The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Feedeye’s first round of fixes and features!

Saturday 23 September 2006 at 9:34 pm

Yay! I am finally making progress on the thesis-writing front (which is not to say I’m behind schedule or anything … not at all! honest!). Anyway this means I have a little time to occasionally do other things, like actually post to this blog (woohoo! I hear you exclaim), and toy around some more with my RSS-reading pet project :-)

It’s still a somewhat untrustworthy beta, but it’s clawing its way towards the world of trustability. So far, the fixes and new features are:

  • [Feedeye's new ‘newspaper’ view] In the “display options” dialog, there’s now a third view mode: “newspaper” view draws your sets in a page that is meant to vaguely resemble a traditional news site. It’s still a bit buggy, but if you like to just quickly browse your feeds I find this view a great way to do it. (The template is inspired by TechMeme.)
  • If you stick to the default two-pane view, you can now mark posts as unread (yay for basic functionality!) and view a list of all similar posts in the database, even those from feeds that aren’t part of your set. However the database is still small, so results are somewhat limited for now.
  • Also in the two-pane view, there’s now a very simple (but AJAXy!) search field. (Currently only works in Firefox, though.)
  • Logins are now persistent, i.e. you’ll no longer be logged out just by closing your browser window. That was sloppy coding on my part …
  • The database and crawling scripts (i.e. the bits you don’t see) have been almost completely reworked to be very much more efficient.
  • As a result, sets display much more quickly than they used to (though there’s still optimisation to be done)! The tradeoff is that they update a little more slowly than they used to, but I doubt you’ll notice.
  • Finally, there’s some minor interface tweaks and miscellaneous small bug fixes, mainly just typos in the HTML.
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My feed reader’s better than yours!

Wednesday 23 August 2006 at 5:01 pm

So what, you ask, have I been working on while not posting to this blog?

The story goes like this. I imagine a few of you reading this will be doing so from the comfort of an RSS reader. I have one too, but I keep encountering a problem. Across all my feeds, there are so many items — some interesting, some not — that I can never be bothered to read every single one. Eventually I figured that what I really needed was a way of highlighting which articles in my feeds were more important, so late one night I took a crack at concocting a way to do this.

After some polishing, I dare say the result of my endeavours might be of use to someone other than me. It is (somewhat arbitrarily) named Feedeye, and it’s a Web-based RSS reader that allows you to put feeds into “sets” and will group together items in a set when they talk about the same thing. In doing so, it gives more emphasis to stories the more they’re being posted about in your chosen feeds.

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