From what I’ve read, it looks like Firefox 3.5 is going to be released officially tomorrow, so I decided to grab the release candidate today to see if there are any major changes that would require work on my part. It’s a good thing I did, since I had to reconfigure my Weave server to work with the new version.
If you don’t know about it, Mozilla Weave allows you to synchronize your bookmarks/tabs/saved passwords/etc. between multiple PCs. The combination of Weave and Dropbox are what I use to keep my laptop and desktop in sync at all times. (That will be the subject of a future post: a list of the various tweaks that I’ve done to make this work seamlessly so that all of my PCs are always in sync even if they’re not all online at the same time). When I installed the Firefox 3.5 release candidate, I got the usual warning that most of my extensions were going to be disabled pending compatibility with the new version. One of the ones that had an update available was Weave. I was still running the older 0.2 version, but 0.4 has now been released.
Uh oh…My server is still running 0.2 (I run my own Weave server mainly because I don’t want to rely on the Mozilla servers for storing personal information + passwords, even though they’re encrypted, and also because when I first started using Weave their systems were overloaded and they weren’t accepting new accounts, hence the requirement to host it on my own server). A big change is that they’re not using WebDAV anymore for the storage (fine with me, WebDAV was a pain to set up before), storage is now done using a choice of database engines, MySQL in my case.
Now the fun part, remembering the hackish way that I set up WebDAV for the old version (the new version won’t work if it’s still enabled) so that I could disable DAV. After a little searching, I found where in the
httpd.conf that I put the options before (I remembered to put in a comment when I did it ) and successfully reconfigured the web server. I set up a new database and user, set the config options, and the server was ready to go! (See the full instructions on how to set up the server for more details, it’s a little more complicated than that)
The current version of the server is 0.3, but it works properly with the 0.4 version of the client.
The new version allows for synchronization of bookmarks, cookies, forms, history, location bar, passwords, preferences, and tabs. Basically, it means you can close Firefox on your laptop, and when you log onto your desktop, you can resume right where you left off. Thanks to the development team, you did a great job. I’m looking forward to future features such as extension synchronization. Weave is still in beta, and there are still bugs to be worked out (when a problem occurs, it’s often necessary to dig through the verbose log file to try and figure out what happened), but it continues to improve with each revision.