FeedDemon first impressions:

  • the best GUI of any RSS reader (certainly in terms of polish, at least, my screen however just isn’t wide enough for the three column approach to beat the classic three panes – websites just aren’t designed to be viewed at ~1/3 your monitor width).
  • excellent “newspaper view” summary of all the feeds you’re subscribed to
  • nice features like bins, listings (try it see what I mean)
  • OPML import/export/synching (which worked fine for me but not Simon Fell)
  • Don’t click on the permalinks to my site or you’ll open twenty IE windows. 🙂

On a different tack, literary bar jokes (via Textism)

The “BBC Headlines for your site” page I was looking for a while ago turns up here, which has an absolutely hideous URL, but fortunately for us humans is mapped to http://www.bbc.co.uk/syndication.

This comes hot on the heels of news that the BBC are now providing another six RSS feeds, on top of the previously existing four (the two “Front Page” feeds appear to be identical).

Cool beans!

Actually, there are loads and loads of new feeds. Go BBC!

Along with my new digital camera comes the sordid temptation to take pictures of people’s asses and post them on the internet. Sadly, somebody already beat me to it (via plasticbag.org).

With the release of Safari 1.0 came high hopes of functioning generated content, especially in the light of an email I got from Kynn only yesterday telling me that generated quotes in Safari beta versions worked for him just fine, leading me to suspect that I just hadn’t been using a recent enough beta of Safari.

bzzzt. challenge. Either generated quotes still don’t work or Eric Meyer’s test is flawed.

Screenshots: Safari 1.0 Opera 7.11

Pleasepleaseplease Blogger. Start working with API1 apps again.

That, or show me the 2.0 API, because I can’t find it on Google for the life of me. Which, when you think about it, is kind of ironic.

In other new news (very different from old news, for example, which means things that appeared in the “blogosphere” at least six hours ago), I just received a SiPix StyleCam Snap from my grandparents, because they saw it and thought I might like it.

It’s about 5cm x 5xm x 1.5cm, takes pictures at 640×480 at its highest resolution (it also takes pics at 320×240 but they tend to have really jagged edges), takes video and has 8Mb memory, all in all a very nice little package (especially since I got it for free!). You have to hold it really really still if you don’t want any blurring in your pictures, and the pictures aren’t great if the light it either a) poor or b) natural and artificial light mixed, but I’m guessing this is a problem with all cameras that don’t have a flash.

The interesting view from a train window

Blogger API 2.0 Documentation ?

Theoretically, in the next year or two, Mozilla, Opera, Konqueror and so on might offer complete support for CSS3. But we won’t be able to take advantage of it if 85% of the audience is using a browser that still has some problems with CSS1.

This is not a good thing. People have said that this means [n]othing to web developers, and right now it doesn’t, but in one, two, three or even ten years time, when IE6 is still around because Windows XP will still be around (although in a small minority I’m hoping).

I think what I’d prefer to do is make a bookmarklet that you can click when you’re on a blog post page, which then passes the URL of that posts rss file to a web app which subscribes you to that RSS feed and notifies you via Jabber when it updates.

In order for this to be useful this means that you’d need to provide single-page posts (like Sam Ruby does, although his is the only weblog I can think of off the top of my head that actually does this, I have no idea if you can do this in MT, but Mark Pilgrim doesn’t, and he normally does everything 😉 ).

This would be extremely useful for seeing when a post you’ve commented on, or find interesting has been updated.

obviously if you have an rss feed for your comments you can subscribe to it anyway, but who wants to clog up their aggregators with stuff like that? and this would be more immediate anyway. and i’ve stopped using my aggregator. 🙂

A little while ago I wrote a Jabber server component that lets you post to your blog using the Blogger, MetaWeblog and MT API. LiveJournal support was in the works. It did spellchecking and allowed you to use textile formatting.

As well as posting to your specified blog, it kept your blog postings too, for a) the people who didn’t have a blog already and b) in case you needed to easily retrieve your blog postings.

I ran into some threading problems (it ran as an explicit two-threaded web app: fine under JBoss, only one thread under Tomcat. boo. ).

But I could never decide how nice it was to post to your blog from Jabber. Of course, what was nice was that it used markers to denote the beginning and end of your post, so in the morning you send a message of “start”, then your post got made up of all the messages you sent it until you sent “end”. And of course you could change your configuration options via jabber itself or on a web page.

I never solved the threading problem, and the program lies unreleased. Is it worth saving?

They say you can hold seven plus or minus two pieces of information in your mind. I can’t remember how to open files in Java.

(via langreiter.com)

Something similar happened to me last night. I couldn’t remember how to get command-line user input. Oh sure, System.in came into it somewhere, and, so I thought, all I had to do was wrap a BufferedInputStream around it and all done. Nope.

Obivously it’s because I’ve been doing so much server-side work for so long, and whenever I’ve done client-side apps, they’ve been swing or thinlet-based. The last time I took input from the command line in a Java app was 2001. That’s two years ago; still, like Bruce I’ve done it a bunch of times, but it’s too many steps. – remember that to print text out it’s one small call (System.out.println("this is easy");), but reading text in and echoing it back is a minimum of four lines of code, and not including the three import statements (or one if you’re naughty).

Anyway, for the curious, it’s BufferedReader that gives the magic of readLine(). I wish it was a lot easier to find these things out (I ended up having to do a search for “readLine()” on my API directory).