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Browser Zeitgeist

I finally got around to writing some browser zeitgeist code. It takes data from Analog and does some funky calculations, and presents it textually/graphically. Sort of. Idea stolen from everyone else who has done this, who I would credit if I could remember…

(Oh, if the Browser Zeitgeist display appears somewhat unreadable, just reload and it should redisplay.)

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More Aggregator Madness

I’m finding the aggregator space more interesting nowadays than the weblog software space. Years ago a lot of people wrote their own weblog software, and people would come up with ideas, and others would implement the ideas in their home-brewed weblog software. There wasn’t really the commercial end of it that there is now. It was a feature-race, but with a friendly face attached to it. Hmmm, maybe it’s just me…

Anyway, the aggregator landscape seems to be changing on a weekly, if not daily, schedule. I’ve been using aggregators since 2000 or earlier. Not counting the Netscape and UserLand offerings (or my own aggregator named poorly enough “channels”) I’ve toyed with AmphetaDesk, NetNewsWire, Bloglines, a few others I’ve forgot the names of, and more recently Feed on Feeds.

As mentioned previously, I’ve been hacking at Feed on Feeds a bit, molding it to what I want for an aggregator. I’ve been taking ideas from the aggregators I’ve used in the past, and some ideas from other places (like AmphetaOutlines) and my own crazy ideas.

I’ve already made a bunch of UI and functional changes to Feed on Feeds, so that it’s not quite Feed on Feeds anymore, and really needs a new name.

I’ve added clickcounts, so it’ll keep track of how often I follow links to the original site. Of course some of the feeds are full entries, and some are just abstracts, still, this might show how often I follow a link to a site.

I’m working on creating a per-feed update schedule, since some feeds I want updated once an hour (favorite weblogs) and some I don’t care if they get updated once per day (like search results for keywords, top new stories, etc.) I could even allow some to update every X minutes (5, 10, whatever) if it’s coming from my own systems and frequent polling is an OK thing.

I’m interested in using the data from Technorati, Feedster, blo.gs, and del.icio.us in interesting ways. I might try to use Phil’s PHP blo.gs blogroll to see how I could tie blo.gs’s site update polling data into things. I’m more than happy to find other people’s code to glue together, as this has also become a PHP learning project for me.

I think what I’ve gotten out of this so far is that aggregators still have a long way to go, and that’s not to say they aren’t very good yet, that’s just to say that I see incredible possibilities in this space. Good Luck, aggregators of data!

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Feed on Feeds Unread List

One more Feed on Feeds hack before I’m outta here…

Below is what you would normally see. Well, ok what I would normally see when using Feed on Feeds:

Feed on Feeds subscribed feeds list

My last modification was to make the feeds with unread items bold, and put how many unread items after the name. (This is how Bloglines does it.) Notice the addition of a link titled ‘show unread’ at the top.)

The new way, after clicking on that ‘show unread’ link:

Feed on Feeds subscribed unread feeds list

Clicking on the ‘show unread’ link reloads the list with just the feeds with unread items, hiding those that are already read. This might be handy for people who are subscribed to a zillion feeds.

What I’m really liking about Feed on Feeds is the hackability, even though I’m no PHP expert. (Imaging if I did know PHP!) Bloglines is still very nice, and I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t get that hacking itch, but for those of us who always need to tweak things along the way, Feed on Feeds is great.

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More Mozillas

Mozilla is the happy :) – IE is the sad :(

Says Wired, Mozilla Feeds on Rival’s Woes:

Downloads of Mozilla and Firefox — an advanced version of Mozilla — spiked the day CERT’s warning was released, and demand has continued to grow. According to Chris Hofmann, engineering director at the Mozilla Foundation, formed last July to promote the development, distribution and adoption of Mozilla Web applications, downloads of the browsers hit an all-time high on Thursday, from the usual 100,000 or so downloads on a normal day to more than 200,000.

(See Also: Vulnerability Note VU#713878)