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Google Reader Apocalypse Extremely Fucking Nigh (jwz.org)
479 points by chrismealy 1633 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 267 comments



I don't really share most of jwz's specific complaints, but I've been trying to use feedly, and boy .... it's really hard to believe so many people are recommending this as a general Google reader replacement.

Besides its somewhat quirky UI, the main problem I have with feedly is that it seems predicated on the assumption that you will more or less read through all articles, one by one, in order, and finish them.

That's not how I use reader at all. I leave thousands of things left unread, and yet google reader makes it quite easy to keep up to date with whatever I feel like reading at the moment, without getting bogged down by all the stuff I don't want to read. It lets me categorize stuff hierarchically, and then drill down to what I want to look at, and maintains unread counts for each level, easily visible all at once. It's easy to see what categories/subcategories have new stuff. It's easy to mark stuff as read/unread, one by one, or in bulk by category. Yadayada.

Feedly basically flattens and linearizes everything, and doesn't give any summary information, so I constantly feel unsure what's available without looking, and once I look, I quickly get lost in the undifferentiated flow of articles.

Of course Google reader also allows a more "feedly-style" one-big-stream mode of operation via its summary feeds. Except that it does a better job of it by allowing multiple different views, and provides summary information for all of them too.

And despite all that flexibility and power, Google reader's interface seems far simpler than feedly's... it's really just a tree-list-view thingy like we're all used to from a zillion apps, and everything just sort of works like you expect it.

It does all that, and because it's web-based, everything's always in sync no matter where you read. It doesn't have dedicated mobile apps, but it works pretty well on smartphone browsers (and even on dumbphone browsers, although it started to flake out during authentication a few months ago, presumably because Google wasn't keeping it updated).

So basically reader's about a zillion times better, with one glaring exception: it's going away... TT

[The closest free replacement I've found so far is "yoleoreader", which kinda gets the vibe right, although it's a bit rough in places...]


> I leave thousands of things left unread, and yet google reader makes it quite easy to keep up to date with whatever I feel like reading at the moment, without getting bogged down by all the stuff I don't want to read. It lets me categorize stuff hierarchically, and then drill down to what I want to look at, and maintains unread counts for each level, easily visible all at once. It's easy to see what categories/subcategories have new stuff. It's easy to mark stuff as read/unread, one by one, or in bulk by category.

I was seriously starting to think I am only one who wants this from web-based rss-reader. Most of the native rss clients are built around this behaviour and I really cannot understand why web readers don't. Maybe A/B testing with bad test cases (or without enough diverse user population) or maybe we are just crazy.

> It doesn't have dedicated mobile apps

Android at least has. It was/is really nicely hidden under all unofficial, privacy violating rip-offs in the Google store.


If Google were smart, they'd open-source Reader and let the people who love it maintain and run it (It's probably much too dependent on their architecture for this to actually be a viable option).


I dont think they are killing ready because of the cost to maintain it. I think its more likely a strategic move to push people onto plus.


Google surely realized they've made a mistake, but they are like the government - never admit they err.


This is almost certainly impossible. Systems at large Web companies have tons of dependencies on internal systems, libraries and build tools. It would probably be easier to rewrite Reader from scratch rather than open-source it.


Ignoring the dependence on architecture; who's going to pay for the servers that are needed to run Reader? They don't run off love last I checked.


If Google were smart, they'd open-source Reader and let the people who love it maintain and run it (It's probably much too dependent on their architecture for this to actually be a viable option).

So.. if they were smart they'd do something that's impossible, you're saying.


I have the exact same use-case: big hierarchy of feeds, and just reading the ones I feel like at the moment.

I switched to Newsblur, and apart from some small issues with the UI (which is getting better), I've been really happy. The iOS app is also nice. The downside is of course that it costs money, but it really isn't that much IMHO.


I also switched to newsblur, and I'm pretty happy with it. The UI is definitely clunky, but after you get used to it, it's really not so bad. It's free for some number of feeds, has a sane business model (i.e. it has any business model), the entire thing is open source, and it has an open API so you can build your own client if you wish!

