I want a feedreader that is also a mublog client and an activity stream aggregator. That is, like Bloglines+Socialthing+Tweetdeck, as a desktop app.
Content could be categorized (automatically, by source, or by metadata from the source) as “short” (like twitter/del.icio.us/notifications), “medium” (like tumblog-style stuff, or content from backtype), and “long” (blog posts etc), as well as by any actual categories/tags on the content (including hashtags on tweets, etc), and by source.
The left pane could let you filter by only certain categories (select one or more sources/categories/lengths, union each kind and then intersect, ala (source1 union source2) intersect (category1 union category2) intersect (length) ). Each kind of category would be separated by a line or something, with lengths at the top (there’s just three), then sources, then categories. Unread counts next to all of them.
Right pane in river-of-news (or, more like tweetdeck) style. Style should be smartly selected based on item. Tweets/mublog posts should link the username, @replies and #hashtags, etc, and show the avatar. Feeds with mediaRSS show thumbnail lieu of avatar. Feeds with a feed image show that. Otherwise, show favicon. Keep all items the same size, with snippets, etc, and click/otherwise select to expand.
Action links associated with each kind of data. Comment links for feeds with a <comments> tag on items, “show comments” for ones with wfw:commentRSS, long-term it’s be great to post a comment from the feedreader. “favourite”/”reply”, etc for the mublog, “bookmark too” for del.icio.us, etc.
Allow the user to associate multiple authors together (also try to do automatically) and maybe assign an avatar if there isn’t one: so that all of one person’s content displays and archives in a consistent fashion.
*Keep archives*! Make it easy to search through, or browse through, read content by category/author/source. Allow the user to file content under custom categories.
Have awesome keyboard shortcuts. j/k/space/enter/n/d… check out gmail/greader/mutt/trn for inspiration.
Be modular. Don’t just hardcode all the services/formats you want to support: take a hint from libpurple and others and just make *everything a plugin*. That way I can have NNTP support and you don’t have to care.
Support feed:// … I know it never took off, but supporting it isn’t hard and may yet prove useful.
Provide sane import/export of all data.
Provide posting support. In the plugins that implement it, of course. This means being able to update my mublog, bookmark to del.icio.us, etc 🙂
*Be portable*! It’s really not that hard to do 80% of your work in a cross-platform manner, so just do it already! Use a cross-platform GUI framework for your initial GUI and add native UI plugins for some platforms (looking at you, Apple fanboi’s) later.
Would I pay for this? Yes. I mean, it would have to be libre software (I’m not going to pay you to restrict my freedom!), but I would pay quite a bit for something like this. I dunno, if I were to pick a number, $40? Something like that. If I don’t figure it out and write it myself. GUI programming is not exactly my strong suit, but I’m playing around with it.