Associate Engine : Revisions History : v2.11.25  
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v2.11.25 (Nov. 25, 2002)

Browse v2.11.25

  1. CRITICAL: Blended keyword searches work again (type=search&mode=blended). Fix is necessary due to a change by in the formatting of their webpages that caused no results to show up for blended keyword searches.

  2. NEW FEATURE:'s Apparel section is now accessible by setting the mode parameter to apparel when doing searches (i.e.: mode=apparel).

    1. Keyword searches:

      To do a keyword search of's Apparel section, use either of the following

      1. type=search&mode=apparel&keyword=KEYWORDS
      2. mode=apparel&keywordsearch=KEYWORDS

      Such as:

      1. type=search&mode=apparel&keyword=geoffrey+beene+shirt
      2. mode=apparel&keywordsearch=geoffrey+beene+shirt

    2. Browse nodes:

      Most browse nodes in's Apparel section can now be displayed as results. However, browse "drill down" (i.e.: a bulleted list of sub-categories) is currently not supported, thus type=browse&mode=apparel will only show a list of bestselling apparel items rather than a bulleted list of apparel sub-categories.

      Note: The XML data provided by for their apparel products is incomplete for some products and may not include any information other than the name of the product (e.g.: no price, no reviews, no product image). Therefore, some apparel browse nodes may not look very good in grid mode.

      To display a browse node from the apparel section, use:

      To determine the BROWSENUMBER, go to's Apparel section and clickthrough until you are at the page at that you are interested in. Then look at the URL that your web browser is currently at. Unfortunately, some of's Apparel URL's are a bit more difficult to figure out than others. The following examples show actual URL's and how to locate the browse node number in each:

      1. URL with /browse/-/:

        Apparel > Arrow Shirts

        In the above URL, the browse number appears after /browse/-/ therefore the browse node number of this page is 1093028. So we would use mode=apparel&browsenodesearch=1093028

      2. URL with node-subject:

        Apparel > The Dress Shirt Group > Men > Shirts > Broadcloth &field-merchant-id=A2VZ790DVVI91K&dispatch=search&results-process=default/103-8472993-0981414

        In the above URL, the browse number appears after node-subject= therefore the browse node number of this page is 1198256. So we would use mode=apparel&browsenodesearch=1198256

      3. URL with node-brand:

        Apparel > The Dress Shirt Group > Men > Shirts > Broadcloth > Geoffrey Beene ,&field-merchant-id=A2VZ790DVVI91K&field-merchant-id=A2VZ790DVVI91K&results-process=default&dispatch=search/103-8472993-0981414

        In the above URL, the browse number appears after node-brand=therefore the browse node number of this page is 1096434. Se we would use mode=apparel&browsenodesearch=1096434

  3. NEW FEATURE: Buy from graphical button now appears when showing results in list format. Four new configuration variables have been added for this feature (default values in red):

    Configuration Variable Meaning
    yes = show the "Buy from" button (either graphical or text)
    no = don't show the button
    yes = use graphical button
    no = use plain text button
    yes = clicking the button opens new window
    no = stay in the same window
    name of new window (default is "_blank")

    Note: The last three variables also affect the "Add to Wish List", "Add to Wedding Registry", and "Add to Baby Registry" buttons generated by formatting codes {details.addto.wishList}, {details.addto.weddingRegistry} and {details.addto.babyRegistry}, respectively. Graphical buttons are: Add to Wish List, Add to Wedding Registry, and Add to Baby Registry.

  4. NEW FEATURE: Previous and More Results graphical buttons now appear when showing results in list format. A new configuration variable has been added for this feature:

    Configuration Variable Meaning
    yes = use graphical buttons
    no = use plain text links

  5. NEW FEATURE: Results range (e.g.: "1 - 25" or "1 - 25 of 120") now appear when showing results in list format. The configuration variables related to this feature are:

    Configuration Variable Meaning
    yes = include "Previous/More Results" links and results range
    no = don't include anything
    yes = "NNN - NNN of NNN" as results range
    no = "NNN - NNN" as results range

  6. NEW FEATURE: Your server's load is now checked and if the current 1-minute load is above the value specified by the maxLoad configuration variable, a "Server is too busy" error message is displayed. The default value of maxLoad is 50 (a server load of 50 is a high load); to turn off load checking set maxLoad to 0 (the number zero). The error message can be customized via the {format.maxLoad} formatting code. This check is performed only if your linux/unix server supports the kernel pseudo-file /proc/loadavg

