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blue sky: user interface

good book marking
April 19th
Submitted by Paul Phillips <> to UI.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I still frequently type in URLs by hand, even the ones I use every day, because I can type faster than I can navigate the necessary terrain to end up there magically. Plus there's nothing I hate more than bookmark management, so my bookmarks consist mostly of web sites from 1994 that have been dead long enough to smell.

We really ought to bring a smidgen of intelligence to this process. If I haven't visited a bookmark in six weeks (or six months, or some configurable period of time) then I probably don't give a damn any more. If on the other hand a heavily used bookmark has gone 404 or 304 or changed in some other interesting fashion, I want to know that soon.

I want to be told when I'm using my bookmarks badly! Why is a heavily used one four submenus deep? Why do I have "Bob's Luserpage" at the top when I haven't touched it in weeks? Let me order my bookmarks according to various interesting metrics, like most recently changed pages, most recently visited bookmarks, largest overall page size. Flatten the submenus into one big list. Generate a daily/weekly/somethingly report about what my bookmarks are up to behind my back.

A somewhat peripheral issue but still of relevance is the amount of state we lose in the bookmarking process. Shouldn't a bookmark remember what frameset I was actually looking at and not just the URL that happens to be in the location field? Shouldn't it remember that I've changed the language to Japanese and switch it for me automatically when I return via the bookmark? Can't I have other page specific preferences, like "don't autoload images on this lame page" or "no javascript here", or any number of other default overrides?

Tab completion (against the session browsing history and all the user's bookmarks) would be nice.

And bring me some sharks with laser beams on their heads!

A few commercial products worth looking at for ideas: PowerMarks, Web Squirrel, Big Brother (I'm not necessarily endorsing any of these.)