Deleting Firefox 3 bookmarks…

I keep seeing complaints about the impossibility of deleting Firefox 3 bookmarks, but there isn’t a problem; a simple right-click – delete does the job, as it always did. So I got to thinking – it there a problem with terminology here? Is it, in fact, the dismal Awesome Bar that’s causing the problem?

This, the drop-down menu below the address bar, used to contain the URLs typed into the bar. It still does, to a degree, but it also displays websites accessed by other means and some website URLs it shows for no good reason at all that I can fathom.

You can delete them, but they’ll be replaced by bookmarks entries, before eventually coming back.

There is nothing you can do about this. Awesome Bar is marginally useful, mostly a pain in the butt – Mozilla know this and say they have no intention of doing anything about it, because they’re confident we’ll all come to love it. Which is the most egregiously arrogant bullshit, and the best thing you can do with the crappy AB is just ignore it.

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22 thoughts on “Deleting Firefox 3 bookmarks…

  1. It’s not difficult on the face of it: the Awesome Bar searches your History and your Bookmarks (including Tags) for what it thinks you want to type, to save you the typing. Once you see what you want on the list, you just mouse down and click it, or hit Enter on your keyboard, to visit that page. No more need to visit your Bookmarks, or to type in complete URLs.

    In theory.

    In practice, it’s a mess.

    Let’s say I type the letter “a” right now. The drop down list that pops up (or does it pop down?) includes Alley Insider (visited tonight), Digg (also visited tonight – the title of the page I was on: “All News”, qualifies it as a match for the letter “a”), archive.org (also visited tonight), and gostats.com (also visited tonight – the fact that “gostats” contains the letter “a” in the URL also makes it a match).

    That last result I got – “gostats” – on a search, presumably, for the letter “a” – is where everyone – including me – gets mixed up. It’s silly to do a text match based on letters *within* the URL – to skip the first letter or number in the URL and skip to the next letter in the string that does match.

    This is why the Awesome Bar’s results make no sense at times – it seems the browser is puking results at you more than intelligently refining them for you. Very far from Awesome.

    Not only that, but my one gazillion bookmarked articles about AOL do *not* show up, presumably because I didn’t type in the letter “o”. If I type the letter “o” in, up they come.

    Think about it – let’s say you were going to type oreo.com into your Awesome Bar. Would you type “o” to start the search? Of course you would. But when you do, ronsrants.wordpress.com pops up as the first result because, as it turns out, you never bookmarked oreo.com, you deleted oreo.com’s history from your browser last night, and “o” is the second letter in “ronsrants”, making it the closest match your browser has, since magically you never visited or bookmarked another website with the letter “o” in its title or URL. Yet you would never, ever, type the letter “o” to find your own blog, since its name starts with the letter “r”. That’s how stupid the Awesome Bar is.

    I still find it useful, but only if I type at least two letters very quickly, to save me the visual confusion and to get me more realistic results.

    The answer…there is always an answer..and it’s always the one that make the devs moan, “Oh no; not that”: make the Awesome Bar work like Everything (http://www.rarst.net/software/everything/). Everything is an awesome little tool that sits in your Windows system tray and finds, literally, everything on your computer, as soon as you start typing (with realtime, instant results). Type “a”, and Everything that *starts* with the letter “a” comes up, and so on.

    It just makes more sense than the Awesome Bar search does… it’s more the way it should be. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as Everything for Firefox, but the Mozilla devs could work their own version of Awesome into Everything, then Everybody would be happy.

    Don’t you think? Or do you still want to just take a hose to it? There are ways to kill it off, you know..add-ons, about:config hacks and the like.

    • Everything sounds cool – I’ve been after something like that, not least since Windows search decided it would play silly buggers and freeze after a few minutes.

    • Just tried typing “a”, plus other random letters, to see what came up. How crap is that? If it was an initial-letter search then maybe it would be useful, but who ever searches for a word or an URL using a letter in the middle of it? Total garbage.

  2. As for deleting Firefox bookmarks, who still has a problem with that? I recall the first release of Firefox 3 used to crash if I just *opened* the Bookmark Manager (if that didn’t do it, deleting a bookmark did it every time) but things seem to have come a ways since then.

    • A hell of a lot of people, apparently. Dunno about Livejournal, but the WP stats display search engine terms that brought people to my blog – if it’s not something I’ve covered (Google often just latches onto a single word in a post, as I’m sure you know), then I’ll write a post. Searches from people baffled about deleting FF bookmarks appear several times a day. God knows why, because it’s easy enough and it’s the same way IE has always used – there’s no mystery. Then, as I said, I thought maybe it was a terminology problem, and they really wanted to get rid of items in the Awsome Bar, hence this post.