I've not felt the need to try any others since switching


I've actually tried Feedly first for a number of weeks and it drove me half insane for similar reasons to that of jwz. I switched to Newsblur and after a few buttons it goes into 'works almost like Google Reader' mode.


The closest replacement is The Old Reader - unfortunately they seem to having problems with feed update speed (probably due to load)


My favorite, Newsblur, has pretty much everything GReader had. And by now he even managed to do away with the performance problems.


Too bad it's ugly and has lots of ux-quirks.


Yeah, I finally tried out NewsBlur yesterday after waiting as long as possible to decide on a replacement. There's a lot going on there. I think I've more or less figured out what it's all for and how to navigate around, but one thing is still bugging me -- what's that orange triangle on the left of the feed area, that follows the cursor around unless you "lock" it, for?! Totally unexplained ux element.


I think (but am not certain) that when any part of an article moves past the orange triangle, it is marked as read.


Yes, this. I was confused by it too until I uncovered that in a GetSatisfaction thread. If you lock it about 1/4 of the way from the top, the auto mark-read behavior is like GReader.

It should probably default to being locked...

One of my favorite things about Newsblur is how minutely configurable it is, but I think all of that is probably throwing off new users.


You don't find it buggy? For example, right now it claims several of my feeds are 404 and it won't let me fix them -- I have to delete and re-add them.


It's super buggy! Dupes articles and it's happened twice when long reading sessions were lost without any indication of error - the "read" state of tens, maybe hundreds of articles were not updated. I've seen the code on GitHub in the past - it was a ball of pasta.


I find exactly which feeds are 404 varies, so I believe it is an upstream issue in the feed itself.


The "fix a misbehaving feed" dialog claims every URL I give it is 404. And now it has helpfully renamed all my broken feeds to "[Untitled]" so I can't tell them apart in the list.



Weird, I have no bugs at all. No 404, no other problems.


I've really enjoyed using Feedbin.me. They have a three column layout and keyboard commands. Makes it easy to read. Feedbin is web based, but they have an API that I can sync with Press on my phone.


I wanted to try this a couple months ago, but it had crazy permissions (contact book, and IIRC even more). No way.

Today I see it's just (a) email address and (b) know who you are on Google. Glad to see they changed it.


Yup, that was the only one that I tried that really fit my workflow.


I'm using The Old Reader. I would have recommended it to him but he wants something with iPhone/iPad support too.

They aren't charging anything, maybe they should make an app...


As of yesterday, the iOS app Feedler supports The Old Reader!


They are currently in the process of publishing an API, some select developers already have access to it according to their latest blog so an iOS app is in the coming...


InoReader (https://www.inoreader.com) gets quite close to the Google Reader experience.

I've been juggling between that and YoleoReader to get better acquainted with them and will settle for one after getting properly used to one of them.


Looks and feels pretty good (though I'm not sure how they'll keep it in business).

I believe i came across it the other day and brushed off because I didn't see a Register link (not signing up with Google or Facebook anywhere). But I logged in today and was fairly surprised to see the number of features available to the readers.

The key to any good Reader is the availability of the customizing features for the end-users, plus of course the speed and scalability. As soon as I plugged in HN feed to inoreader, I saw thousands of feeds fetched ready for me to scroll quickly. That's a first good sign.


Thanks, I've spent a few months with Feedly but InoReader feels much more right! While Feedly does not allow you to export OPML, it still syncs with Google Reader so unless you've changed your feeds very recently, you can get them InoReader within a minute.


Google reader had an amazing dedicated mobile phone app that shipped with Android on the Nexus 4. It was perfect.


I used that app heavily, and it certainly wasn't perfect. It had annoying bugs/behavior; some that I remember:

(1) confusing vertical scrolls with horizontal swipes;

(2) going back to the top of a story after rotating the screen;

(3) limited ability to manage feeds;

(4) an annoying delay when switching between screens;

(5) failure to follow the Jelly Bean "up" convention

(6) pictures would not be automatically scaled to fit the screen

it wasn't _terrible_ either. I'm sad to see Reader go, but there was plenty of room for improvement. I'm now happily using (and paying for) Newsblur.


