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Deepleap augments browsing experience with surfing tools

by Edd Dumbill -- 2000/04/15

The Deepleap team have launched their product into a beta testing phase. Providing a web-based helper window, Deepleap offers web users a collection of small utilities to aid web browsing.

The main features of Deepleap are portable bookmarks, notepad, tools to email extracts of web sites, and a "metainfo" box that provides quick access to metadata about the site currently being viewed.

Requiring no external downloads, Deepleap is a Java, Javascript and dynamic HTML based application. It currently works with Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, although not with Netscape 6/Mozilla. Deepleap is launched via a "bookmarklet" you add to your "personal toolbar" folder in your browser favorites.

Web site authors can create a deepleap.xml file to provide Deepleap users with more information about their website, such as contact details and location of site search.

Deepleap appear to be making money by offering content-provider based services within its interface. Sample options include listings from Yahoo, and a Google search.

A summary of the product from first impressions: Deepleap seems to be a merging of affilliate programs with browser-based functions such as saving and email, plus metadata information a la Alexa or iCab. Perhaps Mozilla will offer the opportunity for these services to be tied more tightly into the browser, rather than an awkward external window.

Deepleap's end-game is rather more ambitious than the initial offering: they want to tie together the web and the user (and their Palm Pilot, word processor, etc.) in a seamless manner through the extended use of XML and metadata.

Related link: Deepleap's CEO, Lane Becker, explains his vision on Dave Winer's discussion group.