Browser plugin and other new features

Just put live a few features:

A redesigned home page, which makes it a little clearer what Able Grape is about and also puts site news right on the home page. You may need to refresh your browser to pick up some of the changes. Please let me know if you have problems!

Able Grape now has a browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. What this means is that you can search Able Grape directly from your browser. Actually, it’s had this for some time, but the feature was launched without fanfare. It’s in the help, but people keep asking for it, so clearly I need to market the feature better!

To install, just go to the Able Grape home page. Your browser will “auto-discover” our search plug-in, and the search plug-in pull down menu, at the top right of your browser, should faintly highlight. Use this pull-down menu, and select Add “Able Grape” (Firefox), or Add Search Providers (IE 7). And voilà! You can use Able Grape right from your browser. Note that Safari does not yet support this plugin method; we hope to come up with a Safari solution soon.

Read on for more information on the features and improvements in this release!

We’ve added support for the Opera Version 9 browser, and made some steps towards supporting Internet Explorer V6 (still much more to do there).

Finally, there is a new database live with a few small improvements:

  • There is the beginnings of a new related regions and appellations feature. This will help you see when there might be alternatives to your query. For example, Able Grape considers the concept Brunello di Montalcino as distinct from Montalcino. The former is a DOCG appellation; the latter is a town. If you’re looking for information about the DOCG wine, and you type Montalcino, you won’t get very good results, so Able Grape now gives you a hint. Whenever you see that see also, Able Grape is telling you there’s some distinct but related concept you might try. Another example is Rivesaltes. This is a separate appellation from Muscat de Rivesaltes, so Able Grape gives you a hint, just in case you were looking for information about the Muscat when you typed Rivesaltes. Try it and let me know what you think.
  • There are hundreds of new concepts in the concept database, so it can now tell Jean Boillot from Jean-Marc Boillot. It can tell oak (or, more interestingly, research on oak) from oak root rot (oak queries can be tough! we’ll keep improving them until they’re, um, A.O.K…). It does a better job of wines from Brazil. It does a better job with some hard-to-spell names like J.P. Moueix. And you’ll find lots of other goodies in there, too.

As always, I rely on you folks to make suggestions and point out opportunities for improvement. If you’ve got ideas, comments, or questions, please write!

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Able Grape, a wine information search engine

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