FeedDemon Prefetch rocks

Finally got myself a laptop (well, got work to get me one anyway..) and so I’ve not got a use for FeedDemon’s Prefetch feature.  It is now officially My Favorite Feature.  With a 1 hour train trip out of the city I’ve got a fair amount of time to kill & I’ve already gone through my bookshelf twice!  About 10 minutes before I left work I did a final refresh of all my feeds and then set the pre-fetch running.  With all my feeds (~200) it took a little under 5 minutes to finish. 

A few things to note:

  • It will take a while if you’re on a slow connection and/or you have a huge number of unread posts.
  • It’s probably a good idea to go into offline mode after the pre-fetch is finished so that everything that’s unread is fetched.  It would be annoying to have something else come in a minute before you leave and you have to wait until you get home to read it.
  • If you use a synchronised news bin, setup a non-shared news bin to dump stuff into until you’re back online again. (It would be nice if synced bins just cached stuff until you went online, like it does for marking items as read).
  • It defaults to loading only 5 links per feed item, which means that for posts like the del.icio.us auto-posts, all you’re likely to get is the 1st link and it’s tags! You can increase this number, but it will also increase the amount of time it takes to load. It would also be handy if you could specify some domains for the pre-fetch to ignore (del.icio.us, Technorati, etc.).

This really is an awesome feature that highlights again for me the advantage of having a client application to do this, rather than, say, Google Reader.  Even with Gears installed, Reader can’t do this.  If you find yourself offline on a long commute, FeedDemon is a winner.

FeedDemon 2.5 has been released

Nick Bradbury announced the release of FeedDemon 2.5 last week, and it’s got some great new features that make this the #1 RSS reader hands down. The ability to pre-fetch content from pages linked to in feed items is amazingly useful for people on the move, and with the release of Google Gears at the Developer Day, it shows that Nick was on the right track with realising that offline mode is still important. As Aaron Boodman said in his Gears presentation at the Australian Developer Day, you’re offline more than you think.

The ability to have syncronised news bins is very nice, but having a publicly available RSS feed of that bin is simply brilliant.  I’m using it to publish my link blog (thanks for the plug Nick!). 

Also, because FeedDemon syncs with NewsGator, you can now get a list of what items are being linked to by everyone, not just your own local popular topics.  It’s sort of like Tailrank or Techmeme for subscriptions. 

I’ve been running the pre-release version for a week now with no complaints (Actually, I’ve been running the beta versions all the way since 2.0 was released, but anyway).  Go get it here.  Great software, it really is worth the small cost, and for my needs walks all over an online reader like Bloglines or Google Reader.

FeedDemon 2.5 Beta 3 available for download

 

FeedDemon 2.5 Beta 3 is now available.  The big addition in this release is a completely rewritten “Popular Topics” feature, which includes the most popular topics in everyone’s subscriptions.

NewsGator Support Blog – FeedDemon 2.5 Beta 3

Best new features:

  • Synchronised news bins with publicly available RSS feed (hello lazy link blog! Here’s mine. I’ve now added this as a permenant link up the top of this site.)
  • Offline pre-fetch, great for people with laptops without remote wireless access on the train
  • Dinosaur report (dead feeds report)
  • Popular topics for everyone.  Sort of like a feed subscriptions version of TechMeme or TailRank.  Along with this, the ‘Links to this article’ button on each news item, showing who’s linking to that item in your local feeds and in all NewsGator subscriptions.

Download here, report bugs/issues/questions in the beta forum.

Users on crack

So amazingly funny

Our support team just received an email from a FeedDemon user which contained a screenshot of an error he was encountering.  Clearly visible in the screenshot is a RAR file which contains a crack for FeedDemon.

Yep.  Not only did he contact us despite using a pirated version, but he also included a screenshot which proves he’s using a crack!

Unbelievable.

Seriously, why do people still insist that they have a God-given right to have whatever they want for free? And then to expect Nick & his support team to spend their time supporting them?!

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Send to Reddit or Netscape from FeedDemon

FeedDemon RC 2 has been released, with the added functionality to edit the ‘Send To’ menu option. This is great, it seems every time FD gets updated, Nick adds yet another feature I’ve been hanging out for. This means you can send news items to any url you like (eg del.icio.us, Digg, reddit, etc). Del.icio.us has been on that menu for a while now, and this release adds Digg by default.

You can add further items to the Send To menu by adding XML files to the {FD Install Folder}\Data\SendTo\ folder. Each file needs to look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<fdsendto service="name" template="url" />

The name is just plain text, the label that will appear in the Send To menu. url is parameterised url, similar to the command lines for the ‘Blog This’ options. There are a number of keywords to use that will be replaced with the information from the selected news item. The two you’d normally need are {title} & {url}, which sends the url-encoded title and url of the news item. So, for example, this is the url for the Digg Send To file: http://digg.com/submit?phase=2&amp;url={url}&amp;title={title}.

I’ve done up one for reddit. To use this copy the text below into a file called reddit.xml & save it into {FD Install Folder}\Data\SendTo\.

One other thing, for sites that require a username in the url, like del.icio.us, there is a {user} keyword, that when used, will prompt you for a username before continuing on to the send to url. Once you’ve entered the username, FeedDemon remembers it so you don’t have to enter it every time. Bonus!

I’m not sure how the favicon next to the option is generated, I tried dropping a reddit.gif file into \Data\images\ but that didn’t work. If anyone knows, please leave a comment. Update from Nick Bradbury

Update: here’s the file if you use Netscape.com:

[tags]FeedDemon,Reddit,Digg,Blogging,RSS,Netscape[/tags]

FeedDemon 2.1 Beta 2a with Live Writer support

Despite being involved in a hit-and-run car crash this week, Nick Bradbury has still released a new beta version for FeedDemon.  There are, as always, a huge number of improvements & new features, but the one I’m happiest about is that my Posting to Live Writer from FeedDemon app is now completely redundant.  FeedDemon now detects Live Writer as a blogging client when you select ‘auto-detect’ in the Configure Publishing Tools window.  Alternatively, if you don’t want to loose the other publishing tools listed there, you can create a new Tool called ‘Windows Live Writer’ with Command Line or URL value of {wlr}.  Good to see the 3 R’s are still being taught in schools.

Oh, and the new paginated newspaper view with Blue Vista style rocks!

Posting to Windows Live Writer from FeedDemon

Update: This is now redundant as the new release of FeedDemon detects Live Writer as a blogging client natively.

Microsoft have released a beta of their new blogging client ap, Windows Live WriterHaacked likes it, as does Hanselman, even if it does look a lot lke BlogJet.  For myself, I think it’s great, especially as, while it was designed for Spaces, it works with pretty much any blogging system.

The only annoying thing about it is that, unlike BlogJet, if you setup an ‘Blog this News Item’ command in FeedDemon to point to the writer executable, it doesn’t pick up the content from FeedDemon.  This is a pain, and hopefully will be fixed in a later release.  But if not Nick has said he will be sorting this out in the next release. Until then, I’ve got a little application that will act as a proxy between FeedDemon & Live Writer.

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FeedDemon 2.0 Easter Egg

FeedDemon 2.0 easter eggNick Bradbury once again reinforces his position as the coolest developer on the planet by showing how to run an easter egg in FeedDemon 2.0. A great little egg it is too, a game where you have to catch the falling news items (in the FeedDemon’s hand no less) while avoiding the blog spam.

You’ve gotta love easter egg games, especially ones that are actually entertaining too! It’s a bit like Arkanoid without the ball, you’ve got to catch the good falling items & avoid the bad ones.