Friday, September 1, 2006

Holiday weekend: Woooo hoooo!

I love holiday weekends. The only thing better than a long holiday weekend is a long holiday week (or two). The reason I like them so much is that I almost always use them to learn something new. I‘ve been hammering (struggling?) with Ruby and R for some time now, and I think this weekend will be devoted to something completely different.

The first candidate for my long learning weekend is dabble DB which is described:

Model your business
Import data from anywhere: spreadsheets, contact lists, databases ? or just start from scratch. Add as much as you like, and extend it or change it at any time.

Explore your data
Search through your data instantly. Navigate via links and backlinks. Interactively group, sort, and filter the results. See your data in tables, charts and calendars. Save each view and share it with others.

I watched the screencast for dabble and it looks way cool. I hope to get good enough to examine some logs. Have I mentioned that I love logs?

My second project is Dapper. It basically allows you to create a shared screen scraper (which I suspect is an extreme over-simplification of what this application actually does):

Welcome to Dapper, a new service which makes it easy to extract content from any website. Dapper allows you to create a "black box" (a Dapp) for any data source on the Internet. The Dapp produces XML which you can use programatically in whatever way you like. Additionally, Dapper provides you with the ability to transform this XML into other formats (e.g.: HTML, Google Maps, RSS, more).

So there you have it, my weekend. If all goes well and I‘m not distracted by other pursuits (e.g. my bikes) I‘ll have something to report back early next week. If you‘d like to play along I‘d love to hear from you.

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