Archive for April, 2006

FeedFriends toolbar left incubator and now available to all users.

Now all the links in the feed are converted on the fly to toolbar links (with same base module that absolutizes links and helps to see those images that got corrupted otherwise).

What it means is that target page is opened inside a frame and on the top of that frame there is another tiny frame (36 pixels high at the moment) that contains “share” button, feed item title and a link to the initial link (in case you’d like to get back to where you started).

This toolbar significantly saved my time when I tried to chase stories (to share them) after I clicked deeper into the story which happens quite often.

P.S. some sites (e.g. Make magazine) coded their pages in the way that it detects being opened inside a frame and jumps our of it. I’m sorry to say that this can’t be reasonably avoided and I respect site owners decision to do so. In this case you’ll have to feel the pain and get back the feed item in your reeder to share it until I find some other tricks (like popups instead of toolbar or URL posting – both were given serious thoughts for this or other reasons).

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I have no idea why feed publishers do not care to return Last-modified header so readers can use conditional GET and 304s instead of full thing over and over again in case when feed contents don’t change. I beleive they just don’t care about RSS traffic money they spend on these absolutely useless data transfers. Also they don’t care about speed of clients reader (which needs to reparse data every time without need for it).

Anyway, in addition to using conditional GET, fetcher now checks if content really changed (comparing hashed raw feed content to previous one) and skips parsing fase. Hopefully it’ll make it sagnificantly faster and will save us some CPU cycles.

I’m thinking about writing an article about popular blogs (e.g. Engadget, Joel on Software and some more) that don’t use conditional GET. Check out yellow pressish headline: “Bloggers are wasting investor’s money”.

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Now links in descriptions are being absolutized relative to original feed URL upon fetching. This is supposed to fix missing images and broken links which are caused by feed item being moved from original feed (preprocessed feed, then friends feed and so on).

Perl camelI wrote perl class that allows changing all links in HTML code in one call (will be used for some other features as well) and a subclass that absolutizes it based on some URL.
It will be my first OpenSource Perl module that goes up on CPAN – it will be available soon at http://search.cpan.org/~sergeyche/

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