Changing the small things in software

Influence can be such a subjective thing, but just recently I've been able to shape or even influence the things around me so much more. Maybe that influence has always been there, in each and everyone of us?

So talking about influence and shaping, here's some things which I would like to shape.

I've been looking for something to replace Blogmatrix Jaeger for downloading rich media via RSS for quite some time and Fireant seemed to be it. However there are a range of things which I think Fireant should take from Jaeger.

When Jaeger downloads a piece of media it names the file the same as the enclosure. However when Fireant downloads a media file it makes up a random filename like 9CBF0ACB9207FD9079A0342FA98EC69764756802.mp3 which is no good if you want to transfer stuff to your mobile phone via traditional routes (copying a file). Jaeger actually allows you to choose what type of filename you want, say a sequence of numbers, a date and time or just a filename.

Also, Fireant has support for copying files to ipods and psp's but what about removable storage cards, pocketpc, smartphones, etc?

I can understand why Fireant supports Torrents directly, but how about a option to use an external torrent application? I mean how bad is it when you got two torrent applications running at the same time unaware of each other? Yeah a recipe for a lot of trouble. I suggest a simple option which sends the torrent url or file to the other specified torrent application.

OPML import needs work, PocketRSS has a really nice feature which I actually suggest a while ago. It will go and grab a OPML file from a preset URL every week, month or whatever. So this means you dont need to manage two or more subscription lists. See the problem which you realise after a while, is that any blogger can add enclosures to there RSS. This means unless you provide the same list to Fireant, you may miss out on something interesting. Jaeger would actually automaticly download any enclosures from any subscription, there was no distiction between podcasters and bloggers (which I think is the correct way to go about this).
Somewhat related, is the fact that Fireant can be used as a normal RSS reader. This is once again good in theory but its really terriable in practice. It would be great to turn off all subscriptions which dont have enclosures, you know just let Fireant monitor all the feeds but only shows media items.

Blogging applications
I dont know what happened to Flock, but I'm still using a combination of Blojsom's Bookmarklet and Wbloggar. I thought about buying Ecto but I'm wondering why none of the blogging applications support the range of Microformats? And futher to that, if I drag a calendar entry from outlook or sunbird into my blog application wouldnt it make it make logical sense to automaticly create a Hclaendar link? The same should be true of contacts?
Wouldnt it also be great to be able to define some of those meta elements for entries in the blogging application? Say this entry is a certain creative commons licence and uses these tags. This should be common like how you can set the category and define trackbacks in most modern blogging applications.

Social software
I've outlined all my ideas for change in the bank of ideas. Feel free to vote on my thoughts and others.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.