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the news starts here

Inquisitor for Firefox and Internet Explorer (beta)

Inquisitor for Firefox and IE

Today, I’m pleased to share some exciting news about Inquisitor – the pioneering instant search experience that brings instant web search and suggestions to your browser search box. Inquisitor originally had been available exclusively for the Safari browser on Mac OS X, but as of today it is now also available (in beta form) for both Firefox (on Mac and PC) and Internet Explorer 7/8 (on Windows XP and Vista).

These releases are possible thanks singularly to the hard work of the very talented software engineering teams at Yahoo! It’s no easy task to develop and deliver a consistent user experience across three totally different platforms, on a tight schedule to boot. The people who worked on this project – engineers, QA, management – have done a great job and deserve all the credit for pulling this off.

Please note that these releases are considered beta software, so there may be some rough edges. All feedback is welcome and is very helpful to us in the continued refinement of this software.


Inquisitor 3.2

I’m pleased to announce today the immediate availability of Inquisitor 3.2. This release is the first significant release since Inquisitor was acquired by Yahoo!, and we’ve worked hard to keep the essence of the project intact, all the while bringing onboard some cool Yahoo! technology.

On the technology side, we’ve rebuilt the Yahoo! search results component around the new Yahoo! Search BOSS platform. One great thing we get from this technology a performance boost over the previous implementation. Naturally, we want our instant results to be as “instant” as possible, so this is a fantastic development. We’ve also fully transitioned our keyword suggestions & autocompletion technology to Yahoo’s with the end result being more relevant and useful suggestions.

Independent of these core changes is a slicked up visual design that’s less cramped and congested than previous designs. It’s slightly more spacious and important visual elements like the history indicators are more prominent.

Finally, we’re pleased to now support Inquisitor in eight new languages beyond English (Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German).

If all that weren’t enough, I’ve also redesigned the Inquisitor website, just for the heck of it.

Ultimately this release sets the tone for Inquisitor’s new path, and I’m confident we’ve found the right balance of respecting the past and investing in the future.

NewsFire 1.5 (v73)

NewsFire 1.5 (v73) is now available for download. This release fixes some incorrect graphics and no longer renders large image enclosures from sites such as Flickr. As an aside, I witnessed a curious issue while working on this release, and I’d like to get the fix into the public record. The issue was that NewsFire was repeatedly requesting authentication credentials for an HTTPS feed I had subscribed to. This was curious since the feed had worked fine in the past, and the username and password appeared to be properly stored in the Keychain. Since credential storage and use are a part of the Cocoa URL loading system, it’s likely there’s a deep bug here that’s in Apple’s jurisdiction. Regardless, the fix is trivial… simply delete the credential from the Keychain. After I did this, NewsFire recreated the credential and has worked fine ever since. So, if you ever experience such an issue, just delete the relevant credential in the Keychain and things should work once it’s recreated.

Inquisitor joins Yahoo!

Today, I am very pleased to announce that Yahoo! has acquired the rights to Inquisitor, my instant search extension for Safari.

For those unfamiliar, Inquisitor is a pioneering software extension that provides as-you-type instant search directly within the Safari web browser. Inquisitor makes navigating the web fast and effortless by providing instant search results within an unobtrusive pop-down window. It also performs live autocompletion, prioritizes results based on the user’s search history, and gives the user extensive control over their search experience.

I look forward to assisting Yahoo! in refining and extending the Inquisitor user experience beyond where it is today. I truly believe that Inquisitor and its users can only benefit, both from Yahoo’s resources and attention, and from the product integration possibilities that would have been impossible to pursue on my own.

It’s important to note that while I will continue to be the lead developer behind Inquisitor for Safari, I will not be joining Yahoo! as an employee. I have every desire and intention to remain an independent developer for the Mac, meaning that Inquisitor, Xtorrent, and NewsFire will all continue to be equal priorities in my life.

Inquisitor 3.1

Inquisitor 3.1 is now available for download. This release improves performance, simplifies the process for switching search providers, and removes affiliate links from the program. For new users, Yahoo! is now the default search provider, however users are free as always to change this as they so desire.


This is just a heads-up that this blog is undergoing a redesign at the moment. Much of the redesign work is done, though there may be some more to come. Changes so far include some more prominent links for my projects right at the top, cleaner graphics, and gravatar support in the comments.

NewsFire… the news starts here!

Today’s a big day for NewsFire. After much internal debate, I’ve made the decision that as of today, NewsFire is totally free. No feature restrictions, no ads, no cut-down ‘lite’ version… this is the real deal.

For those new to this, NewsFire is a news reader for blogs, news sites, and anything else that publishes an ‘RSS’ syndication feed. It watches for news so you don’t have to. When a new story is published, NewsFire brings it to your attention with some super-slick animation. Unlike other readers, NewsFire is designed with a deliberately minimal interface. The news is what matters and it takes center stage.

There’s no excuse not to try it. Download NewsFire and give it a whirl. I’m confident you’ll like it.

So why am I doing this? Call it an experiment to draw people into the fold. Call it temporary insanity. Call it good will. Call it stupidity. I’m never really sure what my motivations are, but this one feels right in my gut. I hope you like it. I sure hope I don’t regret this.

  • Comments Off on NewsFire… the news starts here!
  • March 1st, 2008 12:43 am

NewsFire 1.5

NewsFire 1.5 (v71) is now available for download. In addition to minor compatibility improvements, version 1.5 brings a new modern and clean look to NewsFire. This includes a more prominent “Next Item” button for easy perusal of the news and a slimmed down status bar. NewsFire 1.5 is a free upgrade.

Inquisitor 3

In response to user feedback, Inquisitor 3.0 (v52) now explicitly tags product/affiliate links in search results and, furthermore, now includes an user preference to disable these links all together.

Inquisitor is freeware, made possible by the inclusion of affiliate links. This revenue source is small but critical in ensuring Inquisitor’s future development. If you choose to disable these links, please seriously consider donating to Inquisitor as an alternate means of support.


Xtorrent for Leopard

As I mentioned previously, there are some obscure issues with Leopard that have become apparent. In my continuing effort to ensure the best user experience for all Mac users, I’m releasing Xtorrent 1.1 (v53) today to address these issues. This release also has some non-Leopard improvements, so it is recommended for all Xtorrent users.

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