capsule review

OutWit Hub

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder OutWit Hub

Though OutWit Hub installs as an add-on for the Firefox 3 browser, it acts more like a full companion application that breaks down a page's components--such as images and links, or data in a table--and allows for viewing, searching and exporting those components in a variety of ways. It's an extensive add-on that would likely be of good use to Web developers or serious data gatherers, but at this point in its development it's more than a bit tricky to learn.

OutWit Hub (in conjunction with the OutWit Kernel add-on, which installs at the same time) adds a new 'W' icon to the immediate left of the browser's address field. Click that button to launch the OutWit Hub add-on window, which looks like a separately running program. On the left side of the window you'll find options to display all the links or images on a page by themselves, for example, and they'll display on the right-side of the window. You can also choose options to pull out data contained in an HTML table or list on the Web page, modify it if desired and then export it to an Excel spreadsheet.

If you bring up search results in OutWit, or run your search by typing keywords into the add-on's own location bar, navigation buttons up top allow for moving to the next page in the series (what you'd get by clicking the 'next' button), automatically browsing through all the pages in the series, or even automatically following all the links on a page. These navigation options could prove potent if combined with an option to search for certain keywords on a page--you could auto-browse through search results andpluck out items that contain certain words as you browse.

While OutWit Hub offers useful options for the professional developer or data gatherer, the layman will likely find it somewhat challenging to use and learn, at least for now. The developers acknowledge that the built-in help isn't yet complete, and you'll be left guessing as to how to use many features. You can find some additional guidance on the developers blog.

Note: This link takes you to the vendor's site, where you can automatically install the file into your Firefox browser.

--Erik Larkin

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder OutWit Hub

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