RSS Bandit: Lotsa New Features

Over the past week I've been fixing bugs and adding features to RSS Bandit preparing for release 1.0d. Below is a brief list of the changes you will see in the the latest release
  • Fixed NullReferenceException thrown when attempt made to drag a category node in the tree view. Fixed by disabling drag & drop for category nodes.

  • Added fixed border style for all dialog windows since this was causing problems for people like Steve Burnap (K5's own ucblockhead).

  • Added code to ensure that only one instance of RSS Bandit can be launched at a given time. Used code from

  • Clicking on column headers in the list view now sorts the items in the list. Thanks to Ask Dr. GUI. Once I added this feature I realized how annoying it is for an RSS feed not to provide a posting date. I quickly fixed my RSS feeds and got to nagging folks whose blogs I read regularly who don't provide pubDate or dc:date in their RSS feed. Gudge has responded to my prodding which is cool. Now if only he'd share his patch with the rest of the folks using Don's GotDotNet blog engine like Tim, Don and Doug.

    Then again given that GotDotNet now has properblogs this may soon be a moot point. Come to think of it I've been debating starting an official B0rg blog where I post more from the Microsoft employee perspective than from my current personal brain farting here on K5.

  • Added support for Joe Gregorio's CommentAPI. One can now post comments from RSS Bandit to sites that support the CommentAPI and specially annotate their RSS feed. Here's a screenshot of me posting this comment to Sam Ruby's blog.

  • RSS bandit now has a wizard that uses the same algorithm as Mark Pilgrim's Ultra-liberal RSS locator. Basically all you do is provide a website URL, like, and RSS Bandit tries as hard as possible to find an RSS feed for the site then provides a list of possible feeds from which you can add one to your feed subscription list. Here are screenshots of me doing it for MSDN in one, two, three easy steps.

You can find the latest installer here

More changes to RSS Bandit are in the pipeline. Torsten has screenshots of the RSS Bandit v1.1 GUI and I'm in the middle of talks with the GotDotNet folks to discuss the viability of adding features to the website to allow support for using the .NET Application Updater Component. At this rate I'll probably write a follow up column to discuss the various changes to RSS Bandit focusing on the XML related ones.


TechEd 2003 Talk: W3C XML Schema and XML Web Services

It's been confirmed that I'll be speaking at TechEd 2003. My talk is going to focus on harnessing the power of W3C XML Schema for use in XML Web Services. In v1 of the .NET Framework there was an overreaching focus on treating XML Web Services as yet another RPC mechanism instead of the current thinking where it they are seen as being message based. The focus on RPC meant that instead of embracing XML and the W3C XML Schema it was hidden behind object bindings which was an extremely leaky abstraction. How leaky? Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote about .NET XML Serialization

Q: What aspects of W3C XML Schema are not supported by the XmlSerializer during conversion of schemas to classes?

A: The XmlSerializer does not support the following:

  • Any of the simple type restriction facets besides enumeration.
  • Namespace based wildcards.
  • Identity constraints.
  • Substitution groups.
  • Blocked elements or types.
My talk will be about harnessing the full power of W3C XML Schema in XML Web Services written on the .NET platform.


War on Iraq MLP

I recently found out about the Powell Doctrine. Reading the Washington Post article it gives the distinct impression that the lunatics are running the asylum. I fear for the world.

I've always been amused by the notion of bombing for peace (isn't that like fucking for virginity?). Here's an interesting question I found via the Yahoo! Message Boards
Here's a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of World War II, compiled by historian William Blum:

In how many of these instances did a democratic government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result?
The following headline is a classic example of why "Do what I say, not what I do " can come back and bite you on the ass; Can't bomb Iraq and tell us to talk to Pak, India tells US


Keepin' It Real

Every once in a while I find a blog that isn't spewing the same old endless minutae about some boring person's daily life or wanking about technology and fall in love. Recently I found two blogs that I couldn't help but appreciate because of how they told their story with no holds barred
  1. TardBlog: Stories from the class room of a special education teacher. I guess I should warn that this site is extremely not politically correct.

  2. View Distorted: I believe this is the blog of Clint Avant , a fellow B0rg. Whereas the other B0rg blogs you read, mine included, make it seems like life in the Belly of the Beast is a bed of roses Clint tells it like it is raw and unadulterated. I'd suggest starting with the Sunday March 23rd article.


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Disclaimer: The above comments do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. They are solely my opinion.