Blog du Tristank

Migrating to . And still so terrific that 3 of 4 readers rated it "soporific"

Why I Don’t Win Awards For Intelligence Very Often*

a) I always get the whole “sneaking” thing wrong in Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Ah tristank, you are so clever! A pun on Intelligence!)

b) I just spent about, oh, two-and-a-bit hours on and off today working out how to get Outlook to look at the IE7 feed list.

Let’s concentrate on my failure at (b) for the time being:

I haven’t opened RSS Bandit for a good month; I’ve just been flat out. Strangely, I’m keeping up on my email (for the most part), so I figured that maybe I’d give Outlook 2007’s RSS integration another shot, for feeds I couldn’t miss and didn’t just want to skim (you know, like codinghorror, oldnewthingkotaku and so on). I could keep the low-impact newspapery-style stuff in RssBandit, and having a blank feed list was a good opportunity to rationalize the stuff I really cared about.

So anyway, I remembered that Outlook had asked me whether I wanted my (largely blank) IE7 feed list imported just after installing Windows Vista weirdo build something-or-other and the Office B2TR.

I answered “no, you idiot!” in my best Professor Farnsworth voice without really – what’s the word – reading the dialog box, so had no idea how to get back to that point.

I searched the Outlook Help, and found many helpful and chatty entries about RSS in general, and how you could add feeds in IE7 or Outlook, and so on, but didn’t find any mention of the IE7 common feed store (or common feed list, or common rss list, or IE common… you get the idea).

I hit the web, and couldn’t find anything. (Repeat this step at 10 minute intervals while procrastistudying).

Found the reference for Outlook command-line switches, and started working through them, trying to recreate that first-run “would you like me to synchronize feed lists?” moment; no luck.

Just now, after completing my night’s TV viewing and (while on the mental backburner) deciding to just use OPML to import and export the feeds, I thought that there had to be some way of exporting the common feed store from IE to OPML – I was half-expecting to have to write code to do it!

Another web search later, bang! IE has an Import/Export menu item on the Add Favorites/Feed/Star Thing menu.

This lets you export IE’s feed list to OPML. Poifect.

From there, I was trying to pull it into Outlook, but there’s no import feeds button in the RSS area under Accounts, and the Folder Properties for the RSS Feeds folder doesn’t do anything. Back to the Help…

This time, the Help was spot-on – it describes how to import OPML feed lists…

This led to the File-> Import/Export menu, and that, dear friends, leads to this dialog:

See that bottom option, just below the OPML one!? the one called “Import RSS Feeds from the Common Feed List“? You do? So did I!

So sure – you *could* import from OPML, but it’s easier to skip that step entirely!!!

Common Feed List 1

And so I now have a selection of feeds for browsing in IE, and a selection of must-read feeds that generate little email-stylez items in Outlook again. All is right with the world.

I’m not convinced import/export is the most intuitive/discoverable location for this, but now I know it’s there, I’m able to get on with enjoying (a) above, and relax a little*.