Google pursues bookmark syncing for Chrome


— 4:15 PM on August 4, 2009

Just over three years ago, Google introduced Google Browser Sync, a Firefox extension that let users to synchronize bookmarks and other settings between different PCs. Google discontinued the extension in 2008, but according to CNet News, the concept will make a comeback in Google's own browser, Chrome.

Google's Tim Steele announced the feature in the Chromium-dev mailing list late last week. In a separate post, his colleague Idan Avraham noted that Google will start small:

We are aware of the fact that passwords and other browser data types is something we'll need to think about at some point. We wanted to focus on bookmarks and get it right first before we think about other data types. We chose bookmarks both because they are generally the most important to users, but also because they are the hardest data type to sync since we have to sync an entire hierarchy of folders/bookmarks and there are tons of difficult edge cases involved in doing that (e.g. what happens when two changes from two different clients result in a loop in the bookmark hierarchy).

Quoting the design document, CNet News says the new synchronization feature will use the Google Talk network to send push notifications. When a user changes his bookmarks in one browser, other synced browsers will get a "tiny XMPP message, like a chat message," telling them to sync.

Google isn't the only one working on this concept, of course. Firefox users can already rely on Xmarks to sync their bookmarks, and Mozilla is working on an in-house implementation called Weave.

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