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  1. #1
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    Please post our feature requests here.


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    Richard Gaskin
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  2. #2
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    Copied from an earlier post:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    -- A hierachical generation of pages based on datafeed categories. i.e. "main_category" goes in the root directory, "sub-category1" goes in a sub-directory of the root (or somewhere else of my choosing)...and so on. Several levels would be awesome.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Agreed. I've been working on ways to make this even simpler than the current method, which is to make a settings file for each level. Unfortunately, I'm not particularly excited about the solutions I've come up with thus far, so I could use some guidance:

    As a user, how would you expect to be able to set up multi-level hierarchies?

    Don't worry about the underlying programming -- that's my job. But the hardest part of my job is to try to understand what makes sense fo the user, and in such cases the user is in the best position to describe what would make a good solution for them.

    Your suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.


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  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> As a user, how would you expect to be able to set up multi-level hierarchies? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hopefully this'll be clear...I can see it plainly in my mind's eye and have been wishing for this for ages (like Buy Online apparently has, too) but haven't tried to describe it until now!

    Say the feed's got different values for a field, randomly dispersed. Like for instance, the "category" field of the product records.

    It would *automatically* make a new folder (but only if one didn't already exist), for each category. AND it would put all relevant pages into their proper folder(s). And it would take into account the inexplicable drive by some merchants, to call their categories things like "camping/outdoors" or somesuch, by auto-changing that slash into a dash. And it'd set up the nav.

    This would be doable for any field the user selects. Merchant name, price range, category, etc.

    As for THE NAVIGATION. You know how the current index pages auto-generate nav to the detail pages (of course)... This same type of thing should happen at the top-tier page of the multilevel setup. In other words... The main index page would autogenerate links to all the category-level index pages. And the category-level index pages would auto-generate links to the detail pages.

    The main page autogenerating links to the category-level index pages is very important--some merchants have thousands of products and unknown numbers of categories!! So if the program doesn't make those links on its own, some are going to be missed!

    On the user end it'd just take a click or two to tell the program which field to catalog by and the rest would happen "by magic"! Of course it would also be nice to be able to go infinite levels deep. Like, Main--&gt;Outdoors--&gt;Camping--&gt;Cooking--&gt;Stoves--&gt;Coleman--&gt;Single Burner

    and have this all just happen perfectly and automagically when I hit Generate Pages once.

    In other words I'm dreaming of being able to do a full-fledged multiple category site--nice nav included--with just one or two more clicks!

    There are some hitches I can anticipate in this. Mainly, all the data isn't in the same field in the feed! In my example, for instance, the "outdoor", "cooking" and other very general things may be in the Category field. But "Coleman" is a Manufacturer and would be in the Manufacturer field. "Single Burner" would probably be hidden in the Description or Keywords. A fine mess! But even being able to drill down through several levels of the Category field would be a big help, at least when the merchant has done his end of the j*b right and put in all the info.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Don't worry about the underlying programming -- that's my job. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You got it!

    -I've been a king, and I've been a pauper, and everything there is in between ~T.G. Sheppard. NOT Frank Sinatra!

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Richard,

    Thanks for replying to my post. I am going to reply to some of it here, as this is a better thread, also the other seems to have gotten a little "wide."

    My remarks are not meant as a complaint, but to let you know how I (the user) sees your interface and how it works/doesn't work for me.

    It sounds like I am the only one that is seeing the non-MSwin cursor. Bizarre. I have double checked the video drivers, they are correct. Yours is the only application where I have seen a change in cursor (save for some DOS apps). Oh well

    Concerning the log file. Just let me know where I can find it ! I don't know where it is.

    Regarding the size of the application window, it wold be nice to be able to re-size it. Again, this is a user thing, more "touchy-feely."

    Having said that, it would be nice to be able to re-size or scroll the source file window. I realize that I can look at this file in Excel or Access, but that means one more application has to be running when all I need is too see a few more characters in a field. Impossible now.

    For the same reason, it would be nice to be able to see more records. If this requires more overhead, then let us look at a handful of records. If there is something wrong with it, then I might be able to see a trend. I will also be able to look at the first several SKU's for example, again without opening another application. When I am designing index templates, I use your app's interface to see the fields that I will use in the design. All I need is a peek at the data - WebMerge gives me that.

    Again, no complaints here. I looked at your app, and paid for its capabilities at the time. If you are going to add stuff to make it work better - awesome! Posting the questions/suggestions here at ABW was not meant to cause problems, I just wanted to add one more voice to the chorus concerning features and requests.

