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  1. #1
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    Next Release?
    When can you speculate the next release to be? ETA?

    -Jeff

  2. #2
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    That depends, Jeff: What would you like to see in it?

    I'm working on v3.0 now, but am considering putting out a v2.7 between now and then.

    If you could kindly list a few of the features you're looking for most, I'll see which ones I can do in the current code base before the switch to v3.0 and maybe I can deliver some of those a little sooner.

    Thanks in advance -
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the reply,

    The feature desperately needed is described in this post.
    how to create subfolders automaticly? - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum

    -Regards,
    -Jeff Zakovec

  4. #4
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    I don't know if this should be a feature request, I've searched the forum for anything on this and couldn't find anything....

    I'd like there to be a way to spin description of products to make pages more unique, in fact any functionality that helps make pages a bit different would be awesome.

    I recently bought WebMerge but am now unsure about using it as I can't figure out how to make lots of pages which are sufficiently different that Google will rank them well.

    The product details might be different but how do you make 10,000 pages have different meta tags? How do you add relevant but different content to 10,000 pages other than the content of the datafeed?

    It seems that whilst a wonderful tool there isn't enough advice around to really make the most of it.

    Sean

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    WebMerge can build thousands of pages, each one different and with unique title and description, etc. It just takes creativity and practice.

  6. #6
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanchk View Post
    I recently bought WebMerge but am now unsure about using it as I can't figure out how to make lots of pages which are sufficiently different that Google will rank them well.
    try to find fields in the datafeed that are relevant and pull them into the meta tag. usable data varies with the merchants' feeds.

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  8. #7
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    It helps if you spend a few extra minutes customizing a new field or two in the feed.

  9. #8
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    Thanks 2Busy and Herb.

    I figured I could use the meta tags and found some great tips in regard to them on here. I had even thought of creating my own fields, but I've not yet thought of a way to create sufficient unique content to really make loads of pages.

    I obviously need to start thinking outside the box a bit :-)

    Appreciate your push in the right direction though!

    Sean

  10. #9
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    One feature planned for v3.0 which might be useful is to provide an interface for customizing fields, and keep those changes between updates to the feed. This way you could do your modifications without having to have an intermediary database.

    The tricky part is finding a way to uniquely identify each record in each feed. I've looked into doing a concatenation of an abbreviation of the feed supplier + the feed name + the product ID within the feed, but I find some feeds make that difficult.

    What would you recommend as a unique identifier for records within feeds?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourthWorld View Post
    That depends, Jeff: What would you like to see in it?

    If you could kindly list a few of the features you're looking for most, I'll see which ones I can do in the current code base before the switch to v3.0 and maybe I can deliver some of those a little sooner.

    Thanks in advance -
    The feature I would most like to see is that the upload feature would remember what was uploaded and only update the changed files. Each time I make one change or add a new record, I still have to upload the entire contents of my data and detail directories.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpdiaz View Post
    The feature I would most like to see is that the upload feature would remember what was uploaded and only update the changed files. Each time I make one change or add a new record, I still have to upload the entire contents of my data and detail directories.
    This is related to my previous post, in that we need a way to uniquely identify each record in order to keep track of them for comparison.

    The comparison data itself is the easy part, since I have a function in my toolkit which will let me make a digest of each record which requires only 24 bytes per record - with today's hard drives that's nothing. But making sure we're finding the right record is another matter.

    Does your feed have a unique ID field? Some feeds don't, or claim to but I've seen cases where all records in the feed have the same ID.

    That said, this incremental-generation-and-upload feature in development now, slated for v3.0. At the moment the plan is to let the user determine which field to use as the ID, but if the data doesn't have that in a reliable form to begin with the feature won't be able to be used (one more reason to make sure merchants double-check their feeds).

    In fact, this raises a question: Do you think merchants would use a free tool that checked their feeds for consistency (that it has a unique ID field, that some values conform to the field definitions, etc.)?

