Welcome to Able Grape beta 2. It’s been six months since we launched our first beta release, and though we’ve been improving Able Grape almost weekly since then, beta 2 represents a huge step forward in terms of functionality. Here’s a quick overview of what’s new:
- New UI. We’ve redesigned the page to be easier to read, and so that we can help you get the best results, we’ve created a space in which Able Grape can have a dialogue with you.
- Query Tips. We dug into thousands of user queries to understand what kinds of mistakes people make — and what kinds of mistakes we make. Beta 2 bears the first fruits of that work. Able Grape now freqently suggests alternative queries to help you get the best results. This is just a start — now that we’ve laid the groundwork for query suggestions in both the UI and our software architecture, we plan to aggressively develop additional “query tips” in the coming months (suggestions welcome, as always).
- Improved home page. We’ve tightened up the home page a bit, and now give you suggestions for a few things to make your Able Grape experience better (if you want to make the suggestions go away, just join the Able Grape community).
- Larger database and improved relevance. We’re constantly growing the database and improving the quality of our results, and beta 2 is no exception: we’ve reached well over 13 million pages across 38,313 sites, and the quality of search results has never been better.
- Improved architecture. Yeah, we software types always like to talk about improving things under the hood, but there are concrete benefits for you, the user. Beta 2 has new, more powerful concept database that is allowing us to rapidly build out features based on article dates — soon to come, by popular request — and eventually will let us do fun things with concepts like yields, vineyard areas, percentages, production volumes, and even wine scores.
Here are a handful of query examples to try:
- Denmark. Did you mean the country or the wine region in Western Australia? Use the query tip.
- Muscadet. Did you mean the appellation or the variety? Use the query tip, and see how the results change.
- 82 Bordeaux. Use the query tip.
- Napa California Wine. Two of these three words might be redundant, so Able Grape suggests alternatives. Use the query tips (twice).
- Carignan grapes. Use the query tip.
- Spottswoode ratings. Are you looking for the word ratings, or do you want ratings (that’s what filters are for). Able Grape wants to know. Use the query tip.
- Bodegas Valsacro: thousands of great wine pages from Spain’s El País are just some of the new content in this database.
- Sainson-Rossignol. Improved coverage and ranking algorithms help locate small, hard-to-find producers.
- As always, there are many many new concepts in the concept database, from rootstocks like 110R or O39-16 to concepts as varied as DAP or GoFerm, BOGOFs, Grosses Gewächs, or 4ème cru, and producers from Drouhin or Château d’Aussières to Burlotto or Capel Vale.
AG beta 2 should work on all the previously supported browsers (and, if you haven’t tried it yet, I highty recommend trying Firefox 3, it’s great). As always, if you have suggestions, questions, comments, observations, bugs, stunningly good results, rants, feedback, quibbles, or (especially) brilliant ideas, please don’t hesitate to write us at the address mentioned at the bottom of the FAQs. I’d like to make Able Grape the best it can be.