Finally, a good RSS/NNTP combo… but doesn't cover all basis yet

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 1:03 PM
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Any long-time reader of my blog is aware I'm pretty fickle with what RSS reader I'm using. First it started with SharpDevelop way back when, then I tried the beta of FeedDemon, and then NewsGator, and my last stint was with RssBandit and BlogLines. None of them really sealed the deal for me… and I have yet to find one that really does everything I wanted (which I talked about here). At one point I even thought about writing my own app that did RSS/ATOM and NNTP all in one (even did a bunch of research on it as I blogged here and here)… but after thinking long and hard about it, I dismissed making my own. Why? There are a ton of better ones out there… and most are free!

So most recently was using RssBandit. While it did the job… and I really liked the fact I could sync up (via an FTP intermediary) my laptop and desktop feeds (abet, not the read status of the posts)… it was was slow, sluggish, acted bloated, and wasn't very visually appealing. I had planned to wait until the next version was released based on their roadmap until last night. (more in a sec)

I have also been using a collection of apps for my NNTP reading. Outlook Express is the client app I chose to post/read at times, Google's Groups (and most recently the beta of Groups2) was perfect for searching the history of threads, and MSDN's web reader where I could flag any post (including my own) to be notified via email when there was activity on the thread. The combo of these three was working fine… but a pain to keep up with them all.

Last night while trading a few emails with Angus, he told me he was using Omea… something I tried months ago when it was in beta… back when it was bloated and slow. It's still a memory hawg, but it did both RSS/ATOM & NNTP all in one! Needless to say, I've jumped on the bandwagon… putting it on both my laptop & desktop… love it so much I had to blog. Bye bye RssBandit and Outlook Express (still will use MSDN to post for email updates and Google Group2 Beta to search)! However, Omea doesn't cover all my bases… *yet*

I want the following out my blog and NNTP reader:

  • Free… there are too many RSS/ATOM aggregators and NNTP readers that are free and open source… one has to REALLY knock my socks off for me to pay for it (I did buy NewsGator… just didn't like it after a few months).
  • Sync… Most people I know use computers at work and home who read blogs and NNTP. What's the most frustrating thing? Larry knows what I'm talking about. Keeping your subscriptions sync'd… and not many seem to deem it a big deal to keep the read status of blogs sync'd. That seems SO obvious to me. Some people are doing it now… BlogLines has a web service API that you can sync with… and Feeddemon is doing it.
  • Open database API… dunno why (until last night), but I did… maybe open a filter for Lookout to be able to index it.

The folks at JetBrains made the *free* Omea Reader 1.0 come pretty close. It doesn't do any of the sync issues I want it to do, but it does have an API… now that will be cool. I'd like on startup to have it sync with my BlogLines account, and on shutdown, do another sync…. AUTOMATICALLY. That's the ONLY thing I'd add to Omea. Well, they released the API… and so has BlogLines. I've got two cross-country flights coming up next week… maybe I'll take a second to see how big of a deal it will be to make a plugin that does this for me.

Why don't I just try Feeddemon… or NewsGator again? I might again… heck NewsGator may do exactly what I'm looking for… it just seemed to be effective, I needed to really try

Update 10/12 - Damn!  BlogLines’ web services don't allow for write features in sync'ing.  Looks like it's a FTP in-between for sync… no problem.

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