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Preview: Comments on: Lightweight Mozilla RSS reader

Comments on Lightweight Mozilla RSS reader

a digital magpie

Updated: 2016-10-24T13:44:47Z


By: Carlo


I’m not quite sure why, but I can’t stand SharpReader. I found NewsDesk 1.1 (out since last week) a more enjoyable experience. Have you tried it yet?

By: Carlo


Argh, it’s too damn early – I forgot the link.

Sorry about that.

By: Mark


FeedDemon. FeedDemon. FeedDemon.

That is all.

By: Phil Ringnalda


No to 1.1, but unless it’s radically different than 1.0, it’s not going to suit me (don’t know yet,’s timing out on me right now).

Here’s how to think of me and RSS readers:

I live in a browser. No, that’s not quite right. I live in Firebird. I go to an email app (don’t much care which) to get links to open in Firebird. I go to an editor to create files (sometimes, other times I do it in the browser) which I will then view in Firebird. I start an FTP client to transfer files that I’ll then view in Firebird. You can’t please me by providing me with thousands of glittery features and tons of UI in one of those programs, because all I want from them is to get through them with minimum fuss, and get back to my life.

So, there’s this constant stream of link filled content streaming in, in RSS, and I need something to moderate between it and my browser. What I want from that moderator is to easily and cleanly show me the new stuff, sorted the way I want it, let me read it without distraction, and send any links I click to Firebird. I understand that a Windows reader really needs to embed IE, for now at least, but I don’t want to sit there using IE to browse, so opening links in the system default browser is required, and if there’s a toolbar of browser control buttons, I want to be able to hide/remove them. I don’t want a toolbar button to do things like import OPML that I’ll do exactly once. I don’t want a menu devoted to things like reading the currently selected item, or opening its in a browser, that I’ll do with the mouse or a keyboard shortcut. Three menus for the things I rarely use, two buttons and an address bar. That’s plenty of UI for me. You aren’t building a new home app for me, just a utility that has one job: display the content of RSS items, sorted and linked based on the metadata they provide, and then get out of the way.

By: Phil Ringnalda


We’ll see. Once I figured out how to drag the UI into something that would work on a less-than-27-inch monitor (which, oddly enough, turned it right back into a standard 3-pane view), and tried to ignore all the bells and whistles trying to distract me from my content, I noticed that it was only parsing RFC822+ dates that were exactly in the format in the spec examples, and then that it didn’t get W3CDTF for times after noon, and while noticing that disovered that it isn’t actually doing namespace-aware parsing: anything in is a dc:date, even without a namespace declaration, but isn’t a dc:date no matter what namespace declaration you use, or where. The date parsing hiccups I can completely understand in a beta: this stuff can be hard to dive into, no doubt about it. Not doing namespace-aware parsing is a deeper, and much more troubling, problem, though.

By: Tomas


I haven’t tried SharpReader, I’ve just started using Bradburysoft’s FeedDemon though, it’s *fantastic*!

By: pete


i’ve been using aggreg8 since its first release but i’m impressed by the way RSS Reader Panel works. it handles rdf files which aggrer8 won’t, because mozilla won’t parse them.

thanks for the tip phil.

By: BillSaysThis


The problem with FeedDemon, other than it’s beta-ness, which applies to NewsMonster as well (IIRC) is money. SharpReader does a really good job and it’s free (yay, Luke!). I have nothing against Brad or anyone else making a living but if two developers give me a choice of reasonably equal products, I’m generally going to go with the cheaper one. Free beta is not, IMO, the same thing since FD nowhere (as of last Friday when I looked) states that beta users will always get free copies or even what the GA price will be.

By: Kevin Burton


This does not apply to NewsMonster. We only charge money for the PRO version if you DON’T want to build from source. Just download, build, and you are ready! It really isn’t that hard. The source version includes the same feature set as PRO we just don’t provide profile/reputaiton hosting.

As for aggregators in Mozilla, I think NewsMonster is the way to go. It isn’t as lightweight as Aggreg8 but that is only because Aggreg8 has less features.

BTW… Did I mention that NewsMonster now works in Firebird?

Also… please compare feature sets here. Comparing NewsMonster to a regular aggregator isn’t fare since NM includes features that just aren’t present in simple ordinary aggregators. Sort of like comparing an IDE to a text editor.

I think the ”lite” approach is valid but this is just an implementation issue. I am already working on thinning down NewsMonster so that it is smaller and faster.

NewsMonster is just getting started. You guys haven’t seen nothin’ yet! :)



By: Michael Bernstein


Kevin, does NM’s offline web pages feature respect robots.txt yet?