Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Introducing Xmarks "Bring Your Own Server" BETA

byos_stampWe're excited to announce the availability of Xmarks BYOS Edition BETA, a beta version of our Firefox add-on specifically designed for advanced users who wish to sync with their own servers. As promised, this version:

  • Does not communicate with our servers except to open a tab in your browser after an upgrade to tell you what's new.

  • Does not contain any Discovery features.

  • Will be upgraded much less frequently than our standard Xmarks add-ons.

If you currently use Xmarks to sync with your own server and are interested in trying out our beta release of BYOS, please first uninstall Xmarks (or Foxmarks), and then install Xmarks BYOS Edition. You will be required to re-enter your own server settings to setup Xmarks BYOS, but after that, all future upgrades will remember your settings. Please note that this is a BETA release of this software, and as a result may have some bugs we've not yet ironed out; be sure to back up your bookmarks!

If you're not quite sure what it means to sync with your own server, please be advised that this version caters to advanced users only, as it requires setting up your own WebDAV or FTP server to sync against. For everyone else, we recommend using the standard Xmarks version which will automatically sync and backup your bookmarks for free on servers managed by the Xmarks team.

Please share your feedback about the BYOS beta on GetSatisfaction!


  1. Works like a charme! Love it, German How-To: http://is.gd/MX6E

  2. I've got three computers that use my personal foxmarks server. Two are at home being used by my family, and one is at work. Is there any problem with migrating to the BYOS Edition incrementally? (There's potential for the old X-Marks plugin to sync from a home computer to a server that's already been touched by a BYOS plugin before I can get to it. If you understood that...)

  3. caschy: Thanks for the German how-to!

    David: We would love you to try out an incremental migration approach. We foresee no problems doing an incremental update like you describe, but keep in mind that it *is* a beta release, so we can make no guarantees. Please let us know if you hit any problems during your migration!

  4. Glad to hear you are doing this.

    Suggestion: in addition to WEBDAV, you should allow the user to write sync with a local volume on their hard drive (mac or PC). With all the network-based drives that people are using it's an obvious model. Much easer with things like Dropbox, etc.

  5. saua: That's pretty much it, yeah. The primary advantage is that we'll no longer inadvertently break own-server settings when we release a new version of the primary extension. Own-server behavior hasn't changed at all for quite some time, but it's had some serious bumps in Foxmarks and Xmarks updates over the past year.

    By breaking it out into a separate extension, we prevent ourselves from breaking it, thus providing a better experience for own-server users.

  6. That's enough of a change for me. I have only ever really used my own server. So ensuring that it works 100% with that without compromising other features, or itself is a great idea.

    And it reduces the amount of clutter on the settings page, that I will never use.

  7. Can I ask about how the sync works?

    Does it sync the entire places db, or does it keep individual records in sync. If I add a bookmark, does it get added locally, and then the entire db is synced at shutdown, or does it immediately send the single update through?

    I find places on mozilla 3 is totally broken. I keep all my history, and tons of bookmarks, my places.sqlite file is about 300M. Firefox completely chokes on this, taking about a minute to start or stop, and then of course whenever I type a url, it wants to match against the entire history. Dont even think about pulling up the history sidebar - of course it again wants to load the entire history, instead of incrementally loading - ie most of the time Im only interested in the last day or so. I now bizarely find myself using a separate OS installed with fresh firefox to do most browsing, only going back to the monster when I genuinely need some bookmarks, history, etc.

  8. Doesn't work with Firefox 3.5 RC1. (XMARKS normal & BYOS) :(

  9. saua: You're absolutely right; the long-term plan is to remove the own-server settings from "classic" Xmarks and only support that feature in BYOS. We just figured ripping it out of the original extension before BYOS was in final release would be rather rude.

    Jack: Presently only bookmark and password synchronization are supported, so your history is not synchronized across browsers. It sounds like Xmarks might work great for you, allowing you to have all your bookmarks on each computer, and then only refer to your history on the other computer when necessary.

    caschy: Please provide more details at Get Satisfaction--a good place to do so is this topic. Thanks!

