Dynamic bookmarks

This is some hack I put together for myself but I think it could be useful if adopted by Firefox.

I keep my bookmarks in an XML file.

The reason for using a file (as opposed to the browser’s built-in system) is because I share those bookmarks between 5 browsers spread over 4 computers. I also keep the file in CVS for syncing between the different PCs.

The reason I store them in XML format is so I can separate the presentation from the data. I generate HTML from it using XSLT (IE and Firefox do this automatically).

One of the nice things about this is that I can generate a table of contents for the categories (it’s a long file, so these link to each section).

Recently I added to this by adding a “favourite” attribute to my more commonly used bookmarks then tweaking my XSLT to pick out all the favourites and put them all at the top of the page.

So far, so good.

It then occured to me that I could generate an RSS feed (again using XSLT) from my favourites and have that as a live bookmark in Firefox.

This is great, now all the pages I access frequently are in a drop-down list in my toolbar, and all I have to do to update them is add/remove favourite attributes from my XML file (ahem, then regenerate the RSS feed – but that’s now scheduled automatically).

This works great for me – but is obviously too clunky and downright byzantine for your average Joe.

But what if Firefox could do this automatically?

It would have to allow you to flag a bookmark as a “favourite” then it could internally generate an RSS feed for it – heck, it could even track which bookmarks you access and do it from that.

This may even be do-able as a Firefox extension.

Or is it only geeks like me that think this would be useful?

1 thought on “Dynamic bookmarks”

  1. I think you’re on something there.
    What would be absolutely great for the non-geek is if the Firefox extension would also post new bookmarks to a central repositary. So wherever a user adds a bookmark from, the tool would update the central XML list.
    It’d pay a few $/year for a service like that!

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