Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Turn GitHub into an RSS Reader (github.com/osmoscraft)
110 points by low_tech_punk 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 59 comments

Developer here. I super appreciate the support. Some context:

- I'm a big fan of RSS and there is a thriving community behind. Just check out this list: https://github.com/AboutRSS/ALL-about-RSS

- I'm also a firm believer of web as a platform, a distributed document database, and an open library of knowledge, as opposed to a "compile target" for cryptic JavaScript apps that take control and freedom away from users. Jim Nielsen has a timely critique: https://blog.jim-nielsen.com/2021/web-languages-as-compile-t...

- The bigger picture behind the osmos project is to create an IDE for personal knowledge management. On the surface:

1. I read my rss with osmos::feed.

2. I capture reference links from the feed with osmos::memo.

3. I digest the knowledge and connect them into notes with osmos::note.

- All of them are done with plaintext (some sprinkle of markdown), remote hosted on GitHub, so they are easy to run NLP and ML against. Potentially with GitHub actions, or locally with some bot, with a cloned repo.

- In the long term, I was hoping to create a "positive feedback loop". Use ML to extract patterns from my notes, make connections for me, and recommend interesting reading in the osmos::feed. On the other end, osmos::feed can use NLP to detect how each article in the feed might connect to ideas from osmos::note and make note-taking even easier.

- The parent project (https://osmoscraft.org) is still in super early stage. Would love to let the community give it a spin while I keep iterating.

- Thanks again for the ♥

Hi, it is a very nice project. I like it! You could probably also quickly add a manifest for turning your current HTML template into a web app (benefits are that when adding a shortcut on the Home screen of some mobile device, the website will open in a dedicated window (rather than in a tab of the browser) with a dedicated title in the list of running application (rather than the name of the browser), a dedicated icon on the launch screen, etc.).

See https://developer.mozilla.org/docs/Web/Manifest

Reminds me of https://zettelkasten.de/ except they focus on note-taking while you have some emphasis on reading as well.

I'm a big fan of RSS too, and I appreciate what you are doing. Thanks.

On the other hand, it sounds like you are staking a position that the web is for docs not apps.

Not sure why we are often presented with apps vs. docs - why can't it be for both? I feel that those that don't want it to be for apps are taking away some of my freedom: I need some apps and if I can't get them on the web I'll probably have to turn to a proprietary platform.

Calling this an RSS-Reader is kinda strange. As this is static, is there any way to save states like seen/read? How is this without state different from any other news-site? Just because it happens to be feed by RSS doesn't mean it utilize the benefits of feed-culture that made RSS so great.

Very similar project, also available as a GitHub Action: https://github.com/marketplace/actions/feedsfetcher

Do people still uses rss? I'm on my way to put my old blog back on air and I was think about providing a json view, but also a rss one (since the implementation seems very simple). I'm just curious if people still uses it

Yes, I use it. I don't want to manually check every blog web comic podcast etc i fallow, everyday and see if there was a update. If I tried i would probably end up missing some, so I grab the rss feed and have it delivered to me. And it doesn't clutter my email inbox like a newsletter or email notification will.

The only reason rss isn't more widespread is, it is to useful for consumers and hard to monetize for FAANG's

I love RSS/Atom. Completely stopped using the main social medias. With RSS, you are your own newsfeed algorithm. I've been using Newsblur but I will switch away soon. It's too heavy and I'd prefer to self-host.

Can I recommend you take a look at Miniflux (https://miniflux.app/)? I'm a customer and really like it - it is possible to self host.

I used to have a "standard" RSS reader a long time ago but then got swamped in the hundreds of posts I didn't (have time to) read. It was such a big source of FOMO I had to completely stop using it.

Now i'm happy using fraidycat (https://fraidyc.at/) because it behaves the way I want: a very active source will only overshadow itself. Instead I have a list of all sources and I can have a quick look of the latest article of each source on the same screen. When I feel a source is too noisy it means I'm not interested in every single post, so I push it down to lower levels of importance, who live in a different tab. I know stuff happens there but I'm rarely interested so it's ok if I check only once a week for example.

I use Tiny Tiny RSS as a self-hosted solution, very quick to setup and offers lot's of features. The UI is a bit hard to use from a smartphone, though, at least with my font sizes.

There's at least one Android reader and a mobile-optimized view available: https://github.com/mboinet/ttrss-mobile

I don't understand how else people keep up with the information. Manually rechecking the blogs they like?

perhaps, people read a link aggregator such HN/reddit.

