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Readspike – Simple news aggregator (readspike.com)
92 points by lainon on Oct 23, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 54 comments

Author here – I can't believe my humble little pet project has made it to the hackernews front page!

I cobbled it together for myself 5 years ago to aggregate my favourite news rss feeds. I'd be amazed if the server holds up! Feel free to ask any questions.

Here's a souvenir, if you haven't grabbed it yourself :P


BoingBoing too! What a lovely surprise, thanks

This is awesome - thank you for creating it!

Yesterday, I debated on building exactly this after I became tired of sifting through junk articles across multiple news outlets. Are you willing to share the code?

Thank you! Unfortunately I am too ashamed of my code to open source it. Maybe I could OS the html/css/js and ask better coders than I to redo the backend...

Do it!

I knew you'd be famous one day Felix ;-)

Just for one day...!


Huggy Bear represent

I can't stare at white text on black with no visual hierarchy and get anything useful from it without really forcing myself to concentrate hard. Which is exactly the opposite of what I want from an aggregator.

I used to have a day/night mode but my analytics said 0 people used it, so I removed it to reduce cruft. Maybe I should put it back!

perhaps the problem was that the control wasn't obvious. agreed, can't use it with white text on black background.

I prefer the "river" style layouts as well.

Two examples for financial news that are quite usable:



For the MarketWatch site, link is just to their own in-house write-up, but you have the option to mouse over and bring up stock charts, etc. On CMWire, lag in updates is every three minutes or so, making it very timely.

Mobile-wise, HN News remains my go-to reading experience ;)

Since you mentioned MarketWatch and river of news, I think these folks do a good job:


However, it does seem unnecessarily javascript-heavy when we are talking text, and it aggressively auto-reloads (sometimes when I'm in the midst of reading!). There seems to be a usability mismatch among people that use 1 browser with one tab open vs. people that utilize multiple browsers and/or multiple tabs.

edit: I, personally, use multiple browsers, some with multiple windows, and some of those windows with 5-60 tabs (i.e. HN). Graceful degradation used to be a concept highly regarded among developers that addressed these usage scenarios, but now we cater to the lowest common denominator only.

There's also Dave Winer's "river of news" site with various tabs including Tech, NBA and Movies http://radio3.io/rivers/

Protopage is somewhat similar to Readspike and you can add your RSS feeds of choice.... http://www.protopage.com/

FYI: If you want to build your own little news aggreator page or sites, try the open source pluto planet tool (gem/library) [1] it incl. a top theme [2], for example. Happy planet. Cheers. [1] http://feedreader.github.io [2] https://github.com/planet-templates/planet-top

Nice to see that other people besides me like having their news presented this way. I will be launching my own iGoogle clone in the next couple of months. It will be easy to create and move around different feeds and there will be tabs as well - although I call them pages in my app. I built it using React/MobX/TypeScript.

Yeah I think I made it when iGoogle and google reader died, I’ll not kill it off like they did

I love this, I like how it's not image heavy. It also seems to aggregate all the sites I like to read :)

I really like the responsive multi-column, as someone who increases the text on webpages all the time , i find a lot of a more shinier things out there don't like 150%, your site scales nicely.


What I would love would be a section at the top that just has all the news feeds, merged, in reverse chronological order.

Thanks Charles! Speed was my main goal, it should load in well under a second. Will look into the merged idea

It seems that this is the source for it: https://github.com/kultus/ReadSpike

I guess it's the admin interface, so perhaps not public facing. But, uh, lots of SQL injection issues...


Just had flashbacks to writing PHP. Considering this is still an idiomatic style of writing PHP speaks to the problems of the language. That SQL injection venerability is also plain as day.

Ha, exactly why I stopped using a db after v1, it's been flat cached json files since then

That was a fork someone took when I had my first version briefly on github, I took it down a long time ago. I believe I left some creds in :(

so where is the code to the latest version (if you are open to share it)

Thinking now of releasing the front end code, as the php is a little ... amateur

Great, now add some more predefined pages (or allow customizing) and let me invert the colors and I'm good to go!

