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FeedReader is a web part for Microsoft SharePoint server products (MOSS and WSS).  It’s purpose is to aggregate more than one feed in a single web part.  The built-in XML and RSS web parts for SharePoint only allow one feed by default.  feedreader can support Atom or RSS feeds.  Please report any issues as a Work Item on the project.  Source code is also available on the project site under a very permissive license.

Thanks for using feedreader!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

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For those of you who use my RSS FeedReader Web Part for SharePoint, it has been updated into an ‘official’ release for the project.  Version is now the latest release.  It incorporates all the changes from our team’s contributor, Ryan – thanks Ryan!!!  You can read the checkin on the Codeplex site or review this previous post for Ryan’s checkin notes.

As always, the source code is included on the site, licensed under the Ms-Pl.

There has been some emails/work items/debate over the installer.  The installation is two parts:

    • Installation of binaries
    • Deployment to SharePoint servers

It has been much debated with me in private emails about that the MSI installer should automatically deploy to the server.  Initially this is how feedreader did it.  And I was flooded with email complaints.  Why?  Well, turns out people don’t always install to the same locations, have SharePoint in the same locations, want to deploy only certain web parts to certain SharePoint site collections, etc., etc. – I could go on.  The bottom line is that every configuration was different enough that it didn’t make sense to me to put effort into the installer to either a) guess or b) ask configuration questions.

SharePoint already provides a tool to do this: stsadm.exe.  The readme (yes, there is a readme file) provides instructions for deploying the web part to your specific configurations.  I also received notes that the sample script should be more explicit.  Again, people haven’t always been installing the binaries to the same location so if I was explicit, I’d be wrong in some instances.  I can’t please everyone :-)

The first step (after running the MSI which installs the binaries to your machine) is to run the stsadm tool to add the web part solution:

stsadm -o addsolution -filename %YOUR_INSTALL_DIR%\SharePoint.WebParts.Rss.wsp

Note the %YOUR_INSTALL_DIR% is not a literal you should be typing.  This refers to where you installed the binaries.  If you didn’t change any settings it would be this:

stsadm -o addsolution -filename "C:\Program Files\Tim Heuer\RSS feedreader Web Part\SharePoint.WebParts.Rss.wsp"

Notice that if you have spaces in your path you must put them in quotes.

If you have problems/suggestions log them as a bug/work item on the Codeplex site please.  If you have an idea and would like to contribute, the source is available!

The web part package you may have noticed is not packaged in a WSP file for easier deployment to Windows SharePoint Services v3 and in fact, that is a new requirement (WSS v3) for this update.

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feedreader, my sharepoint web part originally built for sharepoint 2003, has been consumed by quite a few people (which i think is cool -- it is a rare moment when a lowly d00d like me can fill a gap).  while sharepoint 2007 has better built-in support for syndicated feeds (actually 2003 did already with the xml web part), i still think feedreader has some advantages that can be leveraged.

a while back i put feedreader on codeplex, an open source sharing ground.  i used the microsoft public license so anyone can download, alter, and profit from the code.  i did this because i was getting feature requests weekly as well as some of the problematic issues that i never fixed (namely proxy server support needs to be better).  i thought to myself that there way better developers out there than me and can actually help out.  i wanted to prove my own theory wrong.

well, there wasn't a ton of contributions (more work items though), but over the past month i got another one of those requests.  and just the other day, the rss feed from my codeplex project source code check-ins delivered this to me:

1) Added the code that jdenicola suggested in the codeplex discussion forum to fix the object reference... error. The error is caused by the cache being empty. Which is weird since the PartCacheWrite line is being called, but when it reads it doesn’t return anything. Might be environmental, but I didn’t spend too much time trying to figure it out.
2) Changed the cache key from this.Parent.ClientID to this.ClientID (neither key affected the results of PartCacheRead)
3) Moved the assignment of the graphic to the web part code from the .dwp. This fixed the display of the icon at the top right in the title bar, but it still didn’t display the graphic in the web part library. Could be a SharePoint bug not reading the property. The properties PartImageSmall and PartImageLarge are obsolete. I used TitleIconImageUrl and CatalogIconImageUrl (but still couldn’t get the catalog icon image to show up)
4) Repackaged it in a .wsp for WSS 3.0. I included a new manifest file, a couple .ddf’s, and some stsadm commands to handle the install/upgrade from a build event.
5) Added .snk files so assemblies could be strong named and added to the GAC
6) Added setting for "Expand Headline Descriptions by Default" which, when checked, will expand the item descriptions when the page first loads instead of showing them as collapsed (assuming the headline descriptions are not hidden)
7) Added a div tag with a class called sg-item-description surrounding the item descriptions which the user can overload to control the look (background color, border, text size, etc.) of the description

sweet.  a contribution...and a good one at that.  several things were fixed and a few added.  the contributor, ryan mcintyre really stepped up because he saw some things he could fix and leverage for his own benefit as well.  i should also note that flickr4writer also got some contributions from josh holmes a few months back as well.  it is cool to see some progress on something i hadn't had the time to work on and to that i say 'thank you' to ryan for making feedreader a better experience!