RSS Readers for Lotus Notes
Czech version on svetNotes.cz.
Lotus Notes is groupware platform which trying to keep pace with evolution in this area. In version 7 has been included RSS generator and version 8 comming with RSS reader as well. I was curious what are the opportunities to read RSS content on Lotus Notes platform so I did a quick test what is available on market and if it is worth the time or money.
First of all, there is RSS reader in Lotus Notes 8. And it is not bad at all, just should be improved in several ways :-) Especially I dislike the small window in which articles are shown and also that it is impossible to open article's item in full screen without downloading it directly from internet, which means that it is almost impossible to read it offline. Just almost because you can read at least extracts, whose length depends on RSS channel, in that small window. It also came with predefined list of blogs, which is useful but one of them isn't updated from May :(
Second in queue is madicon RSS Reader, which is probably the only one for which is neccessary to pay. But it is worth the money as it is one of the best I tested with really nice user interface, ability to group feeds together and import/export to/from OPML files. Is is also possible to set different schedule for each channel and authentication as well. And then you can take a look on items by channels, date or group.
PAVONE NewsReader is the third in order and freeware for personal use (yupi). I like it probably most of them, with sexy UI (while could have less of graphics on some places), came with predefined list of sources (which is really useful), and ability to transfer items easily into other database or mail file. Also grouping of feeds by area or language is possible.
Steve Castledine is the author of ProjectDX Feed Reader. This one is not updated anymore (last update in 2005), quite easy but at the same time easy to use. I'm missing just preview pane which I'm used to. When you read items a lot of information is included, such as time of creation, category, link to page with whole article and so on. Just own text is quite small but it is just about short time to use to it.
Studio Blog Reader is one of OpenNTF projects. However, it this version (1.1) it is useful just to get links to a lot of Lotus related blogs (which are included in it) as feeds retrieving doesn't work (which is a reported bug without solution). Also UI is quite hard to understand and enter a new channel is long time trip for unexperienced users (as me).
All in all, there is few useful readers and some of them have open design as well, which mean that you can easily change them for your own needs. And with the ability for quick development on Lotus Notes it should be possible to improve it quickly to have all comfort users need. Question is, if there is market for it.
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