Kicking the tires on RSSBandit

Thursday, August 4, 2005 11:28 AM
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I’ve been quite vocal of my experiences with NewsGator Outlook Edition v2.5 recently (here & here & here) so I’ve decided to kick the tires of two other news aggregator clients: RSSBandit and FeedDemon. 

I’d prefer to stick with RSSBandit because it’s open source, but I’m noticing quite a few bugs and errors unfortunately (I’d love to post them to the RSSBandit forums, but aparently I’ve already registered and they aren’t very responsive in changing or emailing me my password). 

The search folders don’t seem to be nearly as robust as the Outlook Search Folders I used in NGOE (I created one to show me all unread posts in a bunch of my categories, excluding my “news” and “site subscriptions” which contains a lot more mass content and not as much worthy stuff… but it sat there searching for 14 minutes and never showed me a thing).  Another issue I have is it appears that it’s mixing up my feeds (this is a fundamental issue).  So far, I’ve only found it in one place, but if it’s doing it once, you have to suspect it’s in many more places.  For example, I have Heather’s feeds showing up in the XBOX blogger MajorNelson’s subscription.  Thankfully, Heather’s posts are showing up in the subscription I have for her… very odd.

Some UI issues I’d like to see:

  • Setting to auto expand all your categories or at a minimum, remember your last expansion.
  • Ability to group items by feed… similar to the grouping Outlook has (so if I’m reading a search folder of all unread feeds or all feeds w/i a category, I don’t have to have the Feed Title column in ever view.
  • Dockable feed item list (not just subscriptions)
  • Dockable reading pane
  • Ability to specify a format string for the date column
  • Ability to specify a default sort
  • Ability to specify multiple sort columns

The feed mixup is a critical issue for me… no idea how this happened… and if it’s found to be like this a few more times, that’s a big strike against RSSBandit.  The search folders are a nice feature and a must for me, but not a deal breaker.  All the UI things are “nice havs” I’d like and more just critical comments.

One thing I do absolutely love in RSSBandit is how you can quickly browse the comments, and then how easy it is to post back to those comments.  I wish there was a better way for the post to be flagged (with a color?) to show that it had new comments.

Next… test FeedDemon… I got a copy of the most recent beta so now I get to play with that.

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