I’ve [STRIKEOUT:bitched about] commented on the inadequacies of “traditional” browser bookmarks several times in the past. This semester I have two classes meeting in computer labs, so my need for “distributed” bookmarks has increased exponentially. To that end I’ve been trying out del.icio.us , the “social bookmarks” site. Del.icio.us is very cool, allowing you to store your bookmarks in a central location and assign them “tags” for organization. In addition to storing your own bookmarks (and tags), del.icio.us allows you to view what others are bookmarking, even setting up subscriptions of your friends (and enemies?), so their bookmarks are collected in one convenient spot.
Add to this basic infrastructure a completely logical URL structure, a REST API and RSS feeds, and you have a darn cool platform. There’s even a Firefox extension that’s supposed to integrate del.icio.us into Firefox, but so far it’s not that compelling; the bookmarklets del.icio.us supplies work just as well (if not better). So what would I like to see? A Firefox extension that replaced your traditional bookmark store with a del.icio.us backend. Or at least made del.icio.us look like a folder within your Firefox bookmarks. That would be integration I could totally dig: transparent, powerful and flexible.
On a somewhat related note, the community really needs a Mozilla/Firefox equivalent to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK). Not only will the ability to customize an installation with default settings and extensions make deployment in large (or medium-sized) organizations easier, it would allow me to make a customized distribution for use at school, so I could get my extensions, settings, etc all in place with a single install. Mozilla has the Client Customization Kit (CCK ) project, but it doesn’t seem to be, well, finished. At all. And it’s Win32 specific which seems like an anachronism for the Mozilla project. After all, we have installers for Linux and Win32, and we have official builds for Linux, Win32 and Mac OS X, so it doesn’t seem like a stretch to expect a customization kit to work on those platforms as well.