    Thanks again,

    Fred

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
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    ODBC connection support
    XML file support
    On the fly substitution
    multiple field sorting
    field "glue" (stick multiple fields together for use as category breaks, index descriptions, template names, etc within the program, not output)
    cascading template options (use template 1 if this is true, otherwise use template 2 unless it is friday then use template 3)

    Let me know if you want logic flow help with any of these.

    g


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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    "cascading template options (use template 1 if this is true, otherwise use template 2 unless it is friday then use template 3)"

    Oh ! Yes...YES ! Me too.

    Fred

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
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    another... (notice I did not say "one more")
    link encoding (sub spaces and such in URLs with hex)

    g


    There are only 10 kinds of people that get binary, those that do and those that don't.

  8. #8
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    Hopefully this'll be clear...I can see it plainly in my mind's eye and have been wishing for this for ages (like Buy Online apparently has, too) but haven't tried to describe it until now!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Great stuff, Leader. Not easy to implement, but a good starting point toward a smoother solution.

    I've printed it and have it posted here where I can ponder it.... no doubt I'll have questions as I work on it some more....

    Thanks for posting that.


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  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by buy_online:
    Richard,

    Thanks for replying to my post. I am going to reply to some of it here, as this is a better thread, also the other seems to have gotten a little "wide."
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yeah, I wish there was a way to edit posts so we could g back to put in line breaks as needed. Haiko, can that be done more than an hour after posting?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    My remarks are not meant as a complaint, but to let you know how I (the user) sees your interface and how it works/doesn't work for me.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No problem. I realized later my post may have sounded brusk. Not my intention (the Internet is so bad for conveying tone), just a lot of support to handle lately, slowing development of new features. There are worse problems to have: no one could be using it at all.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It sounds like I am the only one that is seeing the non-MSwin cursor. Bizarre. I have double checked the video drivers, they are correct. Yours is the only application where I have seen a change in cursor (save for some DOS apps). Oh well <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's one of the tradeoffs with the library I'm using: it is described as "very good at finding bugs in video drivers", with the upside being that the program is self-contained without throwing DLLs or other components all over your hard drive (it amazes me what some developers will do to a user's machine).

    As a general rule, if a vendor has a newer version of a driver it mean they found bugs. So in diagnosing a problem, the first step is to reduce the range of ther people's bugs to see if the program still exhibits the unexpected behavior. I can't guarantee that it'll fix this one, but ruling out their bugs will help us greatly in pinning down the issue. And FWIW, I haven't had a case yet in which that sort of drawing anomaly wasn't fixed by the video driver vendor themselves. Keep me posted on how that goes....

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Concerning the log file. Just let me know where I can find it ! I don't know where it is.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Next to the checkbox for the Log option is a button that lets you nae the file. If you don't recall where you set it last time, just click it again to assign it a new location.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Regarding the size of the application window, it wold be nice to be able to re-size it. Again, this is a user thing, more "touchy-feely."

    Having said that, it would be nice to be able to re-size or scroll the source file window. I realize that I can look at this file in Excel or Access, but that means one more application has to be running when all I need is too see a few more characters in a field. Impossible now.

    For the same reason, it would be nice to be able to see more records. If this requires more overhead, then let us look at a handful of records. If there is something wrong with it, then I might be able to see a trend. I will also be able to look at the first several SKU's for example, again without opening another application. When I am designing index templates, I use your app's interface to see the fields that I will use in the design. All I need is a peek at the data - WebMerge gives me that.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    More will be coming along those lines. Not in v2.3, but hopefully by v2.5.


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  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>ODBC connection support<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    On the list for v3.0.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>XML file support<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Please send me an example file if you have one that's under 1MB. Doing a general XML parser is a lot of work, but doing one for a specific schema is generally pretty easy. I have one for RSS and some other formats I work with, and if there's a particular XXML structure in mind I'd like to see if I could add that sooner rather than later.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>On the fly substitution<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    To be included in the next release (already implemented).

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>multiple field sorting<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Do you want multple sorts at the outset, extending the single-criteria sort that's there now? Or are you looking to sort something for a specifc tag?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>field "glue" (stick multiple fields together for use as category breaks, index descriptions, template names, etc within the program, not output)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Do you mean concatenating multiple fields into a single tag?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>cascading template options (use template 1 if this is true, otherwise use template 2 unless it is friday then use template 3)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The If tag allows a fair amount of conditional generation. Take a gander at that when you have a moment and let me know where it's lacking.


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  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gwhite:
    link encoding (sub spaces and such in URLs with hex)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm afraid I don't understand this one (long day here). Could I trouble you for a little more detail for the caffeine-challenged?


