Welcome back bloglines

I’ve been keeping a close eye on my bloglines feeds since it started acting up in the beginning of August and it appears that most of the issues(if not all) are resolved. So I’ve gone back to it as my main RSS aggregator. Gregarius is a great peice of software, but the main area it lacked for me was efficiency. What does that mean? Well, basically I can get through my feeds faster on bloglines for some reason. I’m not sure why, but skimming through hundreds of new entries takes a lot longer using Gregarius than bloglines.

Now I haven’t given up on Gregarius, in fact I will continue to use it, but I will play more with the develpment version than the stable. This is a project I’m very interested in watching and using.

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/