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Dan Nourie's Avatar

Dan Nourie

13 Aug, 2015 04:06 PM

They evaporated...

I updated to 38.2 yesterday. Everything was fine.

Today, my bookmarks as well as the toolbar are GONE.

  1. 1 Posted by Brad on 13 Aug, 2015 04:11 PM

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    That happened to me also. All my work related bookmarks are gone...poof! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. I notice the backup file from yesterday is still there, but tenfourfox will not access them

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 13 Aug, 2015 04:31 PM

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    I'm sorry to hear that, but this would have been a showstopper bug, and we had no reports of anything like this from beta users or on the test systems.

    That said, if you have a backup in your profile, you may be able to restore it using these instructions: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/restore-bookmarks-from-backup-...

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 13 Aug, 2015 04:33 PM

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  4. 4 Posted by Dan Nourie on 13 Aug, 2015 05:01 PM

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    Ok! That seemed to work! When will the bug be fixed?

    Dan Nourie

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 13 Aug, 2015 05:09 PM

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    I should make it clear: currently, I have no bug to fix. This never manifested on the test systems or any of the beta user sites, which have long since migrated. If I can't reproduce an issue locally, I can't do anything about it, and right now I can't say that there's not something about your and Brad's systems different from other users'.

  6. 6 Posted by Dan Nourie on 13 Aug, 2015 05:22 PM

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    OK! I will let you know if it happens again!

    Dan Nourie

  7. 7 Posted by Phil Wright on 16 Aug, 2015 11:11 PM

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    I have to agree with Dan & Brad's observations. I too loose all my bookmarks every time I restart TenFourFox 38.2! But I can't get it to restore them. I have to open Firefox (v 3.6.2) and restore them in Firefox. In Firefox they stay fine. Restart TenFourFox 38.2 & they're gone!

    I'm running OS 10.5.8 on a Power Mac G5, Quad 2.5 GHz (Late 2005, PowerMac11,2)

    The problem didn't exist until I upgraded to TenFourFox G5 v38.2. I just went back to 38 & everything's back to normal.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 17 Aug, 2015 01:53 AM

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    Phil, you're going to need to pick one or the other. The profile format is too different between Firefox 3.6 and TenFourFox 38 and that's probably why your bookmarks disappear. Running back and forth between them will corrupt your profile sooner or later, which is why we don't support doing so. If the other users here are doing the same thing, you've got to choose the version you will use.

    If you need a browser like Firefox 3.6 for certain features (which I don't recommend, but your funeral, of course), you probably should use Camino, which has a completely separate profile and is otherwise Firefox 3.6 under the hood. You can even have it running at the same time.

  9. 9 Posted by Phil Wright on 17 Aug, 2015 02:55 AM

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    Cameron,
    Thanks for your response. I'm running a machine that is way past it's supported life. Only Ten Four FoxG5 has continued to support it. Thank you....

    Camino is also obsolete and no longer being developed, but I'll give it a try.

    The only point of my entering in this conversation was to concur with the others that the disappearing bookmarks started for me immediately after upgrading to TenFireFoxG5 v38.2 from v31.8.0 (which I will keep using).

    Keep up the good work.

    Thanks again,

  10. 10 Posted by Jean on 18 Aug, 2015 08:57 PM

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    Hi
    It happened to me too. Very disturbing. Tenfourfox 38 doesn't import bookmarks from Firefox and it's impossible to restore them ("Unable to process the backup file") Bookmarks were also lost with Firefox when restarting it after closing Tenfour. Bookmarks.html was still there as well as the back-up files. Firefox could restore the bookmarks.

  11. 11 Posted by Jean on 18 Aug, 2015 11:24 PM

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    It seems Tenfourfox cannot read the file(s) where Firefox stores bookmarks and history. In turn Firefox cannot read its own files once Tenfourfox has updated them. It sounds silly. Why use the same files if there is an incompatibility? Its a bug all right. And I like reverting to Firefox when I have to browse actuality on Google, because Google is much more convivial under Firefox — many more options. Could you fix that? Thanks.

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 19 Aug, 2015 02:03 AM

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    No, it's not a bug. It's a change in the file format. Mozilla has never supported going back on the format, and neither do we. The fact that it worked for awhile doesn't mean it was ever intended to.

    You need to pick one or the other; if Firefox 3.6 meets your needs, then you need to use it, and only that. As I said, Camino may also be an option if you need the Firefox 3.6 engine for specific sites. Either way, however, I'm not going to do this for TenFourFox.