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  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> As a user, how would you expect to be able to set up multi-level hierarchies? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hopefully this'll be clear...I can see it plainly in my mind's eye and have been wishing for this for ages (like Buy Online apparently has, too) but haven't tried to describe it until now!

    Say the feed's got different values for a field, randomly dispersed. Like for instance, the "category" field of the product records.

    It would *automatically* make a new folder (but only if one didn't already exist), for each category. AND it would put all relevant pages into their proper folder(s). And it would take into account the inexplicable drive by some merchants, to call their categories things like "camping/outdoors" or somesuch, by auto-changing that slash into a dash. And it'd set up the nav.

    This would be doable for any field the user selects. Merchant name, price range, category, etc.

    As for THE NAVIGATION. You know how the current index pages auto-generate nav to the detail pages (of course)... This same type of thing should happen at the top-tier page of the multilevel setup. In other words... The main index page would autogenerate links to all the category-level index pages. And the category-level index pages would auto-generate links to the detail pages.

    The main page autogenerating links to the category-level index pages is very important--some merchants have thousands of products and unknown numbers of categories!! So if the program doesn't make those links on its own, some are going to be missed!

    On the user end it'd just take a click or two to tell the program which field to catalog by and the rest would happen "by magic"! Of course it would also be nice to be able to go infinite levels deep. Like, Main--&gt;Outdoors--&gt;Camping--&gt;Cooking--&gt;Stoves--&gt;Coleman--&gt;Single Burner

    and have this all just happen perfectly and automagically when I hit Generate Pages once.

    In other words I'm dreaming of being able to do a full-fledged multiple category site--nice nav included--with just one or two more clicks!

    There are some hitches I can anticipate in this. Mainly, all the data isn't in the same field in the feed! In my example, for instance, the "outdoor", "cooking" and other very general things may be in the Category field. But "Coleman" is a Manufacturer and would be in the Manufacturer field. "Single Burner" would probably be hidden in the Description or Keywords. A fine mess! But even being able to drill down through several levels of the Category field would be a big help, at least when the merchant has done his end of the j*b right and put in all the info.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Here's the tough part: How would you like to tell WebMerge to do that in a tag? What would the tag look like?

    Hmmm....


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  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I hadn't given that part much thought...I figured I'd just rote in the Magic Words like with all the others!

    Brainstorming a bit here...

    But for the main index page it could look similar to the one for the detail pages. Something like (hopefully this'll show up, if it doesn't I'll have to mess with editing this post):

    [WM-Record]
    [WM-Field: CategoryTitle]
    [/WM-Record]

    If there's more than one category level involved, that could be specified by an attribute like this:

    [WM-Record]
    [WM-Field: CategoryTitle level=1]
    [/WM-Record]

    And that cols= attribute would be usable, too.

    I'm not sure just how to get everything into the appropriate spot on the category tree. I know it can be done somehow, because there are sites that have everything come out nice and logical in terms of category hierarchy!

    I hadn't really considered the "hows" of it before I read your last post, though, any more than the laws of physics would be in my mind when looking for a car.

    -I've been a king, and I've been a pauper, and everything there is in between ~T.G. Sheppard. NOT Frank Sinatra!

  14. #14
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    I was just running some pages when I remembered this~!

    When making an index page with only one column of links, WM spaces out the links with a gap in between them. In the generated HTML code there's this: &lt; br &gt; &lt; br &gt; (spaces added in tags so they'll show up)

    I would love it if that gap was eliminated! So the HTML would only have one &lt; br &gt; between each link.

    I always end up find/replacing the 2 br's with 1 br when I want a single line list.

    Some might say the other way is easier to read but it also makes the list look twice as long as it is...

    -I've been a king, and I've been a pauper, and everything there is in between ~T.G. Sheppard. NOT Frank Sinatra!

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Fourth World:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gwhite:
    link encoding (sub spaces and such in URLs with hex)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm afraid I don't understand this one (long day here). Could I trouble you for a little more detail for the caffeine-challenged?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">http://www.affiliatesite.com?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww</pre> see the end part with the percentage 3A (I hope this comes out correctly on the board).

    g


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  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Please send me an example file if you have one that's under 1MB. Doing a general XML parser is a lot of work, but doing one for a specific schema is generally pretty easy. I have one for RSS and some other formats I work with, and if there's a particular XXML structure in mind I'd like to see if I could add that sooner rather than later.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    the files I have seen are pretty straightforward,
    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">&lt;prod&gt;&lt;name&gt;My thing&lt;/name&gt;&lt;price&gt;1.00&lt;/price&gt;&lt;description&gt;A neat thing&lt;/description&gt;&lt;/prod&gt;
    &lt;prod&gt;&lt;name&gt;My other thing&lt;/name&gt;&lt;price&gt;</pre>

