DapperCamp update: 2:55PM
DapperCamp is upon us. Monday morning, Eran, Paul, Ohad, Itai, and I will meet all of you who will be joining us at the Swedish American Hall. We’re incredibly excited and can’t wait to spend a couple fun-filled days talking about Dapper with you. A lot of people have signed up, so it should be a good crowd. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you need anything and we’re looking forward to meeting you!
Due to some unfortunately timed hardware failures, Dapper is currently experiencing intermittent hardware failures. We’re doing everything we can to minimize the downtime and expect things to stabilize soon. Thank you for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.
Update (1/30/08): after a little bit of calm, we suffered a power outage at our data center. The machines should be up momentarily and we’re working hard to clear the dust. We greatly appreciate your patience and are sorry for the inconvenience.
We’ve recently introduced a couple of cool features we’d like to let you know about. Both have been highly coveted by users and as part of the “Dapper Listens” program, we’ve finally got to them 🙂
First, we’ve introduced an updated Dapp search, that allows you to preview live content retrieved from the Dapp, and get an immediate intuition whether this Dapp is good for you or not. It also notifies you if the site this Dapp is based on has changed, allowing you to immediately go and edit the Dapp, so it will be adapted to the current site features. We believe this feature will make searching for Dapps a much more useful and enjoyable experience. Enjoy!
Secondly, we’ve finally introduced a forum system for all things Dapper: forum.dapper.net. In these forums you can share your latest Dapper based hacks, seek support and suggest the next Dapper feature you crave for. Go ahead and let your voice be heard.
These small updates lead the way to an upcoming release to take place within the month dubbed the “Virtual Navigator”. This release will be a major breakthrough and a huge technological milestone for Dapper, where we’ll introduce the ability to work on pretty much any site on the web (flash based sites excluded). We are extremely excited about this release and are looking forward to share it with you. At the moment, this release is being tested in private beta by a group of devoted Dapper users. If you’re interested in testing it, drop us a note, and we’ll add you to group of testers as it grows.
Deki Wiki, pretty much the coolest wiki out there just released version 1.8.3 which incorporates support for Dapper. Effectively, this now means you can bring any content from the web into your wiki! The best way to understand its power is probably to check out Aaron’s screencast demonstrating the new Dapper extension.
Thanks to Aaron, Steve, and the Deki Wiki team for bringing such excellent functionality to the open source wiki world.
If you build something cool using Deki Wiki and Dapper, please let us know (and if you’re in the Bay Area, come present it at DapperCamp).
So today we’ve started 2008, which we believe will be a great year for Dapper, with bangs and whistles. First Wired Magazine ran a big story on the art and science of scraping, that also mentioned Dapper. Though the reporter tried to show both sides of the penny, it clearly drove home the point that opening up the web’s content can cultivate a great boom of creativity and new apps, something we’ve been advocating from day 1.
Then, good old Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb picked up on the story writing a great review on Dapper as the proponent of the web unlocking paradigm. He even went as far as recording a magnificent screencast on how he uses Dapper to create an RSS feed for del.icio.us RRW mentions. Marshall, thanks for the warm words and the great screencast, this kind of feedback is the greatest fuel in our engines.
BTW, Marshall also encourages you to join us at DapperCamp – Dapper’s first users/developers conference. I’ll join him in the invite – this is going to be two great days in February.
We had a great 2007 and we’re planning an even greater 2008 – brace yourself 🙂
Way back when in November, the Dapper guys celebrated the first Dapper endorsed mustache day (where a bunch of the guys didn’t shave for a while, only to shave at the same day and have a mustache for 24 hours or so). Such a deed needed to be immortalized for all eternity, and what a better excuse than this holiday season. So here, for your viewing pleasure, the Dapper Quartet: Doron, Doron (yes, we have two), Nir and Uzi, elfing themselves out.
Happy holidays 🙂
DapperCamp is about six weeks away and we’re really gearing up. If you haven’t signed up yet, do so quickly as spots are limited. We’re looking forward to meeting all of you and for the opportunity to teach you a bit about Dapper and learn from your experiences.
As if two days of geeking out on Dapper wasn’t enticing enough, today we’re announcing a whole slew of prizes that we’ll be giving away. We’ve got a MacBook, a whole bunch of iPhones, iPod Touches, hard drives, and gift certificates with your name on them. Winning the prizes is easy: just complete one of the bounties we’ve described on the DapperCamp wiki. We’ll be happy to help you in your efforts to complete the bounties. So get started – we hope you’ll have fun working on the projects we’ve described and look forward to giving you some great prizes. Check the wiki for full rules and let us know if you have any questions.
See you at DapperCamp!
Edit: Mashable has kindly posted an article about the contests at DapperCamp.
You’re invited! DapperCamp is a free two day conference for developers, partners, Dapper users, and anyone else interested in Dapper. The conference will take place on February 4 and 5 in downtown San Francisco. It will include technical tutorials, hack sessions, competitions, prizes, feedback sessions with the Dapper team, and more. Mitch Kapor will be delivering the keynote address and our partners will be presenting the ways in which they use Dapper (if you’re interested in presenting, please let us know and we’ll get you a slot to present).
