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Preview: nntp//rss Project Status

nntp//rss Project Status

Status for the nntp//rss project


October 25, 2004 - nntp//rss v0.5-beta-1
Over five thousand downloads and many months later, I've finally got around to releasing the first public beta of nntp//rss v0.5. It now features Apache Derby as the new embedded database, support for MySQL, along with a number of bug fixes and new features including Categories, Atom support, and OPML import / export.

July 13, 2003 - nntp//rss and INN
Jeff Vinocur has created a great document (and accompanying script) that describes how you can pull items from nntp//rss into an INN server. If you have an existing INN server within your group or organization, this is a great way to rapidly expose RSS feeds to your users. Thanks Jeff!

June 27, 2003 - Quick update... (1663 downloads and counting)
The hosting change over has gone (relatively) smoothly, and we now have message forums up and running. The more observant may have noticed the link appearing a few weeks back over on the left column of the website. There are various forums to discuss the current release, feature requests and useful hints and tips.

Now, onto a more important topic: version 0.4. I realize a bunch of you are crying out for this release. Be sure that I am still working to getting this finished! Work commitments have slowed down development, but I'm still working towards the next release. The Jakarta Commons HTTPClient project recently went into a more stable beta form, and those updates have been rolled into 0.4. xhtml:body support has also been included, as well as support for item-level authors (very useful for feeds that contain items aggregated from multiple publishers).

There have now been over 1600 downloads of nntp//rss, which is great! I'm closely following the emerging standards (e.g. Echo), and will look to fold support for these into nntp//rss at the appropriate time.

Keep a close watch on this site, as well as the forums and my blog for further updates.

May 2, 2003 - Changing hosts... will be relocating to new hosting facilities during the next couple of days. Given the nature of DNS propagation, you might experience some temporary difficulties while visiting this site during that time. The new space will be a positive step forward for Look forward to interactive forums, and more regular updates!

For those of you eagerly awaiting nntp//rss 0.4 - it's coming real soon. I've just finished replacing the existing HTTP client implementation with the Jakarta Commons HTTP Client. This should provide better results against certain web servers, and once and for all resolve some rather nasty timeout issues that have been experienced by some users. Additional blogging systems will be supported in the posting interface, with pre-configured settings for Moveable Type, Radio and Roller, amongst others. There are some other neat new features that I'll describe once the release goes up.

Stay tuned - more to come soon...

April 15, 2003 - MetaWeblog and v0.3
Dave Johnson over at the Roller Weblogger project discovered an issue with the MetaWeblog posting support within nntp//rss v0.3. A patch has been created, which can be downloaded from the following location:

This replaces the nntprss.jar in your nntp//rss v0.3 distribution.

On a different note, work is continuing with nntp//rss v0.4, which will feature a number of enhancements based upon some great feedback from the v0.3 release. Watch this space for further information!

March 23, 2003 - nntp//rss v0.3 is now available
After a long wait, v0.3 is finally ready. This version has a number of new features, including:
  • Posting - You can now post entries to your blog from within your newsreader. nntp//rss has support for the popular Blogger, LiveJournal and MetaWeblog APIs.
  • Parse-At-All-Cost - This version introduces an experimental parse-at-all-cost RSS parser. When an RSS feed is not well-formed XML, enabling this parser will enable nntp//rss to read its content,
  • Enhanced Web interface - The look and feel of the web interface has been considerably updated,
  • OPML channel import - Import your mySubscriptions.opml blogroll from your existing RSS newsreader straight into nntp//rss,
  • System Tray icon for Windows users - Quick and easy access to the administration screen.
For those of you already running v0.2, check out the README for upgrade instructions.

Further improvements have been made to the NNTP server, with support for additional newsreaders, including Entourage, and the resolution of some international character issues. GZip support has been added to the HTTP client, along with better handling of unresponsive RSS web servers. Please refer to the CHANGELOG for further information.

nntp//rss's user base is increasing - we're now at over 650 downloads, and we'd love to hear from you. If you have any thoughts or ideas for forthcoming versions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. If you have any specific feature requests or bugs, don't forget to log them using the trackers available at nntp//rss's SourceForge project page.

On a different note, thanks to Jeff Barr nntp//rss is now listed as one of the aggregators at the great site. When perusing their endless collection of RSS feeds, just click on the Integration tab, and select nntp//rss to directly add that feed into your nntp//rss channel list. Also, thanks to Morten Frederiksen for adding nntp//rss to his Syndication Subscription Service. You can check this out at If you write a blog, this site provides a great way to offer a universal 'subscribe' link, no matter which aggregator your visitors are using.

