Friday Feast #50: FeedDemon Beta, WaSP and Microsoft, Weblogs and RSS

Lots has been going around the weblogging posts all week, including all the flames back and forth related to the Echo Project Roadmap’s project to work toward a vendor-neutral, extensible weblog format that can be used by anyone. This project happens to include syndication format, and the flames around the Web about RSS are quite distracting from the task at hand. I certainly hope that stops soon. In an ideal world there would instead be healthy debate and discussion, but we’re all human and this isn’t a perfect world. I’d love to raise a big friendly flag and ask for a truce, and in my ideal world they’d agree to that, but as I mentioned, we’re all human.

As I mentioned last week in my post Weblog Format Standards? I’m all in favor of a vendor-neutral extensible approach for weblog formats. We’ll see where things go in the coming days, and in the meantime I’m looking for a big friendly “TRUCE” flag to wave around.

WaSP Responds to Microsoft’s IE Announcements

End of Free is Not the End of Web Standards is the Web Standards Project’s official response and comments to Microsoft’s recent announcements that the development of free versions of IE browsers for Mac and Windows are being discontinued. Instead they’ll be integrating the Mac version within their MSN service and next Windows release expected sometime during 2005. We’re asking them to keep their word and follow through with the bug fixes as they’d stated, including standards bugs such as those we listed in the statement related to CSS, PNG, and the W3C event model.

FeedDemon Beta is Available

In the meantime, a A pre-release FeedDemon Beta is now available to anyone interested in beta testing this exceptional RSS reader and organizer. As the FeedDemon Beta page mentions, don’t download this pre-release if you’re not comfortable working with beta versions. Feedback and bug reporting is appreciated via the FeedDemon Beta newsgroup.

See Bradsoft’s FeedDemon section for more information and screenshots. For thoughts about FeedDemon see my June 4th alpha testing review, Upcoming FeedDemon RSS Reader and Organizer, Haiko Hebig’s beta testing thoughts, FeedDemon public beta out, rocks, Alex Ezell’s FeedDemon Beta post, and James Avery’s More thoughts on FeedDemon.

New or New-to-Me Interesting Weblogs

Exploring RSS feeds has greatly expanded my bookmarks of fantastic weblogs out there. If you haven’t checked out my Luscious Links section for awhile you will hopefully be pleased to find many more terrific weblogs listed, most of which have RSS feeds.

Here are just a few of the recent additions:

  • dionidium
    A new weblog about web design, CSS, XHTML, standards, related. Well done. By Wayne Burkett.
  • Growing Leaves
    Web design and development, CSS, browsers, and related—a new and well done weblog by Andy of
  • My New York Daily News Internship
    Fantastic weblog and eye-stopping photography by Simon Song in which he writes about life as an intern, adding his well done photos along the way. Exceptional. Simon also happens to be a former student of Dan Gillmor.
  • Social Engineering
    Self-described as a 'journey of discovery into the technology and use of social software,' this new weblog provides short posts describing links to resources around the Web related to social software. By Leonard Megliola.

There are plenty more in the Luscious Links section.

Windows Utilities, Search From Your Taskbar

A terrific source of quality Windows tips, tools, resources, and more is Fred Langa’s LangaList Newsletter. I subscribe to the Langalist Plus! edition, which is more than worth the small subscription fee.

Many before me have raved about Dave Bau’s handy Windows tool, Dave’s Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar. This free tool adds a search tool in your Windows taskbar to search via Google, Yahoo, or many other searches. It has many other convenient tools within it, too. Here’s a quote from the site:

“You’re not a captive to Google. Do Yahoo searches with a 'yh question', get Merriam-Webster definitions with a 'colon:', get Bloomberg stock quotes like this 'msft intc csco$', and find Switchboard phone numbers by saying 'Lois Lane#'. You can search real 'news.' search 'newsgroups,' check 'weather*', or 'comparison shop$$'. There’s a built in calculator when you need to know 'pow(1.0625, 30)' is 6.1640785. And so on.”

I’ve used it for a few days now, and I suspect it will be one of those little tools that becomes a permanent resident on my computer.

Speaking of searches and Google, Aaron Swartz created a Try Before You Sell tool that provides a glimpse of the ads Google’s AdSense would serve to your site if you choose to use AdSense. Mine was intriguing.


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Categories: Browsers, Friday Feast, Software, Standards, Syndication, Weblogs

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