From Mozilla Labs:

Weave is a project to integrate web services into Firefox by allowing users to securely share their data with other users and 3rd parties.

If you have ever used either Foxmarks, Google Broswer Sync, etc... then you already know how helpful such extensions can be.

The main reason for these extensions is to sync your bookmarks (and in Google's Browser Sync much more) and store it off site at some server, and then when you use your computer at work, or a different one around the house, all the bookmarks match up. This way you never have to double bookmark stuff, or email yourself at your personal email address, or write down a web address just to access it when your somewhere else.

There is also another benefit, automatic backup of your bookmarks. This comes in handy when you do things like accidentally do a rm -rf / instead of rm -rf ./.

Past, Present, and Future

Foxmarks was the first widely used extension of this type, released April 19 th 2006 and supports still Firefox 1.5 and newer. With 312 reviews giving it an average of 5 stars, and over 6 million total downloads it is safe to say, this is a popular extension. Foxmarks gives you the added bonus of letting you access your bookmarks through their website. They also let you edit your bookmarks from here.

Google Browser Sync mixed it up a bit, they let you store not only your bookmarks, but they offered to store your passwords, cookies, history, "authenticated sessions," and even open tabs. They also allowed you to encrypt the data stored on their servers (for which cookies and passwords were automatically encrypted) I really liked this server however Google said that they will not update it for Firefox 3.

Enter Mozilla Weave. On Google's developer blog, they actually recommended switching to Weave since in its upcoming version (version 0.2) it will support syncing things other than bookmarks. Weave however has a slightly different goal. They seem to think (and are not wrong its just their paradigm) that through a single sync interface, they can share the bookmarks as well as store them. I don't know how much of the sharing portion ill actually use but I like the idea.

A few weeks ago I went to sign up for a weave account. I was unfortunately turned away with a message about registration being closed. This morning however my luck seemed to change. I was able to sign up and get sync all within a few minutes. They seem to be gearing up towards their Version 0.2 release. Lets take a look at the features in version 0.1 and the upcoming 0.2:

Weave 0.1 (December 21, 2007)

  • basic framework and server-side in place for testing and experimentation
  • authentication with a single online service provider (e.g. labs.mozilla.com)
  • bookmark and history synchronization to the server from multiple clients
  • default encryption of all user data with a placeholder algorithm
  • initial Web service APIs for developers to build on
  • user controls and ability to delegate (and revoke) access rights to specific bits of browser metadata
  • UI to enable sharing on applicable interfaces

The key phrase there? "user controls and ability to delegate (and revoke) access rights to specific bits of browser metadata" or in other words synchronization of more than just bookmarks and history.

Suggestion

Mozilla labs even say so on their site:

Warning: This is an early prototype. Use at your own risk.

Does this mean we should be scare of it? No, but let me put it this way, I'm not ditching Foxmarks just yet.