I loved using Syndirella. However, Dmitry Jemerov Hasn’t updated the app in quite a while. Today I read over at The Scobelizer (who probably posts to his blog more than any human does), about a new .NET based news aggregator.
I must admit that at first I had my reservations about leaving my now trusty Syndirella, but I was a tad annoyed with some of its idiosyncrasies such as stealing focus during updates and false alerts (or none at all). Although some of those had been fixed (the false tray icon alerts seemed to be almost fixed in the last updated), it still lacked some of the features I wanted such as heirarchical lists and smarter auto-discovery (it wouldn’t find feeds for some sites, slashdot most notably).
In any case I tried it out and its awesome! Its got nested lists and when you highlight a group’s parent folder it merges all the posts from that group into a single list so you can view them all at once, almost like a big room of people talking at me :)
What is even cooler is that SharpReader maintains the “conversational nature” of blogs. If you have two blogs in your list that reference another a sort of thread is created in the topic view where you can follow that conversation.
In the picture below you can see that on 3/28/2003 at 5pm the propriator of Daring Fireball posted a thread about an interview with Brent Simmons of Ranchero Software . At 5:31PM Brent posted on his own blog with a link to the interview. This “threading” is maintained in SharpReader and I personally think this is one of the most awesome and revolutionary ideas to come out of the News Aggregator camp ;)
Below is the full interface. Its your standard 3 pane interface but I’ve also got the “BLOGS” folder highlighted. You’ll notice in the upper-right pane that all the threads from all the blogs in that folder are together and sorted by time. This is the feature I mentioned earlier. This is pretty convienant because you don’t have to go around clicking each feed to read the posts.
Edit : Earlier I had complained about links opening up in IE. I realised that this is only when you click links in the content pane. Its ok, just annoying. Its probably because Luke is using the IE framework to display the content and its just naturally using IE to follow links. If I knew anything about GUI programming I’d try to help him out ;)
Here is the link to his introduction of sharp reader:
And the download link:
And remember that you will need to have the .NET runtime with the latest SP, SP2 to be exact.