If the first alpha release was about optimizations, this one is all about "Metadata! Metadata! Metadata!" Not quite as impressive-sounding but this release packs some extremely powerful new features.
More and more feed publishers are now embedding specialized information in their feeds such as licensing details, geocodes, or publisher-specific metadata (e.g. Digg or Furl). Thing is, most feed readers simply ignore it all because they don't even realize it's there
Metadata modules are extensions that tell Awasu where to find this information in a feed and how to extract it. It then gets saved in the archive database, attached to the feed item it was received in. Modules are included in this release for RSS extensions in common use and you can see screenshots of them in action here.
The real power becomes apparent when you start publishing your own feeds, with your own specific metadata embedded in them. You can then create your own metadata module that tells Awasu how to extract it from a feed and present it to the user! There's not another feed reader on the planet that gives you the power to configure it to understand your information and this is another step towards the realization of our vision of RSS as a transport mechanism for information.
The other main feature is columns in item panes. This also hooks into the metadata framework, allowing you set up any number of columns and show arbitrary metadata in them. The screenshot shows a feed coming from Digg, with Digg-specific information in the columns that has been extracted by the Digg metadata module
As always, have fun and I'll get cracking on the next release...