Realtime Features of feedhaus

For those of you taking part in the private alpha, did anyone notice any of Feedhaus‘s realtime features?

Well, here are some hints as to where to look:

1) The main tag cloud — if a new story comes in that’s associated with one (or more) of the tags, the tags will blink and then grow. And, if a feed hasn’t been updated in a while, the tag will shrink.

2) The “detail” page — when you click on a tag, you get stories, flickr photos and YouTube videos. If a new story comes in while you’re on a detail page, it will magically appear at the top of the story list! Plus, the photo badge from flickr is constantly updating too.

3) The top stories — I’m sure you noticed the top five stories that appear and then “drop out” of site. But did you notice that they’re constantly changing? Those represent the five most recently added stories across all feeds in Feedhaus!

Now, are these features really realtime? Well, not really. But they’re pretty close. We built a multithreaded agent, the Feed Update Daemon (or FUD), which runs every 30 seconds to check every feed in the system for updates. FUD’s threads push updates to a Cometd-powered web service which pushes them to a browser near you using a revolutionary feature called continuations (a.k.a. long polling).

If nothing in the last paragraph made any sense to you, that’s okay — you can still enjoy using the realtime features in Feedhaus!

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