Inquisitor is a great little plugin for Safari that I found about a year ago, and have been loving ever since. I believe technically it is an “Input Manager”, but that doesn’t really pertain to the story. What Inquisitor does is add functionality to the built in search bar, making the experience of web search similar to that of using Spotlight. It updates the results as you type, which gives you the feeling that the entire web is right at your fingertips, and then presents you with about three possible hits, as well as a couple of related searches. I find that one of the suggested results is usually what I’m looking for, and if not I can just hit Return which takes me to the full Google search results page.
I highly recommend Inquisitor for anyone using a Mac, as it adds another level of functionality to Safari’s built in search, looks great doing it, and is completely free. Which brings me to the second part of this post, regarding the recent uproar over the fact that some of the results that Inquisitor provides are product links to Amazon and the Apple Store. The developer uses the revenue generated from the affiliate links to support the development of the software. I don’t see any problem with the developer, David Watanabe, finding a way to profit from his work, and I have never even noticed that some of the links were altered.
What I find ridiculous, is that not only are people so upset with this, but that they have been using this software for over a year with absolutely no complaints, then someone cries foul, and it is suddenly an outrage.
It’s been like this ever since Inquisitor 3 was released 16 months ago. This behavior is public knowledge, and after over a year of soak-time in the public with no complaints it should be a non-issue. So, imagine my surprise when I wake up to a mailbox containing words unfit for publication, blogs declaring me as the biggest asshole in the world, and demands that people sabotage and steal my work.
When I read that post yesterday, I was discouraged, but not enough so to write a response. But that changed today when I saw an article at The Apple Blog, with the tagline:
Seriously? You are removing some of your favorite software from your computer because the developer had the audacity to try to make a few bucks in such in unintrusive way that you hadn’t even noticed it, much less had to fork over a single dime? That does not make any sense to me.
Sigh. One of the mediocre blogs about Apple, The Apple Blog, has unfortunately been removed from my news reader.