We’ve Released the News Reader SDK!

Many of you have seen the New York Times reader application – it was featured as part of the portfolio I’ve been building up of Great WPF Applications. As I mentioned at the time, the New York Times reader is based on an SDK that we built to allow newspapers and content publishers to create rich, "occasionally-connected" experiences based on the flow layout capabilities in WPF. We’ve had a private beta program running for a while now, and over the intervening months there have been a number of other newspapers that have gone live with applications using this toolkit.

image Now we’re delighted to announce the public release of the reader toolkit on windowsclient.net. We’ve made a number of improvements to the kit to broaden its usage; the reader toolkit is now known by the rather more accurate but slightly less memorable name: the Syndicated Client Experiences Starter Kit. This reflects its potential to go beyond a news reading scenario and handle other kinds of data synchronization and display needs. For example, you could use this as the basis of a client for financial data analysis, where the application downloaded stock prices and other financial information and presented it in a rich client experience (Lab49, are you listening?!)

The great thing about the starter kit is that the source code is available, so you can customize it to your heart’s content: changing templates and styles, modifying the way it handles data, adding new features, and so on. We’ve also created a sample MSDN Magazine reader application built with the starter kit, which is of course also provided with full source code. Even if you’re not interested in the reader toolkit itself, you’ll find this a really useful application in its own right.

Have fun with this – I’m looking forward to seeing the applications people build with this toolkit…

Comments (36)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Si vous suivez l’actualité liée à WPF, vous avez sans doute déjà entendu parlé du fameux Times Reader

  2. ccatto says:

    Hey Now Tim,

    This is good to know. Everyone could create one for there own newspaper now.

    Thx 4 the info,


  3. Anonymous says:

    Ever wanted to build a rich client application with syndicated multimedia content? The SCE Starter Kit

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much!! I have been waiting for this forever

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath has the good news – We’ve Released the News Reader SDK! The Newsreader SDK , or as it is officially

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath reported this, and I think it is very cool. Way back when – when the New York Times reader

  7. Anonymous says:

    A few months ago I wrote about the Architecture Journal Reader, a great demonstration app for a "occasionally-connected" Windows Presentation Foundation, WPF, application. I asked for source code and …

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why does some of the articles show up blank with a Page 0/0 at the bottom right… specifically the Silverlight article?

    Or am I missing the point, and this is just a mock-up?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Very cool.  However, in the sample MSDN Magazine reader application, I only get the section ‘pages’ (Web, Client, Office, etc.).  When I click on an article, I typically get a blank page where the article should be.  I’ve sync-ed multiple times, no luck.  Am I missing something?  Suggestions?  Thanks.

  10. hzha034@hotmail.com says:

    If there is a way the config the proxy server setting?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Tims : 用于 New York Times 等报刊的WPF新闻阅读器客户端SDK已经发布,你可从 windowsclient.net 下载: Syndicated Client Experiences

  12. Anonymous says:


    Are you having problems with proxy server settings? Could you post more info on the feedback forum so that we can investigate?


  13. Mehfuz Hossain says:

    Thanks , it wll be nice to play around.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Awesome concept!

    I Love it..

    Text to speech functionality to listen to the articles using already installed package (i have AT&T natural speech installed which is awesome package) will be a good feature request!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    where’s the MIX08 Reader 😉

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hello Tim,

    When you say "with full source code" do you mean for the MSDN reader?  I could only see a Contoso not the MSDN reader.  Am I looking in the wrong place?



  17. Anonymous says:

    Is this MSDN Reader just a sample with just a few of the articles published? Seems that just a few of the articles are available for reading, most just show a blank page.


  18. Anonymous says:

    The Subscription Center crashed while MSDN Reader was downloading articles. I think I now have a full listing of article titles in MSDN Reader, but most of the articles’ contents are blank, with the exception of a few.

    Is there a way to clean MSDN Reader’s cache, so I can download the articles again? Thanks!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Tillbaka på kontoret efter en veckas helskön solsemester där jag varit totalt frånkopplad ser jag att

  20. Anonymous says:

    Tillbaka på kontoret efter en veckas helskön solsemester där jag varit totalt frånkopplad ser jag att

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ever wonder how the New York Times Reader , MSDN Reader or the Architect Journal Reader deliver a great

  22. Anonymous says:

    Jason, Malcom, Per the blank pages are due to a bug where the sample reader was handling compressed streams from the web server incorrectly.

