I just installed firefox and then the beta whatbird toolbar and here are some comments.
1. the toolbar installed quickly with no problem on windows xp
2. the pop up tutorial that comes up after installation is great, I know this is beta, but for future use, I would maybe change wording on page 2/4 as it is a little confusing.
a. it now reads ".......a smart elimination algorithm removes any values that will not narrow the search further" maybe instead it could say ".....automatically removes other filter values that no longer apply. and then later "For example selecting purple in the color filter will remove bird candidates in the shape filter that are not purple" and for text later how about 58 different attributes in ____ filters to keep the vocabulary instruction going.
3. what is the difference between filter and preference? I was able to set preference to include location, shape, and color in the toolbar but then the option went away and have not seen filter option at all.
on to trying out the toolbar - for my test I used , treeclinging, and pennsylvania, and it narrowed to 10 birds. at this point I chose all colors. the "10 birds" phrase is hyperlinked are you intending to eventually enable the person to click on that and get a page of all ten birds, etc at once so the user can scan. if not it shouldnt be hyperlinked because clicking it now just erases the whole search and you have to start over again.
above are all nitpicky little things for improvement you might be interested in. the positives:
1. like the prior version ( the one I was using was for explorer), having a search list integrated into your browser is great. the additional utility of having your multiple filter approach on the existing toolbar makes even better sense and increases the value 100 fold.
2. I dont know enough to compare nuts and bolts of explorer versus firefox but it seems that the way firefox is set up enhances the usability of the winged toolbar.
3. obviously there is nothing else like this that is so comprehensive and user friendly. I would love to run new version on explorer to compare speed etc, but as it stands it seems like firefox runs so much faster than explorer in general that running your toolbar on it would be preferred.
4. I dont know what inclusion in their database means, other than it wouldnt ask if you trust the download source.
one other thing that I couldnt find, the help tutorial after I began using the toolbar.
have you thought about using the algorithm you have set up the opposite way as a testing tool? for example, as an online course, if you asked someone to "draw" a pileated woodpecker, they would then have to select the appropriate attributes and build a bird.