Archive for June, 2007

More Power for Content Owners

June 28, 2007

Today we released a cool licensing option for content owners. Many website owners and publishers have asked us to implement a license that enables them to dictate specific terms on how their content can be used. This is now possible. I think the following screenshot says it all:

According to Specific Terms

Content owners now have the power to specify more explicitly how Dapper users can access and reuse their content legitimately. Enjoy!

Releases Galore!

June 28, 2007

We’ve been busy this week. The following are a few of the various improvements you might notice at Dapper:

Virtual Browser Overhaul
The Virtual Browser (the “Collect Pages” step in the Dapp Factory) has been overhauled and rewritten. This rewrite addresses some long standing issues with many sites not appearing correctly (for instance, Yahoo’s homepage), improves login functionality, and fixes many foreign language encoding problems.

Free Text Improvements
We’ve improved Dapper’s ability to deal with “free standing text” – the kind of text that is not contained within an element on a page. This should help make Dapps on a variety of pages (e.g., Pitchfork’s record reviews page).

Link Detection
A small fix went out yesterday to improve Dapper’s ability to “inherit” links in places where it wasn’t working before.

All of these improvements were made in response to your input and suggestions, so please keep them coming. And if you find any problems with these fixes, let us know.

As You Like It

June 19, 2007

Creating Google gadgets from your site with Dapper is a breeze. Dapp the site, choose “Google Gadget”, give it a name, and you’re pretty much done. However, in many cases our vanilla styles and design are not enough, and you’d like more power to conform the gadget’s look and feel to what users experience on your site. To achieve this, we’ve introduced a new advanced feature in the google gadget transformer pane, which allows you to define your own CSS styles and have them applied to your gadget.

Here are the steps:

1. First, checkout the gadget’s CSS template and read the instructions and class definitions.

2. Create a CSS file that uses the same class definitions (you don’t have to use them all) and have it available over the Web.

3. Insert the CSS file’s URL into the “URL of CSS file” field in the advanced options pane.

4. Get the resulting gadget url.


By default, the CSS file is cached by Google once an hour, which makes it problematic to tweak, change and develop the gadget. To disable the caching and have the gadget fetch the up to the second version of your CSS file, add the variable “&noCacheCSS=1” to the end of your gadget url. Don’t forget to remove it or your file will be requested every time a google user views his iGoogle page containing your gadget.

Happy gadgeting, as you like it

Welcome, Swivel

June 19, 2007

Swivel is a great start-up we really like, pushing the envelope on data usage and transparency in a way that is extremely disruptive and captivating.

It is a great pleasure, thus, to introduce Swivel as an approved Dapper content provider, giving Dapper’s users the ability to consume and build upon all of their content in new ways. You can now get recent Swivel graphs as a Google gadget, or a filtered RSS feed which brings back graphs about America. Go have fun.

Swivel is joining the hundreds of other content providers who’ve already joined Dapper. They have chosen the “Traffic Back” license, which allows anyone to use their content, in exchange for linking back to their site, providing them with an attractive opportunity to generate more traffic, by setting their content free. This is a great opportunity for many other content owners who would like to tap into new traffic growth opportunities.

We believe this is only the start of a great relationship between two teams with a similar initiative: providing power to the users at large to take hold and mold all of the world’s data and content.

Better Support for Tables

June 8, 2007

Some of you have noticed that we introduced a powerful new feature recently: better support for tables. Now when you click on data inside a table on a website, a little table icon appears next to the table and up in the toolbar, allowing you to enter “table mode.” Table Mode provides a spreadsheet-like interface for selecting cells, columns, and rows. It supports column and row headers as well, which makes it easy to name fields according to the headers inside the table.

The best way to understand this new feature is to check out the following screencast.

As always, if you have feedback, comments, suggestions, or bug reports, please let us know.