The Movable Type developer (plugin) community is an interesting phenomenon in and of itself, and quite likely the envy of many a software vendor. We are now seeing the next evolution of this community -- commercial MT plugin applications.
Tim Appnel's Feeds.App is an early arrival.Feeds.App empowers non-technical bloggers to pull, aggregate, and organize various types of XML syndicated content. Off the shelf the plugin will handle Atom 0.3 and various flavors of RSS.
Like many Perl based software modules, the installation can hold a few preciously frustrating moments as one fiddles with the wonders of the CPAN archives and various versions of the Perl module dependencies, but other than that, this is a typical MT plugin install with a few geeky steps for the UNIX literate.
Once up and running the plugin is configurable via the MT 3.x GUI and utilized via some clearly documented MT template tags and tag attributes.
For the more advanced users Tim has included the ability to specify feed collections in one or more configuration files. Caching is provided as another advanced option, and for those with access to the O/S task scheduler, the cache can be automatically rebuilt on a regular interval.
Overall Feeds.App is a commendable effort. From personal experience I know that Tim is a thorough developer and an enthusiastic MT community member who is sure to continue developing this and his other tools.
On a personal note, I welcome this turn in the community. I think there have been a lot of generous contributions to what we know today as MT the product. Its good to see an effective and collaborative mechanism for invested MT geeks to get a bit o bacon too. Who knows ...maybe its even time for the 6A MT Plugin Directory
to become the 6A MT Plugin Marketplace. Feeds.App Details