Awasu » 2006 » May
Saturday 27th May 2006 3:16 AM [General]

I've just been having a conversation with a Swedish gentleman offering to do an Awasu translation who has apparently been hanging out with some Australians since he just apologized for "mistaking me for a f-ing Aussie"! :-) (I've been there for a long, long time but am not officially Australian).

One thing that makes up the Australian psyche is the Tim Tam. Any Aussies reading this will be nodding sagely in agreement but if you don't know what they are, check out Doug Bowman's account of how he discovered them. The comments are particularly revealing... :-)

Friday 26th May 2006 12:51 PM [General]

You may remember Fred Giasson, the brains behind Talk Digger, from this post I made last year where I showed how support for this neat search engine can be added to Awasu.

He published an article a few days ago asking some pretty good questions about the state of feed readers today:

...[feed readers] all do the same thing: aggregating RSS and Atom feeds content. After they will differ in the way they will manage and present the information. That’s it.

In that case, what is the next step with Web Feed Readers… if any?

If I check the big picture, I can find out one recurrent user state: they sat in front of their web feed reader passively reading their uninterrupted incoming flow of feed content.

And the most important one a little later:

people have all that content in their face, but what can they do with it?

Long-time readers of this weblog will know where this post is going :-) so I won't bore you again with all the details about RSS as a transport mechanism for information, just read my old posts. He gives an example of details of an email being embedded into a feed item and it's easy to see how this kind of thing can be done for any kind of information and in particular, your kind of information.

But there's a critical difference between the question he asks (what can users do with all that content) and what Awasu offers. It's about what the program can do with all that content. If you just want to be a feed reader potato and sit in front of the computer churning through hundreds of feeds :-), that's perfectly OK but XML and the Semantic Web are all about computer-to-computer communication, providing a framework for computers to pass information around between themselves and do the requisite Cool and Amazing Things with it. And with plugin channels retrieving any kind of information from any location at all, and channel hooks able to analyze the information as it comes in and respond to it, you have the means to turn Awasu into a powerful and intelligent information processing tool. Cool and Amazing indeed :-)

Check out my comments to his post for a heads-up on some of the features coming in the next release and you can read the original People are starting to get it! post here.

Wednesday 24th May 2006 4:32 PM [Awasu News]

Awasu 2.2.2 has been released.

The only change is to tie up some loose ends in the internationalization support and to actually include some languages :-). This is an unscheduled release but it's here since it's easier for us to manage the different translations if we do things like this. There are no other changes so if you don't need the multi-language support, there's no need to upgrade.

Many thanks to Marco Ferro for his hard work putting the Italian translation together and don't forget, if you'd like to translate Awasu into your favorite language, please drop us a line and we'll get you set up.

Saturday 13th May 2006 5:51 PM [Awasu News]

Uptake of the 2.2.1 beta has been pretty good which is always gratifying since it shows a lot of faith in the quality of our betas :-) :clap:

If you're subscribed to the DevLog feed, you will have noticed that there hasn't been much going on there but that doesn't mean we've been slacking off. We're busy putting together some deals with several very high-profile companies, the translation work is almost done and the experimental build is getting the thumbs up from the testers (coming to an alpha release near you soon!).

But for now we thought we'd have a bit of fun. One of the main features of the 2.2.1 release was the new channel templates and a framework that allows you to easily create your own. If you've come up with something, please post them to the wiki and for the best ones, we'll award free copies of the Professional Edition (or an extra year of free updates, if you've already got it).

The rules are easy:

  • Templates must work with Awasu 2.2.1 (with both IE and Mozilla as the embedded browser).
  • Templates must be released under a GPL-compatible license.
  • All submissions must be posted to the wiki by noon, July 1, 2006 (GMT). Or if you're not comfortable posting to the wiki, just email it in to us and we'll put it up for you.
  • Awasu employees and relatives are welcome to submit templates but are not eligble for prizes :-)

If you take a look at the ones that come with Awasu, you can see the wide range of look-and-feel's that are possible just through the use of CSS, so get cracking and score yourself a free copy of Awasu Professional Edition! :-)

Friday 12th May 2006 12:49 PM [Awasu News]

We've just finished upgrading the forum software and as part of that, installed a new feed service. It's a lot more flexible than the old one and has a rather neat interface for managing the various options. Your existing feeds will redirect to the new URL's so you shouldn't have to do anything at all.

Have fun :-)

Monday 8th May 2006 3:25 PM [General]

Just in case you had any questions about our level of support: 10:51 p.m. -> 1:04 a.m. = 2 hours 13 minutes :-)

I really do need a beer... :clap:

Monday 8th May 2006 10:55 AM [Awasu News]

More than a few people have asked about a plugin that lets you read NNTP news groups in Awasu. Suprisingly enough, there seems to be relatively little out there in the way of tools for converting NNTP to RSS so I whipped up a little plugin channel to fill the gap.

I'm not an NNTP kind of guy myself so I haven't really been using it much other than for testing so any suggestions for improvements would be welcome.

When we say Awasu can retrieve information from anywhere, we ain't kidding! :-)

Tuesday 2nd May 2006 6:44 AM [Awasu News]

If you're very observant, you will have noticed the new wiki. It's been up and running for a few days already and hasn't brought the server down into a screaming, gibbering heap so here's the public announcement.

We've moved parts of the website over to the AwasuWiki, in particular the FAQ and the third-party extensions. If you're not familiar with wikis, they're a special kind of website that lets anyone make changes. So if you've written a script for Awasu, or a channel template or just have a useful tip for using our favorite feed reader, mosey on over and let the world know! Fame, fortune and all the girls are just a mouse-click away :-)