A new browser bookmark manager that works across the entire web is dead, and no one seems to know why.
But the original idea that the browser’s bookmark manager was going to be able to make bookmarks on the web was never really dead.
It was just not widely adopted.
“We were actually working on it in 2007 and 2008,” said Andrew Cripps, an author and web designer.
“But I remember we had a lot of ideas, and people didn’t really care.”
Cripps has since written about his experiences with the browser bookmarking tool in the past, but the idea that a tool existed for the web to make bookmarking more efficient was never mainstreamed.
But now it seems that the original bookmarking app is gone.
In the fall of 2011, Crippers colleague and friend, Dan Zeman, noticed that Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari were all doing a little bit of a bit of the same thing, and he decided to test it out.
“I’m just sitting there typing away on a Mac, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is so cool,'” he said.
“I’m like, I’m going to put it on the Chrome Web Store, and that’s when I realised it’s really useful.”
Crews and Zeman decided to build a bookmark manager on top of the browser extension, bookmark-maker, so that they could share the code they worked on.
The tool would use a URL shortener like “https://web.archive.org/web” to make a bookmark for any web page.
That URL shorteners can be used by a wide variety of third-party sites, but Crippes and Zemans code was designed to work with the most popular sites on the internet, which meant the tool could be used on anything.
The idea was that when someone clicked on a link in the browser, it would make the bookmark, which would then be saved in a web folder on their computer.
The bookmark manager would then update the file automatically, and if you used the bookmark manager to open a web page, it’d save it in the bookmark folder, which then would be automatically opened by the bookmark-manager, allowing you to bookmark any webpage.
The two men used the idea to test out a browser bookmark tool that they thought would be great for people on the go, but didn’t see widespread adoption until 2011, the year they were using it.
“The idea that people could make bookmark files was really cool, and we were like, if you know what I mean, you should try this,” Cripping said.
He and Zemin went to the Mozilla developer conference in 2011 and sat down with an idea for a bookmarking extension.
The two thought about what they wanted to do with the tool, but never quite got it off the ground.
“When we were working on this, we thought it would be really fun to make this extension that was like a bookmark tool,” Crickes said.
But, he said, “we really just thought, ‘well, let’s just not do it.'”
Crippes told me he and Zemeans ideas were “so cool, we were excited,” but he and Cripp have since moved on to other projects.
“We thought it was great that we could have a great browser extension,” Cricks said.
That’s what they did, and they got that thing working.
The bookmarks app is now called “Bookmarks Manager,” and it works across all the major browsers, and it uses a few additional extensions.
The original idea was to add a bookmarklet for the bookmark browser, but it seems Cripp and Zemians thought the bookmarklet should be a bookmark management tool.
They didn’t know why, but they figured out what was going on and created a bookmark maker, which uses the bookmarking code to create bookmarklets for popular web sites.
The new bookmark manager works on Chrome, Safari and Firefox, but no one is really sure why the extension was created.
“We’ve never really been told why,” Crips said.
Cripp’s coworker and friend Zeman didn’t get around to writing a bookmark-making extension until 2011.
“And I think I didn’t do it until after I’d worked on it,” Zeman said.
It’s likely that they both missed out on the original ideas that made it into the browser extensions that eventually made it onto the Web.
“It was the first browser extension I ever worked on,” Zemean said.
Cripp is currently a web developer, and Zemen is a programmer at Google.
Zeman has been working on the extension for a while, and Cript is the only one who knows the details of how it works.
The extension is now free to download on the browser store, and the two plan to keep working on building it.