April 08, 2003

More on the future of Syndirella

Some more comments on the latest post. Some of that was included in the "longer version" that was lost in the bit bucket, so now I'm bringing some of it back.

First of all, probably I shouldn't have focused that much on SharpReader - it's not like SharpReader is the best news aggregator that could ever be created, and I do think that the Syndirella UI is considerably more polished than that of SharpReader. But the point is, there are too many .NET three-pane news aggregators. Actually, I cannot name another case in the entire history of computing (as I know it) when so many so similar projects have appeared in such a short timespan. And I'd really like to see more collaboration between the authors of different news aggregators - since they're all so similar, it shouldn't be hard to factor out the differences, to reach a common understanding on how an ideal .NET three-pane news aggregator should look like, and to work together towards such a goal. Previously, I was certain that I knew the right way to create the perfect news aggregator UI, and I didn't really consider offering collaboration to other projects - I didn't want either to impose my vision on them or to work on implementing a different vision. But now, since I didn't succeed in implementing my vision by myself, I'm much more open to the idea of collaboration.

Another reason of frustration with Syndirella development is that Syndirella essentially sits on top of three different platforms - .NET, the raw Win32 API (used mainly by the UtilityLibrary), and the Internet Explorer ActiveX control. And the worst sources of bugs have been the boundaries of these platforms. Weird Internet Explorer exceptions, problems with the back/forward navigation, strange exceptions during Syndirella termination related to the IE control, GDI+ exceptions, Win32 resource leaks - all these problems are generally very hard to reproduce, not at all fun to fix, and many of them still remain in the current code. So now I really miss the feeling of control given by raw C++/Win32 programming (and with no stupid Visual Basic 6, which I have to use quite a lot at work, and which I so much hate). So, the idea of working on one of my pure Win32 projects now feels much more exciting.

And whatever interests me currently, I do hope that Syndirella will never "go away" - it's GPLed, and no one is going to take away the source, so there is nothing prohibiting its further evolution. And if you need CVS write access, just ask.

Posted by yole at April 8, 2003 01:34 AM | TrackBack
Comments

I can quote another time in the industry when there was a lot of duplication of effort. In Gnome there was a point where people had developed 13 (yes, thirteen) IRC clients.

Eventually, most of them vanished, and we have only a couple left.

I have been trying to reach your site to download the source, and see if I can port the UI over to use Gtk# and run it on Mono, as we are lacking a nice GUI aggregator over in the Linux world.

Posted by: Miguel de Icaza on April 12, 2003 07:48 AM
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