      I still think the AB is crap, by the way. All I want to see in there is a list of the URLs I’ve typed previously – as it used to be. I don’t want it gone, I want the buggerdly thing to do what I want it to do, not what some geek at Mozilla decides it will do; it was simply change for its own sake, not because it made FF better. In its previous form I used it a hell of a lot, now hardly ever.

      • No, I don’t have search stats for either blog – not since I switched from SiteMeter to GoStats. Even SiteMeter’s search stats were limited since I use HTML counter code (LJ’s bizarre, byzantine rules prohibit any Javascript). So unless someone searches caches (I still get those stats) I have no idea where people come from, what they’re looking for, or on what page they leave. When you think that over, you realize the success of my other blog, as limited as it is, is an ongoing miracle. I almost have to guess what people want and figure out how give it to them, which is why my email address comes in handy – without the email I get, I could not keep my finger on the pulse of things.

        So no, I couldn’t tell you a darn thing about what people want from Firefox. My stats are useless (and I get so little email from that blog, anyway) that I just don’t have a clue.

        “All I want to see in there is a list of the URLs I’ve typed previously – as it used to be.”

        I’ll look around for how to do that (I think it’s just a simple about:config hack that I might’ve covered previously on my blog) and get back to you if I find anything.

      • I’m pretty sure you might know about it already, but in case you don’t (or in case you forgot):

        https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7637

        I think that’s what you want.

        I looked at that and the about:config hack again; the difference between the hack and this add-on is this add-on perfectly restores the address bar to Firefox 2.5′s functionality and appearance.

        If after installing the add-on Firefox still not ignoring “www” in URLs is no good for you (a common-enough complaint), here’s how to make it stop:

        Type about:config into the address bar, click the “promise to be careful” button on the stupid warning page, copy and paste “browser.urlbar.matchBehavior” into the search bar up top, right-click the matching result, click “Modify”, and change the value from “1″ to “2″. That’s it! Takes ten seconds. Totally worth it…

  3. Are you looking forward to Firefox 3.5, BTW? I’m feeling both anticipation and a really tight sense of fear. I’d hate to hate it so much that I’d have to launch into another…rant. :)

    • Hmm… Didn’t even know it was on its way. The idea of them having another go at screwing it up doesn’t fill me with joy!

      There are still compatibility problems with FF too. Britain’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, have an online store that’s not compatible with FF (no idea if the problem is with FF or Tesco), and they’re by no means alone. I’m mostly housebound, and shop a lot online, and often come across compatibility issues with FF. Often it’s the retailer’s fault – a proud announcement that they’re compatible with IE4.0 doesn’t fill me with confidence – but even if it’s not, it still means I’d need to fire up IE to shop there, so I go elsewhere.

      • Tesco.com is working fine for me in Fx 3.0.11…and I think we’ve had this conversation before and hit the same wall, where it’s working fine for me but not at all well for you. Strange.

        • Check out the Fresh Vegetables, Salads and Dips, click on any sub-section – that’s where it goes belly-up for me, even though it’s worked OK up to that point. Same version of FF here, too.

          • I can’t. The stupid site makes you register, and I’m not getting spammed just to see some buggy section and sub-section CSS. I believe you.

            Chances are the entire site was designed to work with IE only eons ago; in the course of upgrading the CSS to work with more modern browsers like Firefox, certain sections/sub-sections got skipped over/ignored, probably by accident. Their fault – most likely – not the browser’s.

            In completely unrelated news, you should try misspelling “Vicoden” on Ron’s Rants sometime (I just did, and you’re welcome). I’m *owning* search engine results for it – since it’s a common misspelling, I’m owning over 3 million of them, depending on which keywords you use. Such fun, all for one word I forgot to spellcheck.

            • Hmm… You used to be able to access the sight without signing up – wonder why they changed that. Just tried it with Opera, and it’s fine, so it must just be a FF snafu.

              Ah, actually, I forgot you’d be looking at the entire Tesco.com online store – it’s the groceries section that’s iffy.

              Not entirely sure what you mean by misspelling “Vicoden” on RR. You mean in a post? Tried it in the search box – just came up blank (cos it’s not there anyway).

            • I was hoping you’d visit my blog directly so I could avoid linking to it here, but since you asked:

              Link deleted.

              You *could* drop by once in a while.

