Dapper Got Some New Magic


Hi guys,

Usually at Dapper, we don’t do a big song and dance every time we introduce a new feature or fix a bug, if only because we introduce features and bug fixes daily. Today, however, we’re introducing a big release – MagicBox – of which we’re especially proud.

MagicBox is first and foremost about your Dapper experience. Previously, in Dapper, there was a limit to the ways in which you could select the content you wanted to be a part of your Dapp. We’ve worked really hard to make that process much more flexible and scalable, and we hope, even entertaining. MagicBox is a new learning engine that infers from your clicks what you actually want to define as a field, and helps you converge towards your ideal definition rapidly. In fact, MagicBox’s learning engine is the first learning engine we’re aware of to be implemented in Javascript on a real product, and we’re very proud of it.

One of MagicBox’s important features is that it also listens to what you don’t want. If it highlighted too much, you can click on the extraneous items and MagicBox will suggest a new configuration that better suits your needs.

Our main goal with MagicBox was to simplify the experience, and using our new learning engine and the ability to “deselect” elements we’ve managed to get rid of the more cumbersome tools that we had before, such as the “sensitivity slider” and the “isolate” option. Now, to use Dapper, the only thing you need to be acquainted with is your mouse’s left button. Just give it a try and click away. If MagicBox didn’t highlight enough, click on the missing stuff and you’ll see how rapidly MagicBox corrects itself. If it highlighted too much, just click on the unwanted stuff and MagicBox will get rid of it in an instant. Don’t worry – just play with it – we promise that eventually MagicBox will always get you what you want (we have a strict money back guarantee policy :).

The second major update in MagicBox concerns Dapper’s backend engine. It just got faster, in some cases much faster (up to 10-15 times), more robust and more scalable. In particular our new backend will allow us to introduce new algorithms and abilities to Dapper much faster, and you’ll start experiencing it very soon.

Here is a list of the major updates in MagicBox:

– Clicking interface overhauled. Clicking page elements behavior completely changed, slider eradicated, new adaptive learning algorithm implemented. Result is that when you click something and it grabs too much, you just click the extraneous instances, if it removes something you want, you just click it. The algorithm learns with each click and approximates accurately what you’re looking for. This increases usability and robustness.

– Backend algorithmic infrastructure overhauled. This will make it easier for us to release algorithmic updates in the future. On some sites, we’re also seeing a 15x improvement in speed in Dapp execution.

– New algorithms implemented improving ability to extract content reliably.

– Bugs with back links improved.

– Borders in Dapp Factory switched to inner rather than outer, eliminating the case where you can click on the border accidentally.

– Timing issues with gray overlays, particularly when editing a Dapp, resolved. Fixes the bug where you’d edit a Dapp and it would have a Javascript error, requiring a reload of the page several times.

Some known issues remain and we’re working hard to resolve them. We can’t do it without you, so please let us know when you encounter an issue.

Happy Dapping!

6 Responses to “Dapper Got Some New Magic”

  1. Ed Says:

    Where can I download this new Dapper release?

  2. Jon Aizen Says:

    Hi Ed,

    As Dapper is web-based, you need not download anything. Simply access it via the Dapp Factory.

  3. Ron Kurti Says:

    Great Release.
    Magic Box made is so easy to grab tricky cells. A vast improvement from the last version.
    I turned a client’s homepage into a simple facebook app in about 1 hour.


  4. bromium Says:

    Soory, guys, but I spent plenty of hours trying to turn a table on a webpage loaded in dapper into a spreadsheet view. Moreover, I don’t see those items in the upper horizontal navigation menu with those tools shown in your demos such as table selection etc. Is it normal? If it’s a known bug and you’re workin on it why there’s no notifications about it. Why do I have to spend hours thinking the problem is on my side? but I tried it in different browsers and the result was the same: no spreadsheet view for tables, no tools in tools menu.

  5. Jon Aizen Says:

    Hi Bromium,

    We intentionally removed the “spreadsheet view” during the latest release. We are reintroducing some of the functionality in the next few weeks, though I’m not sure you’ll see the old interface again. We are working to improve how things work and appreciate your patience while we make Dapper better!


  6. bromium Says:

    thanks for the reply, Jon. At least, now I know the problem’s not on my side 🙂

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