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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    42
    Hi Guys. What I find difficult is how to identify how I should structure a web merge template or templates from the various dattfeeds one recives. Is there an easy way to do this.

    When a datafeed does not have a subcategory I seem to end up by managing to create my index file ( On that not I seem to get mutipule copies of the hyperlinks on my index.html page) with the categorys but clicking on a category takes me to one of the products in that category and not the list of products. Do I need to create a subcategory if none exsits?

    Confused Kili.
    Cheers Guys

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    15
    Hello Kili,

    The best WebMerge Tutorial is located at

    http://www.creativenutsandbolts.com/webmerge/

    It shows you how to make TIER Websites.

    Check it out I has help me with a lot of my questions.

    Jerald

    http://thefreestuffvault.com
    http://handy-shopping-mall.com

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    42
    Thanks Jairnet
    I have a copy of Franks tutorial, and Frank has created a template for me. But I am trying to create my own and cant seem to identify which fields go in which templates to get the structure right.

    I keep ending up with
    main index table with list of product categorys.
    Clicking on a link to a category takes me to one product in that category (I assume the first on the list).

    I need to achevie getting the products in that category listed on the page a subcategory page if you like, but the datafeed does not have a subcategory. The fields I in the dtatafeed are below

    Product_name
    Product_URL
    Image_URL
    Description
    Price
    Currency
    Product id
    Category
    detail
    Manufacturer
    Model (Dunno why theres two fields with same name but there is)
    model
    Shipping Price
    shipping price

    I just cant fugure which fields go on which template with the exception of category which I use on the main index page.

    "Category" (Main index) leads to "product_name" but as I say selecting a category takes you to the first product in that category but does not list the numerous products in the chosen category.

    Boy you programmers have my respect my poor old brain cells have trouble with html lol...

    I'd appreciate opinions on where I'm going wrong.

    Cheers Kili

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    42
    Boy talk about dumb. If only I'd read the instructions. Frank after reading your tutorial I am finnaly grasping the in's and outs of webmerge. One thing I did discover is that the tossers who issued the datafeed I have been trying to get to work had a product ID which was the same for every product, so of course I was getting in a right mess lol..

    Ah well plod on

    Cheers Guys

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,234
    If you have more questions, just let us know !

    Fred

  6. #6
    Newbie sa00's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    30
    Ok then, I have 2 questions for ya...
    1) On occasions, when the resulting merged pages output is to generate as a table with several columns, sometimes webmerge does not close the table and it messes up my final page. To solve this, sometimes I have to add a "</td></tr></table> right after the webmerge code to ensure it is inside a closed table.
    2) I've used WM to merge html templates with .csv data feed using excel. Is this as far as WM can go? Reason I ask, my merchant is now offering XML data feeds with much more content than their .csv data feeds. Can Webmerge help me do anything with this or is this xml data feed a whole separete monster? Thanks.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager
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    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
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    1,913
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Special Agent 00:
    Ok then, I have 2 questions for ya...
    1) On occasions, when the resulting merged pages output is to generate as a table with several columns, sometimes webmerge does not close the table and it messes up my final page. To solve this, sometimes I have to add a "&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;&lt;/table&gt; right after the webmerge code to ensure it is inside a closed table.. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I may have that one licked and will be present in a new build I'm peparing. It's hard to say for sure because it seems more popular to do the workaround than help me resolve it: for all my requests for example templates that aren't working right, to date I've received only two.

    Nonetheless, the specific combination of tags and settings that results in this error appears to have been accounted for. Extra bonus points that the new build is also faster.

    I'll post it before I go to Malta at the end of the week (I'm presenting at a programming seminar in Valetta if any of you are in the neighborhood and want to drop in &lt;g&gt.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>2) I've used WM to merge html templates with .csv data feed using excel. Is this as far as WM can go? Reason I ask, my merchant is now offering XML data feeds with much more content than their .csv data feeds. Can Webmerge help me do anything with this or is this xml data feed a whole separete monster? Thanks. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's not merely a whole separate monster, but a particularly hairy one which makes a rather poor choice for most data feeds. I have a good XML library and am working on supporting XML formats for the future, but I discourage vendors from using XML for feeds.

    XML is great when used smartly for exchanging data between systems that know little about the nature of the data, and when the data is deeply hierarchical.

