James O'Neill's Blog

May 5, 2006

Programming RSS – a complete reader in just 90 lines of code !

Filed under: Beta Products,How to,Internet Explorer,RSS,Windows Vista,Windows XP — jamesone111 @ 9:24 am


I know – platfrom folks shouldn’t do code. But yesterday I wrote my first “proper” program in nearly 2 years. My university lecturers would hate me to call VB “proper” programming: but although I’ve done a some scripting I haven’t written anything with a user interface since writing a little Smartphone App back in ’04. Not only do I feel rusty, but I thought I’d try VB Express  for the first time


After reading the RSS team Blog I wanted to see how easy it was to use the API for RSS,  that is enabled by IE7. How difficult would it be to code with an updated language, and programming environment, and a new API ?  Astonishingly easy as it turned out. After 3 hours work I had a tool which will


  • Show your feeds and downloaded items in a tree view with unread items in bold (22 lines)
  • Shows item selected in the tree with its image, time stamp, and links to it and its feed (20 lines)
  • Let you mark the selected item as read or delete it (35 lines)
  • Resize properly (5 lines)
With 8 more lines of declarations and start up that’s 90 line of code. I doubt it will win any prizes, but it is a viable reader that can be printed on two sides of a page.
Here’s what it looks like.



So anyone who writes RSS software or wants to – leave the subscribing and downloading to IE, and get on and write something great on top of it. Newsgator’s CTO already gets this

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.

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