Visit the DapperCamp website at dappercamp.com. The website is still under development – you can expect a collaborative workspace to be put up in the coming weeks where you can share Dapper ideas with the team and with fellow attendees.
Attendance is free, but spots are limited so we ask that you register for the event (registration is available at the DapperCamp website).
We’re still fine tuning the schedule, so it may change in the coming weeks. In the mean time, your input is highly valued so if there is something you’d like to see covered, don’t hesitate to let us know.
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.
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.
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.
A few weeks ago Ted Haeger and Alex Barnett at BungeeLabs interviewed me about Dapper, our technology, the Semantic Web, content ownership, and business models. The interview was posted today to their blog and if you’re interested in hearing more about what we do, check it out. Check out the interview here. Thanks to Ted and Alex for a fun conversation. Don’t forget to check out their other episodes – they speak with great people in the web-services area (Jeff Barr from Amazon, Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo, and more).
For those of you interested in offering Dapper as a service to your users, we just made it possible! Imagine, for example, that you have a site that allows your users to import RSS feeds for one purpose or another. What happens if there is no RSS feed for the content a user wants to import? Using the white labeled Dapp Factory, you can offer your users the ability to create a feed for any site and then import it into your site, without feeling like they’ve left your website. The white labeled Dapp Factory can be customized to include your logo, styling (via CSS), and wording. For more information, check out the white labeled Dapp Factory page or contact us to apply.
Eran and I will be presenting a talk next week at the Defrag conference in Denver. The talk will be about the practical Semantic Web (what we call “Web Plumbing 101”) and how its being built up by companies (including Dapper) and the web community. For those of you interested in attending, let us know in the comments and we can arrange a discount for you. See you there!
DapperFox users, we’ve just released a minor update (version 0.1.4). This version fixes a long standing issue where the Dapper logo would continue spinning indefinitely in the address bar. You can download the update here, or update via Firefox’s addon manager (the new version will be updated to Mozilla’s site soon).
For those of you looking for a cool visual mashup editor, Microsoft has a great new tool called Popfly. Complete with stunning visual effects, Popfly allows you to mix and mash content from the web into a cool little webapp. A couple weeks ago, the Popfly team added a “Dapper block” which allows you to very easily embed content from any Dapp into your mashup. Check out their video about the Dapper block and read what Webware has to say about the service.
If you build something cool using Dapper and Popfly, let us know in the comments.
We’re aware that there are some server errors being displayed on our site right now – bear with us, it should be fixed shortly.
Thanks for your patience.
Some of you may have noticed that we’re experiencing performance issues in the last few hours. What’s going on is that we’re currently experiencing a huge surge in traffic, more than what we anticipated and so are quickly running to grow our capacity and deal with all of this welcomed traffic. It seems our talk yesterday in Future Of Web Apps was quite successful and had many people interested about taking a shot with Dapper. We’re really happy with this outcome, and promise to quickly stretch our capacity to withstand this surge,
(UPDATE: Thanks to quick work by the Dapper team, things seems to be mostly back to normal. There may be some lingering issues in the coming minutes with regard to DapperFox and Facebook, but all of these issues will be resolved promptly)
Going back to the Sit. Room.
Thanks to all the crucial feedback we received from our beta testers, complements and critiques from the press, we’re now releasing our Dapper Facebook AppMaker.
What this will allow you to do is take ANY Dapp and turn it into a fully independent Facebook app. Use your own header, footer, background styling — really make it yours — and with absolutely no programming. If you can make a Dapp, you can make a Facebook app.
Several of our content partners have done just that. Answers.com took advantage of our AppMaker when it was in private beta to make this cool little app. MTV Programming did (and continues to do) the same (see their MySuperSweet 16 app [log in as some chick named “tailfeather”]). There’s more…I even made an über nerdy one for my Kellogg classmates. Careful: app making is addictive.
Now it’s yours. It’s as easy as 1) making a Dapp, or picking one someone has already made, 2) setting up an application with the Facebook Developer application (requires filling in a few details that we’ll give you), and 3) uploading some cool styling to an image hosting service and giving us the URLs. Soon we’ll upload a screencast for you to really take you through the process, but don’t worry it’s a piece of cake.
Sucking the programming out of Facebook app development is just another example of how we see Dapper as a tool that allows people to concentrate on their core focus yet still get the benefit from all the cool web services they can make out of their content, and the web as a whole. Thanks to all the writeups from TechCrunch, Mashable!, and CNN Money and our loyal blogger community, and thanks to content partners Answers.com and MTV for helping us hone the product!
Enjoy the AppMaker — and send us feedback here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congrats to our friends at Answers.com for winning the “Best of Facebook” monthly award at bestoffacebook.com with the Dapper AppMaker app!