Live bookmarks now indicate which items are unread

Firefox was updated this week with a new home page and new “new tab” page, but it also contains a couple of new things that I really think people should be more aware of. I’ll spend this blog post telling you about the first one.

Since the first version of Firefox, it has had a feature called live bookmarks, which are bookmark folders that load web feeds. It’s a nice technology demo, but I have trouble finding a practical use for it. As I said in 2005…it does not indicate which RSS items I have read, and which ones are new. I don’t want to have to reread through the list of items on every RSS feed to see if I recognize the titles.

In the latest update, Firefox now indicates which feed items are unread!

When the feature landed on the beta channel, I decided to try switching from my current feed reader to live bookmarks, and so far it hasn’t been bad. I set up a folder in my bookmarks called “Web Feeds“, put all my web feeds in it, and hovering the mouse over a feed makes the list of items load.

4 Responses

  1. Marco Bonardo June 8, 2012 / 10:29 am

    Nice article, and really useful, I’m linking here bugs from persons having issues with new livemarks, to show them the expected behavior. Some have issues with custom themes or add-ons.

  2. Anonymous June 21, 2012 / 10:11 pm

    Oddly enough, I’ve been using live bookmarks (linked to two webcomics) since version 3.0–ever since then, it’s displayed read/unread status by having loaded the webpage’s icon. Now I’m having a new problem with Live Bookmarks (in 13.0.1)–progress isn’t displayed and that stupid “Open” menu is the default. I rather liked being able to middle-click on the live bookmark & have it load everything in new tabs.

    Looks like I’ll be trolling the interwebs for ways to revert the latest round of retarded changes.

  3. also anonymous June 30, 2012 / 3:53 pm

    This article baffles me, because I’m having the exact opposite experience.

    For the past few versions of Firefox, if you read a live bookmark, Firefox would mark it with the site’s favicon, in the same way that it now marks it with a faded-grey, unbordered RSS symbol.

    The problem is, unlike earlier versions, the new version of Firefox NO LONGER RETAINS THIS INFORMATION BETWEEN SESSIONS. Apparently, the only way to get it to remember which links you’ve read across sessions is to never clear your cache or delete your history. I do both regularly, and that’s not going to change, so the fact that they’ve made this change pretty much ruins the usefulness of live bookmarks for me.

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