2 which we attempted to launch about 16 hours ago. We'll be doing some retooling so that we can relaunch in the near future and will post more about that when we have a definitive plan.

For now, we recommend that you revert back to Foxmarks 1 which you can do by installing Foxmarks 1.0.1 again. We're working hard to stabilize Foxmarks 1's server as it too got drawn into Foxmarks 2's operational meltdown. The old server is headed back in the right direction, but like a big ship, it takes a while to turn. Syncing will continue to be slow for the next few hours as it gradually returns to normalcy.

Again, our apologies for the inconvenience and headache this has caused you. We're working hard to get it straightened out. Thanks for your patience.

Update: Foxmarks 2 is open again for business. Please see the latest blog post for more information.

Foxmarks 2 Trouble

Unfortunately, we're continuing to have operational difficulties keeping up with incoming traffic from the new version of the synchronizer, and there have also been a few reports of data integrity issues which we are investigating.

In the meantime, we're working to make sure that Foxmarks v1.0.1 continues to be viable for everyone.

Again, our apologies for the inconvenience. We really appreciate your patience as we work through this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Foxmarks 2: Retreat!

With great disappointment, we have removed Foxmarks 2 from the Mozilla Add-ons site. Despite our careful planning and simulation, we were insufficiently prepared to handle the rush of incoming users. By pulling Foxmarks 2 from distribution, we hope that our systems will settle down sufficiently that those of you who did download the new extension will be able to sync successfully.

If you have downloaded and upgraded one of your machines and need to upgrade another machine, you can download the extension from our own site.

Our apologies for any inconvenience.  Please watch the blog for updates.

Wow! We're swamped! (Foxmarks servers overwhelmed)

The comments on our recent post about our new launch make one thing clear: people really depend on Foxmarks. Lots of people really depend on Foxmarks.

Our servers are experiencing maximum load right now as users download Foxmarks 2 from Mozilla and attempt their first synchronization. The congestion of the servers is making sync operations extremely slow, and is interfering with use of My Foxmarks. Since there's some shared hardware with the old sync server, there's also some impact being felt there.

There are a few things that we can do to alleviate load, and we're working on those things now. The truth is that the next 24 hours are going to be challenging for us, but we'll be doing the best we can. Once the transition is complete, we still believe that this rough patch will be justified.

In the meantime, some suggestions:

  • If you were using your own server with Foxmarks 1.0.1 and are having trouble getting Foxmarks 2 to work with your server, by all means please revert back to the previous version. If there are problems that we can fix in this area, we will. But first we're working on our own server.

  • There seems to be a problem with the Danish localization. You can pick up a version of Foxmarks that excludes the Danish components (making the UI be in English) by downloading here. We'll try to get this fixed as soon as we can.

  • Go easy on us! If you find that you can't sync, let it be for a while. If you've got automatic sync enabled, the system will catch up eventually.


Thanks for your support and your patience.

Oh no you didn't! Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer 2.0 Launches

You may have noticed that a couple of hours ago we released a new version of the Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer for Firefox. The elves have been hard at work; this version is a complete overhaul and we're really excited about it. For the curious, here are some of the shiny new bits.

New Features

  • Status bar indicator: Foxmarks 2 displays a small icon in the bottom right of your browser window that allows you to see at a glance your synchronization state. You can also click on it to open Foxmarks Settings and right-click (control-click on the Mac) to open a context menu to get convenient access to commonly used sync functions. If status icons annoy you, you can disable it from the menu.

  • Foxmarks Settings: We completely redesigned the Foxmarks Settings dialog to make it easier to understand and (we think) much easier on the eyes.

  • Password management: Some users objected to Foxmarks 1.0.1's use of the Password Manager to store your password. Foxmarks 2 gives you the option of storing it there or not; if you choose not to, Foxmarks will prompt you for it as needed.

  • Password security: Foxmarks 2 now by default encrypts your password when it is transmitted over the wire.

  • Synchronization: The synchronization engine itself is much more robust in Foxmarks 2 than in Foxmarks 1.0.1. We'll save the details for a future post, but suffice it to say that synchronization under Foxmarks 2 is a much more predictable, reliable process. It can sync just about anything you throw at it.

  • Favicons: Foxmarks 2 now synchronizes your bookmarks' icons.

  • Server communication: Foxmarks 1.0.1 transmitted your entire set of bookmarks each time you changed anything about your bookmarks. Foxmarks 2 now transmits (and receives) only the changed bits, making it a much more efficient consumer of network bandwidth and a far more pleasant experience for users with large collections of bookmarks.


There are a raft of small improvements not listed here that, we hope, add up to a much more solid, transparent, and convenient experience. Try it out and let us know what you think!

My Foxmarks
And don't forget to check out out My Foxmarks, too. It's been promoted from Beta to 1.0.

The Next Few Days...
You may notice some slowness the first time you use Foxmarks 2 as all of your data has to be uploaded to our new server. This is exacerbated by everyone converting over to the new system at the same time. Once you have successfully completed that first upload, though, it should be a smooth ride and well worth the effort.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Beta Downtime

Apologies for the short notice, but we'll be taking the Foxmarks 2 Beta service down in a few minutes to handle some data migration. We hope to be back online shortly and will post here when service resumes.

Foxmarks 1 users will be unaffected by this.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Beta Service Downtime Redux

We're really close to being ready to flip the switch and pronounce version 2 of the Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer ready for prime time. We are, in fact, now in what is commonly known in our business as the end game -- "end" because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and "game" because we're not 100% sure that light isn't really another train coming our way.

Regardless, despite our predictions of downtime last week that never materialized, we're quite confident that we'll be taking down the Beta server for two hours Tuesday morning starting at approximately 9am PST (17:00 GMT). Beta users won't be able to sync or otherwise access their bookmarks during this time; we'll post here again when we're back up. This is all in service of getting our house in order for the full public launch.

Apologies for the inconvenience. Feel free to check in with us here or at support@foxmarks.com if you have questions or need help.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Downtime for Beta Users

The good news is that our beta testing has been going extremely well. Thanks to the many users who agreed to be guinea pigs for our next generation synchronizer product, we've uncovered and fixed a handful of bugs, and we're now nearly ready to certify the system as ready for public use.

In preparation for deployment (hopefully this weekend!), we'll be repositioning various server components over the next 48 hours. Beta users will likely see some periods of downtime as we make these changes. Thanks for your patience as we make these final configuration changes.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here or send us email.