A New RSS Reader

Luckily, I did not write an RSS reader - I just started using a new one. I had been using newsbeuter (the mutt of new readers). It is actually pretty nice and I do not have any serious complaints about it. It has some speed issues when I compile it myself versus using debian packages, but presumably that is my fault somehow.

The recent Google Reader kerfuffle got me interested in reviewing the other available options. One of my big complaints about most applications is that they do not have useful key bindings, so that was a prime requirement. newsbeuter did a fine job there, of necessity. It turns out that most of the web-based feed aggregators do this well, while many of the desktop-based ones do not. I decided that looking at web-based readers might not hurt very much. Having my articles synced between my devices and machines also held some minor appeal.

Without actually looking very hard, I tried two: pulse and feedly. I had used pulse on my phone before and the UI there is actually very nice. I tried to set up an account and add some feeds and I found that to be fairly annoying. At least it did not require me to log in with facebook. It did, however, give me three feed categories with the same name but seemingly different contents that I couldn’t manage or delete. I stopped there with pulse. feedly was easy to log in to since it still uses Google as an oauth provider. Managing feeds was easier and it actually worked. There is an Android application, which is somewhat quirky. I think it is quirky in a good way - time will tell.

While I normally dislike web applications, I feel like this is probably the most reasonable web application possible. If I do not have an internet connection handy, I cannot really use an RSS reader anyway. The main consequence of this experiment was unrelated to the reader I ended up with: I re-evaluated the list of sources I was checking. I used to typically check a few RSS feeds that I always checked and then a few web pages that I periodically checked for updates manually besides them. That never made much sense but I was too lazy to update my list of sources. Now I have a whole lot more in the RSS queue and a lot less reason to actually browse the internet randomly. We shall see how that goes.

The only disadvantage of sourcing a larger number of interesting news sources is that I had to mark the same story about the EA CEO resigning about ten times. I suppose that is the price I have to pay for progress.