But they don't track the blogs I'm interested in.

For following blogs, it's either RSS (I use Feedly) or emails. Emails are less convenient to browse - RSS I can just see the title and description along with the featured image - and many blogs don't offer email subscriptions. So... RSS it is!

You’ll get a skewed set of answers here, but definitely. I ask for RSS every time a site is missing it. Email-to-RSS sometimes works as a substitute.

More and more, now that every news and social media platform is doing some "personalization", which means I won't see all the news on the website. Even youtube rss feeds are better than the subscribe and bell buttons.

Do you have a recommendation for an rss reader that works with youtube?

What do you mean? RSS is standardized, every RSS reader should be able to handle youtube feeds. Just substitute the channel id and paste it in your reader of choice:


I never stopped! Still going strong. Everything from blogs to news to podcasts and more. All RSS.

I'd like to again, but I stopped because I didn't have a good (read: worked in the way I wanted) client, and not everything served it anyway.

I paid for Feedbin for quite a while, but it had too many issues/missing features. I replaced it with nothing, unfortunately.

(I think at the time it was one of those Sod it, I'll write my own moments, and of course never got around to it.)

Admittedly mostly as a result of no longer using it, but currently the only source I read regularly (by email) is Levine's Money Stuff. If I could get his column and some YouTube 'subscriptions' by RSS, I'd be in.

Youtube channels do have RSS feeds, so if you want, you can subscribe to all the rss feeds for all the channels you follow.

I don't think there's an rss feed for "a selection of new things that youtube expects that you would actually watch, from the channels you follow, which youtube would list on the main page or whatever for you", so you can get exactly the same things,

but if you just want to subscribe-through-rss to all the channels you subscribe-through-youtube , you can.

You can also subscribe to a youtube playlist, if a channel has a playlist you are interested in, but which is only a minority of their videos.

> but if you just want to subscribe-through-rss to all the channels you subscribe-through-youtube , you can.

Do you mean there is a unified feed that list all new entries in my subscribed channels? Or that one need to add a seperate rss-feed for every followed channel?

I only know the second option, and it kinda sucks to maintain multiple places. Would be really great to have just one place to to that.

AFAIK, only the second option. Depending on your workflow, I see two 'solutions'.

1 - If you are on mobile app, subscribe to the channel on youtube. Them every few days, check your subscriptions on YT and add them on your RSS reader, while unsubscribing from YT.

2 - On desktop, many RSS readers have extensions to follow the current page, so you could use an extension to subscribe. Some mobile apps might let you share a link to it, and them subscribe there.

The inconvenient thing about that is, it could be more cumbersome if for example, you sit on your couch and want to just cast some video to the TV. On a RSS reader you might need to click the link, which will open on YT app, and then cast.

I was aware of that, but I thought it was removed recently-ish (last couple of years)?

Will have to check that, that'd be great.

Still works perfectly. Even if they'd stop, there are projects like RSS Hub to solve this problem.

typo : the "so you can get exactly the same things," should read "so you can't get exactly the same things," (as in, can't get exactly the same (distribution of) things you would if you were to just view the homepage)

Yep! I use Miniflux as my reader, works great. Easiest way to keep track of all the indie blogs out there.

I started using RSS in a big way when I got my first smartphone.* Navigating websites using your thumb is slow and cumbersome. Not to mention just clicking a bunch of bookmarks on your phone takes ages longer than on a desktop.

But with RSS, I have an eBook view of what's new on any websites I'm interested in. Nothing else in the way, no navigation bars, no waiting for pages to load, no waiting for a cell signal, etc. Scroll up down through a list of recent updates, click to read, scroll through if interesting, swipe left/right to switch to the next/prior entry, or go back to the index. Done. Reading the day's updates happens in record time. With knock-on benefits that it's easier to follow small sites with infrequent updates... They come to me, I don't have to keep trying to check for updates from them.

* I had some nice PDAs back in the day, but WiFi only became a thing right about when PDAs went out of fashion, so I don't know if there were any good RSS readers back then. It wasn't until smartphones that it became a problem I was motivated to solve.

I stopped using RSS partially because the blogs I was reading stopped writing and because HN started filling that gap.

I'm only on Twitter (and trying to reduce its use), so I'm trying to go back to RSS, but I'm struggling to find content.

I wonder if people here know of any resource to discover blogs. Inoreader suggests some blogs and has search functionality, but I found it a bit lacking on that camp.


Use this site to find active rss blogs , I got this link from a HN post a few weeks ago , I’ve had quite good luck finding great blogs on topics I liked from this finder .