If you want to quickly invert the colors, simply paste this in a custom Stylish userstyle :

html { filter: invert(100%); } img,svg{ filter: invert(100%); } body { background: white; }

Netvibes would fit the bill for you.

I hate multi-column layouts. The only reason they exist is to provide a narrow text width (easy to read) on a wide page without wasting tons of paper. Scrollbars exist, there is no good reason to have a multi-column layout for an electronic document.

There also doesn't seem to be any way to customize which RSS feeds are shown. That means I'd still need a second reader for anything not included (and have feeds I'm not interested in). That makes it even more useless.

This feels like the author's personal project. The feed categories are quite specific (London & Brighton) and fixed. I'm sure it's just what they want, but it's not exactly a general purpose news aggregator.

I disagree about muli-column layouts, as I tend to like them. I think it just comes down to preference. The best solution would be to offer multiple views based on user preference.

The rest is spot on though. A little too specific and un-changeable for my personal use.

Multi-columns work if you don't have to scroll to read the info as well. If you can get to the bottom of the column without scrolling (like on a printed page) it's fine. If you have to scroll they're horrid. You wouldn't print a book with a multi-column layout where each column continues through to the end of the chapter, and then you have to turn back to the start to read the next column. Yet people do it with digital documents all the damn time.

I think multi-columns are a good way to present information, it is a shame about being unable to change the column but surely that can be fixed? I'd use this if that was the case, it's a great way of pulling together newsworthy content.

Multi-column layouts for data-dense displays really like this really need some way of differentiating the different sections. Something as simple as:

.link-section { background: #212327; padding-top: 1rem; } .links-list li:hover { background: #1a1c20; }

Would make a huge difference in readability while still maintaining the overall aesthetic. Which, I might add, is pretty good looking.

Correct, it's my personal news feed (I moved from London to Brighon). Amazed it's submitted to HN.

It is single column on tablet and down ;)

Scrolling sucks. Any page that gives me a bunch of information without me having to do anything with my hands is doing it's job.

Yes, but multi-column leads to scrolling down to finish one column, then having to scroll back up to keep reading. It just adds more scrolling. Note the scrollbar on the side of this page.

I am already used to this view, credit goes to android and web app of feedly. How about showing trending youtube videos. By the way, it is awesome. Loving it. It would have been great if I could personalise the feeds with my opml file.

Suggestion : Let me click on a source to front it on the top of the website. Simply store it in a cookie or localstorage. Even better, let me drag-drop to reorder or mute sites I'm not interested in seeing.

I should make a public trello board, good suggestions!

Looks like a dumbed down version of http://alltop.com/

How is this on the front page?

Great website. A few wishes :

Would love to have a PWA for it. Web platform daily doesn't work anymore. You could parse the content of the weekly issues in https://github.com/simevidas/webplatformnews-weekly/tree/mas...

Thanks! replaced it with developers.google.com/web

A simple news aggregator for someone, just not for your news

I'm sorry but this website doesn't provide some innovative news feed, all I can find here is a simple RSS reader.

In my opinion this post shouldn't be on the front page. I guess it's all about the author's karma (or other users who upvotedt it).

I disagree - yes, it's a simple project and probably not something I'd use, but it's also somewhat inspirational. It's a clean interface that does exactly what it's designed to do with minimal fuss. This is what hobby development is all about IMO.

Ah give them a break, it's a nice reader, that sure is just probably a bit of RSS, but it looks nice and it's good to see something simple like this that isn't cluttered. As a Londoner it's also nice there is a decent London page.

Maybe it's karma powered, but yeah I feel a bit sad about this on the frontpage, not because I don't see the merit of it, but because I've tried to promote my feed that was tracking hundred of startup blogs and tech giants, and I was just able to get like 4 points in the 3 occasions I put it on Show HN. It's already water over the bridge and it's not tracking any more news, but anyway, sorry for this mini rant.

Readspike has been live for 5 years with only a handful of regular visitors, this is totally out of the blue for me! No idea who submitted it, I thought my site had errored when I saw it listed on itself

Ok, sorry for my comment.


It's actually about what friends the author asked to upvote something.

This a lovely surprise to me, I had nothing to do with the submission

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