Sep 12, 2010

Info feeds

Thanks to feedjack, I'm able to keep in sync with 120 feeds (many of them, like slashdot or reddit, being an aggregates as well), as of today. Quite a lot of stuff I couldn't even imagine handling a year ago, and a good aggregator definitely helps, keeping all the info just one click away.

And every workstation-based (desktop) aggregator I've seen is a fail:

  • RSSOwl. Really nice interface and very powerful. That said, it eats more ram than a firefox!!! Hogs CPU till the whole system stutters, and eats more of it than every other app I use combined (yes, including firefox). Just keeping it in the background costs 20-30% of dualcore cpu. Changing "show new" to "show all" kills the system ;)
  • liferea. Horribly slow, interface hangs on any action (like fetching feed "in the background"), hogs cpu just as RSSOwl and not quite as feature-packed.
  • Claws-mail's RSSyl. Quite nice resource-wise and very responsive, unlike dedicated software (beats me why). Pity it's also very limited interface-wise and can't reliably keep track of many of feeds by itself, constantly loosing a few if closed non-properly (most likely it's a claws-mail fault, since it affects stuff like nntp as well).
  • Emacs' gnus and newsticker. Good for a feed or two, epic fail in every way with more dozen of them.
  • Various terminal-based readers. Simply intolerable.
Server-based aggregator on the other hand is a bliss - any hoards of stuff as you want it, filtered, processed, categorized and re-exported to any format (same rss, but not a hundred of them, for any other reader works as well) and I don't give a damn about how many CPU-hours it spends doing so (yet it tend to be very few, since processing and storage is done via production-grade database and modules, not some crappy ad-hoc wheel re-invention).
And it's simple as a doorknob, so any extra functionality can be added with no effort.

Maybe someday I'll get around to use something like Google Reader, but it's still one hell of a mess, and it's no worse than similar web-based services out there. So much for the cloud services. *sigh*