learned/learning/to learn RSS 2.0
# Saturday, November 14, 2009

Initially, I developed this deals alert service for my personal use and later on thought it might be useful for others too, so I extended it accordingly and added it here. This service basically grabs RSS feeds from deals sites (listed on the deals alert page of my site) and checks for the keyword(s) that are added, and if it finds a match, sends email at the time mentioned on the page. This service performs properly only if the keyword(s) are specific, because it is  just using some ‘exact’ and ‘like’ string searches. I might be improvising this by using dictionary or thesaurus in the future.  You can enter multiple keywords (separated by spaces) related to a single product, and only if all the words are present on the deal title, alert email will be sent. As I’m just using simple search here, the deal may not be related to the product you are looking. For eg., say suppose you add an alert for ‘card reader’ and if there is any deal for a laptop with ‘card reader’, my service is going to grab this deal too, because this service is not as intelligent as you are :). So, in this case it is better to add price limit too.


I have added this service without any commercial intention, so do not worry about your emailids, I won’t trade them to advertisers, and moreover you can unsubscribe from this service or modify the added keywords at any time by clicking ‘Unsubscribe’ link on the email that will be sent to you after adding an alert.


After writing this service I understood how difficult it is come up with search algorithms, hats off to Google and other search engines. Implementing ‘exact’ keyword search was easy whereas ‘like’ search was very difficult.  For eg., I added ‘backpack’ as keyword, the service was bringing all the deals having ‘pack’ on the title, like ‘cd pack’, ‘dvd pack’ etc. I told about this service to couple of my friends, and one of my friends added ‘mens watches’ as keyword, and found out that most of the deals had “men’s” on the title. I recoded to accommodate this scenario, but still it is going to bring deals related to women's watch even if you add men's watch. One last example, keyword ‘all in one printer’, there was a deal with title ‘Calls to any phone in India’, if you see here ‘all’ is in ‘calls’, ‘in’ is in ‘India’ and ‘one’ is in ‘phone’. I can keep listing out examples on this service's ability/disability. As a developer, I have done my testing part (developer's test cases are always subset of testers' test cases) to an extent, it is yours now...you are my testers!


If you have any idea or thoughts to improvise this service, please send your comments. Here is the link.

Saturday, November 14, 2009 3:01:34 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1] -
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