Bring Firefox Sync back

@alfred As far as I can see that plugin only syncs bookmarks. Firefox Sync does much more than that.

I really would like that feature back again! I don’t like how Mozilla dropped the support for OwnCloud, just to force users to use Mozilla’s own synch service. I want my data to stay at my place, and that includes my bookmarks as well. Why should I tell any one else what pages I like to read?

Of course one could set up their own synching server just for Firefox, but why should you need to do this, when you are already running another synching server like OwnCloud/NextCloud? Why use 2 different servers, if both tasks could be done by one server?

On the other hand: if Mozilla doesn’t corporate any more with third party developers, then I think it’s fair to think about if Mozilla deserves to be supported by third party developers. After all, there are other browsers, that can be used.

If it is not possible to include the necessary code into NextCloud, because Mozilla don’t corporate, I would suggest to try to build a kind of synching service that works independently from any browser and thus can be used with any browsers. I am thinking of a file synchronizing feature, that simply synchronizes the bookmark file. Each browser has to use a file to store its bookmarks in. Unfortunately, each browser uses its own kind of syntax when saving bookmarks, but that problem could be solved by appropriate filters and bookmarks can be converted into a common syntax, that can be read be every browser. If you could synchronize these bookmark files between different clients, I think the problem could be solved.

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In the end it is a question of design, for sure. But…the big problem is the feature set and sync interacting in a way that feature still feel native. For example Firefox supports key words to be set on a single bookmark, but (lets imagine) Google Chrome does not. How to combine these two worlds? Drop support of key words in firefox?

Other aspects…extend the number of browser applications and the number of objects to be synced. The complexity is pretty fast on very high level. This requires smart decisions to be taken, to make such a “sync server” interoperable and functional sattisfying. As for now, my impression is that there is no one gathering these requirements and specify a plan for it.

A plan could look like this: Nextcloud decides to be interoperable with Firefox and Chrome. Booksmarks, history and passwords should be synced. Instead to implement native sync services of Chrome and Firefox, Nextcloud decides to create own API (apps) to handle the required sync objects. Sync clients have to be developed as addons in both browsers.

@godfuture The legacy sync app was firefox-only and it was one of the most popular apps in the ownCloud app store. So while a browser-agnostic sync implementation may be wonderful, an app tailored to support Firefox Sync (without the need for a custom client) would definitely serve a proven (and significant) demand.

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I won’t add to the discussion. However, I would like to note that a native firefox sync would definitely be the one feature that could singlehandedly make me switch from ownCloud to nextCloud.

As I have said, a plan COULD look like this. Another plan could be that Nextcloud decides to support only Firefox sync. This is fine. But then someone has to go on and develop the Nextcloud app supporting FF Sync 1.5. And then it is clearly decided that this has priority over other solutions like my previously mentioned plan.

But even such a decision is not taken…the community is stuck in between.

Because i never trust american companies or organisations due to some “security letter” issues, I will never use native firefox sync. It is also some hard work to disable all (known) spyworks in firefox So NextCloud could be a solution. (I would pay for a spyfree and adfree browser, if it exists.)
Most important (for me) is an easy, secure bookmark synchronisation.
If you use firefox android you have an extra problem with bookmarks synchronisation.
Firefox changes its policy to prevent users from using their own clouds like NextCloud.
So a solution could be a plugin in firefox and an app in owncloud. This should be an architecture for more than one browser.

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Please bring back this amazing feature!
Currently I still run an old version of owncloud on my home server to keep this feature.
However currently it’s a hack job to run it.

I would love to have my data at home on my own server.

Please bring it back to Nextcloud.

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Agree on that. So it’s more a own plugin rather than FF sync (or can this be used in other browsers as well)?

Anybody with the knowledge and time to realize that? There are probably enough folks there who are willing to test and who like this feature :wink:

There quite some apps that deliver some of the requested features (password sync, bookmarks), but they do not share a common API. I think the only way it will work out is to develop certain apps for sync tasks and write addons for different browser on the market implementing the app API.

In case new sync apps and addons will pop up, this approach will get closer and closer to what FF sync can offer.

Edit: the opposite approach would do one app implementing a browser eco system. But then you dont want to speak about sharing between different browsers. Syncing between FF at home and IE at work wouldn’t be possible then.

You can connect Firefox with your own server. I am doing it with https://github.com/mozilla-services/syncserver as server. In about:config, you have to change the key identity.sync.tokenserver.uri to https: //yourserver/token/1.0/sync/1.5

One thing: It is a pain to install the auth server. On a Raspberry Pi it seems to be impossible. So I run my own syncserver, authentication runs agains the Firefox-Server.

@franz.hartwig seems ok, but does it support https ?

@Cult: No, it does not support https. But no problem: On my Raspberry Pi runs Apache, I configured it as reverse proxy for the syncserver. Without reverse proxy the identity.sync.tokenserver.uri has to be http://yourserver:5000/token/1.0/sync/1.5.

