Andy's Q&A, Part Deux - The RSS Blog
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Copyright 2003-4 Randy Charles Morin
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Sat, 01 Jan 2005 18:25:48 GMT
Andy's Q&A, Part Deux

Andy had this follow-up to our previous Q&A session.

Andy: Let's say a channel is published in New York and is maintained during the working day.  Currently - with no daylight saving - say, 1pm to 10pm GMT.  Singapore (with no daylight saving) is always 8 hours ahead of GMT.  So the working day might be 12pm GMT to 9am GMT.  If the feed has skipHours set for: 0 and 10-23, the Singapore user's Aggregator might never poll it for updates.  I guess the answer is to to add some code that polls at least once during skipHours if the Aggregator has not received a response from the feed during the previous polling period.  But I guess you can see why I am concerned that there might be insufficient justification to add complexity that might disrupt other parts of the program.  Right now I'm still thinking that implementing skipDays and skipHours might cause more problems than it solves given it is rarely used.

Randy: Let me re-iterate that skipDays and skipHours are syndication hints. They are not rules that must be followed, but a well behaved RSS reader will honor them.  The concern that skipHours adds complexity is legit. The best RSS reader will figure out a way to respect these hints without causing more problems. The run-of-the-mill RSS reader won't. It's a choice. Do you want to write the best RSS reader or just another run-of-the-mill RSS reader?

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No you are not missing anything. Out-of-the-box, both Apache and IIS (even the latest versions) don't do gzip :(

I like.


>>>Andy -- one nice feature I've seen implemented in another aggregator (Newsfire) is that is stops polling feeds when the machine has been idle for a while... if you leave your machine for, say a couple of hours, when you come back and wake it (e.g. the old mouse-shake to deactivate the screensaver) it starts polling again.  Really simple, but I'm sure it saves a measurable amount of needless polling.<<<

Thanks DW for that suggestion.  I hadn't thought of it.  It makes a lot of sense.  I'd need to implement an override in case someone wants to leave their PC switched on just to monitor events or to download Podcasts/BitTorrents overnight.  I'll give that serious thought.

Actually as I write this, I think my Aggregator might already do it.  I had to add some code to stop it trying to show alerts when people are at the XP sign on screen following a return from hibernation (to prevent errors being thrown from framework).  I suspect that will also prevent it polling while a screensaver is active.  Could be a useful 'undocumented feature'!


It is pretty easy to implement a test for whether the system has been idle for a given time using 'GetLastInfo'.  I'm testing my next version which will stop polling after 5 minutes of inactivity by default.  People can change the interval to be 1-120 minutes or 0 which means do not test for inactivity.

Nice one.


What is GetLastInfo?


Thanks Andy!


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