When I first ventured into the NewsHeap project, I had several goals
Converge on a compelling Win32 desktop aggregator
Advance the state of the art in the Ruby space
Provide a platform for building the features I want in a feedreader
The scorecard to date is:
Ruby The introduction of the Ruby RSS parser advances the state of Ruby by providing a flexible, real-world capable RSS capability. The OPML parser is in the same camp.
The rub with Ruby is the extant challenge with providing a compelling Win32 GUI. My foray into Qt remains blocked by the functionality of the QTextBrowser. It's display of HTML is acceptable, but the intersection between Qt2/Ruby and the underlying library prevents method overloading. You're left with the default behavior of the Qt library and no facility to alter it. The challenge of creating a display widget that allows programmatic handling of links remains orthogonal to the goal of creating a compelling Win32 app.
In all other respects, Ruby remains a fun, powerful and expressive vehicle for development.
Win32 Reader given the unfufilled promises on the GUI front, NewsHeap is lying on the floor. Not exactly where I wanted to be. The arrival of NewsGator and RSSBandit raises the ante on getting to job done.
Mitigation Strategy Over a four hour period, I coded up a Python version of NewsHeap and rapidly converging on a base set of functionality. Although my colon hurts and I've been bitten by tabs vs spaces several times, I'm much further along.
I won't ascribe this to the strength of Python the language, but rather the completeness of the environment surrounding it. wxPython is rich, the demos easily extractable and seems very capable.
I'm going to continue drilling down into the Python version and see where it goes. More on which later.