The FeedDigest site, and interface, are in English, and will be in English only for at least a couple of months. This hasn't stopped the backend being prepared for users who have different languages as their mother tongue though. Our %DAYLONG%, %DAYSHORT%, %MONTHLONG%, and %MONTHSHORT% tags which return the month and day names of the date of the current feed item (e.g.: Monday, Mon, January, Jan) are set up for ten different languages out of the box!
Want your digest's dates to appear in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Japanese, Arabic, or Russian? You got it!
Let's quickly look at two concepts new to Feed Digest that RSS Digest doesn't have.
Searches. You can now specify a "search" on a digest. The search works somewhat like Google and means your digest will only contain articles from your specified feed(s) which match your search string. So if your digest reads from 50 different feeds, and you only want to show articles containing the word "google" but NOT the word "microsoft", then you'd specify a search query of "google -microsoft", and bam.. your digest only shows those items!
Global digests. Generally you'll specify a feed, or a number of feeds, that you want your digest to be based on. But what if you want a Technorati/Feedster-ish view of every feed in the Feed Digest system? With a global digest you can run a search over all new posts from the last 6 hours and use that as a digest! In my current testing I have a global digest set up with a search string of "london bombing", and it shows me every item from all of the current feeds which are about that topic. Check out a screenshot of the digest. Remember that that's entirely templatable.. you can make all that info appear in whatever order and using whatever HTML or CSS you like!
Ruby on Rails is the application framework that's used for Feed Digest's control panel and user interface. I've used it in many other projects, and it's the best solution for developing Web applications these days. Sadly, however, "Digest" is a reserved word in Ruby, so I've had to work around it. Therefore, in the code, a digest is called a digestum, and the plural is digesta. Some suggestions were made as to how I could work around this, but I either didn't understand them or find them palatable. I guess these faux Latin names give the code a bit of flavor!
The first post in a new blog always feels weird to me. You know that lots of people will end up scrolling back to it and read it for years to come, yet you don't have a significant amount to say. So here it is, the first post on this blog. RSS Digest has become Feed Digest, and I plan on using this block to communicate more directly with everyone who's interested. More to come shortly..