Awasu » 2003 » July
Thursday 31st July 2003 10:16 PM [Awasu News]

Get it fresh here. Major new features:

  • Support for feeds in languages other than English.
  • Added support for submitting requests to web services using SOAP and transforming the results into RSS using XSLT. Samples are provided for accessing Code Project's web service and monitoring Google queries as an RSS feed.
  • Added support for Windows encodings (in particular, windows-1252).

IMPORTANT: This version requires NT, Windows 2000 or XP. We are currently working on a Windows 98/ME version (thanks to Chuck Mattsen for helping out with this).

Monday 21st July 2003 11:22 PM [General]

First, a discussion over at the rss-syndication group at Yahoo about why RSS is slow to be adopted by the general public. Doug Ransom writes:

Techies don't need an installer; if the feature set looks interesting enough, we will get things going. But its not always easy, and I feel that approach is not suitable for the mainstream. I think any of the aggregators need an installer if they want a wide audience under windows. Even unzipping to a folder and manually creating shortuts is beyond what most users are willing to do

I couldn't agree more. This is something we've really focused on with Awasu so we've got comprehensive help, one-click installation and wizards. But if there's something you think could be done better, please let us know. If you think that way, chances are others do as well. Sometimes it's hard for us to stop thinking like techies so feedback from normal people is always welcome 🙂

Second, Joi Ito and Ray Ozzie wonder if anyone has ever tried generating RSS feeds from email inboxes. Not wanting to sound smug but thanks to Allan Wilson, we've had that for ages 😉

Saturday 19th July 2003 11:58 PM [Awasu News]

4 stars out of 5. Thanks! 🙂

The next beta will be released in a few days and then search and folders (for organising channels) will be next

Tuesday 15th July 2003 11:42 AM [General]

I am currently upgrading Awasu to better handle feeds in languages other than English. Anyone who's done this kind of work before will know what a horrible job it is. Anyone who has had the misfortune to talk to me recently will know what a grumpy little Taka I've been 😡

One of the consequences of this upgrade is that Awasu will no longer just work on Windows 98. It is possible to do but it involves extra work.

When we were first writing Awasu, one of the initial design decisions we made was that it should work on Windows 98. But given that I am totally swamped as it is, I would very much like to drop this requirement.

If you use Awasu on W98 and would like to continue to do so, let us know and if enough people respond, I'll try to dilate the space-time continuum to squeeze more hours into a day...

Update: This also applies to Windows ME.

Monday 14th July 2003 10:29 AM [General]

I've been having an interesting (to say the least) discussion with one of our users about why Awasu imposes limits on how often a channel can be updated.

The reason is bandwidth. RSS is becoming very popular now and if thousands of people start requesting a feed from a web server every two minutes, that server is going to be struggling to keep up. The publisher may also be hit with an unwanted bill for excess bandwidth which would be particularly annoying since most of that bandwidth would have been a total waste i.e. updates on a channel that were un-necessary because nothing had changed.

I wouldn't be surprised if Awasu has the highest default time between updates of any aggregator - once per day - although you can easily change this down to anything as low as once per hour in the free Personal Edition. The Advanced Edition reduces this limit futher to once every half-hour and the Professional Edition to once every five minutes but these are paid versions and will have far fewer people using them.

So please be considerate when configuring how often your channels will update. Some publishers only write once a week and it would be pointless and counter-productive to update their channels every five minutes. A good way to kill RSS would be for people to make a nuisance of themselves, piss website administrators off and generaly make a bad name for RSS.

Blogging is about social interaction and community, so people, please be nice to each other!

Sunday 13th July 2003 6:34 PM [Awasu News]

Channel filters are one of Awasu's more powerful features and let you keep your channel subscriptions organized in a sophisticated way.

They are also one of Awasu's more difficult features to come to grips with so we've put together a walk-through of how to set one up.

We will also be adding a wizard in the near future and some other options to make the whole process a lot easier.

Thanks to kyodylee for this one.

Friday 11th July 2003 6:00 PM [Awasu News]

Are you finding yourself totally hooked on reading news via RSS and want more than 100 channels? Would you like your channels to update more frequently than once an hour? Then you need to upgrade to the Advanced Edition of Awasu.

A full list of the extra features you will get can be found here.

Why should you buy? Well, if you don't need more than 100 channels and don't mind your channels updating only once an hour, then we are quite happy for you to keep using the free Personal Edition.

But if you are a power user of RSS, then you might want to think about upgrading. Some of the features coming soon are pretty cool and not available in any other news reader:

  • the ability to keep two or more copies of Awasu synchronized e.g. if you run Awasu both at home and at work.
  • a state-of-the-art search engine that lets you archive and search your feeds.

The price will be going up when these features are released but if you get in now, you will get them as a free upgrade!

Or if you just want to support development of Awasu, that'd be great as well! The hamsters can't keep going on just love alone (squeak squeak) 🙂

Thursday 10th July 2003 9:02 PM [Awasu News]

I've been meaning to do this for so long, it's just not funny 🙁

The channel summary pages are easily customizable and I've put together a few different looks for your viewing pleasure. The downloads and instructions on how to install them are here.

Awasu looks so much cooler now 🙂

Thursday 10th July 2003 9:59 AM [General]

We seem to be reaching a milestone in blogging. Sean is proud of his Mum (yet he somehow weeps for the blogosphere).

Earl Mardle points out that "when our mothers start blogging, we are reaching a very good place; the same kind of place that telephones occupy." He also reminisces about making his first nuisance telephone call! 🙂

Earl is using the TypePad beta for his blog, btw. I've heard nothing but good things about it so far.

Wednesday 9th July 2003 8:49 AM [Awasu News]

A few people have been sending in reports of Awasu crashing during startup. Thanks for these.

Unfortunately, the crash logs weren't giving me very much and I was under the impression that it was an intermittent problem. Thanks to Isaach for pointing out that this is not the case.

You need to get a new version of the plugin and unpack it on top of your existing files.

This is totally my fault - it just got forgotten as part of the upgrade processs. Oops and apologies 😳