Tip #2: Create smart Feeds

In this week's tip for RSSOwl 2, I would like to bring attention to the bookmark wizard for subscribing to feeds. Instead of using the link of a feed to subscribe, you can simply type a keyword or phrase describing your interest and choose from a list of popular search engines.

We think this is a great way of staying in touch with areas of your interest. You should give it a try!

Improve startup time of RSSOwl by using latest Java 1.6 Update 10

Sun has just released the Update 10 of Java 1.6. Among other changes, this release comes with the Java Quick Starter included. According to Sun, this features improves the cold startup time of Java applications (e.g. after a system boot).

I gave it a try and was able to speed up the startup time by 30%. Note that the quick starter is not running in case your notebook is running on battery power. Also note that as far as I know, this service is only provided on Windows XP.

Grab the update from here.

Tip #1: Showing the Notifier for News that match a search

Beginning with today, I plan to write about some useful features in RSSOwl 2 that you might not have heard before.

The notifier feature in RSSOwl is capable of informing you as soon as news are downloaded. It can easily be enabled from the "Notifier" entry in preferences. Enabling this feature will show notifications for any downloaded news from all of your subscriptions.

Now, consider you only want to be notified about news that match a specific search (e.g. all news that contain a certain word or where the author is a specific person). Simply create this search as "Saved Search" with the desired conditions and set the Notifier to only show notifications for this search in preferences.

As soon as News Filters are implemented, this feature will even be easier to use.
Stay tuned for milestone 9!

The next big feature...

...for Milestone 9 will be the ability to define news filters. The concept is already known to many mail clients and will allow you to let RSSOwl perform certain actions automatically on news that match a search criteria. Think about these useful actions:
  • Automatically assign Tags
  • Move or Copy news to bins
  • Set a news to sticky
  • and more
I will post progress on this feature over the next weeks. Our current plan is to release Milestone 9 somewhat end of November.

Better search in Milestone 9 *Update*

We have just completed a large task in the area of searching for news. A new search-specifier "contains all" was introduced that will ensure that a matching news contains all of the words as opposed to any. The existing specifier "contains" was renamed to "contains any" to match the old behavior. The default specifier when creating a new search now matches with what one usually gets from web search engines (all words have to match). In addition, wild-cards are now supported throughout all search-conditions.

If you want to give M9 a try, you can grab a recent nightly build. Usually, these builds are stable enough to be used everyday.

For the future, we will have a look at supporting phrase searches. This will allow for even more powerful search conditions where one can search for word phrases instead of just single words.

Stay tuned for more to come in the near future!

Update: Phrase search is now implemented and will be part of the upcoming M9 release!

RSSOwl 2.0 M8a compiled natively with Excelsior JET

The developers over at Excelsior just posted the results of their new Excelsior JET 6.5 beta 2. With Excelsior JET it is possible to compile a Java application to native code.

RSSOwl was chosen to be one of the demo RCP applications that are compiled natively. You can read more about it here. They also offer a download, but keep in mind that we have not yet fully tested the native version of RSSOwl. Also, it appears that the installation is limited in time until 6.5 final is released.

Thanks to Excelsior for choosing RSSOwl as application to show the capabilities of JET!

Sneak peek 2.0 Milestone 9

Milestone 8a has been out in the wild for a while now and I wanted to give a quick update on what nightly versions of Milestone 9 are already providing as new features and bugfixes:
  • Secure credentials with a master password
  • Automatic proxy detection
  • Support for Firefox 3 and XULRunner 1.9
  • 27 bugfixes and features so far
In case you have troubles running RSSOwl 2.0 M8a on Linux, make sure to give the nightly a try! We do the best to keep the nightlies stable and usable. As usual when using nightlies, make sure to backup your profile folder. See the FAQ for more details.