nixers
RSS feeds - Printable Version
+- nixers (https://nixers.net)
+-- Forum: Development & Graphics (https://nixers.net/forumdisplay.php?fid=7)
+--- Forum: The WWW & Web Development (https://nixers.net/forumdisplay.php?fid=23)
+--- Thread: RSS feeds (/showthread.php?tid=2329)
Pages: 1 2 3


RSS feeds - xenone - 21-06-2020

I've been seeing a lot of people talking recently about using rss instead of social media sites. What are everybody's thoughts on this and any suggestions on rss readers for people moving in the direction?


RE: RSS feeds - venam - 21-06-2020

My answer might be biased because I've stayed away from "popular" social media hubs for the past 9-10 years, but I don't think I regret it.

There's one thing I love about the web, and it's right there in the name: The web part, how you can jump from one place to another and discover things along the way. I had a bunch of posts, in the currently discontinued newsletter, about how the WWW is awesome, and also posted a discussion here on the forums about the state of the web.
Recently, I also saw multiple posts regarding putting more emphasis on RSS, blogging, and self-hosting. Basically, trying to put back some joy into the web. We had previously tried to gather all nixers members blog feeds but without too much luck, we're trying again right now.

I think that the thread joining all these topics is that people's web consumption has become repetitive and centralized, or to say it bluntly: they're bored. I've had a friend some days ago ask me about my web browsing habits, asking if they could change theirs. They felt stuck in a loop going from link aggregation sites, to Facebook, to Reddit, to Twitter, and YouTube. There's much more to the web than a few websites. Maybe the fact that everyone is stuck at home has made some people realize this.


RE: RSS feeds - jkl - 21-06-2020

RSS/Atom solves the problem of having an unfiltered mess of random people’s thoughts in your inbox if you want to stay informed. There is nothing that provides a similar alternative.

I wonder why certain social networks implement their own syndication logic for user posts. They can never beat the flexibility of customizable XML feeds.

Plus, there are services like my RSS parser and the RSS Bridge to provide feeds for anything that looks like a website. There is no sane reason to use more than your RSS reader to read, filter and understand what is happening in the world. Plus, they won’t disappear soon, so you don’t have to frantically press F5 every day.

I admit that Google’s Reader made me an RSS user. Even years after its demise, I won’t leave anymore.


RE: RSS feeds - ckester - 21-06-2020

I've never been a fan of social media hubs or other centralized approaches. Even what you call an attempt to "gather all nixers member blog feeds" leaves me cold.

In my opinion, the best place to aggregate rss feeds is on my own local machine. For many years now I've been using Adam Sampson's "rawdog" aggregator to build a set of river-of-news style webpages for various categories and serve them up via localhost. (Lately I've been looking at sfeed as a C-based alternative to rawdog's Python, but it's an idle interest and I haven't been motivated to actually implement it yet. What I have works well enough.)

For discovering interesting new stuff, it suffices if the blogs I read include an old-fashioned blogroll. It isn't necessary for them to repeat or summarize content from the other blogs they recommend. I.e., I'm building my own river of news and don't need you to do it for me on your site. Just give me your content. *

Other leads come as a result of websearches via DuckDuckGo. If a search takes me to a site that looks interesting and I see it has a feed, into the rawdog config it goes.

Years ago I would occasionally use StumbleUpon to find new stuff. But that was a long time ago and I don't know if it even still exists.

* Here's an example of the kind of thing that often results when someone decides to "curate" the news for us: https://devurls.com. Very pretty, but mostly useless. Only one or two sites listed that I care about, and a lot of relatively dormant feeds.


RE: RSS feeds - vain - 21-06-2020

Big fan of feeds.

Feeds are a generic format, so you don't need that one client ("app") for this site and another client for another site and so on. Pick your reader or write your own. Once. Then fill it with content to watch.

It's decentralized, you can "follow" pretty much anything. (Social media promoted "you can follow everyone on our social network!" as a unique feature, but it already existed ...)

I consume pretty much everything through feeds, including aggregators like reddit or lobsters. Why would I want to open their slow web site or even be forced to log in?

It's a shame, though, that major browsers removed virtually every feature in the area of feeds. There used to be a little icon to indicate when a feed is available. Not even that exists anymore.

