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Fairly self explanatory. I really like RSS feeds, but like IRC there seems to be a dearth of truly good clients for consuming them.

Right now I’m using Thunderbird, which I’d kind of like to move away from because it’s no longer maintained by the Mozilla crew and the cruft is starting to accumulate in terms of bugs and the like which I can’t entirely fix. I’m interested in hearing about anything you use, but my ideal thing would be:

  • Self hosted or local to my machine - I’m not particularly interested in relying on a 3rd party service after the Google Reader debacle.

  • Fast - Thunderbird is kind of slow, I’d really appreciate something that is speedy.

  • Scalable - I read a lot of RSS feeds, so the software needs to be able to grow for a long time before it gets slow or painful to use.

  • Ideally lets my browser handle page rendering - Part of what makes the average RSS reader shitty is its insistence that it needs to be the one to read my feeds. This strikes me as silly, I’d much prefer to read things in a different interface than the one I’m alerted about them in.


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    After building the LW 2.0 feed page (very rudimentary—don’t judge it too harshly!), I have the strong suspicion that this, too, is a problem that pmwiki can solve.

    The next project on my agenda is to generalize this; to build an app-slash-wiki-page that can take an arbitrary RSS feed and display it thusly, and an index page on OborWiki that has links to my feeds of choice. After that, this feature will be publicly available (on the Public—editably-by-anyone—section of OborWiki), and will thus be publicly customizable, i.e. people will be able to create feed-browser and feed-index pages for whatever feeds they like.

    (Naturally, anyone with a wiki on OborWiki—or, indeed, anyone with a pmwiki instance they’re hosting themselves—can do any subset of the above on their own wiki.)

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      Have you studied existing RSS reader featuresets for this? One of the core ones is that on the index page you need some kind of indicator of whether new stuff exists and how much of it there is. Defining ‘new stuff’ without a login system could be tricky.

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        I have tried. Very few RSS readers are still available for the Mac OS. Fewer still are free (and I refuse to pay up front for one, sight unseen—for this, and many other reasons, I so dislike the App Store!—how much better was the old shareware model…). When I tried to sample the field, I could find only two reader apps to try.

        Both sucked.

        I would absolutely love if someone else (hint, hint :) did such a study/survey, however rudimentary. The Public section of OborWiki is open! Create a page; jot down some notes about existing RSS readers’ features, and perhaps features you’d like to see; add some links; etc. Post a link to it here, when you do so! This seems like a fruitful area for some low-cost exploration, and we have a platform (pmwiki) where such exploration is possible. I am willing to do the design/coding, but I haven’t the time for the inquiry!

        Re: new stuff: yes, this is tricky without a login system. An idea that occurs to me, at first blush:

        A field on the index page—“display [or ‘highlight’] feeds with new posts since [date]”. User-editable on a per-user basis. Saved with a cookie. Perhaps absolute (date/time), perhaps relative (within the last [period]), perhaps options for both.

        (Are better solutions or more options possible? Probably! Suggestions, as always, are welcome!)

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      I used to use NewsBlur, but now I just have a page of links on my Oborwiki that I just check in on whenever I have spare time.

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        rss2email scales well; and if you’re willing to set up a local sendmail or msmtp, you can host it as a cronjob on your laptop. I read posts in my mail client, but I suspect you could configure it (by digest-post-process?) to restrict the body to their URLs.

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