Collaborative RSS Newsreader for Notes and Domino

by Volker Weber


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Manfred Dillmann has written a really nice RSS reader for Notes and Domino. I had some difficulties yesterday getting it to run Java agents, but that was all Lotus' fault. Once you move the application to a Domino server or a Notes client on Windows, it runs as advertized. What you see above is the application inside a Notes client, where all the news items have been pulled by a different Notes client and replicated through the server. I could also have the server read the newsfeeds and then make the application remotely available on the clients. Whatever suits your needs.

You can download madicon* RSS reader from his site in both English and German. The product is not freeware (it starts at 25 Euro per user) but you get a fully functional free trial for 30 days.

Update: New version 1.01 fixes an issue with ProjectDX feeds.

*) madicon is not "mad icon" but "ma di con" from Manfred Dillmann Consulting. But I am pretty sure, everybody will call it the Mad Icon. :-)


That’s a good looking Notes app... especially in the Mac client ;-)

Ben Poole, 2004-02-10

Looks pretty neat. I'm almost sorry that I don't run a Domino Server anymore.

Stefan Rubner, 2004-02-10

Very good looking. Have to chuckle at this typo on the English page though:

"Although my whole website is currently in german language, my program madicon RSS Reader ist completely in english."


Colin Pretorius, 2004-02-10

Colin, Manfred can use some help from a native speaker. Any takers?

Volker Weber, 2004-02-10

Oooh! Crisp design! I like the Classic iMac-like design, but ... can we get a polished metal look for this app? ;-)

No serious, I've been waiting for a Notes RSS feed reader for a while. I was kind of guessing it would come out of the oven at OpenNTF, but this one looks extremely good, too. Too bad it won't update the feeds on the Mac, though.

Pascal Frencken, 2004-02-10

True, but you can let the server do that.

Volker Weber, 2004-02-10

Checking it out....

Ed Brill, 2004-02-10

Why do Notes/Domino developers always first comment on the UI design? Is it that hard to create good looking Notes/Domino apps? Are Notes/Domino programmers not in touch with good UI design?

Bruce Elgort, 2004-02-10

Why does Bruce always comment on a woman's look first? :-)

Volker Weber, 2004-02-10

Well, I’ve seen some shocking Notes UIs over the years, some of them perpetrated by my own fair hand :-)

Ben Poole, 2004-02-10


You know that my first sense is not sight but smell. I won't take this one any further. Then again the lack of sight always works to my advantage :-)

Bruce Elgort, 2004-02-10


As a Notes/Domino developer, I always think about the UI design first, because it is the first thing people see when they start using an application. I have found that if the UI looks good, but the back-end code sucks, people will say the application sucks. But if the UI sucks, people will say the application sucks no matter how good the back-end code is.

Now EJB coders have the luxury of never having to worry about UI.

Ken Porter, 2004-02-10

Volker, pass my email address onto Manfred if he wants some help with the documentation from a native english speaker. Happy to assist if required.

Danny Jamieson, 2004-02-10


I guess my point was that we rarely see a good Notes UI. Most Notes and Domino applications have pathetic UI's. I am still suprised at how many people still use the out-of-the-box Domino web views on the web for presentation of data.

I know that OpenNTF UI is far from perfect but, we are working on that.

Bruce Elgort, 2004-02-10

Bruce, do you know what the status is of Studio Blog Reader from Workflow Studios?

Scott Kingery, 2004-02-11

It should be released tomorrow from what Lance Spellman tells me.

Bruce Elgort, 2004-02-11

I took a look a few days ago, and I agree. It looks great. Far better than the bloggregator I put together, at least in the UI. Mine won't work on the Mac either, by the way, because it depends on the WinHTTP COM object. I should also say, by the way, that doing raw HTTP requests in Notes client apps is a difficult task. You can do it in LotusScript with the WinHTTP object the way I did, and you lose the Mac. Or you can do it in Java and you lose the Mac anyhow! Plus, you are likely to have JVM version problems, especially if you need to deal with SSL. Of course, SSL isn't an issue with any RSS feed that I've ever seen, but really, there ought to be a better way! Maybe when they get around to doing web service consumer code in ND7+, we'll get a cross-platform tool for raw HTTP.


Richard Schwartz, 2004-02-11

Good points Richard. Mind you, by ND7 I don’t think we’ll have the Mac client at all, so the platform could still be out in the cold :-(

Ben Poole, 2004-02-11

sad to say it, but if there isn't a Mac client, I'll have a hard time keeping a much larger than 5% of my clients on Notes if there isn't a Mac client in ND7.

Jon Johnston, 2004-02-11

I'm sure the English in the RSS reader is far better than what I'd come up with if I had to present an app in German :) Volker, if Manfred still needs it, I'd be glad to help: feel free to pass on my email address.

Colin Pretorius, 2004-02-11

Thank you all for your comments on my program. And special thanks to Danny (he had already checked the content of my website - but I have had no time to merge the corrections) and Colin (I will contact you via email) for there offered help. I surely know that my english is poor, but I am working on this this topic every day... :-)

There was a problem with Ed Brill´s feed (no content in the description field), but I have fixed this and now there is the 1.0.1. available.

Is there anybody out there, who had *not only* looked on the Mac-like UI design - somebody who was able to fetch some news as well? ;-)

Thank you!


Manfred Dillmann, 2004-02-11


I will be downloading and reading news with your application later today. I am very excited to give it a test drive.


Bruce Elgort, 2004-02-11

Read Bruce's remark about replicating unread marks if you want to use the reader in a replicated fashion. This makes this reader actually better than all of the others. You can switch computers and still have the same items marked as read on all of them. Nice.

Bruce just told me he licensed it. May be customer #1 then. :-)

Volker Weber, 2004-02-12


you were right: Bruce is my first *international* customer.

Thanks a lot, Bruce. It´s a great pleasure! :-)

Manfred Dillmann, 2004-02-12

I have a problem with my rss reader agent when I run it locally it runs properly but as soon as i run it from a server i get an error saying that the jvm failed to initialize, how can i fix this problem?

lucky modiba, 2007-05-23


it seems that you are using an real old version of madicon RSS Reader. Starting with version 1.2 no more java code is used - fetching of news is done via Windows api calls.

You will find the current version 2.0.3 on my website.

Manfred Dillmann, 2007-05-23

Old archive pages

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