Windows XP Bookmarks ★

End of support has come for Windows XP, on 8th of April 2014 Microsoft officially discontinued critical security updates for the platform thus declaring its death, and now that it is gone…it has become vintage!

It was the most loved (not much maybe) and hated (a lot) OS worldwide for 12 long years, so paying a memory tribute to it is a given.

This webapp revives the Windows XP graphic shell as an HTML5 showcase for bookmarks published with Xmarks extensions.

The icons

Each  Icon responds to mouse grid-selection and double-click on the desktop, when double-clicked it will open a new  Program which consist of a ‘window’ showing the link in an iFrame and a ‘program-bar element’ below to handle multiple  Programs. Windows can then be moved around, resized, magnified, hidden or closed as you was used with programs on dear old XP.

The icon’s images are the website’s favicons, they’re obtained from the website’s root link plus the  favicon.ico path appended to fetch the file from the root folder, which should be the standard location for such files.

Unfortunately not all websites honor this path convention and an image might give a 404 error if located in a different path. In such case a default class will be added to the icon to display a default image.

iFrame inclusion restrictions

Each bookmark is first checked against a PHP script that reads the website’s HTTP response header looking for iFrame inclusion restrictions. If none is found the link will be rendered. Notice that a website may still restrict loading contents in an iFrame but not block the inclusion choosing to display a specific page instead, like Flickr does.

The most popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and social coding platforms as well, do restrict webpages from being loaded in iFrames but it’s not really an option to opt-out such links. For this reason I’ve included them in the  startmenu where they’ll be opened in new browser’s windows unlike the other links that will not show up at all if it’s impossible to load them in a ‘window’.

The main framework is BackBone with requirejs AMD modules pattern, and the styles rely mostly on CSS tables to achieve an OS-like behavior of the various elements such as the bottom program bar, the window elements and their inner components such as titles and buttons. The only JS size manipulation is handled by the jquery-ui resizable plugin which modifies the outer most container of the ‘window’ and then all the inner contents adapts accordingly.


The user is required to init the app from the main js file by providing arguments to the  Dekstop function, which are :

Startup and shutdown sounds included.

You can see it in action at,
or you can browser the source code on GitHub.

Update 18/08/2022

Times goes by and services come and go as well, in 2019 it was time for Xmarks to make its exit from the market, and as the service has been discontinued both the JavaScript widget and the public directory data source are not available anymore.

However, not everything is lost! Project has been updated including a node script to use Chrome bookmarks export as JSON static data source, checkout the repo on GitHub.

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