Use RSS News Feed with Outlook

To keep an overview on your news you can use RSS-Feeds and to have all notifications (email, calendars, RSS-Feeds) centralized on one place you can use MS Outlook.
Subscribing to an RSS News Feed and adding it to Outlook can be done easily in two ways. Either by clicking the RSS icon and then choosing 'MS Outlook' in the dropdown menu or by copying the link in your browser after clicking the RSS icon, going to your RSS Feeds Folder in Outlook, selecting 'Add a news feed' in the right mouse button menu and pasting the link there. Then you will be asked for permission to add the news feed andthen you will be able to see news from the feed posted directly there.

Creating custom content from various website

Sometimes we want to organize the information from several different website so that it become easier for us. For example: compare the price of a product from many different on line shops, browse pictures from many different websites, read news from many different news website, and so on.

Use Windows Sidbar Functionality and Ajax

The windows sidebar gadgets are noting more than small HTML files that are added by the OS to the sidebar automatically. The interface between the file and the OS is a XML file that specifies some important facts and looks like this:<code><?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?><gadget>  <name>MyGadgetName</name>  <namespace>Namespace.Gadget</namespace>  <version>1.1</version>  <author name="">    <logo src="images/logo.png" />    <info url="" />  </author>  <copyright>&#169; Wien, 2009 </copyright>  <description>Newsgadget</description>  <icons>    <icon width="64" height="64" src="images/icon_64.png" />  </icons>  <hosts>    <host name="sidebar">      <base type="HTML" apiVersion="1.0.0" src="main.html" />      <permissions>Full</permissions>      <platform minPlatformVersion="1.0" />      <defaultImage src="images/bg_drag.png"/>    </host>  </hosts></gadget></code> The most important option is the base tag. It specifies the path to the entrypoint - in my example this is the main.html. There are some other options like logos, URLs or version numbers which can be figured out very easily. All that I had to do now was creating the main.html and writing some javascript code to parse the remote RSS feed:<code>function getRSS() {     try     {        var req = null;         if (window.ActiveXObject)        {            req  = new ActiveXObject('Microsoft.XMLHTTP');         }        feedUrl = ''+Math.random();"GET", feedUrl , true);         req.setRequestHeader("Content-Type", "text/xml");         req.onreadystatechange = function()            {                if(req.readyState == 4)                {                    if(req.status == 200)                    {                        var rssXML = req.responseXML;   // assign the XML file to a var                        if (parseRSS(rssXML) === true) {                            /* YESSSS */                        } else {                            /* UUPS */                            connectionError();                        }                                        }                        else                        {                        alert("Error: returned status code " + req.status + " " + req.statusText);                        connectionError();                    }                }            };        req.send(null);     }    catch(err)    {        alert("General Error: " + err);        connectionError();    }}</code>What this function does is creating a connection to a given rss feed and fetching the data. If that is possible it sends the data to another function named parseRSS() which looks like that:<code>function parseRSS(rssXML) {    var rssItems = rssXML.getElementsByTagName("item");    feedItems =[];    var feedCount=0;    var feedDate;        feedDate = rssXML.getElementsByTagName("dc:date");    if(feedDate[0] !== null) {        feedDate = feedDate[0].firstChild.nodeValue;    } else {        feedDate ="";    }        for(i=0;i<rssItems.length;i++) {        try {                    var title = rssItems[i].getElementsByTagName("title");            var description = rssItems[i].getElementsByTagName("description");            var link = rssItems[i].getElementsByTagName("link");                        if(title[0] !== null && description[0] !== null && link[0] !== null) {                    var feedItem = [];                var relatedItems= [];                    feedItem[0]= title[0].firstChild.nodeValue;                feedItem[1]= description[0].firstChild.nodeValue;                feedItem[2]= link[0].firstChild.nodeValue;                                feedItems[feedCount]= feedItem;                feedCount++;            }                         } catch(err) {}    }    if(feedCount>0) {        return true;    } else {        return false;    }}</code>No I have an associative array named feedItems[] which contains all the fetched RSS data. This information can now be desplayed very easily using basic javascript functionality.Finally I zipped all my files (gadget.xml, main.html, javascript-files, images, etc.) and changed the file suffix from .zip to .gadget. On Windows Vista or Windows 7 system a simple doubleclick on this archive is enough and the gadget will be installed.

Checking websites for updates

Lots of websites get updated on an irregular basis. Some may get updated every week, others get updated every hour; some may not get updated for month and users are bored looking up the website regulary and they do not find any new content. In addition, checking websites manually is not very efficient and costs a lot of time. The solution for this problem should provide an easy way to check websites and stay updated. It would be helpful if the tool is able to highlight changes. In addition, the tool should be able to exclude several areas of a website from checking, for example the current time or the "who's online" section of the website. These changes might not be interesting for the user. The tool should of course work on HTML files; it also would be good if changes in images can be detected using a tool. The Solution should also cover non-HTML content, especially flash. Flash is used a lot in the www and this technology should not be left out. However, a solution for HTML at least would work for most websites. CSS changes do not need to be included as CSS should not contain any content but just formatting information.
Subscribe to rss