I will also miss https://www.google.com/reader/i/#sub-tree/0

That iPhone-focused mobile view served me well for many years. I vastly preferred it to all iterations of the Android app and often use it on my desktop too. Showing only 15 items and being able to mark just them as read was a great workflow for me.


Exactly. It is also great on a Galaxy Tab.

Do any of the alternatives to Reader have a good app for Android ?


It seems that Feedly's Cloud API may be the best replacement for the Reader backend (really an ATOM PUB feed source). It may not however turn out to be the best frontend for our use case. I would like to see if it is possible to rebuild the Reader UI/UX on top of the Feedly Cloud API, using an ATOM feedreader core implemented in javascript.

Personally, I want a centralized solution, not a standalone daemon running on a private server. I switched to reader from a Gnome feed reader after losing all of my subscriptions due to losing access to a home directory. From there (in 2004 I think) I've built a massive collection of diverse sources covering every position, philosophy, point of view, etc. I can. I have so many feeds that I cannot possible read all of them, and so many that the Feedly mobile UI on Android won't even display the entire list.

Feedly appears to have imported everything I want from Reader, including the tags that I have created over the years, and the folder structure. None of this appears to be in a simple OPML export. (But thanks Dave for standardizing that.)

I think everything is preserved in Feedly, and now that the pressure of Normandy is off I hope that they will work to address those people that brought them all of these new accounts, and all of the press surrounding this mass migration. The Reader theme is a start but doesn't go far enough.


I've been using The Old Reader (theoldreader.com) which, as the name suggests, is very much like old school reader before they crippled the social features. Sure, it doesn't have a dedicated mobile app, but the mobile site looks pretty nice.


Apps are starting to support it, try using Feedler (on iOS, no idea if there is an Android version)


I thought you were flat-out wrong for a moment, then did some digging: Feedler 2.0 does indeed support Theoldreader, however Feedler Pro (which was what I was squinting at) is still on version 1.12.5, and only supports Google Reader.

As Feedler 2.0 only showed up in the app store yesterday I assume the Pro version is stuck somewhere in the approvals process ...


Yeah, I've been using the free version for ages. When they added the old reader support, I bought the pro version out of gratitude, only to find a google login screen! I'm sure the pro app will get the update soon...


Yoleo has been wonderful for me. I've been recommending it to everybody.


I found it to be awful. It's so slow. I presume this is an artefact of using it from Europe, and the developers not taking latency into account.

I'm willing to overlook the bugs such as the same item appearing more than once in a feed (it's quite new), but the incredible slowness of it make it unusable for me.

For example, I loaded it before writing this comment, and as of this point, it still hasn't finished loading. I just get a spinny box and 'Loading...'

I also know from experience that if you click on something else, such as a folder, it won't override what it's currently loading, so the state of the UI will get out of sync.

You also can't read a list of items, you have to read one by one, incurring yet another AJAXy-load which doesn't necessarily ever respond, thus leaving in you in Loading... limbo.


That's interesting. I'm using it from Australia and it seems acceptably fast for me. I don't have a huge number of feeds, maybe this makes the difference.

Did you contact the developer? She seems quite eager to help.


Those are significant items that need to be worked on, but the main thing Yoleo does for me is feel good using it like Google Reader felt good several years ago. I haven't come across an RSS reader in awhile that didn't make reading feel like work.

I do wish the doubles would disappear, though.


I tried Yoleo and had it import my Reader feeds, but it never did. it imported some small percentage of them and stopped.

The current layout make it too hard for me to move quickly through a large number of items.

I appreciate the effort but even if it did manage to import my feeds the UI just doesn't work for me.


