squeg
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Postby squeg » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:11 am

I just loaded the Awasu software for the first time today. There are a couple of small things missing when it comes to organizing/merging feeds, but other than that it looks great.

The first thing I did, though is figure out how to tweak the templates to change the display. Basically, I combined the color scheme from your blue template with the overall formating of the rust template and then made a few stylistic changes of my own. I wanted to slim up the vertical space used, alter the font, etc.

I'm quite happy with the results, so I'm including the modified template source here in case anyone (especially the original author) wants to steal it. :) Sorry about the length, but i didn't see any way to attach a file to the post and i'm too lazy to try and stick it on a server somewhere.

Code: Select all

<HTML>

<HEAD>
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<LINK rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="{%CHANNEL-URL%}">
<TITLE> {%CHANNEL-NAME%} Summary Page </TITLE>
<STYLE>

    /* --- STYLESHEET BEGINS HERE --- */
   
    /* Define the general appearance of the page */
    BODY
    {
        background-attachment: fixed ;
        background-position: 97% top ;
        background-image: url({%BACKGROUND-IMAGE%}) ;
        background-repeat: no-repeat ;
        padding: 5px ;
        font-family: "Comic Sans MS";
        font-size: 80% ;
    }
    HR
    {
        color: #336699 ;
    }
   
    /* Define the general appearance of the banner */
    .banner
    {
        color: #FFFFFF ;
        background: #336699 ;
        /*border: 3px double ;*/
       
        border-top: #99CCFF 4px solid;
        border-bottom: #99CCFF 4px solid;
       
        padding-top: 4px ;
        padding-left: 6px;
       
        margin-bottom: 10px;
    }
    .banner A:link ,
    .banner A:visited
    {
        color: #FFFFFF ;
        text-decoration: none ;
    }
    .banner :hover ,
    .banner A:active
    {
        color: #FFFFFF ;
        text-decoration: underline ;
    }
   
    /* Define the appearance of the channel name in the banner */
    .channelName
    {
        font-variant: small-caps ;
        font-size: 150% ;
    }
    .channelName A
    {
        color: #FFFFFF ;
        font-family:    "Comic Sans MS",
                             "Microsoft Sans Serif",
                             "Arial Unicode MS",
                             "Verdana"
    }
   
    /* Define the appearance of the channel description in the banner */
    .channelDescription
    {
        color: #FFFFFF;
        font-size: 125%;
        font-style: italic;
       
             padding-right: 30px;
        margin-left: 10px;
        margin-top: 8px;
        margin-bottom: 6px;     
    }

    /* Define the appearance of the channel details in the banner.
     * NOTE: This information will only appear if it has been supplied by
     *       the channel publisher.
     */
    .channelDetails
    {
        color: #99CCFF ;
        margin-left: 10px ;
        margin-bottom: 10px ;
        font-style: italic ;
    }
    .channelDetails A
    {
        /*color: #FFFFFF ;*/
    }
   
    /* Define the appearance of the "feed item count" info in the banner */
    .feedItemCountInfo
    {
        color: #99CCFF ;
        font-style: italic ;
    }

    /* Define the appearance of the "last updated" time in the banner */
    .lastUpdateTime
    {
        color: #99CCFF ;
        font-style: italic ;
    }

    /* Define the general appearance of the feed item list */
    .itemList
    {
        font-family: "Microsoft Sans Serif", Verdana;
        color: #191970 ;
    }
    .itemList A:link
    {
        color: #336699 ;
        font-weight: normal ;
        text-decoration: none ;
        font-family: "Comic Sans MS";
    }
    .itemList A:visited
    {
        color: #A9A9A9 ;
        font-weight: normal ;
        text-decoration: none ;
        font-family: "Comic Sans MS";
    }
    .itemList A:active ,
    .itemList A:hover
    {
       color: #336699 ;       
       padding: 2px ;
       text-decoration: underline ;
       font-family: "Comic Sans MS";
    }

    /* Define the appearance of the feed item titles */ 
    .itemTitle
    {
        font-family: "Comic Sans MS";
        font-size: 130% ;
    }

    /* Define the appearance of the body of each feed item */ 
    .itemDescription
    {
        margin-left: 20px ;
        margin-right: 20px ;
        margin-top: 10px;
        margin-bottom: 10px;
    }
   
    /* Define the appearance of any other information attached to each feed item */
    .itemDetails
    {
        font-style: italic ;
    }

