At the moment, the Eclipse RSS Reader provides the following functionality:
1. New Channel wizard
This wizard allows you to create a new channel from an external RSS feed and save it as a file in the workspace. A variant of this wizard provides the ability to automatically detect published feeds in a web page.
2. Channel Navigator
The Channel Navigator provides a hierarchical view of the workspace, similar to the Resource Navigator, with projects, folders, and RSS channels. Each channel can be expanded to display its items. You can open the channels as well as their items in the configured link browser. In addition, the Channel Navigator allows you to view only new, unread channels.
3. Channel Detail view
This view displays a list of items belonging to the selected channel. To select a channel, click on the channel node in the Channel Navigator, or the channel file in the Resource Navigator. The channel as well as its items can be browsed using the configured link browser. The list can be sorted by column (click the column header). Also, the view has an option to show only new, unread items.
4. Link Browsers
You may choose, using the Channel Properties dialog, how to view the contents of channel and item links. By default, two methods are available: 1). Using the configured Help Browser, or 2). Using a file editor that understands the article format (e.g., HTML). In addition, users of WSAD running under MS-Windows have an option to use its embedded web browser. 3rd-party providers may offer additional link browsers.
5. Preference page
The included preference page allows you to specify the default channel update interval and select the default link browser, which are used when creating new channels. In addition, the included link browsers (help and editor) have their own preference pages; the former allows you to select a configured help browser, and the latter an editor to use for browsing channel items.
6. Property page
Each channel file has a property page with RSS-specific options, such as the update interval, source translator, and link browser. These can be modified even after the channel has been created.
7. Search page
The RSS-specific search page allows you to use the familiar Eclipse Search dialog to find RSS items whose titles and/or descriptions contain the specified search term.
8. RSS feed translators
RSS feeds based on various formats and versions are translated into a uniform channel model, which allows the various RSS views to present their contents in a uniform fashion. The default translator understands RSS versions 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 1.0, and 2.0. 3rd-party providers may offer translators for new RSS versions, or entirely different formats.
9. Periodic updates
For each channel you may specify an interval, in minutes, which dictates how often the channel's contents are updated from its source feed. After an update, any new items are flagged and displayed with different icons and colors in the various RSS views, until they are read (i.e., opened using a link browser).
10. Channel content caching
RSS channels are represented in the workspace as files, which contain information on where to get the updates, how often, etc. The channel content, after an update, is cached in a temporary location outside of workspace. Thus it is possible to share the channel files using a Version Control System (e.g., CVS); each user then gets its own copy of the channel contents.
Over the next couple of releases, I'm planning to do the following:
- Expose data external to the core model via mapped properties so other plug-ins may consume them.
- Allow user to select their own channel image.
- Provide migration path for users of other RSS Readers (e.g., listen on port 8888 and process AmphetaDesk-compatible URL requests to subscribe to channels).
- Improve user documentation, context-sensitive help, JavaDoc... :-)
- Internationalization (externalize strings into resource bundles).