Everyone see the two radically conflicting views here? I don't know if the above post appeared in a thread about NNTP coincidentally or not, but it definitely is deeply related.
I have seen some references to articles and links that have interested me, and even though I've bookmarked lots of them, the bookmarks have sometimes disappeared due to computer crashes, software changes or updates or other reasons, and then I can't find the original article again
Call this the anti-NNTP position. Or in modern hipster speak, it's the "cloud" position. Summary: "Your computer is no good, and their computer is awesome."
When you bookmark or otherwise save the data on your machine, your imagination is the limit to what you can do with it. Well, your imagination if you're typing or pasting them into some text editor, or it's the browser authors' imagination if you're using the browser to do your bookmarking.
Many people are happy with that, but not completely. I've heard of third-party bookmarking sites (e.g., delic.io.us), "syncing" plugins, etc though I've never used any of them. And in the above example, the person is having unrelated problems (broken browser or OS?) and so their computer is completely unreliable. No matter how well a browser handles bookmarks, it's not going to work for this guy, because his computer just isn't capable of reliably storing information for years. So of course he'd rather sites themselves provide features, such as say, bookmarking, since that's his only hope of things ever working.
And that has potential, but then the user's imagination, or the imaginations of those he delegate to make his tools, is no longer the upper limit as to what can be done ; the site owners' imaginations is the upper bound now. And possibly other factors too (maybe they'll get more ad impressions if they don't make it easy for you to quickly find things). And every site the users, needs to be persuaded to do whatever you want. And since sites are shared by many users, there is One Global Right Way to do things (for that site).
We know from experience, that "One Global Right Way" is always wrong.
Some of us see the problem from the other end, where we trust ourselves, or the software we use, to do things right, or at least to do things best, and the software is interchangeable and can be replaced if we don't like it, each competing to implement some particular protocol. That's why you have bookmarks at all: because someone at Netscape or Microsoft or whereever, saw that people were pasting URLs into some file. So they added it to the browser. And then the others browsers had to have it, and then a few browsers branched off and started doing it in slightly different ways.
And that would be ideal, if only the parent poster's computer fucking worked and could store things long-term. He could have reliable bookmarks and they could work however he wanted them to. But nooo.. people have to buy crap, or keep the Windows preload, or whatever is going on with this guy (maybe it's just bad luck that an alligator ate all his backups). So he wants the sites to do his bookmarking, since the sites are reliable. And there are lots of people who are just like him, so the pressure on the sites gets unbearable.
And everyone suffers as a consequence, as we drift into retarded "progress," and a weird mix of homogenity (every site does things for all its users, but in one way) and heterogeneity (each site does the aforementioned thing, in a different site-varying way), rather than simply letting everyone get everything they want, which people like me assume, has to be the truly best way to do anything. What part of "everyone wins" don't you like?! I don't want to tell you how to bookmark; I just want your computer or browser to be able to do it, somehow, so that site makers don't each waste time on that.
Just like I don't want to tell you how to thread posts. Your newsreader is for that .. oops, we don't use newsreaders anymore. Thanks, Slashdot.
It's stuff like this that makes me want to help fix someone's computer, replace their Windows with Linux, or whatever the fuck it is, that they so desperately need, that they'll stop depending on exterior computers owned by someone else, to solve their problems. Because I promise you all, even speaking as the guy who just a minute ago said he didn't want to tell you how to do things, that is the wrong answer. ;-)