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RSS is far from dead!
2018-08-08 00:55 feeder [permalink]
I've been using RSS/Atom feeds on and off since I've learned about them. A long time ago, Google had a nice feed reader, but decided to discontinue it. Users were left to search something new, and I settled on The Old Reader, combined with gReader since I had a smartphone, and all was well. For a while. After some time you notice you still get disturbed by some tiny issues you can't seem to get to go away, either with tweaking the configuration or with Stylus. So what does a developer do? Start to think about developing their own solution. Then plan to develop their own solution. Then develop their own solution. So I'm somewhat proud to present this little thing I've been tinkering on in off-hours the last month:
I have a live version to try out here: http://yoy.be/home/feeder/ but it uses the neighbouring instance of tx for authentication. I should enable Google/Facebook/Github OAuth things instead, but finding out how that works is a few items lower on my wish-list (of things I wished I had the time to put into).
I wanted a feed reader without the extra's. I wanted to mark items as read that move out of view by scrolling down, and plays somewhat nice with the surrounding HTML and the browser. For now I like how it works. There's an issue with emoji's that apparently get eaten by UTF8Decode, but that could be a bug that got solved since good old Delphi 7. But now that Delphi has a community edition, I think I should bring most if not all of my other projects to this version instead of sticking to Delphi 7... But that's another story. (One you might notice some time in the future on my Delphi RSS feed...)
"How can i do C++ for free?"
2018-08-30 10:54 freecpp [permalink]
Someone at work asked me "Is there a way to do some C++ for free?", and told me to mail some links. I did and thought it's a kind of nice overview, so I post it here as well.
If you're looking for a free C++ development environment, the first thing I can think of is:
but one of the main trendsetters has ofcourse always been Microsoft Visual C++, you can obtain here:
or ex-Borland's version with language extensions to make its UI designer work:
if you're willing to get to work with just a compiler, then this one is getting good remarks recently, not only because it's giving usefull error messages:
but there are plenty more:
https://www.embarcadero.com/free-tools/ccompiler (or perhaps this one https://edn.embarcadero.com/article/20633 )
(or the list from the creator of C++ itself: http://www.stroustrup.com/compilers.html )
but C++ is getting some negative remarks lately:
so what is recommendable to learn? currently good candidates are:
Done! Feeder now on PostgreSQL
2018-08-31 20:25 feederpq [permalink]
Tadaa! Thanks to DataLank, I was able to switch feeder from SQLite to PostgreSQL in roughly one evening. You just need to change
coalesce, (and SQLiteData.pas for LibPQData.pas ofcourse) and storing Delphi's TDateTime values now map to genuine
timestamp values, so it's a little different to do arithmetic with...
But I was getting some 'database locked' errors, so I guess it was the best thing to do, since SQLite works really well but isn't quite designed for use by a website, let alone multiple processes. Sorting by timestamps appears to take a little more processing power than I was expecting, so I may try to change back to storing them as double (since that's also the value TDateTime uses internally), or I may just be missing an index that could speed up the query. It takes some investigating to find out, but that's for another day...
Update 2018-10-12: With some regret, I need to inform you that I have switched back to SQLite, perhaps for the time being. Though operation was acceptable, I noticed quite some performance was lost on queries that depend on the values in the fields of type timestamp without timezone. I've had a look if I could fix this by adding indexes, but wasn't successful. I was also thinking about changing the date-time fields to float, as that's what's actually used in the Delphi code that handles the values, and would probably get better performance in comparing and sorting in PostgreSQL, but the time it would take to switch that around would exceed the time it takes to switch back to SQLite. And switching back to SQLite offers a situation that has shown to perform well in all cases. With this switch I can find some time (somewhere?) to read up on PostgreSQL and timestamp fields, and what I'm missing that was causing some queries to take abnormally long. The query that averages times between posts, prior to checking feeds for new posts would regularly take over 100 seconds, a query that SQLite would only take seconds over.
Update 2019-08-19: Aaaand... we're back on PostgreSQL. This time I decided to use
float for all date fields. Not only because Delphi uses this internally (and so there's less conversion to do), but also because PostgreSQL knows what to do with them, for example is able to sort by them.
Update 2020-01-30: I've also added an optional chart that gets generated by the feed reader schedule, that gives a view of the volume of posts your combined subscriptions get each day (yellow) for the last 40 days, and how much of them you've still got marked unread (red). Enable it on the settings page, and use the URL to put into a widget or somewhere online like this: