New Version of RSSBandit and It Works in Vista!

15. March 2007 15:44

For the last couple of years, I have been using RSSBandit for my RSS aggregator.  I tried quite a few different applications, but I just didn't like them in comparison to RSSBandit.  I really like the ability to persist my state to an FTP location for synchronizing on different machines.  So, you may be wondering why not use one of the online aggregators, such as Google Reader?  Well, a lot of people prefer to use the online aggregators, but I never was that crazy about those either.  I like being able to download the content for reading offline (on a flight, etc).  Each person has their own particular tastes and mine happens to be RSSBandit.

However, many fans of RSSBandit began to shy away from it once Vista was released.  There were compatibility issues that effectively rendered it useless.  Since I haven't completely made the jump to Vista, it hasn't been a problem for me, but a lot of folks have tossed RSSBandit out the door because of this. 

Alas, the problem is no more!

A new version has been released.  It is actually the first update since December 2005.  There have been a variety of new features added as well as bug fixes...most notably the compatibility issues with Vista.  You can get the latest version here:

Below is a complete list of new features and major bug fixes copied from the project site.

New Features

  • Comment Watching 
  • Items marked as read when viewed in the Newspaper 
  • Date-based grouping in the list view 
  • Options for opening tabs in the background 
  • Favicons 
  •  Enclosures treated as attachments 
  • Certain user defined enclosures treated as podcasts including adding to playlists in iTunes and Windows media player 
  • Remembering application state on restart - This will work similar to the Session Saver extension in Firefox in that open tabs and the tree view state will be remembered on restart 
  • Revamping the search feature - We've moved the implementation of feed search to Lucene.Net from our custom feed search implementation which should make searches faster and provide richer search options. The syntax for performing Lucene search queries is available at
  • Support for Atom Threading Extensions 
  • Easily configurable keyboard shortcuts - Just right-click when hovering over the toolbar menu and choose "Customize". This feature came as a freebie from switching to Infragistics NetAdvantage for some of our UI components. 

Major Bug Fixes 

  • Feed items appear in wrong feed folders - we now apply a set of heuristics to prevent this problem from surfacing ever again. I'm pretty sure this problem is due to bugs in HTTP Pipelining. However it is unclear whether the bugs are in the .NET Frameworks HTTP library, proxy servers that RSS Bandit is passing through or the Web servers that the application is fetching feeds from. 
  • Relative Links in Atom 1.0 feeds appear incorrectly - now that this is fixed the links Tim Bray and Sam Ruby's feeds now work correctly 
  • Atom feeds from the Blogger beta site show no posts when viewed in RSS Bandit - this was just a dumb bug on my part. 
  • Sites with malformed cookies cause feeds not to be fetched - Specifically, fetching cookies from sites such as Windows Live Spaces results in the "An error has occurred when parsing Cookie header". Now we just ignore the error and soldier on. 
  •  RSS Bandit needs administrator privileges on first run - the fix for this was so esoteric it boggles my mind.  
  •  RSS Bandit stops downloading feeds after a while - This was actually two bugs. The first was that the application stopped automatically downloading feeds if any of them timed out while being fetched. The other was that feeds with whitespace in the URLs were not being updated. 
  • Application doesn't work in Windows Vista - this has been tracked down to our use of old versions of the Divelement controls. Although these issues have been fixed in newer versions of the Divelement controls we have decided to move to NetAdvantage for Windows Forms controls for unrelated reasons. The new controls should work fine in Windows Vista. 
  • Application crashes with NullReferenceException during Web browsing - this is another issue which should be fixed with our move to the NetAdvantage for Windows Forms controls.
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I'm a passionate software developer and advocate of the Microsoft .NET platform.  In my opinion, software development is a craft that necessitates a conscious effort to continually improve your skills rather than falling into the trap of complacency.  I was also awarded as a Microsoft MVP in Connected Systems in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

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