Meet the IMDb Preview Developer

Why was IMDb Preview created?

As a long time user of IMDb, I started noticing how often I click the name of an actor or a movie, not to find some important information, but rather to just recognize whose name it is. I'd open the page, load it and leave it immediately I've seen the poster. That was pretty annoying waiting for the pages to load just for this simple task, and was interfering to what I was reading before.
I thought only if i would had a simple and quick way to get a short glimpse of the picture, without going to another page and without loading it entirely just for a picture.
Lucky for me I already had 2 extensions I've made before, so the task looked pretty easy to accomplish.

In order for making it easy to use, the basic idea was of course doing some kind of pop up with the poster. Loading just the poster is also very fast. But in order to get to the poster's URL, I first need to load its regular page, which could make it look like a pretty slow process. So instead of actually loading it, I just retrieve the HTML of the page. This already cuts all the time necessary for the page to be displayed on the screen and load all its images and objects. Further more, I saw I can save even more time by not waiting for the entire HTML to be retrieved - I could just sample it in very short intervals and get the info I need, at the exact moment it arrives.
This way I've accomplished my primary goals of making the extension faster and easier to use. Since then I've also added more things that can save you the time of entering the page. If you just want to know the rating, or the country, or recent filmography (etc) you now have it too.

My latest addition I think is by far the most time conserving. The "My Movies" feature really helps whoever is using the lists feature of IMDb.
The process of adding a movie to a specific list, for example, involves first clicking the button that adds it to the 'pending' list, which also moves you the list's page. Second you need to look for the movie in that list, check it, and move it again to the actual list you wanted. Only then you can go back to the page you began with. A total of 3 pages you need to go through.
My solution takes the process to the movie page itself. The moment you load the movie page it also loads and show you all the lists the movie is on. Already saves you the time of browsing the lists pages. But the real time consuming part, of adding the movie to a list, can be now be easily achieved by just choosing the right list and clicking the star next to it. This immediately adds your movie, silently and directly, to the list you wanted. No need to go through other pages and other lists any more.
This change brings with it the potential of using the lists also as a sort of tag labels.

What's next for IMDb Preview

For the future, I plan to redesign the pop-up being displayed to a non-HTML object. Today the pop-up is part of the page, causing rare errors when moving to other pages while loading the preview. Changing it to an outer XUL object, will prevent these errors, simplify the design, prevent external site's CSS influence of the pop-up and also will not limit the size of the pop-up to the boundaries of the page you're watching.

A second thing I wish for is to allow multiple previews. The actors and films showed in the preview itself might also be unfamiliar to you. Why not allow you to hover those names and titles and get its quick preview as well?

More little changes includes:
Support and recognize movie links of all forms (image links, redirects, relatives, bolded etc.).
Adding more info possibilities (director, genre, etc.).
Opening a preview for link-less titles by just highlighting them.
Allowing removal of movies from lists.

About the Developer

Developer Information
Name Geva Zeichner
User since March 5, 2007
Number of add-ons developed 3 add-ons
Average rating of developer's add-ons Rated 4 out of 5 stars