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.