JNN: the Juicy News Network

It's been a log time since I last wrote a blog entry: I'll try to pick up the pace and be more regular. I did a little "weekend hack" and did an RSS feed reader that goes by the rather goofy name of JNN, the "Juicy News Network". If you'd like to try it out, it's available via JNLP here. It's an open source project on java.net, it's home is http://jnn.dev.java.net. All the sources are there, as well as a JAR file that works on any platform, and a Mac OS X installation. I comes with a preset list of subscriptions. You can unsubscribe to news feeds by using the "unsubscribe" menu entry. You can subscribe to feeds by using drag-and-drop of RSS URLs or HTML pages with rss+xml links. There's a "Help" page that explains it all. The application itself is pretty straightforward. The most interesting thing is what it does to be fast at startup: all news feed reading is done by a swarm of low priority threads, one for each feed. So all feeds get fetched in parallel. This is very easy to do in Java: the threading API and networking support made it all straightforward.
March 16, 2004