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Bookmark Sync


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This is a project for someone who enjoys sleuthing. You will have discover for yourself how various browsers store their bookmarks (aka favourites) and ideally how ad-ons work for each browser.

The basic idea is simple. When you add a bookmark to one browser, or change its properties it should as soon as possible be reflected in all your other browsers. Similarly, there should be a way to delete a bookmark from all your browsers, but probably not as a direct side effect of deleting it from one.

How might you implement this? Put all your bookmarks and associated information in an SQL (Standard Query Language) database (or possibly an ordinary ini file, properties file or csv file). Then from that regenerate the bookmarks in the format preferred by each browser and copy that on top of the official bookmark list.

You have to detect changes and merge them into the main database, perhaps using a version control system to help you with the merging.

In an advanced version, you might write ad-ons that run in each browser that instantly propagate bookmark changes to the database and instantly pick up changes from the database, so that when two browsers are running, they stay in sync.

For advanced users you should be able to configure parts of your bookmarks you don’t want propagated or you don’t want to appear in only certain browsers. You might then be able to manage bookmarks for several people, with some parts in common and some parts personal.

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