Dapper solves a very hard problem: getting structured content out of a website that only provides an unstructured interface (i.e., HTML). However, many sites today provide their content in more structured form using the RSS and Atom standards. With today’s release, you can now create a Dapp from any existing RSS or Atom feed on the web.
Now why would you want to do such a thing? Structure already structured information? Make RSS out of RSS?
Once an RSS feed is available in Dapp form, you can harness all the power of the Dapper platform, including email alerts, gadgets for personalized homepages (Netvibes, Google, Pageflakes), Flash widgets, and filtering. You can even link an RSS Dapp to any other Dapp to create a new webservice out of the two (e.g. take listings from Craig’s List and put them on a Google Map). Furthermore, our SDKs allow you to programmatically access these RSS Dapps just like any other.
Many of you have asked for this feature over the last six months and we really hope that having access to it makes it even easier to reuse, manipulate, and take advantage of content from all over the web.
In several days, we’ll release the second part of this feature which will allow you to specify dynamic variables for the RSS URL. This will allow you to very easily work with sites like Craig’s List, where URLs contain arguments specifying search terms and location, as if the site had a fully fledged API.
Finally, those of you who produce content and have a feed can now very easily provide your content in new formats. See the “distribute your content” section for more information.
This was a big change to the code base and we’d really appreciate your bug reports. Thanks!