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Parting ways with Bloglines [25 Aug 2005|02:02pm]

About Newspipe, the RSS to e-mail program, and why I've decided to switch from Bloglines to it.

I think I'm saying goodbye to Bloglines today.

It's been a nice service, but fundamentally, it's a web application, there are things I don't like about that.

Given the choice between two ways to edit, read, and write text, should I choose the application that has been around forever and is designed for editing, reading, and writing text, or should I choose the application that has been around for less than half of forever in any form at all and is designed for following links and looking at text and images, with only very basic, read-only, navigation?

I'm talking about Emacs vs Firefox here.

That's an easy choice for me. I'm tired of piling plugins on Firefox trying to make it work like I want. It's a fine web browser, but to serve as my interface to all things on the Internet, it's going to need a lot more work.

I read a lot of RSS news right now. About 150 feeds at last count. And I actually do keep up with them. Of course they are not all active, but some of them are hyperactive.

Pointing and clicking has lost its charm. I need scoring, sorting, searching, archiving, saving, scriptability.. I need the news to be integrated with all of the rest of the absurd heap of information I line up on my lenses and snort daily.

Prior to Bloglines, I used rss2email. This is a pretty good program, but it had a nasty tendency to crush my system at feed-fetching time. It gave me a needed timeout from the computer, since I couldn't do anything else while all of those feeds were being fetched, but in the end it was a drag. Plus, it doesn't use OPML, which seems to be the standard format that's developing.

A friend pointed me to Newspipe, which is a developing program that does the same thing as rss2email, but with more features, and using an OPML-format file as its list of feeds to fetch. I've only been using it for 1-day, but so far it's great. I was able to import all of my Bloglines feeds, and now I'm reading them in Gnus in Emacs, with all of the features for reading, editing, and organizing information that I've grown accustomed to.

Newspipe has a lot of cool features, but one important one for me is that I can control how many feeds are fetched simultaneously. This is important because often my laptop is connected to the network over GPRS, a dial-up connection. So far the load on my system seems totally manageable.

And given the standard format, there is no danger of getting locked into a program that breaks down or ceases development.

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