Google Chrome - poor Bookmark handling

  Batch 13:06 06 Aug 2010
Locked

I installed the latest stable version of Google Chrome today as I was after a better performing browser (than IE) and Chrome (and its derivatives) seemed the best bet.

I like a lot of aspects of Chrome, especially its minimalist layout and Chrome certainly performs well with pages rendering considerably faster than IE. However, it falls down so significantly in one major area, the handling of bookmarks (aka favourites), that it just isn’t a viable candidate with the laborious bookmark handling negating the performance benefits of Chrome.

I would be interested in others input to my criticisms and suggestions below. In particular I would be interested if anyone has suggestions as to solutions / workarounds to the points I raise. My intention is to submit a considered review (in respect of bookmark handling) to the developers rather than a piecemeal comment (complaint?) about just a single aspect.

BTW, I could have posted this in one of the other forums, but the Helproom seemed as good a place as any.

Thanks,
Batch

So what is it about Chrome that’s so bad?

Firstly, let me say that I have in the order of a thousand or so bookmarks, organised in a series of folders and sub-folders.

See next post....

  Batch 13:06 06 Aug 2010

As for the issues:
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1. On importing my old IE favourites, Chrome wants to place these in a separate “Other Bookmarks” folder over to the right of the window. These aren’t other bookmarks – they are my main bookmarks and I want them to be recorded and usable as such in Chrome. It seems I have to manually drag each of the folders and top level URLs in to the main bookmarks area. This immediately leads on to the second issue.

2. If one creates a series of folders / URLs immediately in the Bookmarks bar, these appear across the Bookmarks bar and rapidly fill this up, requiring one to shuffle (not scroll), using the displayed double chevrons, back and forth across the bar (just like one has to generally on overloaded toolbars in various apps) to see the folders. This is incredibly painful.

The alternative to this (I hesitate to call it a solution) is to create one main folder (say “Bookmarks” at the top level and then put all of the real folders below this. This then, at least provides a single expandable / collapsible hierarchy.

3. But unfortunately the use of the hierarchy is not sticky. So when one navigates to a particular sub-folder and opens a URL and then want to open another URL from the same folder one has to navigate all the way back down again. This sub-folder access is very much akin to the Windows Start Menu navigation (in fact it looks and performs exactly like it).

The lack of stickiness can be circumvented to some extent by opening up the Bookmark Manager (which occupies a tab, ideally this is best done as the first tab so you know which tab to jump back to). One in the Bookmark Manager the whole hierarchy is opened up in a single sticky view.

4. There is currently no ability to create a tab group as one can in IE.

5. Similarly there does not appear to a way to open a tab group as such. One can open all URLs in a folder and ALL subordinate folders (“Open All Bookmarks”) I tried this and stopped when it asked “Are you sure you want to open 1003 tabs?”

Again a sort of work around is to organise bookmarks such that any such groups that one may wish to open do not have subordinate folders. But this is far from ideal.

6. In any event, to open such a group one has to right click the group folder and select Open All Bookmarks – there does not appear to be a single click method to Open All Bookmarks.

7.Chrome stores bookmarks in a single structured text file (BTW, why not an XML file?). This certainly must help speed of accessing / processing when compared with IE’s use of a file for each favourite (although on a subjective user test there was no perceivable performance impact in IE, even with 1000+ URLs). One drawback is not being able to list bookmarks by creation date (and to see the date, which is stored). One can sort by URL title – but that has a permanent effect – it isn’t just a view. This needs to be contrasted with IE’s favourites which can be viewed (in whatever order) merely by opening in Windows Explorer (I have a Quick Launch link to open Windows Explorer on the Favorites folder. Using Windows Explorer gives one a semblance of a detached floating window of bookmarks (I’ll return to this later).

8. The bookmarks are very much non-transient user data (just as much as Word documents etc.) but are stored with program settings / transient information. This does not facilitate ease of backing up.

  Batch 13:07 06 Aug 2010

So onto my suggestions:
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· Support for import of bookmarks to main bookmark folder or a sub-folder thereof

· User definable option as to whether bookmark top level folders should be presented in series across the bookmark toolbar or as hierarchy under a single bookmark folder.

· User definable option as to whether Other Bookmarks is shown.

· Bookmark “menu” system is sticky within a session (maybe as a user option) such that on re-accessing one is immediately at the same folder location as last time.

· Bookmark Manager has (user definable) option to be opened in a fully expanded state (as at present) or a fully collapsed state or any intervening sub-folder level.

· Ability to create tab group (as per IE)

· Ability to open a tab group but not URLs in subfolders thereof (again, as per IE)

· Single click method for opening a tab group.

· Viewable and reorder-able (within a given folder) by creation date (with the date on view) and title.

· Store location of bookmarks should be differentiated from program settings and transient data and should be stored at a user definable location (again this is supported with IE).

· Ideally, bookmarks / favourites should be in a common format and a common user definable location shared with other browsers (so that one can use multiple browsers with a single set of bookmarks / favourites).

· Lastly, the Bookmark Manager to be capable of being floated off in subordinate resizable pane (which can, optionally, be kept on top of the Chrome window).

  Pine Man 16:05 06 Aug 2010

..with what you are saying but found a much simpler solution. I installed Firefox.

I suspect that Google are paranoid about speed and won't let simple things like manageable bookmarks stand in their way!

  morddwyd 19:36 06 Aug 2010

Even simpler - use "mybookmarks.com"

Unaffected by computer, browser, o/s or location, and are even available on my mobile.

They can be ordered and arranged as you want them, and it's free.

click here

  Batch 08:17 07 Aug 2010

Thanks for your comments guys. I'll take a look at bookmarks.com and see what I think.

The main reason I choose Google Chrome over any of the others was that its CPU footprint was easily the smallest of all of them. I run 3 PCs (3GHz P4, 1.73GHz Centrino, 1.6GHz Atom) and the problem that I particularly run into is that I frequently open tab groups and, with IE, it often just grinds along with IE hogging the CPU. There is a marked improvement with Chrome. It maybe that for people with more recent (and faster) systems the apparent performance hit is much less obvious. But as using the Internet (i.e. using a web browser) is my main app other than email / office type apps, addressing the issue by changing software is free and easy compared with buying a new PC.

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