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Google Reader gone

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^ thanks for that tip.  I'm using The Old Reader, but I do have a license to Website Watcher, and that seems to work better on many levels, if worse in one specific case; the fact that a web interface to the results would be stellar.

I've just tried - really like it - looks good & is very responsive but I don't think they've implemented tags - deal-breaker! :( - hated it! Low on features + ugly UI.

feedly - I actually find their Chrome client better than Google reader

feedwrangler and feedbin don't have trials so I haven't used them - I don't care for the feedwrangler UI but feedbin looks interesting.

I'll probably join the herd and end up with feedly. Feedbin ($20/yr) might be worth considering depending on how much feedly intends to charge for their Pro service. Most Reader users have gone their way so they should be able to come up with a sensible price point.

[Forgot to screencap my previous [1337] post. Where's the paparazzi when you need them?  :( ]


My alternatives to GR (Google Reader): (so far)
I have tried and discarded most (but not all) of the alternatives mentioned in this discussion thread. Two look hopeful.

* 1. Feedly: So far it seems that Feedly could be the closet approximation to the GR UI and functionality, but it seems sluggish, does not have the add-ons that you can get for GR, and ergonomically it is definitely not as good as GR (e.g., it necessitates the use of the mouse quite a lot, rather than having hotkeys, which is slower and is conducive to RSI) and is thus not as productive as using GR. I find GR a bit too slow with its refresh rate anyway, but Feedly seems to work at a frustratingly slow snail's pace.
I can get Feedly working OK as a Firefox add-on, but the Chrome extension does not work - in Google Chrome or in Chromium - even with popups enabled. Just sits on the login screen. This seems quite  common problem on some of the user forums I have looked at, with no solution or workaround.
Here are comparison screenshots of GR and Feedly in FF:

------GR:                                     ------Feedly:
Google Reader gone                    Google Reader gone

Feedly are working on "Normandy" as a replacement for when Google Reader is shut down (Curse you Google!), but it's not finished yet, I gather, so it might not even eventuate.

* 2. Digg: had said they would come up with something, but have not, so far - or not that I can see at any rate - so it might not even eventuate.

This is why I have been experimenting with Yahoo! Pipes as a fall-back feed reader/aggregator, but even that could be deprecated or shut down by Yahoo! at some stage, I presume. It would require some development effort on my part, but the development UI is so simple it's a bit like painting by numbers.

Coincidentally, this from    :up:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Feedly wins the Google Reader expat crown

Free RSS service partners with several popular RSS apps, including gReader, Newsify, and Reeder, to keep feeds going after Google pulls the plug
By Gregg Keizer | Computerworld

Feedly, the free RSS service that has been the safe harbor for millions of Internet refugees fleeing the soon-to-be-defunct Google Reader, announced Monday that several popular RSS apps will access its API free of charge.

The move will let users view, read and manage Feedly's news feed from five different desktop or mobile applications, including gReader (for Android; free or $4.99 for Pro version), Newsify (iOS; free), Nextgen Reader (Windows Phone, Windows 8; $1.99-$2.99), Reeder (OS X, iOS; free for OS X, $2.99 for iOS ) and Press (Android; $2.99).

[ Get your websites up to speed with HTML5 today using the techniques in InfoWorld's HTML5 Deep Dive PDF how-to report. | Learn how to secure your Web browsers in InfoWorld's "Web Browser Security Deep Dive" PDF guide. ]

In early March, Google announced it was axing Google Reader as part of housecleaning that killed several other projects as well. The search giant cited declining use of Reader for the decision to retire the RSS service and Google's feed on July 1, 2013.

As millions scrambled for alternatives, Feedly was the first to pledge it would keep users connected by moving them to a homegrown clone of the Google Reader API (application programming interface), code named "Normandy," before Google's service went dark.

In a blog post Monday, Feedly acknowledged that "June is going to be another crazy month," but noted that it is on track to handle the switch from Google Reader and its API, having added more server capacity and revised its apps for iOS and Android, as well as its browser-based interface.

The Palo Alto, Calif. company also laid out a roadmap of future improvements and additions, promising to boost Feedly's speed, develop Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps of its own -- it currently offers free iOS and Android apps -- and improve group sharing.

The five app partners announced Monday are just the first wave, Feedly said, promising more details of others in the future.

Feedly has also said it plans to offer a paid option later this year, but the company has not disclosed pricing, a feature set or even a timetable for the premium service.

Other RSS services that flew under the radar before Google's decision to pull the plug, including the oft-recommended NewsBlur, have also added users, updated their software or begun charging users. Newsblur, for example, handled the flood by temporarily barring new registrations for free access -- that has been restored -- instead asking them to pony up $24 annually to keep the service going.

Feedly also provides browser-specific plug-ins for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on the desktop, which can be downloaded from its website.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is [email protected]

Read more about Internet in Computerworld's Internet Topic Center.
Computerworld is an InfoWorld affiliate.

Tags: Internet, Web Services, Google

--- End quote ---

I concluded in an earlier post that hosting your own reader was the only rational solution. But although I have tried my best to like both Tiny Tiny RSS and Fever, neither gives me everything I want.

I ruled out TTRSS quickly. It just seemed a bit clunky to me. And although Fever is very slick, it's almost too slick. It has that iOS/Mac feel with lots of sexy white space that should actually be used for content (I'm a "fill the screen with plain text" kind-of-guy).

To cut a long story short, at the moment I'm trialling Feedbin, which has a nice familiar three-column setup, and I can see my folders and feeds Google Reader-style.

It still feels unfinished in places. For example, in Firefox the first column has a fixed and very narrow width, so all the feed titles are truncated. I pointed this out in the support forum and it turned out it was a bug the developer was aware of but had not dealt with. With a bug like that, Feedbin should still be calling itself a beta.

Like many of these new-ish offerings, Feedbin is basic in other ways. For example you can't adjust fonts or background colours unless you're fairly techy (e.g. you can use userContent.css in Firefox to make adjustments, which is what I did, but it's trial and error).

Rant: why does everyone use white backgrounds? Particularly for sites where you're going to spend a lot of time, it's the worst option. For anyone who feels the same, I already use this excellent Greasemonkey script, which does a great job on 95% of sites, including this forum (and can be tweaked to suit your own tastes). The reason I dismissed Feedly is that it's impossible to change the article background colour. It's always white, no matter what theme you choose, and no amount of playing with userContent.css or the Greasemonkey script could change that.</rant>

The most intriguing offering to me is actually Feed Wrangler, although I haven't tried it. Again looks a bit Mac-y to me, lots of white space. But I like the fact that it already offers smart folders (a.k.a. smart searches/virtual folders). That's not common, and very desirable.

But it doesn't look as if Feed Wrangler offers a basic folders/feeds view like Google Reader. I know it's old-fashioned, but if you have a lot of feeds, it's very efficient. I may be wrong, but Feed Wrangler doesn't offer a trial, so you'd have to be prepared to take a subscription and then ask for a refund if you don't like it, and I'm not that interested yet. I'll keep an eye on it.


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