Panasonic Youth

Google Browser Sync, why do you torment me so?

I’ve been using Google Browser Sync for a while now to sync bookmarks across any machine I use. Actually, I only use it to sync my bookmark toolbar, as I use delicious for any sort of “normal” bookmark. I think I use the bookmark drop down menu maybe once a month, but I use my bookmark toolbar many many times a day.

My toolbar has everything I need to get my job done, which means links to various dev/test/production sites, APIs, search engines for mailing lists, project/bug tracking sites, and of course a link to view or add to my delicious bookmarks. Then I have the few essential links for personal things - any personal GTD stuff and difficult to remember banking or application urls.

When I make a change to this toolbar, I want it to sync to every firefox installation I’ll ever use. Google Browser Sync does this wonderfully, from my mac to the winXp “house laptop” to my Ubuntu/win32 desktop.

You can let Browser Sync take things to the next step and sync your cookies and saved passwords, which sounds like the holy grail but is still too big a step for me. I’m too scared of leaving firefox open sometime on a shared machine, and exposing all my secure sites to the next guy who wanders by.

Anyways, so the bookmark sync is great. Except its not. Firefox on the mac consistently goes bonkers, where it won’t quit anymore, forms stop responding to input, and clicking on links does nothing. I can still scroll and navigate tabs, but nothing else works. I’m almost positive this is due to browser sync, or maybe interplay between browser sync and firebug on the mac. In the past I’ve tried disabling Browser Sync, and that seems to have fixed the problem.

So now I end up force quitting Firefox an average of two or three times a day, just because I’m not willing to give up on the syncing. I don’t think there has been an update to browser sync for at least six months, so it seems like I’ll be out of luck till someone else duplicates this functionality.

Google, why must you release products with such great potential and then leave them buggy and unreliable? Why do you torment me so?