Over the weekend, I wrote a C# class that generates
custom tabs for the Online Resources portion of the Start Page based on a
whitepaper by Eli Murray and Jonathan Gordon, href="http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dv_vstechart/html/vstchCustomizingVisualStudioStartPageEverett.asp">Customizing
the VS.NET 2003 Start Page. I call the tab “My Blogs” or simply,
The Bloggregator. When you open the tab, the underlying xml ‘tab
definition file’ is transformed on the Start Page according to a
server-based xsl spreadsheet and validated per a VS.NET
provided xdr. If well-formed (and only if), the content of the
specified RSS feed (ie, href="http://blogs.gotdotnet.com/korbyp/blogxbrowsing.asmx/GetRss">http://blogs.gotdotnet.com/korbyp/blogxbrowsing.asmx/GetRss?)
is dynamically rendered.
The Finished Product is a nicely formatted, condensed, and easily
readable view of an RSS feed. This includes the Blog Title followed
by the item/title, item/pubdate, and an abbreviated item/description for each
item node in the specified feed.
- Creates a
new XmlTextWriter and initializes it with the standard custom tab file
RSS feed and saves it as an XmlDocument in memory.
through the XmlDocument using an XPathNodeIterator.
class=787571020-14042003>Writes the text values for the elements of
interest (title, pubdate, description) from the RSS feed(s) to the
- Saves the
writer as MyBlogs.xml in VS.NET’s custom tab directory, overwriting the
existing file if one already exists.
Currently, my blog feed is hard coded. I plan to
extend the functionality of the bloggregator tab (using the prescribed
add-in worker element) such that users can type in a blog feed on the
fly or select one they’ve previously provided from a drop down list and
display the contents of the feed with the click of a
Thereafter, I plan to enable sorting and filtering
by category so that a user can select a feed from one dropdown control and
then select one or more of that feed’s categories from another control
before displaying the feed on their start