msalamon
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Postby msalamon » Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:14 pm

I'm a bit confused about the user of filters. Here is my use case. Can you let me know if this is possible? Bear in mind that I am going to use awasu to output feed content to a file, to be used as part of a process. I will not be reading feeds in the UI. I will likely need to use either the xml version of the channel saved in the Logs directory or create a report to output the content.

I have a channel (feed) that contains general business content. I only want to see articles that contain the word "automotive," "automobile" or "car." I was hoping the filter that you can configure when you set up a channel would do this, but all that seems to do is highlight articles that match your filter criteria. Is that correct?

I looked at search channels. That sort of seems to do what I want, but it operates at the folder level, not at the channel level. Assume that I want to apply different filter values for 3 different channels in the same folder. I can't do that with a search channel (at least not without creating 3 search channels, which added to my 3 channels creates a lot of complication).

I also looked at Channel Filters, but that also operates at the folder level.

Is there any way to set up a filter that will filter out (or filter in) only the content that I want that can be saved to a file, and apply this filter at the channel/feed level?

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kevotheclone
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Postby kevotheclone » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:00 pm

First a Channel is generally equivalent to a single ATOM/RSS Feed, unless of course, you are using the Combine Feeds Plugin which I know from your previous posts that you've already discovered.

"Channel Filters" allow you to filter out Channels, so that you can either see less Channels in the Control Center (reducing visual clutter in Awasu's UI, great for when you're monitoring 100's of Channels) or they can be used as the basis of Channel Reports, so that a Channel Report will only report on a subset of your Channels.

The "words to filter on" portion of the New Channel Filter wizard will only be matched against the URL, Title Description and/or Channel Description, not against the actual feed item content.

"Search Channels" search across all of your other Channels. They don't operate at a specific Folder or Channel level.


I really think what you want are Search Channels that search for content in the feed items. Then when the Search Channels find content you want to save it to a file, FTP it to a server or email it to someone.

Another thing to consider are "Workpads" which are places to store found feed items. You can have multiple Search Channels automatically send their found output to one or more Workpads and create Channel Reports based upon those Workpads.


This is all available today and it's what makes Awasu so awesome. It's already very versatile, but it takes time to fully understand all of your available options. If Awasu can't run your whole application, it'll probably get you 90% of the way there and your coding will be minimal. At $79 (US), Awasu Professional is a steal (how many hour of coding can you sqeeze into a $79 budget?).


Remember this: If you want to take an action as soon as a Channel is updated, create a "Channel Hook"; if you want some action to take place at a set interval or specific time of day create a "Channel Report". There is an exception to this rule now in that any kind of Channel can automatically send it's output to one or more Workpads as the Channel is updated and Channel Reports that are based upon Workpads can be setup to run whenever the Workpad is updated. So this gives you Channel Hook-like run-as-soon-as-a-Channel-is-updated-functionlity without you actually having to write a Channel Hook, in that your Channel Report will be update anytime one of the underlying Channels are updated.

msalamon
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:50 pm

Postby msalamon » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:52 pm

Thanks. I realize Awasu may not do 100% of what I want. (For the price, I admit, it's AMAZING. Ok, it's amazing at any price.) Just trying to figure out what my possible options are.

I think you hit the nail on the head. I am likely going to combine multiple feeds into a single channel using the CombineFeed plugin. I would like to run a filter on the content of the items in each combined channel and would rather do it as part of the channel configuration than have to create a separate search channel (or use another mechanism).

Perhaps it's worth considering adding the ability to filter at the channel level? You could beef up the existing filter part to allow advanced search and an include or exclude flag?

Thanks again.

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support
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Postby support » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:49 pm

msalamon wrote:I was hoping the filter that you can configure when you set up a channel would do this, but all that seems to do is highlight articles that match your filter criteria. Is that correct?

Yes, <i>item</i> filters are a UI thing only.

msalamon wrote:I looked at search channels. That sort of seems to do what I want, but it operates at the folder level, not at the channel level.

