An ode to FeedDemon.. and desktop software that never dies

feeddemon_logo1I first discovered FeedDemon in the summer of 2004, probably via a promo or plugin in author Nick Bradbury’s other application, HomeSite, while “learning” HTML after ditching FrontPage. Today, almost 12 years later to the day, I googled for “best RSS reader for Windows” while trying to write an RSS-based interface for an RRTP integration for Nest and FeedDemon was still the first result.

FeedDemon “died” in March 2013, after Google killed off its own web-based RSS reader. While RSS isn’t quite dead yet, it’s not exactly as cool as it used to be and the RSS client scene hasn’t seen much activity in that time. (Another standout from the same era is RSSOwl, also still available.)

Continue reading

FeedSnap: The FeedBurner Replacement

FeedSnap logo Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve certainly seen all the hullaballoo that took place when Google shut down Google Reader for good. Aside from being a damn good RSS web-based reader, it was very importantly, so popular that and backed by a company so huge that it basically killed off all its competitors without even trying. If you care about your blog, you’re probably looking for a FeedBurner replacement or a FeedBurner alternative just about now.

People have been panicking about the so-called “death of RSS” ever since. RSS has a special place in our hearts, we think the idea behind a simple, standardized, freely-accessible stream of updates for just any website is a confluence of awesomeness that only comes around once in a blue moon. In other words: if RSS dies today, it’s not because something equally awesome has replaced it. Anyone equating RSS with Twitter streams (where stuff is virtually designed to be lost in the madness) and Facebook “feeds” (accessible only to friends, at the mercy of Facebook Inc) has no clue what they are talking about.

The writing has been on the wall for months, and pretty much everyone has come to suspect the next shoe will soon drop and Google will kill FeedBurner (the equivalent of Google Reader for website publishers) in the next round of “spring cleaning.” Google purchased Chicago-based startup (yay Windy City!) FeedBurner from its founders back in 2007, and ever since has been disabling and dismembering it, one feature at a time. Today, FeedBurner is only a sorry reminder of it once was.

To that end, we are happy to introduce today FeedSnap.

Continue reading

CompleteRSS 1.0 Released

CompleteRSS 1.0 was released yesterday, it’s been upped to a full-release, no longer alpha. Nothing major has changed as far as functionality or purpose is concerned, but it’s a highly recommended upgrade because it addresses a couple of high-profile (really annoying) bugs that can occur if you have a post with the word “feed” in the permalink.

Moreover, there have been several fixes to enhance compatibility with non-standard permalink structures, older versions of PHP, and feeds via proxies. It’s a fully-stable release, and now it’s more important than ever, since WordPress 2.1 has gone public.

WordPress 2.1 never displays content past the <!–more–> marker in an RSS/Atom feed, unlike WordPress 2.0.x & co. If you’re a dedicated blogger and you love your readers, do them a favor and serve full-content RSS feeds: they’ll appreciate it, and you’ll get more feed subscribers :)

Continue reading

Atom isn’t RSS!!

For the last time: Atom isn’t some new version of RSS! It’s not a different kind of RSS and it’s not some alternative-form of RSS either! Atom is one RDF-compliant standard, RSS is another. They have absoloutely nothing to do with one another, and they’re not compatible! You can’t mix and match the two, and pretending they’re one and the same only makes things worse for you and your readers. Nor is it a “sub-format” of RSS. Just because the both serve the same basic purpose at-heart, it doesn’t mean you can say they’re one and the same – that’s like saying OS X is another format of Windows!

What makes it extra-embarassing is when a blogging engine, attempting to sell itself to the more “technically advanced” bloggers out there, has this as a “selling point:”

RSS Syndication

With RSS, your content can be made available for syndication.  ExpressionEngine supports all major RSS formats, including the new Atom format.

Umm.. Hello? So much for “redefining the standard for publishing systems.” Somehow we don’t think that’s what pMachine had in mind when they made that tagline up for ExpressionEngine, their new up-and-coming blogging platform.

Totally Redone Feed System

If you ever wondered why our feed subscribers count was low despite our rankings and other indexes, don’t worry about it anymore. We’ve completely rewritten the “feed maker” for NeoSmart Technologies, and it’s solved a great number of chronic problems that had our loyal subscribers less-than-happy.

Continue reading

WordPress, WP-Hackers, RSS Feeds, and More

At NeoSmart, we’re all about WordPress. Hands-down, it’s the most powerful, most flexible, and certainly most popular blogging platform available, and it’s free. We do what we can to help (which isn’t much, really), but we’re planning on getting a bit more “involved,” so to speak. Besides the couple of (hopefully useful) WordPress plugins that’re in the making, we also have several WordPress-centric articles coming up, and we hope you’ll enjoy them.

For now, here’s a quick one: Did you ever hear of “WP-Hackers?”
Well, those guys are the 1337 WordPress users, and they know all about WP, and what makes it tick. They have a mailing list you can subscribe to if you want to participate in all the fun, but what if you don’t want to (or can’t) join in the discussion? And since you don’t require a bi-directional form of communication, why use clunky email anyway?

We took the WP-Hackers mailing list archives, added a RSS feed to ‘em, and churned it through FeedBurner, the result is the WP-Hackers Live Archives – where you can find out what WP is all about and pick up all the tricks of the trade without divulging your email, filling up your inbox quota, or worrying about privacy. Just click and subscribe!

Continue reading

Inventors of Feed Icon Scrap Design, Start Anew?

If the Mozilla has one cross-browser innovation fully licensed and acknowledged across the world, it’s their feed icon. The now infamous feed icon even has websites dedicated to it, and has successfully been adopted by Internet Explorer 7, Opera, and the much of the rest of the browser herd.

But is it about to change? Just today, the Mozilla Foundation released (on it’s official wiki) concept art for the new Firefox 2.0 theme, and something caught our eye. Is it possible that along with the new UI for tabs, buttons, and boxes, Firefox will ship with a brand-spanking-new RSS icon? It sure seems that way!

Continue reading

CompleteRSS: Content-Complete Feeds Raring to Go!

NeoSmart Technologies is proud to announce the release of CompleteRSS 0.1 Beta.
CompleteRSS is the only WordPress plugin used to guarantee complete article text in RSS feeds. Some of the things it does are things that end-users can change on their own (such as selecting full-text entries), but it’s biggest feature is a work-around for the much-contested ‘upgrade’ for WordPress 2.1: RSS and Atom feeds will not show text past the <!–more–> tag!

CompleteRSS is the only way to get WordPress 2.1 to display the full article content to display in your feeds, since there are no options to disable this ‘feature’ of WordPress 2.1. CompleteRSS is also the only way to display your feeds entirely free of the heavily-abused ‘content:encoded’ tags.

CompleteRSS has been implemented here on The NeoSmart Files, and you can check it out in our proudly FeedBurner-powered Atom feed:

Continue reading

The Ultimate Guide to RSS & TV Torrents

One of the newest and most exciting features of BitTorrent is RSS Torrent Feeds. Once properly configured, it lets you fully automate the procedure of finding, downloading the torrent files, and initiating the downloads to your movie folder, then finishing the download, and seeding it to a specific ratio.

In this walk-through we will be using freeware clients (uTorrent), services, and public trackers, to keep things simple and viable for everyone.

We will be configuring µTorrent (the smallest, no-install-required client on the web!) to download the latest episodes of 24, Desperate Houswives, and of course, LOST.

Continue reading