Simon Huggins's blog

Wed, 03 Jan 2007

Best feed readers

I think I need to change the way I read RSS/ATOM feeds. At the moment I run a local planet partly because I'm a control freak and it meant that when Planet Debian was down I could still read those feeds and partly because I want to add other people's feeds to it and want to read them all in the same place. This is mostly fine apart from planet's "feature" of ignoring the dates in feeds and occasional either broken feeds or broken parsing causing me to see literal HTML in the generated page.

Until recently I didn't have any further problems but a while back I added a very verbose machine generated feed which it would be nice to be able to look at separately. Planet doesn't cope well with this; this feed's entries tend to push interesting ones off so either I have to tell planet to generate a huge page (including much stuff I've already read) or setup separate planet configs. It also just feels inefficient for me to have all the stuff I've already read at the bottom of the page and to be loading any linked images (well ok, getting a 304 Not Modified hopefully) every time I want to look at my planet page.

So I think I want a standalone reader or possibly to use an independent service like the google reader or bloglines. Though am I still a control freak so the former sounds better for me.

I just tried liferea (from unstable, 1.0.27) and was clicking around and it segfaulted. Not exactly a glowing recommendation.

It'd be neat if there was one that presented posts a bit like planet does - all expanded ready for reading one after the other in date order - so all I have to do is read and scroll and things get marked as read. It'd be really neat if I could then mark things as unread or file them some how.

Dear lazyweb, does something like this exist? love and kisses, huggie


liferea has 2 "stable" series, one being 1.0 (now at the 1.0.27 mark, the one you tried) and the other being 1.2.1. I've been using lifrea for a while now (almost 2 years?) and have had essentially no problems with it. the "new" 1.2.1 version has a whole ton of improvments. it my my personal best desktop feed reader.

for webbased, nothing right now fits yuor description better that Google Reader. you can view all your feeds or just one, and as you scroll down they get marked as read. plus, since its google you can search and filter to your heart desire.


-- matt at 2007-01-03 14:23

You might find Feed On Feeds suitable. It's at <>. Don't let the screenshot fool you--when viewed without frames it appears exactly like Planet, except that it keeps track of which feeds you have read.

-- Sam Morris at 2007-01-03 14:25

you could check tiny tiny rss - comfort of bloglines / google reader with the advantage of your own server

-- Pharao at 2007-01-03 14:31

Google Reader doesn't actually allow you to search or filter.

-- Frank at 2007-01-03 14:42

I second the TT-RSS (Tiny Tiny RSS) recommendation. It's stateful like bloglines, Google Reader etc but you run it on your own server with Apache and MySQL or Postgres.

Not sure how it compares to Google Reader as I haven't used that. It doesn't support automatic mark-as-read as you scroll past, but it is pretty easy to mark selected articles as read or unread. And since the reader is stateful you never lose articles off the end.

-- Hamish Moffatt at 2007-01-03 14:53

"It'd be neat if there was one that presented posts a bit like planet does - all expanded ready for reading one after the other in date order - so all I have to do is read and scroll and things get marked as read. It'd be really neat if I could then mark things as unread or file them some how."

Liferea will do this, all you need to do is select the "Unread" search folder and then select View > Combined View. I'm using 1.2.1, so it may be slightly different for other versions.

-- Dave Hayes at 2007-01-03 14:59

Gregarius. It uses PHP and MySQL.

-- Chris at 2007-01-03 15:12

i'm using rss2email and mutt ;-)

-- KLFMANiK at 2007-01-03 16:48

You could try feed2imap (with a webmail if you really need web access)

-- Lucas at 2007-01-03 17:04

Take a look at reblog,

I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader and than to reblog and never looked back :-)

-- Dobrica Pavlinušić at 2007-01-03 18:11

Try Akregator, a QT-based application. I use it on a daily basis and I'm very happy with it. Sure, it uses some memory (especially since I'm subscribed to more than 600 feeds, amounting to ca. 78.000 articles in my local cache), but it scales pretty well and it's stable (never crashed). Web-based readers are crap, they simply cannot manage that amount of feeds in a bearable manner. Besides, I don't want Google (or anybody else) to know what I read.

HTH, Uwe.

-- Uwe Hermann at 2007-01-03 18:41

I can recommend Google Reader. Does a good job for what i want to do:

- Scan through quite a lot of posts for one i am interested in - Read it - Go to the original post or blog - Maybe save the post or 'star it' in google speak

-- Nick Loeve at 2007-01-03 21:30

Have you tried Sage? <>

-- Anonymous at 2007-01-03 21:38

I'm happily using liferea. It has some great features such as filters. For some sites I've written small perl scripts that will make a custom RSS feed for me, since the RSS feed of the first site is crap, and the other site doesn't have a feed. I couldn't do that with GoogleReader&Co as easily. Liferea has been really stable for me; I had crashes before. They were either related to the rendering engine (liefera can use xulrunner or gtkhtml, I recommend the former) or due to mismatches in the Python-Gnome stuff. Give it another try, maybe try the other renderer.

-- erich at 2007-01-04 02:19

I'm replying from Akregator now (well, the Konq within it really). I've loved it since I installed a few months ago. I found Liferea and Blam and Straw unbearably flaky. Ak's main quirks are, I think from reading, general problems that arise using KDE apps in Gnome. Ak could perhaps improve how completely it supports Atom feeds, especially metadata and xml:base. Don't fear - I do plan to make some time to contribute to back up that whining.

Slipping quickly to rant ... I've tried many readers over the years and very few even come close to measuring up. I still have not found a a good 'un for WinXP at work -feedreader is nice but flaky and works poorly with proxies. Stop.

-- bananas at 2007-01-04 13:08

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