RikReader, now with SQL Server Compact Edition

Doug has just announced that version 1.4 of RikReader is now available for download/update.  Now if you have a previous version installed the process is a little more complex that previous upgrades but apparently this has to do with the fact that the underlying database is now SQL Server Compact Edition.

For those who aren’t familiar with RikReader it is one of the best feed readers that I’ve seen that sits on top of the Feed Store introduced with Vista/IE7.  Written in WPF (as all good apps should be) means that you get that nice newspaper style reading or you can flip to a single article view. 

Warning: At this stage if you have a lot of feeds (say 200+) RikReader might appear to perform really badly.  When you first start up RikReader it goes through a process of syncing the feed store with the additional information it tracks in the SQL Server CE database.  As you can imagine this takes quite a while the very first time you load the application.  I would highly recommend leaving the application until the “pulsing circle” (lower left corner of the app) goes away and then start using the app. 

You would think that doing this type of synchronisation should be done on a background thread, which it is.  However, apparently all calls to the RSS API needs to be done on the UI thread – perhaps the team responsible for this can answer to why this is necessary?

Update: After talking with Doug this appears to be a thread affinity issue based on the nature of the RSS API calls – I’m sure he’ll be updating the reader to tweak this to improve perf and usability.

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