    Perhaps it would be worth taking a day to put that together and see if merchants would use it....
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourthWorld View Post
    This is related to my previous post, in that we need a way to uniquely identify each record in order to keep track of them for comparison.

    Does your feed have a unique ID field? Some feeds don't, or claim to but I've seen cases where all records in the feed have the same ID.
    Yes, my feed has a UNIQUE ID field.

    Quote Originally Posted by FourthWorld View Post
    In fact, this raises a question: Do you think merchants would use a free tool that checked their feeds for consistency (that it has a unique ID field, that some values conform to the field definitions, etc.)? Perhaps it would be worth taking a day to put that together and see if merchants would use it....
    I would definitely use it, but wouldn't it be the kind of tool that you are only likely to use once for each database? Or would you use it to check the database each time you change it?

    My database has a field that creates a new unique serial number for each new record that is created. So, it should be good to go.

  14. #13
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    The best way I've done this in one of my php scripts is to use the product url (merchant url) as the unique key, or create a hash of the entire record using the url as the id key. All this can easily break tho, just like mod_rewrite rules doing pretty urls.

    I've done this sort of thing using php, mysql database for my google sitemap.
    basically here's what happens.

    If a url is clicked, php checks mysql database for that url in database, if url exists, break, if not insert it.

    -- but what about url's that don't exist? same thing above but it removes the url from database. the problem i now face, is a small harmless change to the url using a variable meaning nothing is valid. for example (index.php?hell0)

    php is too dumb or perhaps i'm too dumb to say... alright (index.php?hello) does not exist.

    just some ideas. I think what your looking for is an option desperately needed, but doesn't fit all feeds. i can see this working in affiliate data feeds, but not rss or api feeds.

    best of luck man.
    -Jeff

  15. #14
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    Categories & File Naming
    Couple features would be nice.

    1.) Being able to place fields from the feed in a text box that would build the directory hierarchy. ie [WM-Field: country]/[WM-Field: state]/[WM-Field: city]

    instead of building it from within the feed. Currently, if you do build it within the feed a neat trick using the free download from OOd (Calc) is to create an empty column then use this command to join various columns AND insert "/" between them to create sub categories.

    =CONCATENATE( C2:C9; "/"; F2:F9; "/"; J2:J9 )

    2.) Save the file name from contents of a field AND ALONG with the above instead of just being able to choose the serial option for the name factor

  16. #15
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    Lion Compatibility
    Will there be a Lion friendly version released soon. The 2.6.1 version no longer works.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by billfew View Post
    Will there be a Lion friendly version released soon. The 2.6.1 version no longer works.
    Yes, I also got your two email messages sent minutes before this forum post Sunday, but I couldn't find a description in any of these as to what exactly happens on your system.

    Is the OS reporting something to you, or is the app throwing an error? Also, what hardware are you running on?

    We have other installations running well under Lion, so without more info I'm unable to determine exactly what's happening on your system without more detail. I look forward to your guidance on that.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  18. #17
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    More Info Webmerge issue
    Sorry, I thought that maybe everyone was having the issue

    MacBook Pro
    17-inch, Early 2008
    Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 512 MB
    Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.1 (11B26)
    250 GB - SATA Disk

    4W WebMerge
    Application (Universal)
    8,129,148 bytes (8.1 MB on disk)
    Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:34 AM
    2.6.1
    Copyright 2000-2010, Fourth World Corporation, All Rights Reserved.

    ERROR SAYS:
    "You can't open the application 4W Webmerge because PowerPC applications are no longer supported."


    The icon for the application is still intact unlike others that no longer work that are greyed out with a circle with and a line through it.

    Does that help?

    Thanks,
    Bill Few

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by billfew View Post
    Sorry, I thought that maybe everyone was having the issue
    Actually, this is the first such report we've seen with Lion, so I very much appreciated the details you've provided.

