Looking for a bloglines replacement?

I was, and I found an (almost) perfect replacement.

There is a catch to this though, my replacement suggestion requires you have your own server capable of running a php/mysql driven application.

For me, bloglines broke over a week ago and still doesn’t work right, so I needed to find a new way of reading my feeds. My main requirements was that I could read my feeds from a single source as I use multiple computers throughout my day. I really liked bloglines, and I’ve gotten completely used to it, so I was looking for something worked very similar to it.

I decided to try some server-side feed readings apps, such as FeedonFeeds and FeedonFeeds Redeux, but was completely underwhelmed by their functionality. Then I remembered an app I saw a while ago, but couldn’t remember the name. Fortunately I bookmarked it in del.icio.us back in January, and a quick scan of my del.icio.us tags brought it right up to the top.

It’s called Gregarius, and it is a server-side app that uses php, mysql, and ajax to create a fairly pleasant feed reading experience. The program is very simple to setup and use. I simply exported my feeds from bloglines and imported them in to Gregarius. The import did puke on a few of the feeds, but I just noted them and then manually added them later. However I still can’t get subscribed to the the househacker feed, it always fails.

Once my feeds where in, it was time to learn how to use it. At first I was not terribly impressed as I was so used to the bloglines way. But then I remember I didn’t care for bloglines when I switch to it from a desktop rss reader app. I just had to learn it and get used to the differences.

The default install of Gregarius is pretty vanilla, but there is a lot settings that can be changed, that for me, improved the usability. And much like WordPress, it has a plug-in system which you really need to look in to. There are some included plugins that just need to be enabled to improve usability even more. There is also a plugin repository where you can easily download plugins, then simply upload them in to the plugins directory and activate them.

After installing and a couple of hours tweaking, I’m really happy with the way this app performs. However it’s not perfect. I plan to note some things that I don’t like and features I’d like to see and forward those to the developers in hopes to make it even better.

If you’re wondering about future versions, I did an SVN checkout of the most current code(it seems to be under fairly active development) and installed it in a test directory and noticed there were some nice improvements. So I am looking for to the next release.

If you’re interested, you can see my working install here: http://www.cdavis.us/rssfeeds/