Google Browser Syncs your... er, Sinks your browser

missingbookmarks Lesson learned -- all that comes from Mountain View is not gold. Or stable. Or safe.

While I use del.icio.us for 99.47% of my bookmarking needs on the web, there are always a couple dozen or so URLs that I leave in Firefox's local bookmarks file. Examples are for sites that I want on the browser's toolbar, private or internal URLs that aren't public, and bookmarks that have search keywords assigned.

For a while now, I've wanted to sync up my Firefox bookmarks at home with the bookmarks on my office machine. Most of these get used on either machine and it's a hassle to remember to add those bookmarks and search shortcuts in both places.

So when I came across the Google Browser Sync extension, I thought, "this is PERFECT!"  It would sync up not only bookmarks but also settings and any open tabs. That seemed great for those times when I had something open for reading in the office, but didn't get to it. Shut it down on that machine and it would open up on my home machine later.

I installed the extension on both machines, let it sync up, and then merged the bookmarks in both locations. After that, I went through a process last night of cleaning up and re-organizing those local bookmarks. I spent over an hour getting rid of the ones that were old, cleaning out the dupes, and adding more search keywords.

Today, they're gone. On both machines. A couple of folders are completely missing. Nice, huh?

Thankfully, I found a backup of the bookmarks.html file from before I installed the extension... so while I've lost the cleanup work I did last night, I haven't completely lost the original bookmarks.

Anyway, be warned... if I'd have taken the time to browse through the Google Groups discussions for this extension, I'd have probably avoided it altogether and perhaps tried FoxMarks instead. But I figured Google's stuff is pretty solid... again, lesson learned. Thank goodness I didn't have it sync passwords and all of my other browser settings.

So... back to that cleanup effort (again).