Here’s what coming down the pipe for Feedwhip in the next few weeks:

  • I’ve noticed a significant number of people registering with phone-based email accounts. Unfortunately, these don’t work very well with the complicated style sheets and verbose descriptions that are currently used. So, I’m going to add a new setting that lets people specify whether they want their notifications to be fancy (fully formatted html), simple (plain text), or terse (as few words as possible).
  • I want to make it even easier for website designers to use feedwhip. Right now, the “share” page isn’t getting much traction. So, I want users to be able to create new feeds just by hitting a single URL. Something like That’s all you would need to do, and if the feed doesn’t exist then feedwhip would instantly create it and take you to the feed detail page.
  • As part of the above change, I want to make it easier to export your filter settings (This will be even more important in the context of the next feature I describe). If you create the perfect bunch of settings to extract data from a feed, you should be able to easily share those settings with anyone. There are some privacy issues, where people shouldn’t be able to just plop onto a random page and see what keywords you’re searching for. And there are issues where sometimes people want to subscribe to a bunch of settings and have those settings be changed whenever the original owner changes them, and sometimes they want to subscribe and not have them change ever. I’m not sure which should be the default, or how to easily explain the difference to end users.
  • I had a request from a user to be able to track when one specific number on a webpage changes. Right now, we can’t support that, but it’s something I’d love to add. The way it would work is users could create sub-feeds. They’d take the original data from a webpage and run it through some kind of a filter, creating a whole new feed. They could then ask for notifications when the new feed changes. Some example of filters:
    • a “chop” filter which looks for two phrases and cuts out everything before, after, or in between them.
    • a general regex (regular expression — basically a fancy text searching notation) filter that lets you look for patterns and extract any content you want
    • a general javascript filter — this one is more of a version 2 feature, but the idea is that you could write some arbitrary piece of javascript code that would process the html and then generate whatever you want based on it. Kind of like what GreaseMonkey does for firefox.
  • A few places in the UI could use some clean up. The detail page for a feed group, for example, is pretty ugly.
  • I think there’s still a bug or two lurking in the notification engine — particularly a race condition that leads to double notifications.

Okay, so I think that’s more like a few months as opposed to a few weeks, but that’s what I’ll be working on for the time being. Visit the Feedwhip contact page if you want to throw in your two cents.