The most unfortunate thing happened to Memex

I may have to bid goodbye to Memex forever.

I use Firefox and the history tab in Firefox is just terrible to use. While I love the ethics of Mozilla over Google, I didn’t want to switch back to something that didn’t value my privacy just because of that. And I was so very grateful the day I found Memex. To find an initiative with such strong ethics and exactly suiting my requirements and going beyond, it was brilliant! Not only could I look up my history, it was like an extension to my memory. I instantly recommended it to my friends. I also read up on Memex, and Vannevar Bush and was totally fascinated.

Recently I noticed that it was not recording my history and that I could not search my history. As this uninvited, mandatory change came without any notifications, it skipped my attention and has more than a few times left me stumped because I could not find something I wanted to.
And today I came across this: “Why we deprecated the history search”

When I first found the software I was so happy that this “product” was called Memex, defined by Wikipedia as- “a device in which individuals would compress and store all of their books, records, and communications, ‘mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility’”. It was exactly what I could imagine it to be.
By deprecating “history indexing and search” feature I think you have essentially ceased to be what a Memex is. I was eagerly looking forward to the day it would be a desktop application, instead of just a browser, and would keep growing. I hoped to maybe contribute to this in whatever way I could as open source software deserves.

While I understand how difficult it will be for you, 2.5 devs to take on such a big task, and keep building new features. Without this feature, I feel like Memex has become a hollow shell of it’s original form. And as this change is not optional or just scaling down of a feature (like making only the title or url searchable, but still indexing history), but downright deprecation, it felt like the end. But as you guys are more in touch with the user base, and maybe what the people want is better achieved through this step, I am saddened that Memex, ceases to be a memex any more. Moreover, the two main issues you chose to focus on going forward, seemed like it would help monetize the tool, but would damage it’s standing as a standalone (useful) tool, and instead make it an accessory to other tools.

So with a heavy heart, I am up at 4 am, writing this note as possibly the end of my time with this tool.
Thanks for the good times, and for introducing me to the idea of a memex. :cry:

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I’m also supportive of independent devs, and I understand the choice they made, but I agree with @rhk217 that this change effectively guts what made Memex special. Now it’s functionally the same as Pocket and other clipping tools that do the same thing and in many cases have a richer client experience for retrieval and retention.

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Really sorry folks that it took away such a valuable feature. We really hope that we can bring it back in the future when we have more resources and it fits more into the general workflow as a supportive, not the main feature.

If that is not clear, you can still full text search pages you save, and we made it even easier now to save things with the keyboard shortcuts.

Also, compared to Pocket you can not just create highlights, but also attach notes, and have a way to integrate with Roam/Notion/Evernote more easily through the Readwise integration.

We’re also steering towards more social features, allowing you to start a conversation about what you read online. So things will be different soon.

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I use Firefox too…
and History Tab of Firefox is just outdated…
they dont have any Advanced Search ability, nor Full Text Search,

I asked this Question in Firefox…
and I was searching for History Manager for Firefox…
be it Extension or a Software…

I found Many Bookmark-Manager but not a signle …good History Manager…

After long search…I got to know…Memex had :sob: History Search from here

Please Add the History Search Feature Back…
Or…or… Please give Old Memex Extension File {which had History Feature}
Or… Please tell me a good History Manager… any alternative solution…
I couldnt find a single History Manager…(most are BookMarks_only)
which has these advanced search functions

Please I need to do a {Date Range-Specific Domain-Text Search}
:pray::pray:

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Which alternative are you using Sir?
to manage Firefox history…

Please help I need to do a {Date Range-Specific Domain-Text Search}
:pray::pray:

Hi @ADHD,
I haven’t yet found another good alternate solution either.

Thanks for the hope @BlackForestBoi. I will occasionally check Memex page to see if the feature has returned. :crossed_fingers:

It’s why i use Vivaldi for now…

In developing https://twitter.com/TrailHub1 we had plans to integrate with StorexHub. Deprecation of the automatic indexing essentially put an end to that ambition. https://twitter.com/FISSIONcodes Webnative file system integration is our top priority. Would like the indexing service to be part of the Kernel for Web 3 building the IndieVerse, we are developing and hopefully can offer it to be interoperate and add that capability to Memex and others. The point being it should not require much development effort at all. I relied on Memex so much. It was the most empowering thing.
The point being that I could successfully retrieve pages just by remembering a few words.
My ability to be effective in technology scouting,
has reduced since that change. I have starred 461 github projects as of today. sometime it takes a week or more to realize the significance of what I encountered recently.
I rely on https://www.are.na/gyuri-lajos/explore-arena
now to keep more information in a searchable form.

and instantly available form.

Gone back to https://hypothes.is/users/gyuri

I wanted to create a bridge between the two tools and now need to think of indexing pages too.
Actually been on the Memex mission for a long long time to make it real on Web 3 https://twitter.com/MindDriveCo
https://trailmarks.co/

Still I hope GetMemex will live up to its name sooner than later.
I hope to be able to be a help in that.
Aim to complete not to compete.

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+1, that was THE feature why I found Memex to be grand and so useful! Would pay for it.

But if I need to bookmark the pages, I may as well be just taking notes. I hope you are able to restore the feature, and I will monitor the thread for it. It’s indeed an amazing idea of a software! Thanks for the development!

I’m hoping for this feature too.

Sorry really that we have disappointed you all with removing this feature. We’re hoping too that it’ll come back at some later point.

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Really happy to hear it!
I have been using memex for the last few days and it feels super useful over my bookmarks and the new ones I added via memex itself.
Basically I have an automatic backup system of my whole firefox profile, so syncing the of memex is no issue for me. I’m just tired with the firefox history functionality.
It would be a nice to have additional feature of memex.
Thanks!

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I actually discovered Memex today, hoping for tagging and adding info to the history of the browser, rather than trying to bookmark everything manually. Sorry to hear that it can’t do what I need anymore because it’s the only tool that I found that could do it.

Stay focused on the smallest goal do that one thing well and then integrate with other services first before feature bloat…?

Idea:
What if we index all browser history as a workaround? It shouldn’t be too hard to add an checkbox in preferences via in the sourcecode.

I can understand what you’re thinking about but I do not prefer doing so unless this is officially implemented.

This is just my personal opinion.

Obviously. But what choice have I got? The workflow I need involves browser history. Not just bookmarks.

Is there another workaround? Export the history as an html file and index that, maybe? But then there’s just the URLS and barely any metadata.

If you’re familiar with javascript the check the source code and maybe make memex trigger their page saving/bookmarking function on every page you visit to a collection called History.

I wished to do so once before but I guess I will just wait for the devs.

Sorry to disappoint. For now we’re not planning to bring the indexing of the browsing history back until we are financially rock solid and have economic freedom and a suitable infrastructure for doing these experiments again.

The history search had many draw backs:

  1. Too much data in the browser: Unstable & slow
  2. About an order of magnitude higher needs for privacy, requiring e2e encryption and offline-first approach: Very expensive to develop and maintain, technically complex, slow product iterations
  3. If we provide backup/search/sync to multiple devices in the cloud it will get very expensive for us and users.

Ultimately, i think we’ll bring it back at some point, but it needs a very clear and scalable user need, updated pricing models, and the right infrastructure. That will take time and money, and from our current understanding the history search is a nice feature on paper, but not needed by most users.
Potentially we could start with just the URLs, but not the full-text index. We’ll see.

Until then you can easily save any website with alt/option+s. Bummer you have to do it for every page you want to save but at least its just one keyboard shortcut.

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