The SRESI bookmarks manager

Table of Contents




User Manual

Bookmarks Import

Technical Notes

Possible Evolutions

XBEL Formatting

  1. Introduction
  2. Torisugari's scripts
  3. Programs using XBEL



XBEL Formatting


XBEL is a bookmarks file format based on XML. It was born from the Grail browser, and is maintained by the Python-XML SIG. XBEL is not revolutionary, but its clean syntax makes it easy to parse and transform. One trouble is, there are really few programs dealing with XBEL.


The first problem is complexity: there are few editors dealing with the whole XBEL feature set. Mostly, people get rid of aliases: they're nice to have, but a pain to integrate in a user friendly way. Another is display: XBEL is mostly machine-oriented, and users are more or less left to fend for themselves. The last big hurdle is, XBEL is getting old: some features users have come to expect are missing, but XBEL is good enough that no concerted effort to improve it has ever manage to take off. Which means every project has added its own little sauce to the mix, and XBEL is mighty fragmented for having so small a user base.

Torisugari's scripts

Torisugari, a prolific writer of Firefox extensions, wrote a little script to display XBEL files in a browser. There are others such attempts, of course, but his gives a nice, practical result while still being one of the simplest and most elegant ones. It does require Javascript however, but the results are worth it.

I do not think the script is available anywhere anymore, but Torisugari kindly gave me permission to redistribute it. I have also taken the liberty to change it a little bit for my own needs. I first added aliases, for both bookmarks and folders, and then did another light variant, which simply eliminates embedded favicons, should you be pressed for space.

Both downloads are licensed under the GPL.

Programs using XBEL

I will only list programs that have caught my interest for some reason. The XBEL website has a more exhaustive list, and Google might dredge up a few more links.

  • bk_edit
  • Galeon
  • Kazehakase
  • Konqueror