  10. Hi,

    Do you know if anyone has a script to covert the bookmark file into an rss feed type .xml file? Is there a forum to discuss this type of stuff?


  11. I think the only thing that I really want from XMarks BYOS now is the option to set the interval for syncing with server.

    Oh, and How-To for syncing Xmarks BYOS with Windows Home Server: http://wiki.wegotserved.com/index.php?title=Sync_your_Firefox_Bookmarks_on_your_Server_with_Xmarks

  12. This is very cool! I have a server on my computer but I can't sync it to a browser. If I sync this server to the firefox browser, does that mean I could have my own real domain name for free?

  13. Great stuff! Btw, when can we expect Safari 4 release support ? It's the only thing missing for me :) Otherwise i use xmarks (since foxmarks) every day on every computer!

  14. After lots of trying I can't get it to work w/ FTP (no encrpytion). The same credentials and server URLs work in FireFTP. I triple checked...

    Log says:

    [2009-06-28 13:49:24] ------ Xmarks (BYOS)/0.9.9 (/Places) starting sync with ftp://ftp.mydomain.info ------
    [2009-06-28 13:49:24] Entered status...
    [2009-06-28 13:49:24] >>> GET ftp://ftp1044711-xmarks@ftp.mydomain.info/file.txt
    [2009-06-28 13:49:24] network request failed; status is 804b0015
    [2009-06-28 13:49:25] >>> PUT ftp://ftp1044711-xmarks@ftp.mydomain.info/file.txt
    [2009-06-28 13:49:25] >>> Body is: ...
    [2009-06-28 13:49:25] network request failed; status is 804b0015
    [2009-06-28 13:49:25] Returned error: FTP: Anmeldung fehlgeschlagen(2152398869)
    [2009-06-28 13:49:25] Will retry at Sun Jun 28 2009 14:19:31 GMT+0200

    Any help is appreciated.


  15. After some other trying and resetting the password multiple times, I finally got it working now.

    Seems to work fine. Would be great to have support for TLS security w/ FTP though (FTPS) in order to secure the credentials.

    Additionally, syncing and merging of form data would also be great.

  16. I like the BYOS addon, however one thing I would like in the addon would be having the option like the main Xmarks addon to get the bookmarks/passwords already on our server and discard the data on the client on the first run of a newly installed BYOS addon.

  17. @Torben:
    What was the prob. I got exactly the same failure-code while using Xmarks3.1.1 under FritzBox7270-Firmware54.04.74. This failure did not appear under Firmware 57.04.70 by the way.

  18. @maarqs

    I got exactly the same failure-code too while using Xmarks3.1.1 or byos-0.9.9

    under FritzBox7270-Firmware !! 54.04.76 !!

    This failure did not appear under Firmware 54.04.70

    with Win SCP I got normal ftp connections!

    byos-0.9.9 log:

    Starting Wizard: Major Upgrade
    [2009-07-04 15:22:13] ------ Xmarks (BYOS)/0.9.9 (/Places) starting sync with ftp://ftpuser@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ------
    [2009-07-04 15:22:13] Entered status...
    [2009-07-04 15:22:38] >>> GET ftp://ftpuser@xxxxxxxxxx/USB2-0-FlashDrive-01/xmarks/lesezeichen/xmarks.jim
    [2009-07-04 15:22:38] network request failed; status is 804b0015
    [2009-07-04 15:22:41] >>> PUT ftp://ftpuser@xxxxxxxxxxxx/USB2-0-FlashDrive-01/xmarks/lesezeichen/xmarks.jim
    network request failed; status is 804b0015
    [2009-07-04 15:22:42] Returned error: FTP: Anmeldung fehlgeschlagen(2152398869)

  19. Seems to work well for me.

    Thanks a lot!!!

    Anyway i hope for opera/chrome/ie8/safari support :)

  20. I found in some link somewhere from here a discussion on syncing stuff with .Mac as your own server. Will this work with this beta? I see that FTP is discouraged (dashing my hopes of using my domain as the FTP server to sync with), so WebDAV is the future. Is MobileMe WebDAV? Could I set up Xmarks to sync bookmarks and passwords with this BYOS edition to my MobileMe account?