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  1. #1
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    So when can we expect the next update?

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Ditto

    I hope it's before my one year is up.

    Sal.

  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DFLsports:
    So when can we expect the next update? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I've learned there are good reasons why most software companies don't give specific release dates until the new version is in late beta testing; too many things can happen to alter a projected timeline, and there's always at least once malcontent who will hold a vendor accountable for a timeline regardless of the qualifiers it's delivered with.

    That said, I don't mind giving you a progress report:

    - v2.4 will focus on the addition of a table viewer

    - the table viewer will allow you to find, replace, change case, and concatenate field data, with the ability to save those steps for automated runs.

    - the program has been updated to use native appearances on all platforms for greater conformance with XP and OS X "look and feel"

    - some core routines have been optimized for a speed increase between 40% and 80% (the variance depends on the complexity of the template).

    - as with any release, all reported bugs that have been reproduced here have been fixed, and that will continue through release

    - a new tag will be added to let you convert field data into the form WebMerge uses to generate files. This will provide increased flexibility for layouts which may want to reference other generated files.

    - time permitting, the new version may support Unicode sources

    - time permitting, the new version may provide a new tag for inserting RSS feeds

    - time permitting, I may be able to add options to the WM-Field tag to let you specify whether you want to use data from the next or previous record in addition to the current record as happens now.

    The table viewer is about 80% done, and once its interface is complete I can begin public beta testing. Again, it's hard to stress how important it is to note that any projected release schedule is only that, and please don't call and scream if I miss it. But with that clear understanding I'll break ranks with the rest of the industry and tell you that I'm working to get the interface done by the end of this month.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  4. #4
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    Request for WebMerge users: presets

    In the next version I'm moving the delimiter settings off of the main window into a new Table Viewer window which will show you the entire feed in a columnar format, and provide automated ways to alter data in the feed.

    The most frequent set of support requests that come in here come down to not having delimiters set appropriately for the feed used, so I'm hoping to make the manual setting of delimiters an "Expert" option and emphasize presets in the interface.

    But for that to be successfull I'll need to make sure I have at least 90% of the most commonly-used feed formats available in the Presets list.

    If you're working with a feed that is not currently listed in the Presets list, please send me an email with the following information:

    - Name of the feed
    - If the feed is provided in multiple formats, the name of the format as used by the issuing vendor
    - the field name and data delimiters used
    - whether the "Text values are in quotes" option must be checked to process the feed

    With those in hand I'll be able to simplify your work with that feed by letting you set all delimiters with one click.

    I appreciate your help on this -- thanks in advance.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  5. #5
    The Eternal Optimist zimmy's Avatar
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    Sounds great - can't wait!



    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    The big shots are only the little shots who keep shooting.
    -Christopher Morley

  6. #6
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    Richard your teasing me The updated in the "works" are just what the doctor ordered

    I am wondering, would the process of updating be faster if there were money behind our requests? I doubt everyone would play along with me but I'd be willing to throw some extra cash your way in order to get this update done faster. If a bunch of us "Webmergers" pitched in a little cash maybe Richard would be more motivated or is it just a time thing and not a money issue?

    Webmerge saves me lots of time and has assisted in making me more money. I have paid other programmers for custom additions to software and would do the same again

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DFLsports:
    Richard your teasing me The updated in the "works" are just what the doctor ordered

    I am wondering, would the process of updating be faster if there were money behind our requests? I doubt everyone would play along with me but I'd be willing to throw some extra cash your way in order to get this update done faster. If a bunch of us "Webmergers" pitched in a little cash maybe Richard would be more motivated or is it just a time thing and not a money issue?

    Webmerge saves me lots of time and has assisted in making me more money. I have paid other programmers for custom additions to software and would do the same again <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Feedback like that is the most motivating thing in the world. As you know, with any business there are long nights, and knowing that the work is making a difference in other peoples' bottom line is very rewarding.

    Of course, if you really need to send more money it's always appreciated and does help the workflow here. Maybe the simplest way is to buy another copy of WebMerge if you like -- that way you get to give two gifts: pumping more cash into WebMerge development and giving a license to someone who might benefit from using it.

    It's been an unusually busy season here, with perhaps the biggest impact on development of our own products being an unusual combination of new product development for clients in conjunction with a number of publishing and speaking opportunities that have been hard to turn down. 2004 is turning out to be the busiest year in Fourth World's 10-year history, but much of the work is laying a foundation for future growth so it's the classic situatuation of managing growth in which it's just a bit too early to hire employees but it's hard to find contractors who can jump into the sort of stuff we build here.

    So in brief, yes, revenue growth may help make the difference in hiring the staff needed to attend to the many details here (support, etc.) so I can focus on the sorts of things that require my specific skills, like keeping the momentum of WebMerge's ongoing development moving forward more rapidly. I think it's important for a developer to take some support calls, as it keeps one close to the customer experience and that benefits the software design tremendously. But I also need to be mindful of what growth requires of a business, and balance my desire to stay close to the customer with my need to stay close to the code.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    A question on feed size:

    I've been stress-testing the upcoming table viewer to make sure it will perform well with large feeds. Of course like anything in computing there's a tradeoff between data size and performance, so to make sure I balance those two well you can help me:

    How large are the data feeds you normally work with?

