Utterances of a Zimboe

Programming the Internet.

Archive for July 2007

Google Reader, it really rocks

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My feed reading has been in a little flux recently as I got frustrated by some minor usability issues of FeedDemon. I bought the license and tried to use it a few months, but it just falls short with my feed collection. Put concretely, its less efficient collection views efficiently cut my reading efficiency in half. And it really means some time… (ie., less reading the actual content, more clicking the fracking reader.)

So, as a quick fix, I reverted back to RSS Bandit, which had a serious bug fixed a while ago so it’s usable now. But it’s much heavier compared to FeedDemon, and it and Eclipse don’t really fit into my machine concurrently (1,8g/1 mobile pentium, 1,5gig mem.) So, now it was performance issues which made the reading slow.

So, I was looking for another solution and decided to give Google Reader a go. I knew to expect fabulous things from the Google engineers, but I was a little suspicious over the web interface. I really liked the native UIs: the multi-pane layout, high responsiveness and UI elements playing together well. The web interface of the Reader really does fall short on those areas, but the reading list is still functional enough—though, HTML is a language for presenting content, not UI. Reader however provides preview and title listing modes, which suffice well.

There are also a couple features where the server-side solution excels compared to a local client: performance—as in handling the feed item mass—and feed updating. Now I can use Eclipse and have a feed reader available simultaneously. ^_^ The feed updating issue was something I discovered during my short vacation of a week, during which I couldn’t let the Bandit update feeds. It would’ve cost a long penny to do over cellular networks… This resulted in missing items in some high-volume feeds (read programming.reddit.com). Fortunately, that’s bygones now.

Currently, I’m still in middle of the transition to Google Reader. It’s pretty tedious trying to maintain the read state of little over 800 feeds… Divide and conquer, one category at a time.

PS. I also tried NewsGator but it had some issues back then.

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Written by Janne Savukoski

July 18, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Internet