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Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Jun 24, 2013

Tickr is an impressive piece of software, but due to unclear labels, a long setup process, and no obvious options panel, it is also very frustrating to use. After the installation process is complete, however, the resulting news ticker is intrinsically cool. Sliding across the top of the screen with headlines from your personally selected RSS feeds, you can keep up with news in your circle without interrupting your work.

The biggest obstacle to using Tickr is installation. It is a long, arduous process. Once the tool is finally installed, you will be asked to input information on no less than eight menus, with things like X and Y positioning. While every option is important, they are labeled in such a way that it is hard to know exactly what you are selecting. At the same time, it is unnecessarily complicated to go in and change those options once they are set. The only thing that is easy is changing your RSS feeds, though you'll need an OPML formatted file to do it, and Tickr doesn't help you create one, nor does it elaborate on what that means.

Tickr is a useful tool that can free you from digging through your favorite blogs and news sites while working, but it is also a needlessly complicated piece of software to set up. With the right GUI and easier options, it would be a great application that many people would enjoy. As is, we feel few will put up with the installation process to get that far.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 0.6.4

Tickr v0.6.4 new features and bug fixes:
  • In pref windows, some setting changes (like 'read n items per feed') need the stream to be reloaded, so now we use:
    current_feed();
    instead of:
    update_pixmap_from_opened_stream();
  • Fix 'quick feed picker (selected feeds) closes when pointer leaves win area' and implement it as a setting.
  • In pref window, disabling screen limits updates win_y and win_w limits on the fly.
  • Max options number now set to 128.
  • Pref win changes:
    - remove 'system' colors buttons
    - increase gtk table row spacings
  • If gradient bg set, compute text shadow color no longer from bg_color but from gradient.
  • Quick feed picker (selected feeds) closes when pointer leaves win area. Plus: quick feed picker opened *also* by Ctrl + mouse right-click.
  • Complete RSS 1.0 support (Closes: #688099) and fix/rewrite a few things in feed parser code.
  • In tickr_feedparser.c: ending '\n' removed when adding string to XML_DUMP (left when adding string to XML_DUMP_EXTRA).
  • Replace update_win_dims() with update_win_dims_and_loc() so that if ticker location happens to be wrong, it's always and quickly reset.
  • Add RSS 1.0 (RDF) support.
  • In tickr_main.c / main(), change:
    gtk_widget_show_all(env->win);
    update_win_dims();
    gtk_main();
    to:
    gtk_widget_show_all(env->win);
    gtk_widget_set_size_request(env->win, 1, 1);
    gtk_window_resize(GTK_WINDOW(env->win), 1, 1);
    gtk_main();
    to try to get rid of "ghost" square window at startup (but is this fully effective ?)
    Also change:
    gtk_widget_set_size_request(env->win, 0, 0)
    to:
    gtk_widget_set_size_request(env->win, 1, 1)
    in update_win_dims().
  • In feed picker - multiple selection mode: start reading selection with highlighted feed - more exactly url in entry (if any) / first one otherwise.
  • Remove (useless ?) app version number from exported OPML feed list title.
  • If win_w = 0, win_w = detected screen width (same as 'full width' but from command line).
  • Fix xml namespaces issue in tickr_feedparser.c, when, for instance, 'media:title' exists along with 'title' and we then get 'title' twice. Now, we make sure no extra namespace is used before comparing strings with 'title', 'description', etc.
  • Fix stupid bug in format_resource() 'translate html entities' when '&' alone is detected (ie without a following ';'). Also fix 'translating' numerical entities with leading '0' in value string.
  • New option 'disablescreenlimits' which allows win_y and win_w to be greater than screen dimensions.
  • A few default settings changed.
  • Gradient bg.

General

Release May 30, 2013
Date Added May 30, 2013
Version 0.6.4

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2003, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows, Windows 7, Windows XP
Additional Requirements None

Popularity

Total Downloads 1,459
Downloads Last Week 0
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Developer's Description

Tickr is a Free Open Source RSS Reader that displays Feeds as a smooth scrolling line on your Desktop, as known from TV stations. What makes Tickr different from other tickers is that graphics are highly customizable and scrolling is fast and smooth. Settings include: Ticker scrolling speed, update delay, fonts, font sizes and colors, dimensions and location of the ticker on the screen, displaying the ticker inside a "draggable" window or without one, displaying or not a clock, and more (just check out the screenshots page.) You can bookmark your favorite RSS Feeds, link Tickr with your favourite browser so that you can open links and watch web pages you're interested in with just one click. You can play, pause, reload the current Feed, and change the scrolling speed on the fly. Tickr is a native Linux application written in C with GTK+2.0 and Libxml2. It has been ported to Windows with MinGW and runs fine on both platforms.