    /* --- STYLESHEET ENDS HERE --- */

</STYLE>
</HEAD>

<BODY>

<!-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -->

<DIV class="banner">
   
   {%CHANNEL-IMAGE%}
   <SPAN class="channelName">
      <A class="channelName" href="{%CHANNEL-HOME-URL%}">{%CHANNEL-NAME%}</A>
   </SPAN>
   
   &
   
   <SPAN class="lastUpdateTime">({%LAST-SUCCESSFUL-UPDATE-TIME-FORMATTED%})</SPAN><BR>
   <SPAN class="feedItemCountInfo">{%FEED-ITEM-COUNT-INFO-FORMATTED%}</SPAN>
   
   <DIV class="channelDescription">
      {%CHANNEL-DESCRIPTION%}
   </DIV>
   
   <DIV class="channelDetails">
      {%CHANNEL-DETAILS%}
   </DIV>

</DIV>

<!-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -->

<DIV class="itemList">

   {%REPEAT% FeedItems}
      <DIV class="itemTitle">
         <IMG src='{%ITEM-IMAGE%}'>
         <A href="{%ITEM-URL%}">{%ITEM-TITLE-FORMATTED%}</A>
      </DIV>
      
      <DIV class="itemDescription">
         {%ITEM-DESCRIPTION%}
      </DIV>
      
      <DIV class="itemDetails">
         {%ITEM-DETAILS%}
      </DIV>
      
      <HR>
   {%/REPEAT%}
</DIV>

<!-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -->

</BODY>

</HTML>

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support
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Postby support » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:55 am

squeg wrote:There are a couple of small things missing when it comes to organizing/merging feeds, but other than that it looks great.


What kind of things would you like to see?

Thanks for posting your template. If anyone wants to give it a go, this is how you do it:

1) Copy the HTML code that squeg posted and save it in a file somewhere. The recommended place is in the Channel Summary Templates directory in your user's home directory in the Awasu installation directory.

2) To apply this template to all your channels, open the Program Options dialog, go to the Display page, click on Channel Template and browse to the file you just saved.

3) Or to apply it to individual channels, open the channel's Properties dialog, click on the "Use template" checkbox on the first page and browse to the file.

squeg
Posts: 113
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Postby squeg » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:33 pm

What kind of things would you like to see?


Well, there are two main features I'd like to see in an RSS reader. The first is the ability to catagorize the feeds and place them in a tree structure similar to bookmarks. Having this tree view in the "control center" in your ap would be perfect. You would then be able to see the total number of new articals for the group listed next to the group title.

The other and actually more interesting feature would be to combine several sources into a single feed. For instance, say i have three places I like to watch for information about working with CSS. I'd like to be able to create a single "channel" that combine those RSS feeds.

To me, combining RSS feeds into customized channels is the real beauty of the medium. Viewing indiviual RSS feeds isn't terribly different than surfing individual websites. It just gives you a bot that let's you know when things have been updated. But when you let the end user combine those feeds however they like, you do for data what TIVO did for television. You get to combine related info and put it on one place, simplifying information retrieval greatly.

Combine that kind of functionality with the power of customizable templates, and you'd have the perfect tool. I'd definitely pay for a good program that let me do that!

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Postby support » Thu Jul 01, 2004 5:58 am

squeg wrote:Well, there are two main features I'd like to see in an RSS reader. The first is the ability to catagorize the feeds and place them in a tree structure similar to bookmarks.


You can group channels using filters. You don't get the total number of items for the group but as long as your mental arithmetic is quick enough, you'll be right... :-)

squeg wrote:The other and actually more interesting feature would be to combine several sources into a single feed. For instance, say i have three places I like to watch for information about working with CSS. I'd like to be able to create a single "channel" that combine those RSS feeds.


You can do this already: http://www.awasu.com/downloads/ThirdParty/CombineFeeds/

squeg wrote:To me, combining RSS feeds into customized channels is the real beauty of the medium. Viewing indiviual RSS feeds isn't terribly different than surfing individual websites. It just gives you a bot that let's you know when things have been updated. But when you let the end user combine those feeds however they like, you do for data what TIVO did for television. You get to combine related info and put it on one place, simplifying information retrieval greatly.


We couldn't agree with you more. We think that there's a lot more potential in RSS than just reading blogs. You should check out the other plugins we have to get an idea of some the things people have been doing.

squeg wrote:Combine that kind of functionality with the power of customizable templates, and you'd have the perfect tool. I'd definitely pay for a good program that let me do that!


Time to put ya money where ya mouth is! :lol:

squeg
Posts: 113
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Postby squeg » Thu Jul 01, 2004 6:16 pm



That seems to do the trick. Thanks!

Side note: since you pointed out that page, i searched your site to see if there was anything else like that up there. As far as I could tell, the only way to find the page listing those plugins is to click the "plugin architecture" link in the text of your home page (way down the page). Honestly, that link sounds like it's just going to tell me how plugins work, not provide some i can download.

I'd suggest either sticking a "plugins" entry in your navigation on the left or adding a "Plugins" or "3rd Party Addons" section to your existing download page.

It's a shame to hide such great program additions as they add a ton of value to the package.



You can group channels using filters. You don't get the total number of items for the group but as long as your mental arithmetic is quick enough, you'll be right...

Hmm... I see this. Unfortunately, I found getting the filters to work to be fairly taxing. I got it after finally figuring out that the little arrow under the empty catagories box on the filter dialog brings up the catagories i entered in the program options. For some reason, clicking that button for that purpose was not at all obvious to me the first several times i looked at that dialog.

Still i did get it working and the filters are quite powerful. And admittedly, now that i know what i'm doing, they're fairly easy to use. But it is a VERY power-user sort of feature. As you've stated you're trying to make the software accessible to less savy users as well, I contend that a visually organized tree view would be more intuitive. It wouldn't mean getting rid of filters. It would just make things a little easier for those that weren't quite ready to advance to that level.

Running with a filter on, would have to disable the tree, i'd suspect, but that wouldn't be too terrible. Anyway, it's just a suggestion. ;)

Time to put ya money where ya mouth is!

Given what i've seen so far and given that so far, this is the only tool i've found that will run outside of outlook and still allow me to combine feeds, I should be doing so very soon.

I'm only on day 3 of my RSS research and I'm still trying to find some useful feeds other than those annoying MSDN feeds that started me on this search. Besides, i have to make you wait a few days just for forcing me to run IE instead of opera. It's a matter of principle. :P

Thanks again for all the hard work and the quick replies.

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Postby support » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:33 am

squeg wrote:I'd suggest either sticking a "plugins" entry in your navigation on the left or adding a "Plugins" or "3rd Party Addons" section to your existing download page.


Good point. I'll make it more accessible.

squeg wrote:But it is a VERY power-user sort of feature. As you've stated you're trying to make the software accessible to less savy users as well, I contend that a visually organized tree view would be more intuitive. It wouldn't mean getting rid of filters. It would just make things a little easier for those that weren't quite ready to advance to that level.


A tree-view in My Channels has been a popular request and it's definitely coming (or something similar). I just have to get the more important features out of the way first i.e. search, native Atom support, etc.

squeg wrote:I'm only on day 3 of my RSS research and I'm still trying to find some useful feeds other than those annoying MSDN feeds that started me on this search.


We offer a variety of different feeds for you to get started with: File|Channel packs.

squeg wrote:Besides, i have to make you wait a few days just for forcing me to run IE instead of opera. It's a matter of principle. :P


Well, you can replace IE with Gecko - check the FAQ.

squeg
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Postby squeg » Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:48 pm

Well, you can replace IE with Gecko - check the FAQ.


*shivers* No thank you. It may be open-source, but it's not for me. I'm a passionate opera user who will stoop to using IE when absolutely necessary. But i stay clear of anything decending from netcape unless i'm testing web code. Then I usually curse it violently as I go back and restructure things that worked perfectly well under both IE AND Opera.

On the brighter side, I placed my order. The plugins put this reader way over the top.

Looking forward to seeing the great things you guys do in the future.

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Postby support » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:33 pm

squeg wrote:On the brighter side, I placed my order. The plugins put this reader way over the top.

Looking forward to seeing the great things you guys do in the future.


Thanks a lot for the support. It really is encouraging to see that people are willing to pay good money for the stuff we put together. And keep the suggestions coming - we may hate you for it in the short term for all the extra work they entail but they go a long way to making Awasu a better program in the long run :-)

squeg
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Postby squeg » Mon Jul 05, 2004 6:45 pm

And keep the suggestions coming - we may hate you for it in the short term for all the extra work they entail but they go a long way to making Awasu a better program in the long run


No need to hate.. :P

Honestly, I write software for a living. I fully understand that not every idea is a good one and not every good idea gets implemented. But I figure that some of the things I think would be good ideas, may appear that way to other people as well.

So I'm unlikely to be that guy that insists you really MUST include feature X. I'm just making suggestions because I'm excited about the product. Good job, and good luck with future developments.


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