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  1. #1
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    In a post within the "Lessons Learned" thread Richard raised a very important question about Webmerge 3.0, but which has not received much response. Perhaps if the topic is posted separately it will receive more responses. Here is a summary of what has been posted so far:
    --
    FRANK
    Baertracks


    ========================
    STANLEY HOLTSCLAW WROTE
    ========================
    You [FRANK] have hit upon the one quintessential issue with webmerge. WM's inability to create complex hierarchies without creating multiple indices, detail pages, and runs (we've been told that this issue is being worked on).


    ========================
    RICHARD WROTE:
    ========================
    Yes, but in terms of actual steps it won't be easy to reduce them without sacrificing flexibility. For each level in the hierarchy you need to be able to set these options:

    - source
    - its delimiters
    - template for the list view
    - template for the view being linked to
    - naming options for the list view
    - naming options for the view being linked to

    With the subset of our customers using affiliate datafeeds the source and delimiters usually won't change, so using Save As to create the settings for the new level will preserve those and save you three clicks.

    In terms of how the program displays all this for different levels, that's the key focus for the future. I have many sketches of different ways to do that, but none have yet stood out as the simplest.

    So tell me: if you were sitting down with WebMerge 3.0 right now and it had the simplest possible way to set up multiple hierarchies, what would it look like? What steps would you expect to perform to set it up?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation


    ==============================
    FRANK BAER (Baertracks) wrote:
    ==============================

    I think that some folks are struggling with understanding how (and why) they need to set up three (or more) WM settings file AND how to link between them correctly to create multi-level indices.

    I don’t know if this would be the simplest way, but my vision for WM 3.0 would be a control panel as shown at http://bemorecreative.com/Webmerge3.gif that would add three tabs (ML-1, ML-2, ML-3) for generating multiple hierarchies.

    I don’t know if this would be he simplest way, but my vision for WM 3.0 would be a control panel as shown at http://bemorecreative.com/Webmerge3.gif that would add three tabs (ML-1, ML-2, ML-3) for generating multiple hierarchies.

    The additional ML tabs would remain dimmed under normal WebMerge operations. You would activate this advanced function by clicking an “activate multilevel hierarchies” box on each ML tab. Once activated, each tab would prompt you to identify the field and the template to be used for generating the hierarchy.

    Assuming, for example, that I am using a datafeed that has fields designated for “Category” and “SubCategory” (which is pretty common), and that I want to generate a multilevel hierarchies that include an overall index page, category indices, subcategory indices, and detail pages, here are the steps that I would complete:

    1) Activate the ML-1 and ML-2 tabs.
    2) Select the Category Field and Category template on the ML-1 tab
    3) Select the SubCategory Field and SubCategory template on the ML-2
    4) Click “Build Pages”

    When I click “Build Pages” WebMerge automatically runs the appropriate settings configurations (three in total but now invisible to the user) to generate all the page for each level of the hierarchy.

    In addition to the above, I would also like to have a function on each ML tab to generate a new index page for that level after a specified number of records. For example, if I have 90 products within my WIDGIT subcategory and I want to display 24 products (or “X” products) on a subcategory page, this function would create three subcategory pages - WIDGIT1.html, WIDGIT2.html, WIDGIT3.html with 24 products and WIDGIT4.html 18 products.
    --
    FRANK


    ========================
    RICHARD WROTE
    ========================
    Wow - way cool. Thanks for taking the time to do that. I thought about tabs, but I need to support any number of levels; some of our customers have more than four levels to their hierarchy.

    I'm exploring a tree view at the moment. I generally hate them because the standard Windows implementation contains so much viual noise, but I think I may be able to simplify it....
    --
    Richard Gaskin


    ==============================
    FRANK BAER (Baertracks) wrote:
    ==============================

    I find it hard to imagine using more than four levels to their hierarchy, but I suppose anything is possible. And if you had a WM interface with 2 or 3 WM tabs, couldn't you still fun two settings files sucessively to create an unlimited number of heirarchies?

    Perhaps this is something that you might want to poll users on, i.e., the number of levels that they need/prefer and/or the type graphical interface. I'd vote for the format that is easiest for newbie WebMergers to use.

    By the way, how do you officially count heirarchies? Would a website with a HOME index, SuperCategory Index, Category Index, SubCategory Index, and product pages be counted as four or five multilevel heirarchies?
    --
    FRANK

  2. #2
    Full Member Larry's Avatar
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    I'm not sure of the size of this task (multiple hierarchies) but the amount of time/emergy associated with adding such a feature would be my first wish on the list.

    I'm working with the software (full version) for the first time and using the bettymills datafeed. It has been a little difficult to conceptualize the tag use associated with baertracks(?) excellent post (in another thread) about building a 3 tier site from the feed.

    I think I have the idea down but tag development has been a problem for me and I think the availability of a built in feature to develop the second level (category in this case) would greatly simplify the process of selecting the proper tags.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    I would like more than four levels of hierarchy, and have said so in the past.

    AS for looks (the title of this thread). The application window needs to be resizable, and it needs to remember its last setting. i.e. if it closed last at 857x642, then that's what it opens to.

