November 30, 2007
@ 04:00 AM

I had some free time last night, so I ported my meme tracker in IronPython over to C# and integrated it into the RSS Bandit source tree. Below is a screenshot of the results of clicking the [Top Stories] button on my feeds today.

Screenshot of RSS Bandit 'Top Stories' Feature

Now the fun part of the code is over and the fit & finish begins. I probably need some CSS help to render that list in a style that is a little more pleasant and less utilitarian. I was going to start of by copying the TechMeme look and feel but any other suggestions are welcome.

After that I need to figure out what configuration options we should have, if any. Right now it shows the top 10 stories from the past week using a weighted scoring mechanism that rewards newly popular items and penalizes older ones. So a page with 3 links from your subscriptions today will rank higher than an item with 5 links from your subscriptions from three days ago. I’m not sure if people will want to change any of those factors (number of posts shown, the date range or the weighted scoring system) but then again I hate cluttering the UI up with configuration options that only 1% of our user base will ever use.

I should also decide if we show multiple posts from the same feed which link to the same item or just pick the newest one. Right now, I’m only showing a single post from the feed because I subscribe to planet feeds like MSDN Blogs and ASP.NET Weblogs which means that when there are announcements like the rebranding of Silverlight 1.1 to Silverlight 2.0 there are like 20 posts from those two feeds alone about it.

Finally, I was wondering about a “mark all items that reference this link as read” feature. For example, I really don’t need to read every post about Google’s clean energy aspirations or a geek dinner starring Robert Scoble and Dave Winer to get the gist of it. So being able to mark every post linking to these items as read once I read the main link would be nice. On the other hand, I am interested in all of the various opinions on Facebook Beacon from my subscriptions. So that rules out an automatic ‘mark as read’ feature which was my initial thought.  

Maybe I was wrong, there is still some fun coding left. Namaste.

Now playing: Dream - Shawty Is A 10 (remix) (feat. R. Kelly)