I wanted to love it, but it takes forever to load on my iPhone 5. The base page loads fast, but the Ajax call to fetch articles just spins forever. (I live in Omaha, Nebraska, fwiw)


I gave Yoleo a shot as well. Biggest issue is no mobile app :-(


Working on it as we speak. Andriod first, for once.


Try InoReader.

A limitation is that a feed can't appear twice in the treeview (or it will be duplicated), but apart from that, it's mostly a clone of GReader.


I shared a lot of your issues, and I have to say ridly[1] has really been doing it for me. They did the hierarchy really well IMO.

[1] http://www.ridly.net/


I feel the same way. Best replacement I've found so far is Feedbin.me and Press (for Android).

Feedbin's web client acts pretty strangely sometimes, but it's the one that best fits my Reader workflow.


I've tried TT-RSS as a replacement and it works quite well. It's self-hosted, depending on your point of view that may be an advantage or disadvantage.


+1 for tt-rss. I've been a big GReader user for years and I love that tt-rss is self-hosted. Fuck the cloud. Nobody can take it away from me now. :)

It's been heavily modified since the news of GReader going away was announced and it's easy to write plugins for it. I've got my version of it tweaked to the gills and it's even better than GReader was in my opinion.


I'm having an even worse experience.

It keeps losing the unread status, even on articles i haven't touched (yes i've disabled auto mark).

It's a mess.

The UI is bearable, but this....


Feedly is an example of an app that is extremely over-designed in a counterintuitive way. It is a remarkable case of form over function.

"There's a list of articles, one per line, stacked vertically on the screen. After you've scanned your eyes to the bottom of the screen, how do you see more? You scroll it up, right? Ha ha ha. No. You swipe right. Madness."

Oh. THAT'S how you do it. I thought it was impossible to scroll down a list of articles. When you swipe down on an article list, feedly alternates between showing you a single article and a portion of the article list. I have no idea what the intended function is.

And do the different width bars on the homescreen mean anything?

I switched to newsblur which looks like it's from 2003 and has a terrible home page. But at least it doesn't surprise me.


I definitely agree.

Once made to show full items by default, Feedly became acceptable for how I use a feed reader. However, this option only appears to be available on the desktop site, and not on the Android app, and all the other options feel too weird; the cards and magazine layouts look pretty, but are completely unusable ("I just want to read my feeds!).

Yoleo almost does it for me, except I sorely miss the ability to scroll through a list of unread items (it forces us to hit J or click on the next entry in the third column to make the next item visible).

I find the NewsBlur UI awfully clunky, and I will admit that I can't bring myself to actually using it as the replacement. However, it exposes an API, and I built a much simpler UI for it: http://www.altfeedreader.com/ — it doesn't do everything that NewsBlur can, but it does 99% of what I want in a feed reader.

In the end, I haven't settled on what I will use, and there's still Digg Reader (to be released tomorrow) and AOL Reader (released, but buggy enough to prevent me from adding anything when I tried it).


I'm working on a "headline mode" that's going to let you scroll through your articles.


Hopefully with the option of showing the full article content from the feed.


Fully agree! It doesn't hold a candle to the gReader interface...


And more over it requries a browser plugin (at least for firefox) to even function, why? And most of the time it just doesn't work - keep displaying that it is updating (maybe it doesn't take proxy into account?)


I hated the browser plugin too. But I think they have a web-version now, cloud.feedly.com

I have a flaky experience using the cloud.feedly.com. Sometimes it logs in, sometimes it doesn't. Just tried and I am able to login. for now...


Yeah, Feedly's interface can't seem to get out of its own way.


    > I have no interest in reading my feeds through 
    > a web site (no more than I would tolerate reading 
    > my email that way, like an *animal*).
I haven't laughed that hard at something I read in a blog post so far this year. And I agree wholeheartedly.

Who gives a shit about Google Reader the website? (Apparently, a whole lot of people... but not me.) I only care about the syncing.

Like Zawinski, I want a fast, awesome, native RSS reader on all my platforms that stays in sync across them. That's it.

I would love to get that for free, but aftern thinking on it a moment, I don't see why anybody would provide that to me for free. Thinking on it a moment more, I realized I would pay some reasonable fee for it.