    Each prod is a record, each tag is a field name. Lots of tools out there that import XML to spreadsheets or cvs.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Do you want multple sorts at the outset, extending the single-criteria sort that's there now? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    yes

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>field "glue" (stick multiple fields together for use as category breaks, index descriptions, template names, etc within the program, not output)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Do you mean concatenating multiple fields into a single tag?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, I was thinking this in conjuction with multiple sort fields helped solve the category level problem. Most SQL databases allow you to create a multi-field key, I am thinking along those lines, where you say MyNewKey = brand + main_cat + sub_cat (these are fields in the data file). Then you can use MyNewKey to flag new index pages, page breaks etc... and of course it would be a writeable variable.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>cascading template options (use template 1 if this is true, otherwise use template 2 unless it is friday then use template 3)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    The If tag allows a fair amount of conditional generation. Take a gander at that when you have a moment and let me know where it's lacking.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Isn't the If tag within the template? I want to select the template to use as we process the data, for instance If the salesrank &lt;= 10 (a top ten seller) use best seller template, otherwise use regular product template.


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    There are only 10 kinds of people that get binary, those that do and those that don't.

  17. #17
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    Richard-
    hierarchies as I would like to see them -
    using the obvious example

    Right now I can set an index to separate out a new index everytime it hits a new city if I just run one state. Ideally, I would be able to say index 1 is created from this template and this filed (state) index 2 from these (city) and then detail pages. Does that make sense?

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

  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gwhite:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Fourth World:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gwhite:
    link encoding (sub spaces and such in URLs with hex)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm afraid I don't understand this one (long day here). Could I trouble you for a little more detail for the caffeine-challenged?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">http://www.affiliatesite.com?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww</pre> see the end part with the percentage 3A (I hope this comes out correctly on the board).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's already in the program: see the Help page for the WM-Field tag, taking note of the cgiEncoded attribute.


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  19. #19
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    I was just running some pages when I remembered this~!

    When making an index page with only one column of links, WM spaces out the links with a gap in between them. In the generated HTML code there's this: &lt; br &gt; &lt; br &gt; (spaces added in tags so they'll show up)

    I would love it if that gap was eliminated! So the HTML would only have one &lt; br &gt; between each link.

    I always end up find/replacing the 2 br's with 1 br when I want a single line list.

    Some might say the other way is easier to read but it also makes the list look twice as long as it is...
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Agreed. I'd call it a bug. Please send me your template and an example of the erroneous generated html file and I'll have that fixed for v2.3.


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  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jessica - IAN:
    Richard-
    hierarchies as I would like to see them -
    using the obvious example

    Right now I can set an index to separate out a new index everytime it hits a new city if I just run one state. Ideally, I would be able to say index 1 is created from this template and this filed (state) index 2 from these (city) and then detail pages. Does that make sense?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It makes sense in terms of understanding what's desired from the output. The challenge is how to tellk WebMerge to do that. What does the tag look like, or does it require changes to the interface, and what would those look like.

    In brief, how would you like to instruct WebMerge to do that for you? Keep in mind that three levels is insufficint fir many needs, so any solution we come up with has to support a variable number of levels.


    --
    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

  21. #21
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    I hadn't given that part much thought...I figured I'd just rote in the Magic Words like with all the others!

    Brainstorming a bit here...

    But for the main index page it could look similar to the one for the detail pages. Something like (hopefully this'll show up, if it doesn't I'll have to mess with editing this post):

    [WM-Record]
    [WM-Field: CategoryTitle]
    [/WM-Record]

    If there's more than one category level involved, that could be specified by an attribute like this:

    [WM-Record]
    [WM-Field: CategoryTitle level=1]
    [/WM-Record]

    And that cols= attribute would be usable, too.

    I'm not sure just how to get everything into the appropriate spot on the category tree. I know it can be done somehow, because there are sites that have everything come out nice and logical in terms of category hierarchy!

    I hadn't really considered the "hows" of it before I read your last post, though, any more than the laws of physics would be in my mind when looking for a car.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But the design of the steering wheel and dashboard are critical to the driver, even if they are (like myself) ignorant about repairing a car engine (it runs with little squirrels in there, right? &lt;g&gt.

    I like the simplicity of the "Level" attribute. Does it use the same index template for sub-levels, or should a template be specified there as well?


    --
    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

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>That's already in the program: see the Help page for the WM-Field tag, taking note of the cgiEncoded attribute.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Wow, you are good, programming features before we ask about them....

    g


    There are only 10 kinds of people that get binary, those that do and those that don't.

