4.7  Browsers (Clients)

In BookMacster, A Client is usually a web browser.  More generally, a client is a thing from which a Bookmarkshelf will get bookmarks content during its Import, and to which it will send them during its Export.  In the first context, it is referred to as an Import Client and in the second, an Export Client.  You add and remove Clients in the Import and Export tables in a Bookmarkshelf’s Settings > Clients tab.

In Synkmark, Safari, Firefox and Chrome profiles are actually all clients under the hood, but they are always one of these three, so we just call them “browsers”.

In Smarky, Safari is actually a client under the hood, but we just call it “Safari”!

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4.7.1  Types of Clients

There are actually four types of clients.

4.7.2  Proprietary Syncing Services

Major web browser publishers now provide proprietary sync services] for your bookmarks, open tabs, browsing history and other data among their browsers on multiple devices.  For syncing, you may need to consider how they interact with Smarky, Synkmark or BookMacster.  The following list gives links to the instructions you need to control these services.

4.7.3  Browser (Client) Settings

In Smarky and Synkmark, settings for browsers are in Preferences > Syncing.

In BookMacster, settings for Clients are in BookMacster’s document window, tab Settings > Clients.

In all cases, these settings are not kept in the .bkmslf document.  Instead, they are Local Settings.

Browser (Client) Popup

The control contains a popup menu for each Browser (Client), in which you specify its target browser/service/account/profile.  Browser (clients) found on your Macintosh User Account are listed explicitly.  Otherwise, you can click one of the special menu items at the bottom:

After clicking one of these special items, appropriate dialogs will appear for navigation, account or application identification, and/or authentication as required.

Smarky does not have this popup because it supports only the single Safari profile in the current Macintosh user account.

Import and Export Checkboxes

For normal syncing of bookmarks, leave both the Import and Export checkboxes switched ON.  (For Smarky, there are no such checkboxes because both Import and Export are always enabled.)

If you don’t want bookmarks changes from the Client to be synced to Synkmark BookMacster, other Clients, other Macs, etc. then switch off Import.  If you don’t want the Client to get bookmarks changes from Synkmark or BookMacster, other Clients, other Macs, etc. then switch off Export.

Advanced Client Settings

Mapping data such as bookmarks from the format used by one application (Client) into that of another always involves decisions and often compromises, which we call remapping.  BookMacster tries to handle these in the way you expect, and usually the default results are satisfactory.  But BookMacster provides many controls for those who want to more precisely set the behavior of Import and Export operations.  They are available in two contexts…

Per-Client Contexts

To the right of each Client listed in Settings > Clients tabs is a small button with a gear icon.  Clicking this button displays a sheet of the Advanced Settings for that particular Client.  In the sheet, you’ll see sub-contexts Import, Export and Special in which the settings are applied.  The Special subsection is for settings which are only applicable to a certain Client type, and therefore will not be shown for all Clients.

Import Postprocessing Context

Besides making adjustments during an Import operation for each Client, a few adjustments, for example Delete Unmatched Items, cannot be performed until after all Clients have been imported.  You can set the parameters for these adjustments by clicking the larger button with a gear icon nearest the top of the Settings > Clients tab.

Reordering Buttons

By clicking the up and down triangles at the far right, you can arrange the order of which Clients’ imports and exports.  This may make a difference when bookmarks content is imported.  For example, if two Clients each have a bookmark with the same URL, and are set to merge by URL, which of the two is actually imported is affected by which one is imported first.  (Note that BookMacster normalizes URLs.)  For Export operations, however, because exporting does not affect the Bookmarkshelf’s content, the order of Clients does not matter.

Browser (Client) Name in Red, prefixed by X

If a Client’s name appears in a red font, prefixed by a heavy red X, that means the Client’s bookmarks data can no longer be found on the disk, and thus it is defunct.  There are three ways to resolve this situation:

Firefox clients, in particular, will go defunct after you have  somehow caused a Firefox Reset, because in so doing, Firefox suffixes the re-created profile name with a unix epoch timestamp.  In this case, you should see the new client/profile in the popup, available for reassignment.

4.7.4  Warning to power users

Your knowledge of where bookmarks files are stored is nice but dangerous.   Do not use the Choose File advanced feature if you simply want to access the bookmarks of a locally-installed app.  Doing so will make browser-related triggers unavailable and bypass checking to see whether or not a browser is running when later executing an Import or Export, which can result in bookmarks loss or corruption.  To set, for example, your Safari bookmarks as a Client, simply click “Safari” in the Clients popup menu.  And, by the way, never touch Safari’s Bookmarks.plist file while Safari or Bookmarks syncing is switched on in iCloud in your System Preferences.  If not done properly, iCloud will quietly raise hell, not always immediately.