    Also, the window where we see the data in the first tab needs both vertical AND HORIZONTAL scroll bars. THis window needs to be able to be re-sized as well. It can be re-sized when you change the size of the main application window.

    Fred

    You might just be a Redneck if - Birds are attracted to your beard...

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by buy_online:
    The application window needs to be resizable, and it needs to remember its last setting. i.e. if it closed last at 857x642, then that's what it opens to.

    Also, the window where we see the data in the first tab needs both vertical AND HORIZONTAL scroll bars. THis window needs to be able to be re-sized as well. It can be re-sized when you change the size of the main application window.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You must have missed where this was covered elsewhere on this board. The only screen that would benefit from resizing is the Sources tab, but the layout that works well for setting delimiters is not the best for viewing/editing data anyway, so here's the plan:

    A separate Table View window will be added, showing the data in a standard columnar format, with the ability to edit records and Find and Rplace features. And of course it'll be resizable and should remember its size.

    The Table View is in development now, and will either be in v2.4 or available sooner as a plugin.

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

  5. #5
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    Will 3.0 be able to read Access (tables / queries)

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    "A separate Table View window will be added..."

    We've had so many discussion on this, I just wanted to make sure.

    Fred

    You might just be a Redneck if - Birds are attracted to your beard...

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Uphill:
    Will 3.0 be able to read Access (tables / queries)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In keeping with WebMerge's goal of supporting all databases, when direct queries are added it will be done through ODBC and possibly other generic interfaces. Not sure if that will be in v3.0 or later.

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

  8. #8
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    I've spent a full day experimenting with the program

    I'd like to see some decent help files that cover all bases with examples.

    IE I want to have a page where I can list 20 products, with Title,image, description, buy now link - but there is nowhere in the help/tutorials files that addresses this - even in this forum its not clearly addressed. (Never mind about 4 tiers - lets get the basics right first!

    I'd also like to see obvious bugs taken out - like when the merge field of [WM-Field: DESCRIPTION] is put into the template, that the data from the column to the right is inserted.

    Also easier placement of tages that are referenced by url ie images.

    At this stage US$99 is overpriced - US$25 would be nearer the mark.
    M

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Richard, the Table View, with the ability to do Search/Replace operations to "clean up" the data from within WM, sounds very nice indeed.

    Matte: I've never experienced that bug, or really *any* bugs, with WM over my 4 months or so of using it. I'm sure Richard would very much like to have you send him the data so he can try to reproduce the problem.

    Personally I think the program's a real bargain at $99.

    -- Mike

    "Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things."
    -- Willa Cather

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by matte:
    I've spent a full day experimenting with the program

    I'd like to see some decent help files that cover all bases with examples.

    IE I want to have a page where I can list 20 products, with Title,image, description, buy now link - but there is nowhere in the help/tutorials files that addresses this - even in this forum its not clearly addressed. (Never mind about 4 tiers - lets get the basics right first!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Creating an index page with 20 products is not very different from the Congress Contact Info example provided in the page. That example goes even further to show how to use the WM-RecordLabel tag to group sets of related links on the page (in that example links are grouped by state).

    WebMerge is used by a wide variety of organizations for a broader range of uses than I originally imagined, from hundreds of small businesses and non-profits to BMI Music Publishing and the US Library of Congress. With such a wide range of applications it's difficult to come up with one set of examples that will apply to every need, which is why the current examples are simple to illustrate the basics.

    That said, I also recognize that a growing percentage of our customers are affiliates using WebMerge to build store fronts, so I've contracted with a Web design firm to create a new example set specifically for affiliates, illustrating all the nitty-gritty of working with feeds, images, and hierachies.

    In the meantime please feel free to post any specific questions here, or you can email me directly.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    I'd also like to see obvious bugs taken out - like when the merge field of [WM-Field: DESCRIPTION] is put into the template, that the data from the column to the right is inserted.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This issue has not been reported before. We have several hundred users generating hundreds of thousands of pages reliably every day, so I'm confident we can work together to get your tag to do what you need.

    Are the delimiters set appropriately for the feed you're using? Perhaps you could send me a representative sample of the source file with your settings and template so I can see what you're experiencing.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Also easier placement of tages that are referenced by url ie images.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There are currently two ways to use images in WebMerge. The simplest way is with the WM-ImagePath tag, which automatically writes the IMG tag for you.

    If you need greater control you can use the long form, writing the IMG tag yourself using the WM-Field tag like this:

    &lt;img src="[WM-Field: MyImageField raw nolink]"&gt;

    What other options would be helpful for you?


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    At this stage US$99 is overpriced - US$25 would be nearer the mark.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Most of our customers report a very high return-on-investment with WebMerge, usually several orders of magnitude over the purchase price.

    See our Gallery page for a very small sampling of the feedback we get here.

    Of course it's not possible for any single software package to be everyone's favorite, but in all honesty I've only received two negative emails in the program's three-year history, the rest being much like this latest one that came in this morning in response to a support issue:

    ..
    Exactly what I was searching for !
    Thanks a lot !
    (I like WM more and more day after day !)
    ..

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

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