I just realized that the current released version of RSS Bandit doesn’t have a working code name based on a character from the X-Men comic book. The previous 126.96.36.199 release was codenamed ShadowCat while the next release is codenamed Phoenix. Since the v1.6.0.x releases have been an interim releases on the road to Phoenix, I’ve decided to give them the codename Jean Grey retroactively. Now, on to the updates.
Jean Grey (v1.6.0.x) Update
The last bug fix release of RSS Bandit fixed a few bugs but introduced a couple of even worse bugs [depending on your perspective]. We’ve shipped version 188.8.131.52 that addresses the following issues
The first three issues are regressions that were introduced as part of refactoring the code and making it work better on Windows Vista. Yet another data point that shows that you can never have too many unit tests and that beta testing isn’t a bad idea either.
You can download the new release from http://downloads.sourceforge.net/rssbandit/RssBandit184.108.40.206_Installer.zip
Phoenix (v2.0) Update
I’m continuing with my plan to make RSS Bandit a desktop client for Web based feed readers like NewsGator Online and Google Reader. I’ve been slightly sidetracked by the realization that it would be pretty poor form for a Microsoft employee to write an application that synchronized with Google’s RSS reader but not any of Microsoft’s, even if it is a side project. My current coding project is to integrate with the Windows RSS platform which would allow one to manipulate the same set of feeds in RSS Bandit, Internet Explorer 7 and Outlook 2007. The good news is that with Outlook 2007 integration, you also get Exchange synchronization for free.
The bad news has been having to use the RSS reading features of Internet Explorer 7 and Outlook 2007 on a regular basis as a way of eating my own dog food with regards to the integration features. It’s pretty stunning to see not one but two RSS reading applications that assume “mark all items as read” or “delete all feeds” are actions that users never have to take. When you have people writing shell scripts to perform basic tasks in your application then it is a clear sign that somewhere along the line, the user experience for that particular set of features got the shaft.
I’m about half way through the integration after which I’ll continue with integrating with Google Reader and finally NewsGator Online using an Outlook + Exchange style model. While I’m working on this, both Oren and Torsten will be mapping out the rewrite of the graphical user interface using WPF. I’ll probably need to buy a book on XAML or something in the next few months so I can contribute to this effort. The only thing I’ve heard about any of the various books about the subject on the market is that they all seem to have had their forewords written by Don Box. Does anyone have recommendations on which book or website I should use to start learning XAML + WPF?
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