              • I used to drop by on a regular basis – even posted a few comments from time to time, but they always seemed to sink without trace. Still, I’ll pop round and have a look.

                OK, been, and I posted a comment on the Vicoden thread, OpenID flagged a message saying the post would only be visible to the two of us until approved, but it’s not. Like previous posts, it’s just gone. Could you let me know if you can see it, please? I’ll keep checking back, though.

                I’ve deleted your link, too.

                • Oh well, you didn’t need to delete my link: I just didn’t like to spam you by including one to explain what I was talking about.

                  Your comment is up and visible to all now – and thanks for stopping by. Comments on my blogs are screened these days, just like on your blog, that’s all.

                  OpenID probably doesn’t always work so that you can view your screened comment because you’re not logged in as a normal LJ user; even though LJ’s flag said you would be able to view it, that’s probably why you can’t.

                  You can’t really trust OpenID or LJ to work anything like they say they should; it’s hit and miss. But I have (happily) unscreened and published every comment I ever got from you (I think you’ve left me under a dozen so far…working from my memory).

                  LJ is supposed to email me copies of all comments on both blogs as the comments are made, but…that’s a hit and miss thing, too.

                  It makes me feel bad that I must miss much more if LJ doesn’t send me email copies of everyone’s comments every time they’re made, as they should.

                  • Yeah – screening (and filtering), is pretty much essential, sadly. Too many psycho trolls around. I mean, wtf is wrong with these people? I’m not saying no-one shouldn’t disagree with me, but they could at least be civil about it!

                    It would have been no great loss if it had vanished forever since, as it turns out, it rather misses the point. Acetaminophen and Paracetamol are actually the same drug. But that, in fact, makes the FDA’s paranoia harder to understand, as the liver-damage problems have been known for many years. It’s not something that’s sneaked up on them unnoticed. It’s a drug I have no great faith in, for anything more than a headache/hangover, though – the hydrocodone is undoubtedly the more effective component in Vicodin. Still, at least I got a blog post out of it…

                    It’s only relatively recently, btw, that British hospitals have realised that Paracetamol is completely inadequate for post-surgery analgesia, and switched to standard dihydrocodeine.

                    On the plus side, though, Paracetamol does work brilliantly in tandem with Dihydrocodeine Continus – the sustained-release version – it make a sort of giant Co-codamol. It takes the edge off my post lightning-strike pain nicely.

  4. 3.5.2 BUGGY or is it me??

    Weird thing happened after auto install – worked weird right from the start – FF wouldn’t open. I could see the app icon, but couldn’t get it to open.

    Then when I got it to work, fluid site templates don’t scale down. It looks like it is a search window issue. Fluid sites look great in Safari.

    Today I noticed that pop-ups don’t center the content!!

    I’m ready to uninstall and move over to Safari or IE – I can’t believe I’m saying that because I LOVED FF prior to this version.

    Is it me or FF??

    Any fix in sight???

    • Dunno, but mine’s fine.

      On the other hand, some aspects have been getting slower and slower – the WordPress dashboard and new post publication are glacially slow. I thought it might be Google Gears, but I’ve run with and without, and no difference. Oddly, before I updated Gears, 3.5.2 was lightning-fast.

      What about Opera?

      • Your add-ons…try disabling them one at a time and restarting the browser after you disable each one until you narrow down which add-on might be causing it.

        I ran a quick Bugzilla search (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?query_format=specific&order=relevance+desc&bug_status=__open__&product=&content=fluid+layout) and didn’t see your layout problem mentioned, and I trawled all the open bug reports and today’s new ones and didn’t see the other problem you mentioned (not being able to start Firefox from what I assume was a shortcut – but maybe your shortcut pointed to the last version of Firefox, so if you delete and replace it with the one from the Firefox 3.5.2 Program folder that might fix it – hopefully).

        I also checked the Web and didn’t see any other complaints in the same vein – so I dunno.

        Funny I was just thinking about my rant about Firefox 3.0. Today. At work. I was thinking Mozilla would have had to mess up 3.5 as bad as they did 3.0 for me to ever write about Firefox that way again.

        The initial release of 3.5 sucked, and crashed a lot for me, but remember, Firefox 2.* crashed regularly for everybody and for the most part we just put up with it and hoped for better – and we did that for years, so I generously ignored 3.5.0′s poor behavior and simply awaited an update.

        3.5.1 seemed to offer some improvement, and 3.5.2 has been completely issue free – for me.

        Yes, Yahoo Mail sucks with it, but Yahoo Mail has always sucked with it – I blame Yahoo for that, not Firefox, nor Mozilla.

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