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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    http://fourthworld.com/products/webmerge/index.html

    It looks great, downloaded the trial and was surprised to find that I could actually make a quick template gith Dreamweaver and build 20 test pages (trial version limit) in 0.5 sec And no need to know php or anything like that.

    But is it worth it? Does it have any limitations? If it is worth it, why has it been mentioned only once?

    TIA,
    Javi

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador CrazyGuy's Avatar
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    Javi

    A couple such tools have been mentioned.

    I think the main limitation was that they didn't support a category structure more than one deep (so a product could be in category but not in category/subcategory).

    While that works for some datafeeds, it's too flat for many others.

    Are you Crazy?

  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CrazyGuyâ„¢:
    I think the main limitation was that they didn't support a category structure more than one deep (so a product could be in category but not in category/subcategory).

    While that works for some datafeeds, it's too flat for many others.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I agree...I looked extensively at WebMerge but there were soooo many things that you really need to be able to do (multiple hierarchies, relational navagation, etc) that it just doesn't seem to be able to do (yet). The best I was able to determine is that the most you could hope for was a two-level directory structure.

    -------
    Stanley

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    As a static page generator, WebMerge cannot replace all of the functionality of a live database. If you need all of the features provided by a database system, investing the time and effort to set up a database-driven solution is likely your best bet.

    But there are a great many situations for which WebMerge is an ideal fit, even for a lot of sites that already have extensive database systems like BMI Music Publishing, the London Review of Books, the US Library of Congress, and others using WebMerge as a part of their regular production workflow.

    Since WebMerge works from database export files, it does make it ultra-easy to work with row-and-column tabular data. Given that databases are mostly comprised of tables this works very well for most publishable data, but WebMerge is not strictly limited to that.

    With a little more effort and some inventiveness, WebMerge has been used to generate three-, four-, and more-level hierarchies, usually by making a separate settings file for each level. I had a customer just yesterday who generated 150,000 pages in a three-level hieraerchy doing that.

    I've been asking customers who express a need for n-level deep hierarchies exactly what the end result will look like, and it turns out their needs vary broadly. Oddly enough, the IndexLabel tag (which writes content to an index page when data in a field changes, such as a category name) turned out to be all that was needed for the majority of requests that originally came in looking for n-level deep hierarchies. Most of the remainder have been satisfied by making multiple settings files and running them as a batch as noted above.

    If you have a specific need that can't be addressed in WebMerge today and can describe how your source data is structured and what you'd like the end result to look like, I'd very much welcome the challenge. A few hundred people get their feature requests met every couple months or so -- drop me a line and I'll be happy to add yours to the queue.

    - Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corp.
    ambassador@fourthworld.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks for posting Richard!

    Just before reading your post I realised that with the new WM-LinkIndex, WM-LinkIndexFirst, WM-LinkIndexPrevious, WM-LinkIndexNext, WM-LinkIndexLast tags I might be able to do what I have in mind

    I'll just have to wait for my December checks to clear before I get the registration code

    Javi

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    Thanks for popping over and explaining Richard.
    I'll be downloading and playing over the weekend

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  7. #7
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    Playing with this now. I must be doing something wrong as it is taking forever to merge. Guess I should make the file smaller or something or try to break into smaller pages. Guess this will keep me busy this weekend.
    Cazzie

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    How are you going with it Cazzie?

    I have to finish off some updates before I download, otherwise they'll never get done.

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  9. #9
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    You really don't want to know! I wound up with lots of html files that said this page is a free version etc and nothing else on the page. Never did get it to make one page with all the items on it and have it inserted into Front Page. LMAO Will keep plugging away here, try try again. Seriously it looks like it would be an easy thing for those that have more computer smarts than me. Probably doing something stupid as usual.
    Cazzie

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador mousejockey's Avatar
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    LOL! I'm working flat out to finish these updates, can't wait to get into it...and make
    a mess...Think Positive - Think Positive lol!

    Richard did say we could put in a request,
    how about we ask for a one button instant datafeed no brainer

    "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 reasons why it doesn't work"
    Thomas Edison

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    I'm working on the "Do as I meant, not as I said" feature, but that will have to wait until after I add support for psychic templates (is Madam Clio available for tech consulting?).

    In the meantime, most pages take only a couple milliseconds per page, and take longer only when there's a problem with the template that forces WebMerge to use a much slower method of parsing it. Send me your template when you have a moment and I'll see if I can fix it and send it right back to you.

    That's probably a useful tip with any tool: I only stumbled across this discussion board on the recommendation of a prospective customer, and with so many forums around the 'Net I'm only able to monitor a few dozen mailing lists and newsgroups. So if you have a problem with a tool not performing as expected, you'll get fastest results from contacting the vendor directly.

    Well, after trying to get support from larger companies maybe that's not always true. But here I try to respond to support requests within 48 hours, often less.

    I look forward to taking a look at your template -

    PS: I actually would like to add a "Datafeed no-brainer" mode if there's enough demand for a consistent implementation of such a thing. If we can find sufficient commonalities of source formats and template layouts I'd be happy to see what I could do to provide something as close to one-click operation as possible. If it's useful, keep in mind that the libraries I'm using make HTTP-delivered sources almost as simple as local export files, so we can look at RSS or other feed options if needed. I'm adding RSS support to another tool this weekend....

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But here I try to respond to support requests within 48 hours, often less.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think the fastest was 15 minutes (my email refreshes every 15 minutes)

    ----------------------------
    If at first you don't succeed, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Glad to see Richard here- don't hesitate to let him know when you have questions or requests- he's quick and good with responses and has shown a great ability to tailor his release to customer desires!