I've only started using RSS for a couple weeks and have just added blogs organically as I found them mostly from HN and lobste.rs. You don't need a big list of blogs to start with to profit from RSS, just add the HN feed and go from there.

And oh, I also migrated my youtube subscriptions to RSS, it's much more convenient imho.

Yep, I started doing that, but I stopped. Generally I find a good number of the blogs hitting HN's frontpage aren't worth following because that post on HN is one off; either because their blog focus on a topic I'm not interested or because the post was "engineered" to get to the front page.

What I can't really track with RSS is HN! Too many updates per day :)

So far RSS is unmatched for me. I started with Netvibes when I was a teenager, then I stopped for some years, then I installed Aggregator on Android a to be able to follow RSS feeds again.

I'm looking for a smarter RSS reader on Android than the existing ones. Features I'm looking for :

  - automatic deduplication of items
  - smart labels powered by ML
  - My own grouping based custom filters AND smart labels
  - easy access to discussions that might exist on social website for a given link (twitter, HN, reddit)
That might be the usecase that would get me started with Android development, but I have not decided if a webapp would be better. Also every news businesses and news distributors on Earth (including Google) are trying to kill RSS to make more money, I don't see who could stop them.

> That might be the usecase that would get me started with Android development, but I have not decided if a webapp would be better.

You might already know this but that's actually a very fluid barrier. If you use the angular cli to start a project you can - with one command (ng add @angular/pwa) make it installable on devices after you've deployed it on an https server.

You can try feedly[0] as it has at least some of the above — smart labels, custom grouping and easy access to discussions (on hn at least - I don't use the others).

There's also a premium version which may support some of the other features you've mentioned.

0. https://feedly.com/

I tried few years ago, and it didn't fit my needs. Just tried again :

  - must sign up to use the application
  - impossible to select several items to mark them as read/unread (possible in Aggregator, and I can't live without it)
  - the grouping is based on the feeds (same as Aggregator), but I'm looking for label grouping ala Gmail
  - must pay for the search/label feature
  - in text only mode, the items are hard to read. I like Aggregator's way of seeing the source's favicon next to the items
  - ads
RSS is free open standard, it's not supposed to change and does not require maintenance. Aggregator's last update was almost 3 years ago and the app still fully works as intended today. I'm not looking for an app that is updated every week for new features.

I tried all the free Android RSS readers under the sun, and none has the perfect combo of features I would like.

Not just that, there is an awesome project to scrape webpages that do not feature RSS: https://github.com/RSS-Bridge/rss-bridge

You can replace most of your social media feeds. I'm compiling a list of URLs you can use to replace existing services with RSS: https://gist.github.com/thefranke/63853a6f8c499dc97bc17838f6...

Yes, people still use it, but it's dying and culture is stagnating. There is no movement forward, no adapting of new features. Only the commercial Feedreaders have a little bit of improvment, but kinda hard to justify the prices when you only use it for private purpose.

It's kinda strange how the great cultures of technology always stagnate at some point and start dying, while the swallow cultures live on and just change names and faces.

Absolutely! I follow some 100+ feeds in Liferea. Basically any site or part of a site which has interesting content with low or intermediate frequency (Hacker News and the like would just flood the "inbox"). It's an excellent way to look through dozens of entries quickly for the good stuff.

To add to the pile on of support for RSS, I use it daily! I use the Reeder App across my Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Yes - I think it tends to be used by people that are into creating online content, it’s the best way to get content delivered to you online. Though there’s Twitter and Newsletters too, which are great, RSS is still hugely useful.

I started using it recently. Following a few blogs that interest me using Feedly. Got a browser extension so I know whenever a new article gets posted.

I do too. How else to keep up with 655 feeds?

Sure. (well, quite often it's actually Atom, since people use "RSS" to mean either)

The more technical your audience, the more likely they are to prefer atom or rss.

For podcasts, yes. Blogs, no. Aggregators like hacker news replaced it for me.

I follow Hacker News using its RSS feed.

I use it to direct certain topics to my Discord server.

My main source including for the HN.

Yes, it’s my main source of news.

Kinda cool, but I'd much prefer to utilize RSS locally and if you want a web interface Miniflux looks pretty nice and easy.

Thank you for this. I'm missing a good RSS service so much and was about to implement something like this myself.

Well done!

It's cool, I have a similar private repo setup which I was intending to open up publicly tomorrow :))

Does Github allow you to use Action for this type of thing?

Awesome project!

Yes, I do :)

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact