Monday, April 12, 2010

Tech Support is Clean!

If you're out there and you're having trouble getting a response from
tech support please try again. I am now actively monitoring every
message we get and we will do our best to help you.

We have had two major spam problems with the current tech support
configuration. Spam had been an annoyance late last year so I turned
up the filter, but then too many real support requests were getting
flagged as spam and dropped in the "ignoreme" folder. So I turned back
the filter. And then it was like a flood of spam. The support email
address (support at this domain) got hammered. I mean mercilessly. I
was trying to clean them up along the way (I had to manually delete
them one at a time) and stay on top of support request but some were
falling through the cracks. I didn't know and I'm sorry.

I finally got an email from a friend and long time customer who told
me that he had emailed for support 5 times in the last month and got
nothing. So this weekend I have gone back over everything that came
through the support inbox in the last few months. I tried to respond
to everyone that got missed.

I just finished and I want to shout to the world - "this support inbox
is clean!"

CS5 is Coming

If you didn't already know, Adobe is set to announce the new version of Dreamweaver. If you've been wondering why we have been so quiet, now you know. Assuming that a preview of the software is made available to developers today we've go updates in the works for you and we hope to have them ready very soon. You can check out all the activity over at Adobe's website. They start the show at 11am.

Monday, October 5, 2009

RSS Replay v 1.6.3 Now Available

I just posted a new update to RSS Replay that improves editing for all Macintosh versions and for non-standard template-based pages, as well as several other bug fixes and improvements. You can download it at

Many thanks to Joshua Orzech, the Art/Creative Director for the Disc Golf Association for reporting the bug, testing it with me, and helping make things better.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tutorials Make You Think

OK, so I spent a lot of time getting the new Tutorial for RSS DreamFeeder ready. I wrote for many days and I tried to include much of my thinking about how I wanted RSS DreamFeeder to work. It is my hope that sharing these ideas will help you in your thinking about how to maintain your websites. I'm going to include a few key passages here in my blog so other folks might find it and read it and use it.

First, a bit about maintenance from the introduction:

An RSS feed is all about "what's new" -- the ongoing evolution of content on your website. As you grow your website, adding new content to a page, new pages to content sections or even adding new sections to your site, it is important that you plan for that growth. This is what we call the Maintenance Challenge.

To tackle this challenge you must address who is responsible for new content (you, your staff, departmental staff -- be very specific), what tools will they use to create that new content (Dreamweaver, Contribute, InContext, a database web interface), how will that new content integrate into the site, and especially what elements of that new content need to be repeated in other places (excerpts for the home page, title and blurb in a listing page, etc.). Its this last piece that can be the real killer in any maintenance plan. You have to repeat content to entice people to see that content (and someone will forget to do it at some point) but maintenance is easiest when the content stays in one place.

It is this inherent conflict that makes maintenance very challenging. The more you can automate content repetition the less difficult your maintenance task will be. RSS DreamFeeder has automation built into its core. Once a feed has been configured it can extract new content from your website with the click of a single button. One click and your feed will find the new pages, extract just the content you specify, build the links and reconstruct any underlying content linking so that they are absolute URLs and can be repeated on any website, assemble the new content with XML and store that content within your RSS feed.

This passage helps explain how we can get the job done with styles and templates:

In presenting an effective website consistency in design is a key element of conveying information. To do that task Dreamweaver provides both templates and style sheets. Templates control page structure and style sheets control the graphical presentation of content. These two tools allow content to be restricted in placement within the document (template regions) and adherent to a predefined visual order (style selection - also called classing). By making those associations between content and presentation we convey the relationships of content - because what something looks like is what something is (especially in an environment like a website, where there is little additional context beyond the page).

Most importantly, we can then use this relationship in reverse to identify content and its value. In other words, if we make a template with a box on it for a headline, on any page using that template when we look in that box we can expect to find text that is the headline for the page. Now here's the kicker, templates and styles leave an imprint on the code for the page, so if we're really clever we can programmatically collect content for our RSS feed by looking for that code.

RSS DreamFeeder v 2.5.2 Posted

I quietly posted version 2.5.2 yesterday. It solves an interesting issue with duplicated cotnent in automated feeds when there isn't both a link and headline to compare to. I hope it works better for you. As always please send any support questions you may have to support at

New Tutorial for Creating RSS Feeds with Dreamweaver and RSS DreamFeeder

I just posted the new tutorial on how to create RSS feeds with Dreamweaver and RSS DreamFeeder. Actually its a set of related long tutorials covering how to create manually edited text feeds, podcasts, and photocasts as well as automated text feeds that extract content from web pages with a single click of a button. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

RSS DreamFeeder v 2.5.1 Posted

I quietly posted version 2.5.1 this weekend. It solves an interesting issue with capture on modification if the link and the headline are not modified. It honestly was something I didn't think about when I built the extension but I'm happy to support this angle on using RSS DreamFeeder. I hope it works better for you. As always please send any support questions you may have to support at