However, non-free means 99% of people won't use it, and this in turn means that there is much less incentive for the makers of said fast, awesome, native newsreaders to support such a service in their app.

Except that an RSS newsreader that cannot sync is kind of like a dog turd in a bowtie.

An enterprising newsreader maker could bite the bullet and make sync a feature of their app -- but I don't think any of the good newsreader apps cover all the important platforms (for me, Mac, iOS, and Android, but for others Windows and Linux are probably in the mix, too).

So I don't know what the solution is.


A proper standard for syncing rss? So that, like email, you just have to point your various clients at the address of the sync server you are using. That can be one you run yourself or one from some third party provider. If your provider closes you can just point your clients at the new service, without each client needing to implement a new custom API. You are also free to use whatever client(s) you want. It seems to me like this should have been part of RSS since the beginning.

The web community seems disinterested in developing standards other than presentational ones (HTML/CSS), I guess largely for commercial reasons: the creators of services want to lock you into their specific (magic hip RESTful JSON) API.

Five years ago, if you wanted to show content from one site or app on your own site or app, you could use a simple, documented format to do so, without requiring a business-development deal or contractual agreement between the sites. Thus, user experiences weren’t subject to the vagaries of the political battles between different companies, but instead were consistently based on the extensible architecture of the web itself. -- Anil Dash [1]

[1] http://adactio.com/journal/6291/


Yep, you are exactly right, that is the only proper solution.

Like you say, though, the proverbial "community" doesn't seem any closer to building that then they were when Google Reader was created in 2005.

I had hoped that the demise of the proprietary Google Reader would finally inspire the creation of such an open standard, but so far all it seems to have inspired is more crap like Google Reader...

(But, lacking the good solution, I would still pay for another crappy proprietary solution in the meantime.)


What about something as simple as reusing IMAP for RSS?


I actually hacked up a feed-horfer that populated an IMAP account some years ago. IMAP gets you like 90% of the way there.

There's no facility for updating items, that was about the only thing really wrong with it from the end user perspective, assuming you are okay with storing the full text of tens of thousands of items when you will only read 2% of them.

But I don't see anything wrong with that in an era where even our phones have 64GB of storage...

EDIT (my touch device over zealously submitted): but IMAP isn't the right solution, even though it could work, and work better than google reader even. A RSS sync system really shouldn't require the user to download all the items and then sync against their own copies of them---it should be able to sync what has been read[1] based on the canonical URI of the item, with some intelligence to grok the mod dates to track updated items. Storage isn't a problem anymore for mostly-textual content, but mobile latency and data caps are.

[1]: and, in my opinion, notnjust what has been read, but what has been flagged, labeled, tagged, reposted, liked, hated, and/おr assigned whatever other arbitrary metadata


It seems like it gets you far enough. A custom IMAP client can just not download anything locally (just grab the headers and cache content of anything you've read), plus UI niceties (click on header to navigate to page). IMAP allows you to use this reader on platforms where no friendly client exists yet.


Oh yeah, totally; by having to "download all the items" I meant on the server. Assuming your were importing feed to an IMAP server that you owned, and reading feeds with a standard IMAP mail client. (Sounds kludgey, but really did work better than 90% of solutions to date.)

But if you mean a provider providing IMAP access to RSS feeds, that could work great. I don't know how to deal with updated items, but there is probably a way, especially if you had a custom client for key platforms. And 2nd tier platforms could still use an IMAP mail client.

Ok! Great idea, so... Somebody: go!!


That... actually sounds like a fantastic idea. One folder per feed, you could read your feeds with your email client. Interesting...


That's how I view some rss feeds via thunderbird:

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_:_FAQs_:_RSS_Basics

Edit: Also this comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5939742


Stavros, that's exactly what we do at http://www.feedsapi.org , we make it simple for our users to read their full text rss feeds from the comfort or ANY email client and we also delivr those in realtime (under 60 seconds).


