Can’t go past ?page=401 in Delicious bookmarks? It’s not just you.

Update: I posted a bug report on the forums and got a reply. Turns out that allowing this would cause performance issues at Delicious. Time to reorganize my bookmarks.

I have a large collection of Delicious bookmarks, which sits at over 11,000 right now. As my collection grew, I’ve wondered if there was an upper limit to bookmarking in the cloud. Wasn’t having the ability to store and access all those bookmarks the point of cloud computing? Would I eventually bookmark every site on the Internet, then bookmark the Delicious URLs of those URLs, causing the Internet to implode?

Don’t worry. I’ve taken extra precautions to prevent that. If the Internet implodes, it won’t be my fault.

Tonight I discovered something that may change the way I think of bookmarking. Delicious users, consider this a bug report.

After a round of Wikipedia-hopping, I stumbled upon Joshua Schachter’s Delicious bookmark collection. That name should sound familiar; if it doesn’t, he founded Delicious, so I wasn’t surprised to see that his collection was larger than mine. Since he’s the first user I’ve encountered with more Delicious bookmarks than me, I clicked his last page to view his first bookmarks. The date on those bookmarks were 2004. Reasonable, but odd since the site was founded in 2003. I clicked the page before that and saw the same bookmarks. And the page before that. After about five minutes of experimentation and URL tweaking, I discovered that I could view up to ?page=401 (or 401 pages of bookmarks) before seeing the same few bookmarks from 2004 over and over.

My bookmark collection is slowly creeping up on Schachter’s, so it was time to test this hypothesis on my own collection. While logged in, everything was fine and dandy. The bookmarks on the last page were those imported from my browser and dated 2006. When logged out, I encountered the same problem.

I signed up for Delicious in 2007. Don't pull these shenanigans.

I tried exploring the bookmark collections of some users with over 4000 bookmarks. Same problem. After asking Twitter and asking friends off Twitter about this conundrum with my own account, it’s not just me. This has happened in Windows (Firefox and Opera, no reports or IE/Safari/Chrome yet) and Linux (Firefox and Epiphany). No Mac reports yet.

So what does this mean? Overall it’s not that noticeable. Several searches show that it hasn’t been caught yet. I’m always logged into Delicious, so the bug wouldn’t affect me often. Every now and then I want to find something on the go or see what others have bookmarked over time. This bug stands in the way, and as long as it’s still outstanding, I’ll worry about the future of my bookmarks at Delicious.

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