    But when data is mostly flat, as are most product lists, XML gives you a bloated result.

    Consider the simplicty of the common tabular formats of most of the world's feeds: only one character delimits fields, one character delimits lines, and everything else is content.

    Compare that with XML, where every data element is separated by an opening and closing tag, sometimes nested within other tags. 10,000 records later your file size can easily be double what it could have been with simple CSV or tab-delimited.

    One of the biggest problems with data feeds is size and processing power needed to parse them. On both fronts XML falls far behind any tabular format, with tab-delimited being even more efficient than CSV (CSV is arguably the least efficient way to define tabular data next to XML, and its inventor should be forced to publicly apologize for ever implementing it &lt;g&gt.

    XML is very valuable in many contexts, and but because of its buzzword value a good many IT managers have begun to overuse it, applying it in areas where it simply isn't optimal. I've tried talking to vendors who do XML-only about the value of using their already-existing tools to also export in tab-delimited and/or CSV as well, and often the benefits fall on deaf ears.

    It's usually just one step for any vendor to provide a delimited feed. If you come across one who doesn't but they seem open minded, I'd be happy to write them to make the case for the simplicity and efficiency of providing a delimited feed as an also.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  8. #8
    Newbie sa00's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    After doing a little research on XML, I must agree it seems to be a buzz word, as everywhere I've read it says I better get into now, as it is the future of the web.

    However, I am not "techy" enough to know if in my particular case it is indeed needed or not. All I know is that my merchant offers both, .csv and an XML program. The super affiliates in my field, (and my direct competitors), are using the XML data offered to us by our Merchant and I am hoping to increase the number of pages indexed and ranked by search engines by following that route. I've heard that a search engine will crawl the sites and the entire database giving them credit for so much more info than a site like mine, with only .csv data and links going to the merchants site.

    I was told that by using the XML content, a search engine or a customer would see / spider the entire database and give my site credit for it, instead of seeing my site as simply an affiliate site linking to another site.

    Thank you for your fast response and enjoy your trip!

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Special Agent 00:
    After doing a little research on XML, I must agree it seems to be a buzz word, as everywhere I've read it says I better get into now, as it is the future of the web. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Actually, it IS the web: HTML is a subset of XML.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>However, I am not "techy" enough to know if in my particular case it is indeed needed or not. All I know is that my merchant offers both, .csv and an XML program. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Take the CSV and save yourself half of the download time.

    Knowing XML is critical if you're programming software applications that exchange data with other systems or managing an IT shop.

    But there's little value in mastering it for being succesful in affiliate programs.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I was told that by using the XML content, a search engine or a customer would see / spider the entire database and give my site credit for it, instead of seeing my site as simply an affiliate site linking to another site. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It would be entertaining to talk with whomever told you that, but for getting results as an affiliate you can safely ignore it.

    XML is merely a meta-language for describing data. In its simplest form, you could say that XML is a means of defining how different parts of data relate to one another by putting tags around them. In HTML, for example, you have a &lt;body&gt; tag which can include &lt;p&gt; tags, and each has a closing &lt;/p&gt; tag and the body has a closing &lt;/body&gt; tag. That explanation may be a bit simplistic, but that's pretty much what the essence of XML is about.

    While it provides some useful things for transporting data from system to system, once you get the data you usually need to turn it into something else in order to work with it.

    When making web pages, for example, the XML tags that describe the data probably have little or nothing to do with the HTML tags you'd use to present that data on the web. So suggesting that you need to use XML to get better rankings would likely get you the opposite results: you wouldn't have valid HTML pages, few if any links, and it wouldn't display in a browser.

    With data feeds, whether copy their contents into your pages by hand or use WebMerge, you need to make sure to get only the data from the file and not the tags or delimiters. The beauty of traditional delimited files over XML is that a single character (a comma with CSV and a tab in tab-delimited files) describes the end of an element, such as a field or record. In XML, whatever processes it needs to exclude both the leading and closing tags, which takes longer to process and those tags give you a much larger file.

    That's probably more than you needed to know, but the short form is that as an affiliate you can probably be quite successful without ever even knowing what XML is. Many are. Your valuable time is probably better spent on the other value-added portions of your site that make an effective sales presentation and builds the trust with your visitors that closes sales.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Thank you for your fast response and enjoy your trip! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thank you. Have a great week while I'm gone.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

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