Up until recently there was not a single add-on available for the Mozilla Firefox 3 web browser that would check the bookmarks for invalid or duplicate entries. Several add-ons existed that were able to perform the checks in Firefox 2. The reason for the missing add-ons was a change in the storage location for Firefox bookmarks that was introduced in Firefox 3 that rendered all existing add-ons incompatible.
Check Places is the first Firefox 3 extension that can check all Firefox 3 bookmarks for duplications and invalid references aka dead pages. The experimental add-on can be downloaded right from the Mozilla website after logging in as a user. The new Check Places entry will be added by the Firefox add-on to the bookmarks menu. A click on that link will open a new window that the user can use to configure the scan behavior.
It is possible to scan all bookmarks or only selected folders. Exclusions can be made so that some bookmarks or folders will not be scanned in the process. The scan itself can check if the pages that the bookmarks point to exist and if it is stored more than once in the bookmarks.
The scan does not take long, a few minutes for a few hundreds bookmarks. The results are displayed in a tabbed interface detailing the bookmarks that have returned a page not found error and those that have been recognized as duplicates.
Each Firefox bookmark can be opened and checked individually. The extension will list the return status of the page, e.g. 404 page not found or 500 Internal server error to aid the user in his decision. A simple timeout for example usually means that the page could be back up later while a 404 usually hints at a more severe problem.
Selected bookmarks or all can be deleted in the end to clean the Firefox bookmarks from duplicates and invalid entries. Check Places is a great Firefox 3 extension, must have for every Firefox user that has more than a handful of bookmarks and indispensable for users with hundreds and more.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.