While taking a lunch break I decided to finish up implementing full support for FeedDemon newspapers in RSS Bandit. With my checkin a few minutes ago it is now possible to use the various custom newspaper styles for FeedDemon in RSS Bandit and vice versa. More importantly one can now view all items in a feed at once in the reading pane instead of just reading them one at a time.

Actually that is incorrect.

My goal was that one should be able to view all items in a feed in the newspaper view. However it seems I hit some performance issues using the System.Xml.Xsl.XslTransform class in the .NET Framework. Applying a newspaper view on 3 months of posts in a high traffic feed such as the InfoWorld feed took 10 to 15 seconds to display which was a bit too long especially since other tasks would be going on in the background at the same time which would make it take even longer. So the compromise I reached was that clicking on the a feed node in the tree view shows only the unread posts in the newspaper view. Below are links to screenshots of various newspaper views running in RSS Bandit

  1. Outlook 2003 (RSS Bandit style)
  2. PopBox Blue (FeedDemon style)
  3. Headlines (FeedDemon style)
  4. Sticky Notes (one of Radek's FeedDemon styles)

One thing I've noticed is that different feeds tend to benefit from different styles. For example, I'd prefer to read news sites like Wired or Slashdot with the Headlines style while I'd rather read traditional blogs with a style closer to Sticky Notes or PopBox Blue. This should be a fairly straightforward feature to add and the infrastructure code already exists. The question is whether any user besides me will utilize all this configurability. :)

There is also the feature that FeedDemon has where clicking on a ".fdxsl" file from within the application automatically downloads and installs the style. Although convenient this seems like a security issue. This would mean that the file would be written to “C:\Program Files\RssBandit\templates” which may require running as Administrator. If we keep this feature we might have to move the templates to a user specific folder. What do you RSS Bandit users think?