I, too, wonder which feed readers you guys use. There don't seem to be that many great tools available. Me, personally, I use a custom script based on feedparser (https://pypi.org/project/feedparser/), which grabs feeds and sends new items as an e-mail. But I have no idea how to "sell" the idea of feeds to "normal" people, because what are they supposed to use?


RE: RSS feeds - venam - 21-06-2020

(21-06-2020, 03:16 PM)ckester Wrote: I've never been a fan of social media hubs or other centralized approaches. Even what you call an attempt to "gather all nixers member blog feeds" leaves me cold.

It isn't meant to be centralized in any way, just as a way to discover other people's feed. I won't personally use the list as is either, I'll register to the RSS feeds of the ones that interest me. Also, the list isn't meant to give rise to a website, it's simply a text file, nothing more nothing less.

(21-06-2020, 03:16 PM)ckester Wrote: For discovering interesting new stuff, it suffices if the blogs I read include an old-fashioned blogroll.
That's also what I do most of the time. Take the above list of nixers blogs feed as a blogroll on its own.


RE: RSS feeds - ckester - 21-06-2020

(21-06-2020, 03:19 PM)vain Wrote: I, too, wonder which feed readers you guys use. There don't seem to be that many great tools available. Me, personally, I use a custom script based on feedparser (https://pypi.org/project/feedparser/), which grabs feeds and sends new items as an e-mail. But I have no idea how to "sell" the idea of feeds to "normal" people, because what are they supposed to use?

As I described above, I use a separate tool to aggregate the feeds I follow and a web browser to read the resulting "river of news". I looked at tools that combine the aggregating and reading functions (snownews, newsbeuter, canto, etc.) but found myself frequently needing to launch my webbrowser to follow a link anyway.

So I eventually decided that the reading function belongs in the web browser to begin with, because after all, what I'm reading is web content.

But keeping the aggregating function separate makes it easier to run via cron, among other things.


RE: RSS feeds - jkl - 21-06-2020

After a short period with Feedly and a few attempts to make Tiny Tiny RSS an acceptable alternative, I started to use Newsblur (over its own web client, over Fiery Feeds on iOS, over elfeed inside Emacs) until I finally get my rssfs working on Windows. :)

Honestly, Newsblur, even in its paid hosted version, is really strong and it’s Open Source if you care. And I prefer to have my feeds synchronized between my computers all the time.


RE: RSS feeds - vain - 23-06-2020

(21-06-2020, 03:48 PM)jkl Wrote: Honestly, Newsblur, even in its paid hosted version, is really strong and it’s Open Source if you care.

Hmm, yeah, SaaS for feeds. It’s tempting to recommend one of those. You know, something you could recommend to your aunt, something that’s easy to use and automatically “synchronizes” across devices.

I was naïvely hoping to get recommendations along the lines of Liferea – but, yes, SaaS is probably what normal users want. (Maybe even that is too much work. I have no idea. I live in a different world. :-))


(21-06-2020, 03:35 PM)ckester Wrote: So I eventually decided that the reading function belongs in the web browser to begin with, because after all, what I'm reading is web content.

I’m struggling with this. On one hand, I love to read the feeds as they are. But that only works for some of them, some don’t even include the full article. And as you pointed out, following links is virtually broken.

I also recently discovered that my own feeds are broken for many feed readers. The feeds themselves are fine and according to spec, but the readers don’t care about the specs. Bam, no images show up. How annoying.


RE: RSS feeds - ckester - 23-06-2020

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by reading the feeds as they are, but rawdog doesn't do anything to the feed content except wrap it up in div tags for inclusion in a local webpage.

At one time I had made a modified version of it that stripped out all but the first few lines of each feed entry, but I lost that when I made a mistake backing up my files before a system wipe and fresh install a few years ago. So if a feed includes the full article, that's what I get in the resulting page. Or if the feed has only a summary or a title for each entry, that's all I get for that one.

For screenshots and more info re the unfortunately-named rawdog, see https://offog.org/code/rawdog/.

But I take jkl's point about synchronization. I don't do much mobile computing myself, so I get enough "synchronization" from making one of my home machines a webserver for those rawdog-generated pages. But I can see why some of you might prefer a cloud-based solution.