Product Reviews

Headlines on Your Desktop

Headline Viewer rethinks the news browser.

There’s more news on the Internet than there is in your morning paper, even if you live in a major world capital city. But it’s generally harder to process the news on the Internet. Imagine how hard it would be to get the news out of your morning paper if you first had to walk all over the city collecting pages, and then had to read every word. If you’re like me, you scan the headlines over breakfast and then only read the articles you care about.

Using a browser to read the news on the Internet is a similarly inefficient use of your time. That’s where Headline Viewer (HV for short) comes in. More and more news sites are making their headlines available in RSS or another XML-based syndication format. HV collects these headlines and displays them in a separate window, flipping from one provider to the next at a user-defined interval. When a headline catches your eye, double-click on it and HV will load the whole thing into your regular browser. HV is multithreaded and will collect headlines in the background, making efficient use of your Internet connection.

Headline Viewer helps you organize the news in your life.

I’ve been working with a beta copy of HV for several months now (the current version is 0.9.1, and it’s very stable), and it’s become an indispensable part of my Windows desktop, tracking everything from national political news to the latest SQL Server press preleases. By including links to sites that track syndicated content, HV already has access to over 800 different headline providers (of course, you can choose the ones you want to see). Besides being useful, HV is also pretty, with the ability to use “skins” to quickly change the graphical appearance of its window.

If you find yourself reading the news on the Internet on a regular basis, take a few minutes to download this tool and see if it will ease your life as much as it did mine.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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