Awasu » 2004 » May
Monday 31st May 2004 11:12 PM [Awasu News]

It's been a while since the last release but it's been worth the wait - there's plenty of wholesome Awasu goodness in this 2.0.1 beta release.

The major feature is, of course, archiving. Awasu now archives content as it arrives and gives you a lot of control over how much of it you see in the channel summary pages. Startup is also much, much faster and by popular demand, there is a feature to update all channels :-)

Being able to keep copies of Awasu running on multiple machines in sync is one of Awasu's most powerful features and has been much improved in this release. The sync data files are significantly smaller - good news for people on dialup :-) - and processing is noticeably quicker.

One thing to keep in mind about this release is that the way Awasu communicates with channel hooks and application plugins has changed so if you are using any of these, they will need to be updated to handle the new protocol. In particular, Allan Wilson's MySQL channel hook will not work with this release but he's working on updating it as we speak and we will announce the new version here when it's ready.

Finally, Advanced Edition users can get their versions of this beta themselves without having to email us - woo hoo! Details are in the release notes. Many thanks to Tero Ykspetaja for his help with setting this up.

Have fun y'all!

Monday 31st May 2004 5:36 PM [General]

A Public Service Announcement:

BANGKOK, Thailand - Thai police have issued a warning, but it seemed fishy: flesh-eating piranhas may be lurking in the capital's waterways.

... [The Thai police] had sound advice for anyone tempted to swim in Bangkok's murky waters and risk encountering carnivorous piranhas: "Especially, men should cover themselves well, otherwise they could be sorry for the rest of their lives."

This is definitely going to put a damper on next year's Songkran :-) :roll:

Tuesday 25th May 2004 8:38 PM [General]

Get it fresh here. Barring any serious problems, this is what will be released as the next beta (phew - at last!). There is also a Windows 98/Me version available.

Tuesday 25th May 2004 12:31 PM [General]

For the past few years, Thai elephants have become known for their painting. Is it art? Well, beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, but proceeds from sales go towards helping protect the elephants which are very much endangered. Elephants are often mistreated by their mahouts who often can't afford to take care of them properly or paraded around in tourist areas, often late at night which is bad news since elephants are not night animals (unlike myself :-)) and so are usually jacked up on amphetamines to keep them awake. So anything that helps these amazing creatures is good news.

Another place is Elephant Dung Paper which makes paper out of elephant dung and surely has the funniest logo on the Internet today :-) They have photos of the manufacturing process and note that the logical next step is to get elephants painting on paper that they, ahem, made themselves. A great present for somebody you like. Or perhaps don't :-)

There are a lot of RSS news readers around these days but it's probably a pretty safe bet that none of the other authors talk about this kind of stuff on their blog :-)

Sunday 23rd May 2004 11:51 AM [General]

A good post from Brent Simmons about co-operation between developers:

1. Collegial competition is better than enmity. For instance, I have a policy about not criticizing other feedreaders or their developers. Illustrating distinctions is cool, but in a professional way. Saying that X sucks or Y is stupid or Z is bad is not cool.

2. I like it when apps inter-operate; I like it when apps are compatible. I like this as a user, because it means choice, and I like it as a developer, because it means I can help make users happy, and it means I can promote #1 above.

3. The above principles are related.

Brent mulls over whether he should put a paragraph in his documentation that says “By supporting this format, you agree that drawing distinctions between your application and competing applications should be done in a professional manner, and that expressing strongly negative, subjective value judgments is not professional.”

While this is a nice idea, I suspect it's perhaps not all that necessary. Simply by supporting a common format and going out of your way to implement interoperability, you are demonstrating your support. Actions speak louder than words and the technical features that your program offers has little to do with civilty, basic courtesies and professionalism.

There have been some amazing flame wars over RSS vs. Atom between people with well-known adversarial relationships :-) which, while entertaining, do little to foster progress and development. This is a subject that I have been fairly quiet on but Awasu already allows Atom feeds to be read through the use of XSLT and those of you who have been poking around in the database used by the latest 2.0.1 alpha will have seen some tables that are currently not being used that look suspiciously like they correspond to some Atom elements :-)

Ultimately, Brent hits the nail on the head when he says that interop is good because it makes users happy. And of course:

    happy users => happy taka
happy users => sales => happy taka

So I win big :-)

Sunday 16th May 2004 11:25 AM [General]

It's been a bit quiet on this blog recently but that's because I've been flat out working in the next alpha for 2.0.1. I've finally booted it out the door and man, am I pleased to see the back of it!

As is often the case, the things that you think are going to be hard turn out to be relatively straight-forward and the easy stuff a major PITA. This has been one of the toughest, most frustrating releases I have ever put together (for anything, not just Awasu). Every time I got to code complete and started final testing, something came up and I had to go back and re-architect some stuff :-(

But it's definitely been worth it. Now that Awasu archives content, it changes the whole feel of the program and smooths out the flow of information as it comes in. And we can now start building a more sophisticated search facility on top of it and other advanced features. For infrastructure work like this, it's critical to get things right from the start and the extra time I've spent here will definitely pay off as Awasu grows.

Have fun :-)