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Outwit Hub Web Harvester – freeware web scraper delivers search to your home


outwithub small Outwit Hub Web Harvester   freeware web scraper delivers search to your home

Outwit Hub is a freeware web scraper tool that claims to make the search and storage of information efficient and easy. The idea is you set up your search and let this browser plugin separate out the different components of the data into images, text, links etc to make it easier to navigate. Not only that but you can export it to spreadsheets and other database type structures for later assimilation.

In practice we found this product to be promising but with a fatally flawed interface. The problem is the typical ‘cram as much into the UI as possible’ syndrome, which makes the whole thing so complex that you give up using it within minutes. It’s a shame, because this type of tool could be very useful if you’re hunting for stuff on a wide variety of topics around a central theme. The devs should strip out 80% of the UI clutter, and focus on providing the one or two standout features up front (like for instance the auto-browse function?), then introduce the additional power features as people need them. Still, it’s worth a look and maybe you’ll have better luck.

 OutWit is a Web collection engine for everyone. It runs on your Windows, MacOS or Linux machine and allows you to browse through and easily grab information, images, contacts or files from the Internet, in a few clicks. The question, when looking for anything on the Internet, is two-fold: find the pertinent data and make it usable for your purposes. Both processes can prove extremely time-consuming and both can be vastly improved using OutWit Hub. Originally conceived for researchers and data managers, the program is bringing Web scraping tools to everyone for both business and personal use. Just browse the Web for pages that include the information you are looking for;

 Outwit Hub Web Harvester   freeware web scraper delivers search to your home

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • http://www.outwit.com Jess (OutWit)

    Thanks Nigel for your review (for all of it).

    You are right: We did cram as much as we could in the Hub and we realize it makes it a pretty dense application, mostly destined to advanced users. BUT I’d like to tell you a little more about the plan.

    If you noticed, the package includes two extensions: the Kernel and the Hub. The heart of our technology is the OutWit Kernel with all its extraction features. But the Kernel doesn’t have a user interface of it’s own.

    So the work (both for us and for our users), is now to build applications around it.

    The first one was this: OutWit Hub (1st beta), a toolkit made to showcase many of the Kernel’s features. We’ll keep enhancing the Hub as much as we can in the coming months, using all the feedback we receive from our users, to make it as useful and friendly as possible, but it will remain a tool for advanced users. Finally (when the API is released) it will be a developers’ tool to create scripts and scrapers for OutWit.

    In the meantime, our other releases will be very different (and much more like what you are suggesting): the next one, OutWit Images, for instance (currently at alpha stage) will only be focused on viewing and collecting images. Very few buttons, drag and drop… A simple and straight forward one-purpose tool, also using the Kernel.

    I sincerely hope all these tools will help very different types of users in a very broad scope of needs.

    Cheers,

    Jess
    (OutWit Development Team)

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