Why does Windows Messenger not reflect buddy's state?


sigh When I have to phone a colleague at work, I first look in Windows Messenger, whether he is at his place, i.e. online. I expect that the Messenger changes his state to offline when the user's not active for a specific amount of time. Well, some users either don't know about this feature (what's half excusable), or they don't like it (why?), or it doesn't work for them (@MS: why?). Altogether, this feature is useless.

PS: Yes, I'm using Messenger Plus!

ScottW on Service Based Aggregator

Development Comments

ScottW talks about a Service Based Aggregator:

For a new little project, I needed to create a simple windows service that aggregated a set of feeds. Part two was wiring up this data to a winform app. Along the way, it got me to thinking that this might be an interesting way to create an aggregator. Some service/site runs in the background processing the data. When you need it, fire up your application (Winform/Site/Etc).  The other really cool thing is that now all of this great data is just sitting there waiting to be used and reused.

I really like that idea for three reasons:

  1. Many GUI aggregators have a horrible start-up time (Precisely, I am using SharpReader and RSS Bandit). When they start, they read your local list of aggregated sites, contact each to get new items/updates, and finally presents the results to you. A service based aggregator would do this all the time, beginning from the start-up of your system. To access the feeds, you would just start the proper WinForm application (or even ASP.NET based UI) which gets all the information pre-processed from the already running local service.
  2. You can think of a mobile solution. I for example am reading blogs both at home and at work, which has two draw-backs. First, I have to keep the OPML synchronized, and second, all the blogs I've read at work are still marked unread at home. Using a WinForm application connecting to the aggregator service on my home machine, my UI is always in sync, because it's just a user layer accessing the same aggregator.
  3. I have subscribed some RSS feeds from phpbb-driven boards listing the last 20 active threads. On busy days, I regularly miss some items, because my aggregator is not running all the time (There are times when I'm logged off). A aggregator service running on my server at home would aggregate all sites independant from whether I'm logged in or not.

All this told, I think it's a great idea to separate the aggregator logic from the user representation.

BTW, this approach helps both GUI developers to write their own WinForm app without struggling with the RSS processing, and 'other' developers with no sense for UI design. Smiley

Another .Text enhancement

.Text Comments

I'm using the .Text web administrator for writing my postings. Unfortunately, there's no link provided to get from the administrator section to the public view. Either you have to edit the address line, click on a favourite link, or logout. Neither of them is very comfortable. I admit I never log out Blushing.

Therefore, once again I patched .Text and added another link to the header of the administrator section:

.Text administration with Home link

I've simply added

| <a href="<%= dottext.framework.config.instance(context).fullyqualifiedurl="" %>">Home</a>

to the start of line 19 in \admin\Resources\PageTemplate.ascx. This link directs you to the homepage of your blog (in my case http://ThomasFreudenberg.com/blog/)

I can think of others who are missing this too. Scott, how about adding this to the official .Text distribution?


Update: Doh Do you see the "Thoemmi.NET" text? In fact, that's the link back to the main page. I didn't notice that. Thanks to Scott, Bryant Likes, and Shannon J Hager for opening my eyes.

Emoticons within .Text

.Text Comments

Some days back I've started to implement support for emoticons in .Text. It was expected to replace any textual emoticons such as 😃 into the graphical representation such as Smiley.

However, today I notived that ScottW is already adding this into .Text. At least I found it when synchronizing my home installation with the published sources. Unfortunately, the file containing the replacement table is missing up to now. But since Scott uses the same algorithm as ASP.NET Forums do, I took their file (emoticons.txt, that is).

Anyway, the graphics Scott envisioned to use are not my favourites. Therefore, I'm using the same as CodeProject does. Finally, here's my substitution table:

Input Renders as
[:)] Smiley
[:-D] Big Smile
[=:O] Scared
[P] Tongue out
[;)] Smiley
[:(] Sad
[:~] Perplexed
[:|] Expressionless
[:'(] Crying
[:}] Blushing
[8)] Cool
[>:<] Mad
[0:)] Rolleyes
[X(] Dead
[doh] Doh
[eek] Eek
[omg] OMG
[sigh] sigh
[zzz] Zzz
[wtf] WTF
[unsure] Unsure

Update: Of course I asked Chris (heart and soul of CodeProject) for permission to use the depicted graphics. Therefore as promised: Credits for the emoticons go to Chris and CodeProject.