Introducing JACOB

(JavaScript Cross-browser Organiser for Bookmarks)

25th October 2005 · Last updated: 5th October 2016


Following my last post about the future of bookmarks, I remembered seeing a JavaScript demo which allowed you to find links in a list by typing part of the title. It was exactly what I needed to create JACOB - a JavaScript Cross-browser Organiser for Bookmarks! The code isn't finished yet but the principle works. It is based on Slayeroffice's Categorized & Searchable List Boxes demo. This works in the same way as Firefox and Opera's search field for bookmarks. Only I've tweaked it no end to form the start of something I hope will allow the easy organisation of bookmarks across all browsers (well, the ones that support JavaScript well enough that is). The beauty is then you can share your bookmarks between browsers, even computers. I plan to add various features (if I can get them to work) which include importing and exporting the bookmarks, so you can back them up, or transfer them between machines. Even as it stands, JACOB is cool for the way you can type in just part of a name and it finds it in nanoseconds. I hope to add multiple categories and tags too. The whole code works from a simple JavaScript array, which makes it easy to work with. Why not take a look and let me know what you think?

Choose a version of the demo

Or you can view the Changelog to see what's new.

Browser Support (Beta 1)

Tested on Windows XP SP2.

  • Opera 8.50 - works
  • Firefox 1.07 - works
  • Internet Explorer 6 - works

There are some differences in the design, which is far from finished. I plan to hopefully improve that later on. It's still similar to how it looked in the original Slayeroffice demo.

Comments (8)

Comments are locked on this topic. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

  1. Steve:
    I'm interested in seeing where you go with this, Mr. Hester. Keep me posted :)

    Posted on 25 October 2005 at 11:58 pm
  2. Dylan:
    Nice indeed. I've never actually used the search features for bookmarks in FF, but damnit if I don't have a massive number of bookmarks (which I hardly ever actually use...perhaps this method would motivate me to use them).

    Something which you should implement is when searching for a single character, you should make the results beginning with that character appear first rather than just the words higher in alphebetical order that include that letter. I'm sure that you must have thought of this, but seeing that this is still in its early stages of development, haven't gotten around to adding it yet. Good work though.

    Posted on 26 October 2005 at 1:17 am
  3. Chris Hester:
    You're right to bring up the single character idea. It actually worked that way in the original Slayeroffice demo. That has a tick box to switch from that mode to the way my version works, but it had a bug in it. I thought it was better by taking out the tick box altogether, but later I realised it meant you could no longer list the bookmarks alphabetically. Oops. Perhaps it needs a group of A-Z letters that restore this function.

    Posted on 26 October 2005 at 9:17 am
  4. Maarten:
    Tip: Maybe you could switch the category list to the left side and the bookmarks list to the right. I (and most other Europeans and Americans) read from left to right.

    It also reminds me of direc.tor -->

    Posted on 27 October 2005 at 10:01 am
  5. Antonio Orlando:
    It's interesting! You should propose it to LookSmart's Furl (, something like a button opening a new page with furl bookmarks presented with your javascript. It would be useful and used a lot!

    Posted on 24 November 2005 at 2:47 pm
  6. Tom Stewart:
    I've read your disclaimer and your copyright information. I was wondering if you'd grant me permission to use JACOB on a closed Intranet run by the U.S. Postal Service. Under what license (if any) is JACOB avaialable? - Thanks!

    Posted on 13 February 2006 at 5:02 pm
  7. Chris Hester:
    JACOB is released under the same Creative Commons licence as the original demo it is based on. (There's a link in the credits.) This means you are free to use it and rework it as stated in the licence, provided a link back to the site here is shown.


    I'm stuck right now as I need a way to open and save the bookmarks. I might have to cancel the whole demo if no way can be found. Or rewrite it in another form. (Server-side perhaps?)

    Anyway, feel free to use JACOB as you wish, where you wish, but study the licence first. Thanks for the interest Tom!

    Posted on 14 February 2006 at 9:10 am
  8. Tom Stewart:
    Actually, JACOB can be used differently. I was thinking of a drill-down select list for a personnel management application.
    For example, the postal service employees temporary workers to fill in for temporary/permanently disabled employees on limited/light duty. I was thinking of using JACOB to help the user find the "best fit" temporary via the drill-down.

    Thanks for the okay. I'll study the license.

    Posted on 15 February 2006 at 1:32 pm