I've been really busy at work and haven't had free time left over to do significant work on RSS Bandit for the past few weeks. I should have some more free time starting this weekend and will begin to start making progress again. In the mean time there have been decisions made which are probably worth sharing.

Synchronization with Bloglines and Newsgator Online
I've mentioned in the past that I'd like the next version of RSS Bandit to be able to synchronize it state with a user's account in Newsgator Online or Bloglines. However I've also mentioned the various limitations of the Bloglines sync API which make it less than ideal as a way to synchronize the state of a desktop RSS reader with an online aggregator. On the flip side, I've had some discussions with folks at Newsgator which imply that I'll be able to get a full synchronization API from them by the time Nightcrawler ships.

My current decision is that I am dropping plans for supporting synchronizing RSS Bandit with Bloglines due to the limitations of its API which is guaranteed to leave users with a poor user experience. Instead the only new synchronization target added in the next release will be Newsgator Online.

Newsgroup support
One interesting problem that came up when integrating newsgroups into the RSS Bandit  user interface was what to use as permalinks for newsgroup posts. Thankfully, Google Groups comes to the rescue here. All newsgroup posts are given a permalink that maps the the Google Groups URL for that message ID. This works fine with public newsgroups that are archived by Google but leads to broken links for internal newsgroups. I think this is a decent trade off.

The screenshot below shows this feature in action

Subscription Wizard
Given that we now provide the ability to subscribe to both newsgroups and RSS/Atom feeds we've decided to revamp the feed subscription mechanism. We'll be adding an "Add Subscription" wizard which gives people the option of adding an RSS or Atom feed, a newsgroup, a web page (which we then scour for feeds) or a search term (which we map to an MSN Search or Feedster search results feed). My initial instinct with the last option was to just go with PubSub but it doesn't seem to have a straightforward mechanism for people to create search feeds programmatically. REST wins again.

Screenshot below