FeedDemon quietly updated to version 2.7

Amit Agarwal from Digital Inspiration has posted that FeedDemon, the best RSS reader ever, has been updated to version 2.7.  It’s kind of unexpected as the last version that was announced by Nick Bradbury was the 2.6.1 RC2.   Nick has added Amit’s post to his shared clippings folder, but other than that there’s been no ‘official’ announcement.  FileForum seems to have gotten the update first, and then the Newsgator download page was hastily updated to the 2.7 version (the page still mentions the 2.6 version, but the download file is for 2.7).

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FeedDemon is now a FREE download

NewsGator has announced that they are offering their client software products as free software.  This includes FeedDemon, NetNewsWire, Inbox, and NewsGator Go! for Windows Mobile.  Also, the new version of FeedDemon (2.6) has been released.

This is quite a big deal.  FeedDemon is an awesome piece of software, and the synchronisation tool (also free) makes it invaluable for people who use it at home and at work.  Nick Bradbury has assured everyone that this doesn’t mean that development is going to stall now:

"Is this some sneaky ploy to stop development of FeedDemon and your other consumer products?"

Good lord, no.  I realize that some companies have made their software free as a first step towards dumping it entirely, but that’s not the case here.  If it was, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post – I’d be bitching at the top of my lungs in some bar somewhere.

This is a major investment on our part.  If anything, the pace of development will only get faster.  NewsGator CTO Greg Reinacker goes into this further, but basically, there are two reasons we’re doing this crazy thing.

You need to download FeedDemon now!  I don’t care what other RSS reader you use, this one is better. The only reason I could conceive before now not to use it was the cost, but seeing as that’s now no longer an issue, everyone needs to use FeedDemon.  There are so many features, I’ve mentioned plenty before (see here).

Download, it’s what all the cool kids are doing!

FeedDemon 2.6 Release Candidate 4 available

Get it while it’s hot.  List of changes on that page.

I’ll back the first one straight out of the box, updating and synchronising is way faster, almost instantaneous in some cases. Seems to start up faster too.  Adding the Find Feeds option into the file menu is a nice touch for those who didn’t do it on install but now want to see what else is out there.

It just one more thing I love about FeedDemon; almost every minor release or release candidate has a new feature in it that users have requested, unlike most software where it’s just ‘invisible bug fix x fixed‘.

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 2.1 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 beta

Nick Bradbury has released the 2.0 beta for FeedDemon. There are a bunch of new features, but my favourite, the one I’ve been waiting for, is the new tree structure for the folders list (think the folders list in Windows Explorer).  This means no more switching between folders, I can have multiple, or in fact all of my folders open at once, showing what’s new and what isn’t.  By default FeedDemon 2.0 is set to auto-collapse folders as you expand a new one which, for me at least, defeats the purpose of the exercise.  So to turn this off go to ‘Tools’ -> ‘Options’ -> ‘Reading’ and untick ‘automatically collapse folders’ then click ‘OK’.

Clicking on the top of the subscriptions tree also gives you a nice list of all feeds with unread items, and a collation of your most and least visited feeds.  The only thing that I can see that’s missing is the ‘blog this item’ tool, which automatically send the contents of a news item to your blog post window.  This was handy, but maybe it’s just turned off in the options & I’m not seeing it.

Anyway, I’m pretty darn happy with this new version, the speed especially is great, it switches between feeds almost instantly. As always, great work Nick!

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Google's new Desktop search toolbar

Google has released it’s new desktop search tool. The sidebar is, for my 2 cents, a great idea. The ‘learning’ news section has already (after 4 hours) started to only return my type of news items. There’s an feed reader and email alert panel too, the email alert panel will show new email from both your local mail programs and Gmail (if you provide it with your login details). Nice.

Interestingly enough, Google seems to have taken a different direction again with the RSS naming argument, calling the feed reader panel ‘Web Clips’. I’m probably only going to stick my most popular feeds into this anyway, as it’s a bit too confusing to navigate once you get past a dozen or so items. FeedDemon still wins on this one.

WordPress powered company site

The one item on my to-do list which has been there the longest has been to add a CMS to control the news section on our website. Typical for a web-development company, our own website is the last thing on our priority. Well, today I can knock it off my list, all thanks to WordPress. After toying with a couple of proprietary products, or the possibility of writing something myself (yeah, sure, I’ve got the time for that) I realised that all I really wanted was a cut-down blog. There’s no need for comments or any of the other features, but the interface, along with the ability to restrict authors to certain activities fit the bill exactly. Not to mention the ability to have RSS/Atom feeds.

Because I had limited time, the solution I came up with is a bit of a messy hack, but it works. I have a fairly simple principle with development: If it works, it was the right way to do it.

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