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Monthly Archives: May 2011

When giving you calendars for feeds with calendaRSS, the text we put in the notes was fairly readable. Still, it was not ideal for feeds that include a large amount of HTML in their news items. We’ve batted around a few ideas to improve that, and settled on Markdown.

Markdown is most commonly used to easily write text that can then be converted to basic HTML. We’re actually doing the reverse: taking the HTML in feeds and “down-casting” it to text. I doubt we’re the first to do this, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be done much by anyone else. It’s not perfect, especially when the HTML is complex (and we do still remove images completely), but it does make for a more readable entry in Calendar.

As a bonus, of course, there are many ways to take the Markdown text and turn it back into HTML. That means we can more readily make a future version of calendaRSS that still downloads feeds in the background, but also will display them nice and pretty in a WebView. We really hope the level of sales pick up so we can add all the features we have planned.

One of the nice things about how we handle feed reading with calendaRSS is that we can often make major changes without having to deal with the delays of the approval process. Why wait to update the app when you can make the fix immediately on the server?

A case in point is a recent tweak that removed a lot of “empty” links. Since calendar events don’t (for the most part) support images, we had removed them from feeds since the beginning. But that left the situation where big links, mainly ads, were left in the description without any related content. So we finally decided to go in and scrub them out, too.

Have a feed formatting suggestion of your own? Let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate, all with a turnaround time faster than app-only solutions allow!

We’ve always been big fans of time. Since the beginning of the Universe, at least, and maybe even earlier than that. So it should come as no surprise that we’ve dusted off a bit of history and polished it up to be calendaRSS, a new Atom/RSS feed reader for iOS. It takes website news feeds, including the feed for this very site, and renders them in a timeline suitable for the Calendar app to display.

It makes it really easy to keep up to date on online happenings without having to deal without a lot of fuss. Or even real-world happenings. True story: I found out Osama bin Laden was dead early yesterday morning when I took a look at Calendar as I got up and, BAM, there was the headline right there waiting for me. It’s a neat little trick, and well worth the meager buck we priced it at.

We’re also considering what other things we can calendar-ize. Have any suggestions?