    It would be useful to know both the size of the data file and the number of records, and also roughly the average size of records within the data.

    I've been testing with the Congress Contact Info example included in the package, but the data was too small so I made enough copies of it to give me more than 32,000 records and performance seems to remain okay.

    But my concern is that it's not a good real-world test because most affiliate feeds have much larger records.

    If one of you has a feed you can throw on an FTP server please send me the URL to get it (email's not good for anything &gt;2Mb).

    If you do, when you email the URL please include a list of tasks you normally perform on the data (concatenating fields, find-and-replace, etc.) so I can test those functions across the data set.

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

  9. #9
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    Almost forgot:

    on a scale of 1 to 10, how critical would be for you to be able to have WebMerge keep track of which records have changed and only process the changed records?

    This is not likely for v2.4, but very likely for v3.0 if it's needed.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    First, "on a scale of 1 to 10, how critical would be for you to be able to have WebMerge keep track of which records have changed and only process the changed records?"

    I rate it an 11 !

    Next, the size of the feeds vary so much. Let me put it this way. I use about twenty different feeds, 25 percent of them are in the 15,000 to 50,000 record size. About 50 percent are in the 5,000 to 14,000 record size. And the last 25 percent are in the 300 to 4,000 record size. But, that's just me.

    Fred

  11. #11
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    I'd rate the first question a 8 out of 10.

    Size of feeds does vary, some as large as 30mb, most seem to hover around 3mb.

    I do receive a feed that is double pipe delimited (answer to an earlier question about feeds?) But choosing single pipes seems to handle it just fine.

    Thanks for the responses Richard!

  12. #12
    Affiliate/AM Moonlighter dflsports's Avatar
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    Bump!

    How many copies do I need to buy to get the next version out quicker

    Is there a timeframe for the next release? I hate to pressure you, ok that's a lie. I suppose I should be more patient.

  13. #13
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    Richard;

    I have uploaded one of my typical datafeeds for you to take a look at. I will email you the link and comments on tasks for cleaning/preparing that feed.

  14. #14
    http and a telephoto
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    If you want a REALLY big feed, I can upload the AllPosters or Art.com feeds for you. And talk about needing prep work....
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by loxly:
    If you want a REALLY big feed, I can upload the AllPosters or Art.com feeds for you. And talk about needing prep work.... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What needs to be corrected in those feeds?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    Categories are a big big mess, illegal characters abound, and there are hundreds of duplicate products, even in the same categories. I haven't devled any deeper than that....
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  17. #17
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    Hello Hello - I too will send some money your way when the new release comes out. Do you have a paypal account? I'm a "smallbie" and might only be able to give half price of a second copy.

    ALSO - Did I miss this feature for 2.4 above . . . seems like so many of my Merchant's datafeeds do NOT have good categories already defined. They have like 400 items in each category - way too many for one web page. So this feature would be so great:

    Ability to search for combined words like "Jewelry and Pins" rather than just Jewelry.

    Or even something like "Jewelry but not Mens".

    Other than above -- Webmerge is perfect already.

    The largest feed I have is 4,700 rows - Nascar. It takes a while to run . . . but I don't mind as I'd never be able to use a data feed without WebMerge.

    !!!Thanks for all your hard efforts. Webmerge is really an outstanding product. I've been in web development since 1992 and it is one of the best most useful software products I've ever purchased. Very reliable, great support, excellent price.

    I'm happy.

    April Lougheed

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    For those that want to purchase the current version of WebMerge, I will leave the sale price up for 24 more hours at my site, if anyone is interested.

    Fred

    http://www.web-procreate.com/wm-purchase.htm

  19. #19
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    Hi... Just let you know some of us are putting our money where our mouth is . . . I've purchased another copy of webmerge with the link you provided above.

    Hope that helps.

    Still wondering if you are planning on including more search options in next release as this will significantly impact my business strategy for the near future.

    Regards, April

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    Thanks April

    Sent your registration code a few minutes ago.

    Fred

  21. #21
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    still watching for the update...

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WebLady:
    still watching for the update... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Still working on it.

    Today's progress report:

    - Queued settings files are now stored as relative paths, making it easier to move setups for multi-tier sites from one machine to another.

    - Some of the core handling for the WM-Field tag has been highly optimized, giving a performance increase between 30% and 80% depending on what's in the template.

    More to come...
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  23. #23
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    I've found that WebMerge seems to process files faster if I compress the templates first with the added benefit that the pages load faster on the server too. Just a little performance boost for those interested...

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stanley Holtsclaw:
    I've found that WebMerge seems to process files faster if I compress the templates first with the added benefit that the pages load faster on the server too. Just a little performance boost for those interested... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Good tip. You may also see browsers render them a bit faster as well.

    If you'll give me a list of things that you feel comprise good optimization I'll see about adding that in as an option. For starters there's removing unnecessary white space -- what else?
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  25. #25
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    - remove extaneous returns and spaces
    - remove unnecessary tag parameters and quotation-marks
    - remove comments
    - remove end paragraph tags, end list item tags, and doctype tag.

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