Grazr 1.0 release

Well I’m excited to announce our 1.0 release! We’ve got new code and a whole new look to the website, check it out! The site design was created by Josh Porter and I think he did a really great job (thanks Josh!).

The preview code has been moved to our live servers as our 1.0 grazr widget. All grazrs ‘in the wild’ should now be seeing the new version. This version includes a lot of polishing, performance improvements and new features including:

  • Three-Pane View – Looking like the standard ‘aggregator’ view, this new view is really good for skimming lots of feeds.
  • Toolbar with address field – there’s a new (optional, but on by default) toolbar that displays additional controls and a url entry field. The url field allows you to browse other feed sources, much like switching web pages.
  • Feed auto-discovery – putting in the url for a an HTML web page will cause Grazr to search the page for any relevant feeds that are present and return them as a list.
  • Keyboard Controls – navigating in all the views can be done with arrow keys, +/-, and the enter key. Holding “alt” when clicking post titles (the little newspapers) will also automatically launch the permalink to the story (normally accesed with the ‘#’ link). Keyboard controls really change the experience of grazing. I was particularly surprised with how different the “slider” view feels with keyboard control.
  • Security Enhancements – We’ve put a lot of effort into making grazr more secure. Grazr now blocks and/or disables all of the published feed exploits that we could find. We plan to stay engaged with the feed community and keep improving our security model as new exploits are found.
  • YouTube video changes – Grazr now resizes embedded flash video players (like youtube and google video).
  • Help / user manual – There is now a help icon on the titlebar that launches a user manual in a grazr.
  • “Viral” get a grazr – One of the features that required the new site is the more viral “get this grazr” function. Now, when you click on the footer of any grazr in the wild, you will be directed to our config page with the URL for that grazr! Passing the url makes finding new sources a lot easier. Eventually the config page will take all of the options from the grazr and reproduce them on the config page so you can clone an exact copy for your own site or start with someone else’s grazr as a baseline to customize.

TechCrunch has also marked our release with a really great review! Marshall Kirkpatrick was a very early “alpha” user and he really sees our vision for where Grazr is going. Thanks for the review Marshall!

There are lots of things we’re still working on that didn’t quite make it into this release. Although we’re building web applications, we felt it was important to set a baseline. As we move forward you should start to see features ‘dropping in’ more regularly.

This is a significant milestone for us and has taken a lot of work from the team. While we’re excited about this release we’re also excited about the future of Grazr. We’ve got lots of big plans!

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