Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Deepleap

Author:Lane Becker
Posted:4/15/2000; 9:44:42 AM
Msg #:16281 (In response to 16278)
Prev/Next:16280 / 16282

Actually, I can't resist, either. Here's the explanation I send Dave earlier this morning, which he said was cool to post to Discuss (Warning: Long! Slightly rambly! In that "here's our vision" kind of way.)

We've got Deepleap doing any number of things, actually, but they all hook around around this one main idea, and all trying to demonstrate the same thing: that you should be able to do things with the information that you care about on the Web.

And, of course, you care about this information when? When it's sitting there, right in front of you. When you find it.

Here's a (forward thinking -- we aren't doing it, yet, but are working on it) good example of an ideal Deepleap scenario. It's the one that initially got us started thinking about all this:

I'm on Expedia's site, and I've just booked a plane ticket. Now I have all of the flight information in front of me on the checkout Web page. What do I do now? Well, that information is important to me, but in order to get it somewhere I can use it I have to do the following: copy the text of the page, drop it into Microsoft Word, reformat all the weird white space that the browser creates, copy it again, launch Palm Desktop, find the appropriate date and time on the Calendar application on my Palm, and paste it back in. That's, what, 10 minutes of my time wasted?

Well, if Deepleap knows where to find that information on the page (or if I can grab it in XML, so Deepleap doesn't have to work as hard :), why shouldn't Deepleap just zap that info straight into my palm for me? It's just a simple data exchange between formats that ought to be compatible, with Deepleap acting as the bridge, the middleman between them. Or I could sent it to my Yahoo! calendar. Or my AnyDay calendar. Whatever calendar I use, that's where I should be able to send it. Because it's *my* information -- it's just... trapped right now.

Take a look at Yahoo! Yahoo! is amazing in that it integrates all of it's different features -- if I do a person search, and I find that person, I can add her immediately to my contact list on Yahoo! If I find a theater showing the movie I want to see, I can grab a map to it. But why shouldn't I be able to do this with *everything* I find on the Web, sending that information *anywhere* I want it to go?

Even further: If one of the goals of XML is bringing objects down to the level of the document, then why shouldn't I, the user, be able to take advantage of that as easily as some of the folks making these XML connections on the back end? Why shouldn't I be able to define my own connections between the different information and the tools that I care about? When I get overexcited, I like to tell folks that Deepleap is XML for the people! Content management for your lifestyle! Middleware for the masses!

Now, that's the dream -- the reality, right now, is that we've built Deepleap as a *platform* for doing this sort of contextual relating between sites, and what we're demonstrating with the beta is more the general concept. So if you pop up Deepleap on an product page, for example, it will give you a set of tools based around buying a product -- comparison shopping, reading reviews, etc. Or if you highlight the name of a movie, and activate it, that will bring up a series of movie-related options, like getting movie times for your neighborhood, or checking for the soundtrack at Find a selection of text that you like -- an interesting quote, maybe? Highlight it, save it to the Deepleap web site. Useful tools, when you need them.

Obviously, we can always use more tools, and we plan to keep expanding our available tool set. One of the things we're working on is an XML-RPC interface so that people can hook tools like Blogger and Manila Express (or whatever else it is they use) right into Deepleap, so that the people who want to can use their own tools through Deepleap can. Because it's a platform for contextual content exchange, and everybody should be able to develop for it. :)

Anyway, we're going to keep working on the site text and the product description until we've got it down pat, and have made it as easy and quickly comprehensible as possible. A big part of the reason we wanted to get the beta out ASAP was in order to see how people reacted, what the "got" and didn't get, what they use and don't use, and retool accordingly.

Thanks for talking about us!


ps The Metainfo tab is an interesting experiment, and potentially quite helpful -- we're interested there in seeing if we can start to build a language for a consistent Web navigation interface. So that you can always pop up Deepleap and get, say, a search box or a contact link for whatever site you're on. It doesn't work on Scripting News at the moment, but Ben's trying to fix that!

There are responses to this message:

This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:54:48 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.