Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Sun, 06 Apr 2003
Harvester, SharpReader, and RSSBandit
It's RSS Aggregator day. I downloaded and briefly experimented with SharpReader, RSSBandit and Harvester. Here are some brief thoughts: SharpReader and RSSBandit were able to import my Aggie myChannels.opml. Harvester wasn't -- I couldn't figure out the URL to read the local OPML file.

RSS Bandit seems kind of sparse. There's a new UI in the works, but I couldn't get to the screenies, because of bandwidth quotas. You can adjust polling frequency of different feeds, which is really nice. There is support for Comment API, but I couldn't get this to work. Source code included but licensing is unclear. At least there's the chance to help / fix stuff.

SharpReader - I like the filtering and UI for changing refreshes. There doesn't appear to be per feed polling. The threading feature is really nice, but constrained by the tree/feed oriented UI. A "thread" based UI/display would be great here. Clicking a folder/category displays the titles of all the items in the folder, which is closer to what I want. Locking an item is good -- being able to put it in a virtual folder (like to-do folder) would be better. I like that you can specify the number of concurrent connections. Unfortunately, I also experienced some annoying delays.

Harvester - I like the UI, sort of. There's no indication of whether items have been read or not. The tabbing is nice, but it doesn't work the way I expected. I get a new tab no matter what. I use Mozilla tabs and Aggie to form a "placeholder" system of things that I want to come back to. Aggie puts all the items into one BIG HTML document, ordered by feed. I just scroll through the document (skimming mostly) and middle clicking (open in new tab) on items that need more time or a post/comment/respose. Harvester's way of creating a tab for every item doesn't help create that working list. A the moment there's no per feed polling interval. I got a bunch of exception throws in Harvester, but no crash. But for a first release, respectable. There's not much I can do to help without source. The use of the Magic library is also cool Gonna hafta look at that.

Richard Caetano describes the next step for RSS aggregators.

Most readers use a tree as a focus point. I think this works well in the typical programmer's mind but it adds little value to the information being display. What I'm envisioning is a newspaper. I would love to open up my aggregator and the first thing I see is a newspaper like front page customized by me. I might have 3 or 4 sections: .NET, Programming, News, Life. One the front page I would have blurps from different RSS sources with links to the full post. The page would represent today's news and I would be able to check the progress of my page in real time (people post at different times).

With that in mind, I would like to see the aggregator archive each day's news in a way where I could flip back through time. I may not remember who posted something but I could remember when. All this information should be neatly stored on my hard drive.

The next big improvement in RSS Aggregator functionality (and other kinds of desktop software) could be explicit support for various workflow/item processing styles.
[13:42] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 11 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

while BottomFeeder does not support CommentAPI, it does support OPML imports.  If you have time and interest, let me know what you think:


You'll want to grab the latest update as well.  The application should enable the update itself once you have fired it up.
Posted by James Robertson at Sun Apr 6 14:53:00 2003

Hey, the RSS Bandit screens are back alive.
Ted: you have working release. You have to right-click on a listview row, then you get the correct context menu.
OPML support is there. Just switch the file type within the export/import file dialogs to *.opml.
Posted by Torsten Rendelmann at Wed Apr 9 14:24:10 2003

You can subscribe to an RSS feed of the comments for this blog: RSS Feed for comments

Add a comment here:

You can use some HTML tags in the comment text:
To insert a URI, just type it -- no need to write an anchor tag.
Allowable html tags are: <a href>, <em>, <i>, <b>, <blockquote>, <br/>, <p>, <code>, <pre>, <cite>, <sub> and <sup>.

You can also use some Wiki style:
URI => [uri title]
<em> => _emphasized text_
<b> => *bold text*
Ordered list => consecutive lines starting spaces and an asterisk





Remember my info?

twl JPG


Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Now available!
Professional XML Development with Apache Tools : Xerces, Xalan, FOP, Cocoon, Axis, Xindice
Technorati Profile
PGP Key Fingerprint
My del.icio.us Bookmarks
My Flickr Photos

RSS 2.0 xml GIF
Comments (RSS 2.0) xml GIF
Atom 0.3 feed
Feedburner'ed RSS feed

< April 2003 >
   1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9101112


Macintosh Tips and Tricks

Blogs nearby
geourl PNG

/ (1567)
  books/ (33)
  computers/ (62)
    hardware/ (15)
    internet/ (58)
      mail/ (11)
      microcontent/ (58)
      weblogs/ (174)
        pyblosxom/ (36)
      www/ (25)
    open_source/ (145)
      asf/ (53)
      osaf/ (32)
        chandler/ (35)
        cosmo/ (1)
    operating_systems/ (16)
      linux/ (9)
        debian/ (15)
        ubuntu/ (2)
      macosx/ (101)
        tips/ (25)
      windows_xp/ (4)
    programming/ (156)
      clr/ (1)
      dotnet/ (13)
      java/ (71)
        eclipse/ (22)
      lisp/ (34)
      python/ (86)
      smalltalk/ (4)
      xml/ (18)
    research/ (1)
    security/ (4)
    wireless/ (1)
  culture/ (10)
    film/ (8)
    music/ (6)
  education/ (13)
  family/ (17)
  gadgets/ (24)
  misc/ (47)
  people/ (18)
  photography/ (25)
    pictures/ (12)
  places/ (3)
    us/ (0)
      wa/ (2)
        bainbridge_island/ (17)
        seattle/ (13)
  skating/ (6)
  society/ (20)

[Valid RSS]

del.icio.us linkblog



Listed on BlogShares

Locations of visitors to this page
Where are visitors to this page?

pyblosxom GIF