  13. 13 Posted by Phil Wright on 19 Aug, 2015 03:33 AM

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    Cameron,
    I've lost my reply to you of 8/16/15, but no loss. I'm glad that Jean just confirms the bookmark problem and you acknowledge why.

    It was my impression that the mission of 10/4/fx was to provide & maintain a browser that supported the early Macs that have been left behind by others, including Firefox above v3.6.2. I understand your need to keep progressing with the 10/4/fx, but v3.8.2 has advanced beyond your original mission statement. It is not compatible with the bookmarks of its predecessor and you cannot migrate your previous bookmarks into it.

    The problem is related to your changing the bookmark format in 10/4/fx v3.8.2. I don't know the reasons why, but the reality is not to follow Firefox beyond it's v3.6.2 compatibility with the early Macs without providing an import bookmark bridge from the earlier formatted versions. V3.8.2 may be great, but not without ability to migrate years of collected bookmarks. So, in the meantime, I'm sticking with TenFour Fox v31.8.0 & Firefox 3.6.2 and live with any consequences that may arise. (no Funerals!)

    As far as Camino goes, it was a good Browser, but lost development support several years ago. Not a good step forward.

    Thanks for your help & good work.

  14. Support Staff 14 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 19 Aug, 2015 06:39 PM

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    Cameron has always maintained that old FF versions shouldn't be used because they can damage your user profile. See FAQ:

    https://code.google.com/p/tenfourfox/wiki/AAATheFAQ#Will_10.4Fx_use_all_my_Firefox_settings?

    The browsers are 35(!) iterations apart by now and are effectively two completely different programs.

    The workarounds I can recommend in addition to what's in the FAQ:

    1) Export and then import bookmarks to/from html at each switch because this is what all versions can do. Will be slow, though, if you have many bookmarks, and you're still risking other problems with the profile.

    or

    2) Use the Profile Manager and maintain separate user profiles for FF and TFF. Technically, you'll need a profile for each major version you want to use. Advantage: You'll be able to keep different sets of add-ons, too, because many add-ons that work in FF 3.6 naturally don't work anymore in TFF 38 and vice-versa. Profile Manager (GUI version) is a bit tricky and will involve editing the profiles.ini file by hand on 10.4 initially (not 10.5), but I'm willing to help. You can also use the Terminal as described in the FAQ, however I will be unable to help you with that.

  15. 15 Posted by Dan DeVoto on 20 Aug, 2015 05:03 AM

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    I just want to add to something Jean said about failing to restore bookmarks. I had a moment of the stupids with Firefox Sync and deleted all my bookmarks, and when I tried to restore them from the backups, I got "Unable to process the backup file", too. This was in a TenFourFox only profile, no mixing with Firefox 3.6. I then created a fresh profile and encountered the same error.

    I didn't lose anything because I periodically export an html backup to my hard drive, but there was a brief moment where I saw "Unable to process the backup file" and thought, "I had these backed up, right?" :))

  16. Support Staff 16 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 20 Aug, 2015 03:55 PM

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    I think you're looking at this specific issue: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1044287

  17. 17 Posted by butch.arrington on 23 Aug, 2015 12:23 PM

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    I have the same problem with the "Unable to process the backup file" is there any way to A.) locate the backup file and/or B.) export it to HTML? I had no idea switching would be be volatile and I wish TFx had duplicated the bookmarks separately or automatically created separate profile with the bookmarks duplicated.

  18. Support Staff 18 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 02 Sep, 2015 05:39 PM

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    The backup files are stored in your user profile:
    Macintosh HD/Users/[unsername]/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/[profile]/bookmarkbackups/

  19. 19 Posted by Tom on 09 Sep, 2015 03:39 PM

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    My bookmarks have also disappeared, when will this bug be fixed?

  20. Support Staff 20 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 09 Sep, 2015 03:51 PM

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    Please, folks, before piling on in this thread, if you are jumping between Firefox 3.6 and TenFourFox, we had long warned this would be a problem. If that's what you're doing, you're on your own. I'm not going to support that.

    If you're not, I don't have a bug to fix because none of the test systems had this problem, nor any of the beta testers. I'm trying to look into the restoration issue without destroying my own profile, but because of my hard disk failure I haven't had any time to do much of anything on TenFourFox.

    More reports of this happening don't help me and just add noise. If you want to help, try to find out under what circumstances it occurs or whether certain bookmarks cause it. Most of all, however, please be consistent with the version you're using. Simply saying "it occurs when I upgrade" doesn't help, because I already can't make it happen on my own systems that way, and if I can't reproduce it I'm not going to take shots in the dark.

