A few weeks ago, some of us were chatting about RSS readers in twitter. I used FeedDemon for a long time before switching to Google Reader. That switch lasted a couple months before the number of feeds made, IMO, Google Reader unusable. Chris Woodruff made the comment that we should write one in Silverlight to which I replied, “I’m in! Let’s do it!” Another tweep jumped in as well, but he’s had to bail due to real life and work getting in the way.
Shortly after that, I created a CodePlex project, added a description and uploaded a placeholder project. Because things have been really slow for me lately, I dove in and started cranking out xaml and getting a very basic application running. I’ve since made the switch back to FeedDemon, but plan on dogfooding LightReader as I get the subscription feature completed (hopefully later today – 4/1/2008).
I’m doing all of my development a virtual machine that has all of the latest beta bits of Silverlight 2 and Expression Blend. I have noticed some small performance issues, but nothing too bad. So far I’m very impressed with Silverlight. I created most of the UI by hand-writing the xaml, but once I got the hang of using Expression Blend, the design work for the app (not really apparent from the screenshot) became much simpler.
As we continue to flesh in the features and functionality, I’ll be blogging about it because there are some gotchas that kept/keep biting me in the ass. I’ve found some great resources out there, mainly ScottGu’s Digg series. Shawn Wildermuth’s blog saved me from a couple issues that were getting on my nerves. BTW, my biggest complaint about using CodePlex is that using the svnbridge app sucks. Of course, it does suck a lot less than the Team Explorer client, so I’ll survive.
I don’t think LightReader will be a FeedDemon or Google Reader killer, but it’s a great way to dive in and learn Silverlight. Check out the code if you get some time. If you have any suggestions or if you have better ways to accomplish things within LightReader, let me know!