    Jessica Hutson
    Manager of Affiliate Relations/Development
    Interactive Affiliate Network
    http://affiliate.travelnow.com/affiliates/home.jsp

  14. #14
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Richard,

    Thanks for posting here on ABW. I just downloaded the trial version and played with your software, i have many affiliates here that will find this tool an excellent starting solution. We have multiple feeds in various stages of development and we have many affiliate partners after me to get them those feeds. Many have php, asp knowledge but the majority don't. This software seems to be a good, effective starting point for many on my team to start out with.

    I'll be sending you a private e-mail with a few ideas.

    Again, thanks for posting and welcome to our family!!

    Andy Rodriguez,
    Online Advertising / Affiliate Marketing Manager

    TigerDirect.com
    P: (305) 415-2313
    E: andy.rodriguez@tigerdirect.com
    ICQ: 175010
    AIM: miamitigercub

  15. #15
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    Fourth World,

    I'm really intrigued by your product. A universal tool that would take almost any database and convert it into static HTML...have I died and gone to heaven? Really though for most of us here on this forum a working example using a small data sample from say...TigerDirect for instance that would utilize all the data from the sample dataset arranged in a multi-heirachal format (complete with simple templates) would really help sell your product. I personally spent 3+ days tinkering with WebMerge without being able to produce the output I was looking for. I'm one of those people that learn best by example...just SHOW me how and usually I can figure out the details myself. If you really want to know what quite a few of us junior data file junkies are trying to accomplish just look at the output generated by one of David Cusimano's scripts. I want the same functionality and output generated by David's scripts...I just want to be able to have access to a wider group of datafile seta than currently David can provide. I'll continue to use David's scripts when possilbe becuase they are virtually idiot proof...but I'm ready to start expanding past the scripts that David has available.

    -------
    Stanley
    ...now accepting link exchange partners at CollectorPlateClassifieds.com

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I'd love to see it be able to populate shopping category pages with merchant datafeeds complete with images.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! Where's the love and show me the money?

  17. #17
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    It can do that no problem. It is just a matter of creating the correct template, with a little creativity.

    IMHO navigation is the weak point.

    ----------------------------
    If at first you don't succeed, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager
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    I've added nearly a dozen navigation tags for recent versions, and I'd be happy to add more if you'll tell me what you need.

    Same for parsing datafeeds: If there's a way we can simplify working with feeds I'd jump at the opportunity to do so if you'll drop me a note and let me know specifically what you want to do.

    I try to get to this forum as frequently as I can, but to be honest the fastest way to get results from a vendor is to write them directly. As Jessica kindly pointed out, I'm very earnest about delivering new features to support a wide range of workflows. I tend to release new features at least every other month, so hopefully we can add something for you for v2.3 (WebMerge 2.2 was released last week).

    Please send feature requests to my email address below and I'll see what I can do to add those to the program.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  19. #19
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    Anyone know which preset to use if you are using Microsoft works? I do not see it listed in the presets. Also when saving the file in works, what extension should it be saved in?
    One step at a time
    Thanks
    Cazzie

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    First, this thing is pretty cool for making static pages. I will be registering it shortly, looks like a pretty nifty solution. I can always clean up whatever problems ir leaves on some pages with a search and replace in Dreamweaver.

    Cazzie, try to save in either .csv or .txt

    Thanks,

    Fred

    In an effort to watch your cholesterol, you eat Spam Lite.

  21. #21
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    Webkmerge looks great at first glance - though I am not really sure what I am doing .

    One question not directly related to webmerge.
    How do you get your affiliate ID into the database? Presumably you process the database - do you add a new field? What is the simplest way of doing this so I could take e.g. Tiger Direct Datafeed, incorporate my ID and use webmerge to build me pages?

    Andy Williams

    Keyword DARTs - New search engine optimization software
    http://www.affiliate-masters.co.uk/k...timization.htm

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager
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    Most databases provide a way to populate a given field across all records with a given value, such as your ID.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cazzie:
    Anyone know which preset to use if you are using Microsoft works? I do not see it listed in the presets. Also when saving the file in works, what extension should it be saved in?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't yet have presets for Microsoft Works, but if you'll send me an example file I'll see if I can add one for the next version.

    In the meantime, remember that the presets are simply a convenience for those using the most popular database and spreadsheet software. Even without using a particular preset, you have complete control over the field delimiters.

    Which delimiters you'll use will depend on the format of the exported file. For example, if you choose a tab-delimited format, then just select Tab from the delimiter option control.

    As for the file extension, exports are plain text files so .txt is most appropriate. If you need to use another extension, while WebMerge is set up to filter .txt in its file selection dialogs by default you can override this by holding down the Alt key when clicking a control that presents a file selection dialg; with the Alt key held dowm (or Option key if on a Mac) you can select any file.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by buy_online:
    First, this thing is pretty cool for making static pages. I will be registering it shortly, looks like a pretty nifty solution. I can always clean up whatever problems ir leaves on some pages with a search and replace in Dreamweaver.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ideally, WebMerge should add only data from your database and not affect other parts of your HTML templates.

    If you find WebMerge is generating pages that require cleanup, please send me the template and an example of the bbad output so I can see if I can address it in the software.

    If a perfect world, after setting it up you shuld be able to run WebMerge with just one click. Anytime you need to do more than that, please send a feature request or bug report to my email address below.


    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  25. #25
    Full Member Abusaki's Avatar
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    Hi Richard,
    I sent a feed back on your site and followed it up with an email but never got any reply.
    I have a registered copy of Webmerge
    Could you PM me please

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