  21. 21 Posted by Kris on 17 Sep, 2015 04:30 AM

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    This might help some others who tripped over this quirk as I did.

    I use Firefox on my newer computers so out of habit I accidentally hit the original Firefox icon in the Dock on my older G4 and when it started I realized my mistake and closed it. But when I opened TenFourFox I lost all my bookmarks like the others above. I also could not restore from the recent backups and got the "Unable to process backup file". Browsing in the Firefox folder I noticed that the backup files that were created after the installation of 38 were not the same size as the earlier ones and had a different file extension. It seems the prior backups were .json but the newer ones were .jsonlz4 which are compressed files.

    The later files can't be restored but the earlier ones can. When you get the window to choose the file to restore, pick one that is prior to the upgrade to 38 (early August? or before) and is a .json file. I have removed the old FF icon from the Dock to avoid this problem in the future.
    Hope this helps.

  22. 22 Posted by CHristian on 19 Sep, 2015 04:37 PM

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    When I go to restore from older dates it says unable to restore. Very frustrating.

  23. Support Staff 23 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 20 Sep, 2015 09:57 AM

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    The problem with restoring bookmarks from backup files is now tracked as issue 307.

  24. 24 Posted by Ritzyfiz on 02 Oct, 2015 01:32 PM

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    I can only concur with the general wails and anguish. Things were fine on the '31' version but both '32' and '33' loose their bookmarks every time reopened. I am fortunate that I am able to restore the bookmarks. When I open all bookmarks I go to the 5 star symbol, if I choose 'Restore' it opens up a list of dates to choose from, going down to the bottom of that list arrive at a simple 'Choose.' This allows me to browse and open saved exported bookmarks.

  25. 25 Posted by funtoosh on 08 Oct, 2015 10:30 AM

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    Maybe it will help to use Mozilla's SYNC feature to backup bookmarks, once you have managed to restore them (which is no longer compatible w/ FF3.6 though).

    Just a hint to previous commenters: it's not Cameron's TenFourFox implementation that has changed the bookmark file format, it's the Mozilla Firefox code base that has since changed.

  26. 26 Posted by Robin Harris on 17 Nov, 2015 10:11 PM

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    I have tried all the updates but the Bookmark issue has forced me back to version 31.2. There is a way to avoid the problems, if you have exported your Bookmarks as HTML you can simply go to 'Open File' select your Bookmarks and they will appear in your browser window. If you keep this window open during your travels through the internet and use 'New Private Window' when you want to go to a Bookmarked site then this can be an effective workaround, if not the actual fix that we all would wish.

  27. 27 Posted by Minato on 21 Sep, 2018 09:21 PM

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    Not all is lost. I recently switched rather belated from 3.6.28 to the current TFF and say what, experienced drama as described above

    The old bookmark files are still present, access the hidden "profiles" folder as described
    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/952418
    (Info: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profiles-where-firefox-stores-user-data)

    Suggest to make a complete copy of the now visible "profiles" folder, outside of any ff/tff related area, perhaps in a appropriately named folder on the desktop.

    Inspect 3.6.28 profile folder: will note that TFF could not import some old files and marked them as corrupt, like
    places.sqlite.corrupt
    content-prefs.sqlite.corrupt

    Recent .json files are stored in the folder "bookmarkbackups".

    Now how to access these .json files (de facto jsonlz4 compressed versions)

    What solved my 3.6.28 lost bookmarks problem for the moment is

    https://jsonlint.com/

    Actually this is a programmers tool for evaluating general .json files, giving sort of basic debugging info.

    Good for us 3.6.28 victims: it decompresses the jsonlz4 files and converts them into programmers lingo, line by line.

    Copy the entire file from the drag-and-drop window of jsonlint, then paste into a text file.
    --> All the inaccessible/gone-forever bookmark URLs are: there.
    Use simple text search for Your URLs, like "http".

    Yes, this is not a kings way to simply import all yesteryear bookmarks.
    But one can access them now.

    A set of tools like those by Jefferson Scher would be preferable, but they work from ff45 onward only:
    https://www.jeffersonscher.com/ffu/bookbackreader.html
    Compressed files get decompressed and clean .json or .html ready for importing elsewhere can be created.

    (Used Mac: ppc G4 1.42ghz aka "late 2005" with OSX 10.5.8)

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