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Fourth World:
    In brief, how would you like to instruct WebMerge to do that for you? Keep in mind that three levels is insufficint fir many needs, so any solution we come up with has to support a variable number of levels.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Richard, this is exactly the situation I was referring to in the request for the ability to "glue" fields together to be a new key.

    g


    There are only 10 kinds of people that get binary, those that do and those that don't.

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gwhite:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Please send me an example file if you have one that's under 1MB. Doing a general XML parser is a lot of work, but doing one for a specific schema is generally pretty easy. I have one for RSS and some other formats I work with, and if there's a particular XXML structure in mind I'd like to see if I could add that sooner rather than later.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    the files I have seen are pretty straightforward,
    <pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">&lt;prod&gt;&lt;name&gt;My thing&lt;/name&gt;&lt;price&gt;1.00&lt;/price&gt;&lt;description&gt;A neat thing&lt;/description&gt;&lt;/prod&gt;
    &lt;prod&gt;&lt;name&gt;My other thing&lt;/name&gt;&lt;price&gt;</pre>

    Each prod is a record, each tag is a field name. Lots of tools out there that import XML to spreadsheets or cvs.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>[/QUOTE]

    XML itself is no more difficult than the Latin alphabet. But just as the alphabet is used to make dozens of languages, XML has an unlimited number of structures it can be used to build.

    If I had some assurrances that all vendors were using a structure as simple as the one you show I could drop that into WM in a heartbeat.

    But frankly, if the vendor's structure so closely oarallels a simple row-and-column structure, why bloat the file size and slow down parsing by using XML as opposed to a simple delimited file?

    The beauty of XML lies in its ability to represent complex hierarchies. Any two-level structure represented in XML just eats time and space over common alternatives, with no benefit.

    But if there are structure that show three or more leves, then attempting to break it down to a simple delimited row-and-column format woud fail -- that's where XML can shine.

    If you know of feeds that use XML for three or more levels please let me know where I can get a copy, or send one in email if you like.

    While I don;'t want to charge for processing each vendor's feed, I may be able to move on this more quickly by making vendor-specifuc filters for their data.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Do you want multple sorts at the outset, extending the single-criteria sort that's there now? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    yes <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'll see what I can do by v2.5 for that.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>field "glue" (stick multiple fields together for use as category breaks, index descriptions, template names, etc within the program, not output)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Do you mean concatenating multiple fields into a single tag?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, I was thinking this in conjuction with multiple sort fields helped solve the category level problem. Most SQL databases allow you to create a multi-field key, I am thinking along those lines, where you say MyNewKey = brand + main_cat + sub_cat (these are fields in the data file). Then you can use MyNewKey to flag new index pages, page breaks etc... and of course it would be a writeable variable.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Gotcha. I can do it, but it'll slow things down and eat a lot of RAM. That's where a live database is a great option; with WebMerge, it needs to figure everything out in advance and keep track of all possible combinations as it goes, but a live DB just figures it out once on the fly, generates the page, and forgets it.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR><BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>cascading template options (use template 1 if this is true, otherwise use template 2 unless it is friday then use template 3)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    The If tag allows a fair amount of conditional generation. Take a gander at that when you have a moment and let me know where it's lacking.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Isn't the If tag within the template? I want to select the template to use as we process the data, for instance If the salesrank &lt;= 10 (a top ten seller) use best seller template, otherwise use regular product template.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>[/QUOTE]

    Templates can be assigned in a field as well. Your idea seems like an extension of this, in which the template used will vary, but rather than being tied to a record it's tied to a set of evaluation criteria.

    Adding a section in the interface for setting up this evaluation criteria would complicate things and be expensive. I could add that to a Pro version -- how much would it be worth to you?

    If we can figure out a way to do that in the index tag that links to it I suspect we'll ultimately have a simpler system. What should such a tag look like?


    --
    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
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    About hierarchies and release dates:

    I've been holding back a number of bug fixes and new features while hoping to come up with a simpler method of making n-level hierarchies. Using multiple settings files works now, but there's been a strong interest in simplifying this further, one that I share with you.

    However, the level of greater simplicity we're looking for will take time to design and implement, and for all the good stuff in the conversation here we have yet to find the Gordian knot for this.

    In light of the many enhancements already completed for v2.3, I'm inclined to release it as it is today, and leave the enhancements for even simpler multi-level hierarchies for v2.4. I'll include a new example set using an affiliate feed from a popular vendor showing how to use multiple passes effectively.

    If I can get v2.3 out the door soon a lot of people will be very happy with the improvements, and I'll be able to focus my attention on further simplifying muti-level hierarchies for v2.4.

    Whaddya' think?


    --
    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

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