February 17, 2003 - Work continues on 0.3... and bookmarklets
A quick update: Work is continuing on 0.3, with some interesting new features in the next release. There'll be support for NNTP client authentication, allowing you to securely access nntp//rss from a remote location. There'll also be something else very special... let's just say nntp//rss is great at letting you read RSS feeds through your newsreader, but NNTP is a two-way protocol. The next version of nntp//rss will begin to close the loop...

Next - Ben Meadowcroft has submitted a very useful Bookmarklet for RSS autodiscovery. Just add it to your favorites, and when you come across an interesting page, click on the link and it'll automatically discover and add any associated RSS feed. There's a new contribution section below, where you'll find a link to the Bookmarklet, and hopefully other useful utilities in the future.

January 31, 2003 - nntp//rss needs you!
Actually, what we need is to get the message out about nntp//rss. We currently have a small but growing base of users, and we'd certainly like to get more exposure for the project. If you know of any blogs, websites, magazines or other outlet that we should be contacting, please send an email to If you publish your own blog, and enjoy using nntp//rss, then a link or mention about nntp//rss would be most appreciated! I'm just starting to plan some of the functionality for the next release (0.3), and it's looking very interesting. Stay tuned for more details soon...

January 27, 2003 - nntp//rss v0.2 released
nntp//rss v0.2 is now available. For those of you already running v0.1, check out the README for upgrade instructions. This version features a considerably stronger NNTP server implementation, more efficient channel poller thread pool, support for additional RSS properties, admin interface security and switchable content type (great for those non-HTML and command-line news readers). See the CHANGELOG for the full list of modifications. This release took a long time to get out; I will definitely shorten the release schedule from here onwards. Now, on to 0.3 - the main task for the next release is to implement a 'parse-at-all-costs' RSS parser for non well-formed feeds. If you have any particular feeds that constantly have problems being read, please email the link. And, as always, your feedback is appreciated. If you have any specific feature requests or bugs, don't forget to log them using the trackers available at nntp//rss's SourceForge project page

January 16, 2003
Oops. Next release is taking slightly longer than expected. Combination of my day work taking up a lot of time, and me trying to squeeze in some more functionality to nntp//rss. I'm also working on implementing a better thread pool to work around some resources issues that have been reported. Will try and get this release out at the weekend!

January 4, 2003
The next release is getting nearer... I've been working hard on building a fuller NNTP server implementation to support a wider range of clients. As mentioned below, MT-Newsreader on the Mac will now be supported, and I hope that the modifications will make nntp//rss more compatible with other newsreaders. If you have a newsreader and have had problems accessing nntp//rss, please send an email to the project with the name and version of your newsreader.

January 1, 2003
Happy New Year! Thanks to Russell Beattie for the mention in his blog. Russell may be running a publicly accessible test deployment of nntp//rss soon, so keep a watch on his blog for more information. He has also posted a great JavaBlogs channel list that can be imported directly into nntp//rss. I've received some feedback about a few problems with newsreaders accessing articles - specifically MT-Newsreader on the Mac. These will be addressed in the next release of nntp//rss, planned to be released in the next few days. A NNTP listener port configuration option will also be added for those of you who have other services listening on port 119.

December 31, 2002
Thanks to Ben Hammersley for mentioning nntp//rss on his blog, to Daniel Miller for being the initial tester (and motivator!) and the mention on his blog, and thanks to those of you who have already downloaded the application. There have been a few requests for a RSS feed for nntp//rss project status information - this will be available very shortly. An announcement will be made here, and on the mailing list when it has been published.

December 30, 2002
nntp//rss v0.1 is now available! Follow the download link below to retrieve your copy. Please send any feedback, ideas for future releases, RSS feeds that you'd like to see included in the default feed list, or any other comments to the project email

December 21, 2002
Ok, so things never always go to plan. This week has been a busy one, unfortunately mostly with activities aside from nntp//rss. However, that said, work is proceeding, and I have nearly wrapped up the channel list export/import feature. Once that it is place, and after some minor tidying up, we'll be ready for the release. Expect to see the release up on this site in the next couple of days.

December 11, 2002
Project is nearly ready for its first alpha release. More will be available in this first alpha than I had originally planned. A full, albeit basic administrative web interface will be available - this will support adding/removing RSS channels, and status checking on existing channels. The system operates on a polling based model, enabling efficient retrieval of items by NNTP clients without overburdening the source RSS feeds. nntp//rss is feed-friendly, fully supporting the Last-Modified and ETag HTTP headers to ensure that the bandwidth of RSS-producing sites isn't excessively taxed. Anyway, stay tuned, the first release will be coming out sometime in the next week.

November 27, 2002
The project has only just begun - the aim is to get an initial release out in the next two weeks that'll allow simple registration of RSS feeds through an external configuration file, and provide a simple NNTP interface for feed access.