Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

FeedDemon features

As I’ve previously said, I’ve wanted to post a list of features for the next version FeedDemon (1.1?) that were missing from 1.0 but should be included. I’ve waited a bit to allow Nick to get the final release of 1.0 out of the door, but since that’s done, here goes.

  1. Mozilla integration. I’d personally prefer to use Mozilla’s rendering engine instead of IE’s. Nick has posted how to use Mozilla in TopStyle so I hope this can be applied to FeedDemon too. It’s certainly not a ‘must-have’ but a ‘nice-to-have’. (Of course, you could hack it up yourself but that’s not the point).
  2. Support for Userland’s BlogChannel RSS namespace. The auto-discovery feature is already nice but some people (like me) use BlogChannel to point out sideblogs – it would be nice if the autodiscovery feature picked this up too.
  3. Ability to set on a feed-by-feed basis whether I want to view entries as they appear in the RSS file, or to show the entry they reference. Some feeds leave something to be desired so it would be nice to view the entries in their entirity (I believe SharpReader already offers this). That said, the feature to view the online articles themselves when no description is provided is a useful one.
  4. Support for the <slash:comments> extension which shows how many comments an entry has. Again, this has partly been implemented through an icon besides entries with comments, but showing the number too would be good as it would indicate active discussions.
  5. Better error reporting. When a feed can’t be fetched for some reason, its icon does change to a red cross, but a bit more info would be nice – DNS error, 404, 410, 500? And if it’s a 404 or 410, maybe a popup asking the user whether they wanted to delete the feed. Or maybe if it’s a DNS error, a popup that appears after, say, 10 unsuccessful attempts to contact it over a period of time.
  6. Cleanup wizard is a good idea, but can be extended – how about removing feeds that haven’t updated in more than, say 2 months?
  7. A column showing the post category would be nice, as would a ‘combined date’ which shows the published date or the received date if the published date is absent.
  8. When showing the Author in an RSS 2.0 feed, I’m not so fussed about being able to see that person’s email address. How about having an option to hide that? It takes up some valuable screen space.
  9. Atom support. Version 0.3 of the spec is now out and I can’t imagine it’ll change that much. Even very basic support is better than nothing.

Anyway, since Nick has posted instructions for paying via PayPal, I may well go ahead and do that this week before the dollar recovers too much against the pound.

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