Intel® Mash Maker: Mashups for the Masses

Intel® Mash Maker is a new service that make it easy to create screen scrapers to extract data from normal web pages and create mashups. The tag lines on it's front page are:

  • "Browse don't program": the mashmaker will suggest mashups as you browse the web
  • "View the internet not just a web page": it combines many web pages into one view
  • "Enter the semantic Web via the back door": draws on the wisdom of the community to understand the structure and semantics of information on the web

It comes with a Firefox plugin with which one can create screen scrapers using XPath Queries, to extract data which one can then save on their server - and which I think then belongs to Intel® . There are a number of video's that show how this works on their site.

This is clearly very similar to the Piggy Bank Firefox plugin from MIT. Is the novely here that Intel is hosting the mashups, and perhaps even cleaning them up? Or that everything then belongs to them? [ not so: the lisence on the contributions is very light, though without an obligation to share ]

Notes

Thanks to Josef Holy for pointing me to this, enthusiastic at the visible spread of the Semantic Web meme.

Danny Ayers, has looked a little further into this: There is a Front Door

Comments:

To clarify the license issue, the EULA does not claim ownership of mashups. It just says that you allow us to do what we like with them (i.e. create derived mashups and share them with people). The intention is to ensure nobody sues us for sharing them with the community. Even so, I'm sure we can change the license if people have problems with it.

You are right to compare this with piggy bank.

Rather than describing the differences here, probably the best way to see how it is different is to watch the videos. Mash Maker takes a rather different approach to the UI, and composes content together in a very different way.

Posted by Rob Ennals on September 19, 2007 at 02:25 AM CEST #

You are right, I must have read that too quickly. On closer inspection your licence is closed source for your program (mash maker) but gives you rights to do whatever you want with the content:

[[
9. USER SUBMISSIONS: You agree that any material, information or other communication, including all data, images, sounds, text, and other things embodied therein, you transmit or post to an Intel website or provide to Intel under this Agreement will be considered non-confidential ("Communications"). Intel will have no confidentiality obligations with respect to the Communications. You agree that Intel and its designees will be free to copy, modify, create derivative works, publicly display, disclose, distribute, license and sublicense through multiple tiers of distribution and licensees, incorporate and otherwise use the Communications, including derivative works thereto, for any and all commercial or non-commercial purposes.
]]

I wonder if openly sharing the user contributed content makes sense? Kind of an open source screen scraping project.

The videos are very nice btw, and the whole site really well presented. I look forward to trying it out (need to blog a little less to find some time)

Posted by Henry Story on September 19, 2007 at 02:43 AM CEST #

The current license is just a standard Intel license used for releasing research previews. I wouldn't read too much into our intentions from reading it too deeply.

The main purpose of the technology preview is to learn from the community, and the license may well change as a result of that.

Posted by Rob Ennals on September 19, 2007 at 03:07 AM CEST #

Well I have signed up :-)

Posted by Henry Story on September 19, 2007 at 04:07 AM CEST #

Orchestr8 also released its new end-user mashup platform this week, AlchemyPoint. It's worth checking out!

Posted by Elliot on September 19, 2007 at 09:06 AM CEST #

The URL for AlchemyPoint seems to be: http://www.orch8.net/ap/index.html

(Just to help people find it)

Posted by Henry Story on September 19, 2007 at 09:35 AM CEST #

On the Google Social Network portability group conradov points to some other mashup tools: http://groups.google.com/group/social-network-portability

- Google has a Mashup editor
http://code.google.com/gme/

- Microsoft has a Mashup editor
http://www.popfly.com/

- Yahoo has a mashup editor
http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/

Not sure how they all differ...

Btw. Is it just on OSX that the videos on Intel's Mashup space are broken? I can see video but the image tends to overwrite itself a lot. It was nearly unreadable last time I looked (last week perhaps)

Posted by Henry Story on September 25, 2007 at 09:11 AM CEST #

Interesting that you are having trouble playing the videos on OS X. I use a mac myself and they play fine on mine. Do you have the latest version of media player?

If we can work out what the problem is then we can add a notice to the page saying how to play them nicely.

Hopefully we'll have those videos up in other formats fairly soon...

Posted by Rob Ennals on September 26, 2007 at 08:55 PM CEST #

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