Not quite sure what you mean by "folder level" and "channel level" but search channels work by searching the archived content across all your channels. It is possible to restrict the search to certain channels but it's a bit unreliable (we use a third-party component :|).
<i>EDIT: You could also run a search across all channels and then do some post-processing to pick out the ones you want...</i>

msalamon wrote:I can't do that with a search channel (at least not without creating 3 search channels, which added to my 3 channels creates a lot of complication).

You can put all your search channels in a separate folder and always keep it closed :-) A channel filter could also be set up to exclude them from the <i>My Channels</i> window.

msalamon wrote:I also looked at Channel Filters, but that also operates at the folder level.

Channel filters are used to select certain channels from your overall list of channels e.g. to only show them the <i>My Channels</i> window, choose which channels get included in a report.

msalamon wrote:Is there any way to set up a filter that will filter out (or filter in) only the content that I want that can be saved to a file, and apply this filter at the channel/feed level?

Several people have asked about what you seem to want to do and the way they've done it is to set up search channels, configured to add their new content to a workpad. Every time the search finds something new, it appears as a new item in the feed and gets added to the workpad, from which a report can be generated. Using a workpad in this way has the advantage of letting someone edit the content or add their own notes before the report is generated.

For more high-powered analysis and processing of content, you might want to consider dumping it into an external database and writing your own tools to analyse it there.
Last edited by support on Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kevotheclone
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Location: Elk Grove, California

Postby kevotheclone » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:44 pm

support wrote:You can put all your search channels in a separate folder and always keep it closed :-) A channel filter could also be set up to exclude them from the <i>My Channels</i> window.

Yes, YES Yeeeeeees!
Due to Awasu's flexibility of allowing a Channel to appear in multiple folders and the flexibility of Channel Filters, you have a lot of control over what is displayed in the Control Center's "My Channels" tree (I like to think of this as Awasu's Channel Management features).

It allow you to organize things in different ways all at once and then filter out various sections of the tree.

You could have your Topical organization (Industry: automotive, manufacturing, technology, etc.) and if you have Search Channels for these industry topic areas you could have these Search Channels appear right in the same folder as the "raw feed" Channels... AND you could also put these same Search Channels and all of your other Search Channels in a "Search Channel" sub-tree and create a Channel Filter to display only the "Search Channel" sub-tree, so anytime you need to tweak a Search Channel's setting, invoke the "Search Channel sub-tree" Channel Filter and now you're only looking at your Search Channels, tweak away with a minimum of visual clutter.

You could do the same thing with Channels that are based upon "Channel Plugins", so that if you need to make an update to a Channel Plugin or tweak parameters you can quickly find all Channels based upon Channel Plugins.

Also here's a tip for the "words to filter on" portion of the New Channel Filter wizard:
A Channel's Title and Description are initially populated from the feed itself, however you can edit both the Title and Description and add unique "tags" that you can filter on via Channel Filters. If "Alice in accounting" needs some oddball combination of Channels that span all sort of topical categories you can edit her Channel's Descriptions and add "Alice_In_Acct" (or whatever) to the Description; then create a Channel Filter to only include Channels with "Alice_In_Acct" in the Channel's Description. [i]Use Ctrl+Enter to add a new line in the Description field of the Channel Properties.

Also, msalamon, check out "Channel Favorites" you can add links to individual Channels to the "Tasks Pane".

support wrote:It is possible to restrict the search to certain channels but it's a bit unreliable (we use a third-party component ).

Back in August, I did make an email suggestion that, as a way to reduce false positive search results, maybe when a user is defining a Search Channel they could specify that the search be constrained to the Channels returned by a specific Channel Filter. We talked about a lot of things in the email thread so I'm not I made this suggestion really clear or that you gave me your thoughts on how easy or impossible this would be to implement.

And let's just state for the record that I don't get a lot of false positives anyway, so I didn't really need this feature.

I remember I used an example of how using Channel Filters to constrain Search Channels could help differentiate a search term such as "Delphi" as either: 1) a programming language, 2) an automotive parts corporation, or 3) a city in Greece.


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