October 26th, 2007
In Firefox 3, the bookmarks and history systems are getting an overhaul, collectively known as “Places.” I was skeptical of this work when it first started, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that view. I rarely used bookmarks, preferring to just search Google to recall a page I had previously visited. Just how relevant was any overhaul of bookmarks going to be to my modern browsing?
Well, I was wrong. Places is here, and it’s awesome. It has improved my browsing workflow so much that I can’t even use Firefox 2 anymore. In Firefox 3, the urlbar now autocompletes what you’ve typed from both URLs and page titles from your history and bookmarks. Maybe that doesn’t sound impressive, but in practice it’s fantastic. I tend to visit a lot of pages on the same site (mostly bugzilla), and with the old urlbar autocomplete, it was hard to find things from bugzilla. With the new autocomplete, all you need to do is type in part of a unique word from the page title or URL, and it will be found. In addition, if you bookmark a page (just by clicking the handy star there) it will get weighted into your autocomplete results.
I hear there’s still more work to be done, including improving the formatting of the results, but it’s already vastly improved my day-to-day browsing. Hats off to the Places team!