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A few days ago I updated to the latest nightly build of Chromium, something I do every few days using TechCrunch’s Chrome-Up application, and was elated to discover that Chromium finally has a Bookmark Manager. Up until this release I was unable to edit any of the bookmarks that I had imported from Safari into Chromium. It was frustrating.
I’ve now finally been able to update, sort and delete my bookmarks (which are automatically synced with my Google Account). Something I wasn’t able to do for months and has taken my already fairly bubbly adoration of Chromium and taken it to the next level. A clean browser is a happy browser.
I was surprised, though, at the overall design and implementation of the Bookmark Manager in Chromium. It feels very rushed. Even though I use a nightly build, which is as cutting-edge as you can possibly get, I expected to see a very different approach than what is pictured above.
Chromium’s New Tab, History, Downloads and Extensions pages are very different from what we see in most other browsers. The New Tab page, as an example, is much more like Safari’s Top Sites page (although not nearly as cool). The Downloads page I find particularly useful. It shows up like a Web page and shows you everything that you downloaded recently, by day, with a link back to the page it originated from, a link to the file itself on your own system, etc. Functionally it is very much the same as Safari and Firefox’s Downloads pop-up window but Chrome’s is altogether nicer, in my opinion, because it shows up in a tab.
I expected Chromium to have the same sort of “Web page” feeling to its Bookmark Manager. Maybe this is a case of ‘don’t fix it if it ain’t broken’ but I think there is huge potential for browsers to reinvent the way bookmarks are managed. Why not plug into some social bookmarking sites? (I know there are Firefox plugins that do stuff like this) Why not give us an unlimited amount of metadata to attribute to a bookmark? I remember when Firefox implemented shortcodes for bookmarks, like ‘gr’ for Google Reader as an example, and you could just type ‘gr’ Enter and off you went to that bookmark. I would love to see that in Chromium (and Safari).
And what about the plus, minus, and eye buttons on the toolbar? I have never, ever, ever seen anything like those on any operating system. Perhaps I’m looking too far into what are basically alpha level builds. Maybe what will end up being released with Chrome for Mac will be vastly different than what is appearing currently in Chromium (I hope so).
And don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely happy to finally be able to edit my bookmarks in Chromium and I always look forward to the next nightly update.