Technology Blog, by: David Monaghan.

Netvibes.com updates make for home page bliss.

Posted by David on April 9, 2006

Since the last time I’ve looked around at the various dashboard applications I have accounts with, Netvibes.com has apparently added some new features that have bumped it up to the top of my list, moving Google’s Personalized Home down to number two for the time being.

The two features which were added; Tabs and Authentication. Now I have an entire tab dedicated to various feeds served up by RememberTheMilk.com, most of which are password protected.

Besides any new features Netvibes has always had a superior interface, an integrated feed reader, podcast player, and shading of widget windows.

I’m not sure if this is new but Netvibes grabs the favicon for each of the feeds, very nice. Another new feature that appears to have come with tags is icons for tags. Thanks to this nice interface I can finally load up with more feeds without worry of scrolling through pages and pages of feeds. Netvibes truly solves many of my problems, and obviously I encourage you to give it a go, the service is free and you can start your new page at http://netvibes.com.

It should be noted that Netvibes has a feed reader which handles RSS, Atom, and XML feeds. If you are not familiar with these technologies you should take the time to learn as much as you can about them, you have probably used services which offer them without knowing and they can save you time if you visit more than one frequently for information available in these feeds. If you still don’t understand what they are, here’s another stab. Feeds (RSS, Atom, XML, etc. are formats for feeds, also called syndicates) are files published by various sources of information, most commonly news, which are intended to be collected by feed readers (also called aggregators). There are more feed readers than you can shake a stick at, web based alone, and I can’t say that I’ve tried all or even most of them.

I decided while contemplating the design of a feed reading system that feeds are not the only piece of information which should be available in applications providing access to feeds, or at least different views need to be supported once all the pieces of information I frequent on the internet are available via feeds. Since currently feed technology is still being explored for it’s potential, and standards have not yet fully developed for all of the information involved in these potentials, the only way to get a working system to inform the user of these pieces of information is through the use of modules which each handle their own type of content; Weather, mail, bookmarks, events, news, etc.


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