    This was especially helpful:
    ERROR SAYS:
    "You can't open the application 4W Webmerge because PowerPC applications are no longer supported."
    This is odd, because the application isn't PPC per se, but is in Universal Binary format, which is normally recognized as having Intel-native code included. Given the number of PPC Macs still in circulation, you'll find plenty of Universal Binary apps out there.

    One way the OS may get confused about whether to check for the Intel-native portion of the app may be if you've ever set the "Open Using Rosetta" checkbox in the Finder's Get Info window. I don't believe that checkbox exists anymore in Lion, since Lion no longer supports Rosetta, so you probably won't be able to check that on your upgraded system.

    Perhaps the simplest solution for the moment would be to toss your existing WebMerge app and reinstall a fresh copy from our web site:
    WebMerge - Download

    That should ideally clear any OS settings which had prevented the app from being recognized as Universal Binary, and will hopefully get you back to work ASAP.

    If not please give me a call and we'll try some further diagnosis: 800-288-5825.

    Thanks -
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  20. #19
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    Fresh Install
    Thanks for your help and reply.

    Here are the steps I took following your instructions:
    1. I deleted the entire 4W folder and emptied the trash.
    2. Restarted the computer
    3. I did a global file search and looked for the term WebMerge
    4. No other copies of the software exist (except for the created templates)
    5. I downloaded a fresh copy of the software from the website
    6. Extracted and installed per instructions
    7. Restarted the computer
    8. Clicked on the application icon
    9. Got the message: 4W WebMerge is an application downloaded from the internet. Are you sure you want to open it?
    10. Clicked Open
    11. Got error message: "You can't open the application 4W Webmerge because PowerPC applications are no longer supported."
    12. Clicked on Get Info to be sure this was the latest version of the software.

    Attached are screen shots of each step.

    I am open to suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Bill Few
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #20
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    Thanks for the details, Jeff. Interesting that Lion recognizes the app as being Universal Binary in the Get Info window, yet can't find the Intel code to run it.

    This appears to be an OS bug, but there's probably a workaround for it I can implement on this end.

    I'll do some research and report back what I find.....
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  22. #21
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    WebMerge and Lion
    Here is some additional information...

    I decided to play a little so I used Control Open to get a look inside of the application package of WebMerge.
    Inside I found a folder called MacOS. I opened it and inside was a file with the application name.

    I tried the Get Info command and discovered it was a Terminal program so I thought why not try to run the script and see what happens.

    I double clicked on the file and a Terminal window opened that contained a few lines of text. The next thing that happened was that WebMerge booted. I closed everything and tried the same process again. After the terminal window opened, WebMerge started up again.

    I opened a settings template and tried running the file and it worked correctly.

    I turned off the Terminal application and WebMerge stopped.

    I clicked directly on the WebMerge icon to start the application and got the error message again.

    "You can't open the application 4W Webmerge because PowerPC applications are no longer supported."


    Does that help?

    Thanks so very much for your help.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #22
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    I was able to resolve the issue for Bill by delivering to him a custom build of the latest version for Intel only.

    But in spite of our best efforts, Bill and I were unable to figure out how OS X got itself confused about the app in the first place.

    His screenshot of the Finder's Get Info window shows that the OS understands that the app is in Universal Binary format, which is supported under Lion (PowerPC-only apps are the only ones that don't run under the latest Mac OS).

    Yet his Finder believes the app isn't Universal Binary, and reports to him that it's PowerPC only.

    At first I thought this might be a corrupt entry in the OS's LaunchServices database, so I put together a simple AppleScript applet and sent that to Bill to run to freshen it up. He reporting running it smoothly, but even after the refresh the symptom remained the same.

    So at the moment Bill's issue is resolved, but I would be very keen to learn of any other anomalies you folks might find with Lion. We haven't found any in our own internal testing, and Bill's was the first report of such an issue we've seen. But if you see anything odd with Lion or any version of the OS, please drop me a note or give me a call and we'll do our best to resolve it as well as we did for Bill.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

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