Awasu » 2003 » June
Sunday 29th June 2003 4:31 PM [General]

Deane over at Gadgetopia poses an interesting question:

...I wonder if news aggregators are quickly becoming a commodity item? RSS is pretty simple, and I think there's only so much you can do with it. I've tried out perhaps a dozen aggregators by now, and I can say that in the end, they all do pretty much the same thing. Where is the competitive advantage going to come from in this field? What one feature is going to be the category killer here?

Which is a good question for those of us writing aggregators. For a lot of people, it's just a question of personal taste (good or bad :-)).

But here at Awasu, what we have in mind is much more than Yet Another RSS Reader. The next general public release will be out in a few days and after that, we get down to the business end of adding new features. There's going to be a lot of really powerful stuff coming over the next six months so stay tuned to this channel...

P.S. FeedReader looks really impressive. But don't tell anyone I said that :-)

Friday 27th June 2003 12:59 AM [General]

Deane over at Gadgetopia asked for my comments on his post that asked when it was appropriate to blog a new entry, edit an existing entry or add a comment to an entry.

So here goes...

I think most of time, it's usually obvious when to post a new entry. In the example he gives, each post talks about a new development in the ongoing Oracle/PeopleSoft saga. If you want to link the posts together, you could do that by including in each entry a link to the previous one. Something in the blogging software that was able to automatically group these posts together would be nice. Trackback'ing to your own posts wouldn't quite work. Creating new categories is not right either - you would have too many and they would only be relevant for a short amount of time. Maybe using the search box is adequate. Your blog is effectively a conversation between yourself and the rest of the world and anyone entering a conversation halfway expects to have to spend a bit of time to catch up and figure out what everyone is talking about.

I think everybody would agree that editing your posts with something more significant than fixing a typo or broken link is a no-no. If a new piece of information comes to hand or you want to make a correction, then by all means edit the post, but mark it clearly. This is what most people do already, I think.

Posting a comment only makes sense if it you are replying to another comment. There is a linear thread to a conversation and so it makes sense to go with the flow here. But to comment on something you said in the original post seems odd. I would go back and change it, making it clear that I changed it.

I think we're starting to hit the age-old problem of techies trying to fit things into nice linear or tree-shaped structures and subsequently finding out that it doesn't work too well in the real world :-) Group conversations in real life don't consist of people taking it in turns to say something. Instead, people chip in when they have something to add and so things are much more disorganized. Instead of a linear sequence of comments, we need a network of linked comments. We found that the web page was too large a unit for managing conversations and started using individual blog posts. Perhaps we need to drill down a bit further and be able to link to individual comments. Good grief :-)

Thursday 26th June 2003 1:09 PM [Awasu News]

An interesting article over at about how RSS is developing, especially in light of recent efforts by Sam Ruby and others to come up with Yet Another RSS Format.

As the developer of one of the more popular RSS readers, I probably should get involved in the discussion but that is one quagmire I really don't want to enter :-)

Brent Simmons sums up my feelings on the matter pretty well. In a nutshell, if and when this new format is standardized and people want to use it, Awasu will support it.

Blogging is about communication and social networks. I'd like to see a bit more of that and a little less of the vitriol :-)

Thursday 26th June 2003 10:55 AM [General]

Just in case you didn't have enough feeds already :-( the guys out at Lockergnome have set up feeds for Amazon. Over 160 of them!

Wednesday 25th June 2003 11:30 AM [General]

You can ditch your bootleg BBC News feeds because they have started publishing official feeds.

My subscription list just keeps getting longer and longer... :-(

Tuesday 24th June 2003 6:18 PM [Awasu News]

Awasu 1.0.5 (beta) has been released. This is the second release candidate before the general release of 1.1 (woo hoo! :-)).

Sunday 22nd June 2003 4:17 PM [Awasu News]

For some reason, Code Project's web service has quietly resumed providing the service that this plugin needs (access via HTTP GET instead of only SOAP). So, all you fellow CP addicts can get your fix delivered right to your desktop by Awasu again. Woo hoo!

I'm not quite sure what's going on down there but I'm certainly not complaining :-)

If you're not running this plugin already, just unpack this zip into your AppPlugins directory and restart Awasu.

If you are running version 1.0, you will need to upgrade to one of the betas. The latest is 1.0.5 and can be found here.

Tuesday 17th June 2003 9:10 PM [Awasu News]

If you live in Melbourne (Australia), I'm going to be interviewed on Byte Into It on 3RRR (102.7 FM) between 7 and 8pm this Wednesday. We'll be talking about Awasu, of course, RSS, blogging and whatever else takes our fancy.

Should be fun :-)

Wednesday 4th June 2003 9:00 PM [Awasu News]

Awasu 1.0.4 has been released. This is a beta release, yadda, yadda, yadda :-)

This is the first release candidate for 1.1, the next general public release. Major features are:

  • Better integration with Internet Explorer.
  • Added the ability to run Awasu as a system tray application instead of a normal Windows app.
  • Added the ability to quickly search Google, Feedster, rssSearch, News is Free, Syndic8 or Pages can also be quickly translated. More tools can easily be added.
  • Added the ability to preview channel feeds before subscribing.
  • Reports can now be generated from the Workpad's read-me list.
  • OPML files can now be imported from URL's on the net instead of just from local files.
  • The <SKIPDAYS> and <SKIPHOURS> RSS tags are now supported.
  • Awasu can be configured to disable channel updates if an internet connection is not detected.
  • Better handling of HTTP return codes.