How to build a semi-custom feed reader - advice sought...
If this is not the ideal forum for my question, perhaps someone here can point me in the right direction.
I am a software developer but have no personal experience working with syndication technologies. I need to develop a semi-custom feed reader that is either based on an existing commercial feed reader, or adapted from an open-source feed reader, and I'm seeking advice on where to start. A more detailed description of my goal and the advice I require follows. Again, if this isn't the best place to ask, pointers to more relevant forums would be appreciated.
The target user audience are a focused (vertical market) group of users who need a feed reader but aren't technically oriented, and therefore don't know they need a feed reader or how to configure one. I'm not trying to re-invent a new feed reader. What I need is to put a "skin" around an existing one, so that it installs pre-configured with a bunch of feeds (I know what feeds this group of users needs access to but they don't because they're not technical). It should also have a custom look/feel to the UI so it appears to the user as a vertical market-specific application, when in reality it's just a feed reader pre-configured for their needs, with a few extra tools specific to the vertical market segment.
I'm reminded of Microsoft's introduction of Visual Basic for Applications back in the '90s, which made it possible to put a custom-looking UI on top of what was really an Excel Spreadsheet, so it looked like a custom app to the user but it was really just a fancy Excel spreadsheet that had been supplemented with a custom UI to make it look like a new app. Basically, what I need is either a feed reader that has something equivalent to "Visual Basic for Feed Readers", or an open source feed reader I can extend slightly for the same effect. It needs to have an install wizzard that allows the user to choose from a preset list of feeds known to be of interest to the user group, and it also needs to be able to check for and download updates to itself over the net. I'd prefer that it be a desktop Windows app as opposed to a browser-client feed reader, but would consider either. Of course the reference to Visual Basic is intended only to draw a conceptual analogy - I would imagine commercial feed readers offering customization capability would be Java-based these days.
While I have a background in software development, I know next to nothing about RSS, Atom, or the myriad feed readers available. I hoped to post this in a "Feed Reader Development" oriented forum, but couldn't find one with a google search, so thought I'd try here. Pointers to other relevant discussion forums are very welcome.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
Tags for this Thread