    You should soon pick up an application update with fixes thanks to the magic of Clickonce deployment.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath发表文章说 We’ve Released the News Reader SDK! 提到微软发布了一个基于WPF的聚合新闻阅读器示例

  24. Anonymous says:

    Still have the same issues with blank content.

    "Extreme ASP.NET: Encapsulate Silverlight with ASP.NET Controls" is blank, as are the majority of the others.

    It might help sliding in a version number somewhere so that we can be sure we have the latest version.

    In the mean time, I’m going to remove the app and re-install.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Another idea occured to me as far as usability goes: Shouldn’t the mouse’s back button take you back through the history instead of to the previous article in the list?

    It’s kinda wierd to click on an article on the main page, only to find it blank, and then hit the back button and get another blank document!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I am trying to use MSDN Reader behind an ISA Server.  We have an autoconfiguration script for IE, however MSDN Reader doesn’t appear to use IE as a browser control.  How do I configure MSDN Reader to use our proxy server?  Thanks.

  27. Anonymous says:

    This post is in response to those who are seeing blank pages.  I also believe that those of you that believe you are having problems related to proxy settings are seeing the same bug.  As indicated in a previous post (Ifeanyi on 1/21) there was a bug in the initial release version that prevented feeds that applied certain compression technologies from being downloaded properly in some network environments.  We have fixed this problem in the latest release, but the solution is not as simple as indicated in Ifeanyi’s post.

    To completely rectify the problem you need to do the following:

    1.  Install the latest versions of the MSDN Reader  AND Subscription Center.  I strongly suggest you fully shut down both the MSDN Reader and Subscription Center (check the task bar!) before you install the update.  Uninstalls should not be neccessary. The latest version can be downloaded at the original installation point on windowsclient.net.  You can check to see if you have the latest version by checking the version # in Add/Remove Programs.  The "Msdn Desktop Add-ons" should be version, "Msdn Reader" should be version,  and Subscription Center should be version

    2. Clean the feed cache.  Delete "feeds.sdf" from the following location (dependent on OS):


    [OS Drive]:Users[user name]AppDataLocalMSDN ReaderMsdnReaderCache


    [OS Drive]:Documents and Settings[user name]Local SettingsApplication DataMSDN ReaderMsdnReaderCache

    In many cases it is neccessary to do both of these steps b/c this will make certain that you are able to download the feed properly.  Just installing the latest version of the app will not work for you instantly because you may have already have downloaded the current feed with a MSDN Reader or SubscriptionCenter version that contains the compression bug.  Since the MSDN feed contains fairly static data, the feed only updates occasionally.  Thus if you already have downloaded the feed with a bad app, you are stuck with the bad feed until you delete it (step #2) or the feed is updated.

    3. Re-sync

    Hope this helps!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ben & Tim,

    Installed the latest version (as described above) today. I have not installed any older versions and can’t get it to sync at all – synchronisation failed message when I hover the mouse over the icon in the MSDN reader.

    We are running a proxy server and ISA 2000.  I haven’t been able to find a way to enter proxy details anywhere. Can this be done?

  29. Anonymous says:


    Did this happen on initial install by any chance?  Were you able to sync successfully after restarting the application?  You may be experiencing another known issue.  See issue #2 at our "known issues" page located at  http://windowsclient.net/wpf/starter-kits/sce-known-issues.aspx

    There is no mechanism to enter proxy details, but I don’t believe you should have to.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I am having issues behind a proxy server on our office network…

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ben, this only happened on the initial install. All seems to be fine now. Thanks for your reply.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hello… is it possible to get "Microsoft .NET 3.0 Application Installer" (dotnetinstaller.exe in the bootstrapper package) source code? We want to modify it to support .NET Framework 3.5 and launch a ClickOnce application on the end of the installation.

    Thank you

  33. Anonymous says:

    I have only installed the latest versions, but I still get this error in the log.txt file in the MSDNReader directory:

    2008-02-12T14:07:56-05:00,Error,WebRequest: Get response failed. URI ‘http://windowsclient.net/appfeeds/masterfeed.xml‘. Error: ‘The remote server returned an error: (407) Proxy Authentication Required.’

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’m still stuck with old content (versions up to date and cache deleted), and the log contains N+1 lines of the following kind:

    2008-03-06T09:53:05+02:00,Warning,SceReaderRssToDataFeedConverter: Invalid element value. Element: ‘[cat.xml;LINE:13180;POS:8]/rss/channel/item/csx:lastBuildDate’. Value: ‘1/25/2008 10:41:09 AM’

  35. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I know I’m about 3 months late with this, but I’m coming out of the tunnel (between here and here