To install and configure syncserver look at https://github.com/owncloudarchive/mozilla_sync/issues/33#issuecomment-195989676

To configure Apache as reverse proxy:

ProxyRequests off
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all
        SetEnv force-proxy-request-1.0 1
        SetEnv proxy-nokeepalive 1
        SetOutputFilter proxy-html
        ProxyHTMLExtended On
ProxyPass /syncserver http://localhost:5000
ProxyPassReverse /syncserver http://localhost:5000
ProxyHTMLURLMap http://localhost:5000 /syncserver
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
        Satisfy any
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@franz.hartwig I never quite understood the use case where one wants to run the storage server and leave access authentication with a third party. But then someone suggested a setup where the storage server is accessible on a local network only (perhaps using a split-horizon DNS implementation). That would make sense, but it still seems an edge case to me. Storing your own data still only makes sense to me if you handle access authentication yourself.

@jknockaert Separating data storage and authentication is usual today. Logging in to help.nextcloud.com can be done via Twitter, Google, Github, Facebook and via help.nextcloud.com itself. Many other sites offer logging in via Google and several social media credentials. It is useful, you do not have to manage credentials for every site.
Ok, you don’t take this advantage with your syncserver. But it is pragmatical. Setting up the Firefox auth server is very complicated and impossible on a Raspberry Pi. The only way to sync Firefox to an own server is to use the syncserver with external authentication. There is, from my point of view, no security breach.

a service for the services!

[quote=“franz.hartwig, post:27, topic:103, full:true”]
@jknockaert Separating data storage and authentication is usual today. Logging in to help.nextcloud.com can be done via Twitter, Google, Github, Facebook and via help.nextcloud.com itself. [/quote]
Awfull solution in my opinion. Why should I trust an US based authentication service? Please let me know. And if trusting American Spyware Nation, why should I use a nextcloud instance? Why? Tell me, because I can use Dropbox, Office360Cloud, Google* facebook or whatever for my data. These authentication services - cost free - are honey pots. Easy to use, easy to misuse. And You praise them. Well done. Please respect that some poeple like me will never trust these services.
No, the other way arround: I am searching for a solution as secure as possible, under my own controll under my own responsibility. And it is not that simple for a rookie. So e.g. my joomla instance will never use google authentication services, as far as I can deactivate and delete them. Same for nextcloud.
back to discussion firefox sync with nextcloud: starting with a favorite-sync app would suffice.

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Think about what I wrote. It’s a big difference to authenticate with an external authentication service and to store data on external servers. Mozilla authenticates me, but Mozilla does not see any of my data. Of course it would be better to have the whole service under my control. But today it is not possible. Take a look at the discussion. Someone mentioned it is not possible to connect Firefox to an own server. I wrote, you can. I described my solution. This solution works with Firefox for Android, by the way. I want to sync several Firefox instances. I can do it with the native solution, offered by Mozilla. I can do it my way. I can resign syncing. So, what is the best solution today? Waiting until someone will present you a solution?

Tell me, how do you authenticate for nextcloud.com? If I interpret whois the right way, nextcloud.com is served in Hongkong. Hongkong, administrative region of China. More trustworthy?

So, go your own way. I choosed my way, pragmatically. But I do not want to justify myself for it.

No offense, but I guess you misunderstood the whole discussion. There has been an Owncloud/Nextcloud app called “firefox sync”. This app was working with older releases of firefox. Mozilla dropped support in Firefox for this old Firefox sync implementation. This Owncloud/Nextcloud app was doomed to die. @jknockaert opened this thread to revive the Firefox sync app. I share this interest with @jknockaert, but I tried to mention that there are many ways to have a sync functionality. The new Nextcloud app could be the old sync with addon for current Firefox, could be the new sync with custom content (and auth) server, or, this was my point in this thread so far, maybe many apps implementing these Firefox sync features for many browsers.

No one said that Firefox sync 1.5 is not possible, its just not possible as a Nextcloud app. I hope we are back on topic :slight_smile:

@godfuture I understand you and the discussion very well. I referred to jknockaert who mentioned, you cannot connect Firefox to you own server.
You mentioned, there seems to be no plan for implementing a Nextcloud app for syncing Firefox. This is my impression, too. I used the Owncloud app for awhile syncing my Firefox instances with Sync 1.0. Recognizing that Firefox would drop the support for Sync 1.0, I looked for a way syncing without Owncloud. I found my way and told you about it - hoping to give a hint for other people here. Of course, it would be nice to have an app for Nextcloud, either Sync 1 and a add on for Firefox, perhaps other browsers, too, or supporting Sync 1.5. But we don’t have this app and I am not able to write it. Just claiming a sync app isn’t a solution. I found a solution for me and wanted to tell it. Sorry, if it is not helpful. Just ignore it.

Sorry to necro this thread, but it seems like an extremely useful function.

My 2 cents: imho the best solution would be an approach where a browser data store app is created in Nextcloud, using an internal API to communicate. Then per supported browser create an API translator app, also to run on Nextcloud (perhaps even 2 in case of Firefox: an authentication translator, and a storage translator)
That way it is both possible to support multiple browsers as well as give users a (near) native experience. Furthermore if upstream decides to suddenly change the API it /might/ be easier to port the translator app to the new API.