Back on July 4th, I wrote about Intel’s Mash Maker, which was featured in a paper presented at SIGMOD’07 in June, and was coming out in a private beta release in July.
Robert Ennal, one of the paper’s authors was kind enough to send me an email letting me know that people can now sign up to try out Mash Maker in a technology Preview Release (Thanks, Robert). I’ve signed up, and if you want to try it out, you can submit your email address on the Intel Mash Maker site.
How does Mash Maker work?
Intel® Mash Maker is an extension to your existing web browser that allows you to easily augment the page that you are currently browsing with information from other websites. As you browse the web, the Mash Maker toolbar suggests Mashups that it can apply to the current page in order to make it more useful for you. For example: plot all items on a map, or display the leg room for all flights.
The FAQ has a lot more details about this research project, and I found this question and answer pretty interesting:
How does Mash Maker know how a page is structured?
Mash Maker draws from the power of the community, using collaboratively maintained data extractors. If Mash Maker doesn’t understand how a page you are interested in is structured, or is misinterpreting the page, then you can teach MashMaker how the page works by expanding the “Data Tree” sidebar, and interactively editing the extractor definition that MashMaker has in its database.
One of the great things about Mash Maker is that you don’t need to be a programmer to use it. I’m looking forward to trying it out, and to its release.