Following the great amount of work put on building the infrastructure for Places, Firefox’s new integrated bookmarks and history manager, Mozilla developers have started adding the necessary user interface to make it accessible in the latest development releases.
First in queue is the new star task. To understand the star concept is must be noted that what used to be a single bookmarks collection is now actually three. First, we have the Bookmarks Menu, accessible through Firefox’s main menu just like in Firefox 2. Then there’s the Bookmarks Toolbar, the special folder in the current bookmarks system is now a separate store not accessible from the Bookmarks Menu. And finally there’s a general storage that can be thought as a single folder where all bookmarked pages go by default.
The new interface consists of a gray star added to the location bar. Click once and the page is starred or bookmarked to the general storage. The gray star turns yellow to let you know it’s already bookmarked.
Click it again and you can extend the bookmark properties optionally saving it a folder in the bookmarks menu or toolbar, and, another Firefox 3 novelty, define tags for the page. Tags are entered freely typing them separated by commas. Created tags are saved and can be reused in other bookmarks just checking them from a list.
The interface works and does it very unobtrusively. It seems those very long discussions in the past months have paid off and developers have been able to deliver a powerful yet simple interface. Some eye candy wouldn’t hurt though and it should get its turn soon as well.
What’s next? Using those tags and other organization. We will be able to sort and browse bookmarks (and history) by tags and other criteria including most recently bookmarked or visited, most visited and others.