  7. NEW FEATURE: Any configuration variable can now be used as a template substitution variable. That is, you can now access any configuration variables (even your own user defined variables) in the template by referring to the variables as: {VARIABLENAME} or <!--VARIABLENAME-->

  8. NEW FEATURE: New configuration variables (optional) have been added to set the associate ID's used with other Amazon associate programs:

    Configuration Variable Meaning associate ID associate ID associate ID associate ID associate ID

    If you are not signed up with any one of these programs, then leave the corresponding configuration variable unchanged in the amazon.ini configuration file (default is NONE).

    NOTE: If you configure Associate Engine to use any of these other Amazon associate programs (by creating your own custom .fmt format file), we recommend that you examine the links in the results to ensure that they do in fact contain your correct associate ID's for those programs. Note: Each of Amazon's associate programs are separate from the U.S. based associate program at, so if you want to use the associate program too you have to sign up with it separately.

    Formatting codes related to other Amazon associate programs have been added:

    Formatting Code Meaning
    {} URL for this product at
    {} URL for this product at
    {} URL for this product at
    {} URL for this product at
    {} URL for this product at

    If you want these URL's to include "/ref=nosim/" then set the refNoSim configuration variable to yes (default is no).

  9. FIX: The script parameter now works for results that are very long. Previously only approximately the first 16,000 bytes of the results would be displayed (due to a web browser limitation).

  10. FIX: Searching for random ASIN's based on an ASIN file is now supported. Create a text file containing the ASIN's and save it in the ae-asin directory as mylist.txt (you can use any filename, such as cookbooks.txt). Then do a search:

    1. asinsearch=mylist
      Searches for one random ASIN from mylist.txt file.

    2. asinsearch=mylist:3
      Searches for 3 random ASIN's from mylist.txt file, preserving order of ASIN's. Use any number after the colon to specify how many ASIN's to use. To show all the ASIN's, use a large number (maximum is 30).

    3. asinsearch=mylist:-3
      Searches for 3 random ASIN's from mylist.txt file, scrambling the ASIN's so the order is not preserved. Use any number after the colon to specify how many ASIN's to use. To show all the ASIN's, use a large number (maximum is 30).

  11. FIX: The optional format library (specified by the format.library configuration variable) is now loaded before the {format.list1.*} and {format.list2.*} formats are first used. Thus you can now redefine {format.list1.*} and {format.list2.*} in your format library.

  12. FIX: The viewCart configuration variable now works properly to show "View shopping cart" link.

  13. FIX: The imageWH configuration variable now works properly. Results are now displayed faster the first time they are accessed (assuming imageWH is set to off).

  14. FIX: Template substitution variable {urlkeywords} now works properly. This variables equals the value of keyword parameter and any special characters (i.e.: space, +,=, ?, %, &) are translated into % ASCII representation (e.g.: %20 for space).

  15. FIX: <!--if ...--> formatting codes are now correctly supported. Previously only {if ...} worked properly.

  16. FIX: A one second pause is now used between multiple access to's XML Web Services as required by This pause is enabled by the new xml.pause configuration variable.

  17. IMPROVEMENT: The imageWH configuration variable is temporarily turned off if Associate Engine is being called by a search engine spider. The configuration variable imageWH.spider specifies what spiders to look for. Specifically, the configuration variable imageWH.spider specifies the search pattern to match the HTTP_USER_AGENT with. The default search pattern is "FAST-WebCrawler,Googlebot,ia_archiver,Scooter,WISEnutbot". In amazon.ini, either put all of the spider names on one line (e.g.: "googlebot,scooter,wisenutbot", or on separate lines and end the variable name with a + (i.e.: imageWH.spider+) to join lines. Uppercase/lowercase does not matter, and the search pattern can match anywhere. Note: If the pattern is too short (e.g.: "a"), then it is possible that regular users will match too.

  18. IMPROVEMENT: Added "<< Previous Results" and "More Results >>" to the bottom of results when is 2 (was already working when is 1). As with 1, whether graphical buttons or text links are shown is based upon the configuration variable (see above).

  19. IMPROVEMENT: The formatting engine now includes better error detection. If an error is detected in the formatting codes, an error will be reported.

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