I sent out Grouper Evolution version 1.6.3 yesterday. I'd been working on a much more ambitious upgrade, but decided that it was important to get a few of the improvements out now.

The most visible and important change is an overhaul of the Shopping.com affiliate plugin. The original plugin was based on data sent to me by a Shopping.com affiliate, but since I wasn't an affiliate myself and didn't have access to their documentation, I didn't know that the format of their search results can vary quite a bit depending on whether you're searching for a brand name, a specific product, a class of product, etc. With this update, the plugin checks the format of the result and adapts itself as needed.

Enabling the Shopping.com plugin to adapt its configuration during processing required a change to the XML plugin, which can now execute a "callback" function after the source XML data has been parsed (carved up into all of its pieces) and before that data has been mapped to the RSS format.

The XML plugin itself uses the new callback feature itself if no helper plugin has been loaded to auto-detect if the source data is RSS 0.9X or 2.0, Atom 0.3 or 1.0, and load the appropriate helper plugin, saving the user the need to explicitly load those plugins.

This release also includes a number of minor feature and performance enhancements and bug fixes.

Barring any need for bug fixes, this will be the last 1.X version of Grouper. The next version will add at least two major new features, meriting the jump to version 2.0 and of course, a price increase!