Review: Interclue

Posted: Monday, July 16, 2007 by El Guru in Add-ons, Firefox, Fx 1.5, Fx 2.0

The Guru is getting popular! I’ve had two extension review requests in the past couple days. Today’s extension review is Interclue, “an extensive and polished new add-on that brings you link summaries, link context information and useful next action icons inside a handy tooltip window that turns up when you want it, not when you least expect it.”

Unlike Snap Shots, it provides more than just a preview of the link. With Interclue you get a preview plus ‘clues’. These ‘clues’ include statics such as number of words, links and files contained within the document. In addition there is (optional) info from del.ico.us and you can even Digg the link. The top of the Interclue window gives you options to bookmark the link, open in a new tab/window, current window, e-mail entire clue or selected text, copy to clipboard, increase/decrease font size, change options, send feedback and make donation.

Click Image For Full Size
Interclue Window for link to Blog article

There were a couple things that really stood out about this add-on. First, it works with Bon Echo without having to modify my about:config file to trick the website that I am really running Firefox. Second, I like the way it handles the previews. With Snap Shots as soon as you hover over a link you get the preview. With Interclue, you hover over the link, then get an icon (can be the site’s favicon or special color-coded icon) to the right of the link. Once you move your mouse over the icon, then you get the preview and the ‘clues’. Lastly, Interlue will also display a special icon (without a preview) for special links that are an e-mail address, PDF document or any other non-web page. This can be very useful for those unsuspecting links that are actually an e-mail address or go to an external document. Nothing worse then clicking a link thinking I am going to another page only to be an e-mail link.

The downsides? The add-on is huge, weighing in at 378 KB which is about 50 KB larger than Tab Mix Plus. Of course that is because it does provide a lot of information and options. For the casual Fx user this may be a bit too much information. The add-on is very customizable and it has an extensive options menu. Likewise, the options menu can be a bit overwhelming at first. Finally, the add-on clutters the status bar with about a half-dozen buttons standard. You can select which buttons are displayed in the status bar by either hunting through the options men and selecting Status Bar buttons from the Advanced Options Menu or right-clicking on any of the buttons and selecting Edit buttons/menu items.

Click Image For Full Size
Interclue ‘Advanced’ Options Menu

Bottom line, I would not recommended this add-on for the basic/casual Firefox/Internet user who is simply looking to preview links. All the options are likely to be too much for them and they may not like the extra step required to obtain a preview. However for those advanced/power users who want the additional information and have a little bit of time to devote to setting up the add-on this would work great. I could see the copy and e-mail options on the Interclue window being handy for blogging and/or research.

Interclue works with Fx 1.5-2.0 (including nightly/customer builds) and Flock 0.7.14. This one of those add-ons that requires you to accept an EULA before you can download and install. Further, Interclue is also available for IE, Opera and Safari. For more information see the Interclue Website.

Tip Source: Seth Wagoner

Comments
  1. Seth Wagoner says:

    Thanks very much for the review!

    It’s true, we did rather load up on options for this one. Mostly they’re pretty useful options, and in truth, there are more on the way, people keep asking for them :-)

    But on the other hand, it does work rather well “out of the box” for 90% of users – they read the 2min tutorial, and they’re off and racing. Later on they discover there’s a bit more “under the hood” than they realized! We *do* need to cut back on the default set of status bar icons, and add a page about them to the tutorial. Next version!

    The key advantage that I see for casual surfers of Interclue over Snap is that Interclue works on all sites, including intranets, rather than Snap’s rather limited set. The amount of code required to make that happen *was* rather extensive, which is the other reason for the hefty download.

    Whereas the key advantage I see over Cooliris is that alhough the code is bigger, the user actually *sees* a lot less. Interclue doesn’t show the whole page, just the text out of the middle, and it’s faster because it doesn’t have to download all the images and scripts and stylesheets. On the other hand some people *want* to see images in previews, which is another thing we’ll be addressing in future versions.

  2. Very true about Snap being limited. In fact I had to remove it from my site because it was conflicting (haven’t a clue why) with the program (Nvu) I use for designing my web pages.

  3. funTomas says:

    Just given it a try and went back to Link Alert.

  4. […] Get Interclue for FirefoxInterclue HomepageNews Source: Firefox Extension Guru […]

  5. Eleonore says:

    Hello,

    I just want to correct something you said :
    “Further, Interclue is also available for IE, Opera and Safari”

    In deed, it is not! They are working on it, but as I’ve seen in their website (http://interclue.com/other-browsers.html) these versions aren’t available yet.

    Have a good day.

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