Oh man, your site is pretty but the initial summary is waaaay too intense:

> Yes, Others May Offer “Real time” RSS To Email or RSS Readers for Free. But They Do NOT Fetch The Full Articles Content. They Do NOT Send Full Content but Only The Titles with Ads. They Do Not Fetch The Content in Real Time, They Call 15-minutes Real Time. We Check Your Sources Every 30 Seconds. That IS Real Time. They Do NOT Turn Shortened RSS Feeds Into Full Text RSS Feeds. They Do NOT Support other RSS Reader , We Support ALL RSS Reader Clients And You Do NOT Need Yet Another RSS Reader When Using Our RSS to Email Feature. You Do Not Need to Signin To Yet Another RSS Reader to Read Your Favourite News Articles, Feeds And Blogs, We Bring Them To You.

Real-time isn't something I'm really worried about, RSS feeds aren't something I read in real-time, they're something I let accumulate until I have some downtime.

That said, your service is pretty useful, but not for my usage. I prefer something that doesn't clutter my inbox and just sits there with tens of unread items until I get to it. I would love it if you provided an actual IMAP mailbox I could connect to and read RSS with my email client.


>I would love it if you provided an actual IMAP mailbox I could connect to and read RSS with my email client.

You can actually do that, all you need to do is set a filter+label in your email client or server. Works really well is you use Gmail but also works very good with the other email servers.


>So I don't know what the solution is.

Personal cloud. You have a domain name and you host the sync on cheap hardware in your home. For a single application this seems wildly expensive, but if you had a decent ecosystem of apps it'd suddenly be a bargain. This also has secondary benefits like not sending your data to shady 3rd parties.



I agree, but I like the idea of having someone else worry about swapping HDDs etc. So I'd want the same thing mirrored (but encrypted) up in the public cloud. I don't want to end up in a situation where all my stuff dies because a disk fails.


>So I'd want the same thing mirrored (but encrypted) up in the public cloud. I don't want to end up in a situation where all my stuff dies because a disk fails.

The implied parenthetical there is "(Without your permission)", encrypted backups would be miles ahead of where we're at now in terms of security.


I don't understand what you mean by "without your permission". I'd expect to have all the keys so it would be 'secure' in that sense.

The problem I want to solve is having proper ownership of my stuff without having to do that much more admin. I'd use the cloud as just storage. We're not necessarily that far ahead from having this now as services like tarsnap [1] offer part of what I'm after. I think the missing piece is that no-one's strung the, together into a overall product-offering.

[1] http://www.tarsnap.com


I mean exactly what I said, nobody is going to send your data to 3rd parties besides you. (Who themselves can and will send it to other 3rd parties.) I've heard nice things about Tarsnap, but uh:

>At the present time, Tarsnap does not support Windows (except via Cygwin) and does not have a graphical user interface.

This basically means it's for a couple percentage points of the population at best. Ideally I'd like to see more personal cloud users than that.

As far as the keys/encryption thing, I was saying it was a good idea. For the vast majority of people, encrypted backups would be miles ahead of where we are now.


Checkout rss2imap[0], it grabs RSS data and feeds it directly into IMAP folders so that you can use any mail client to read.

Syncing and many different clients are available automagically.

It supports OPML import, although not for folders.

[0]: https://github.com/rcarmo/rss2imap


I am the founder of http://www.feedsapi.org and this might be an option for what you are trying to achieve. It is not a typical rss reader but more a full text RSS to email service, this feature should allow you to read and organize your RSS news from any email client and any device, it syncs with all platforms as well. Like you already said, such a service can't be free but the pricing is fair and comes with a free trial...feedback welcome, please let me know if it fits yous needs


That's actually very interesting! But, far too expensive for me. I would have to pay $348 per year to read the same stuff I read now for free with NetNewsWire + Google Reader.

Even though I don't actually read 15,000 articles a month, I definitely download that many to browse through.

Personally, I would pay maybe a tenth of that.


Well unfortunately, such a price structure wouldn't be sustainable for us


While I share the author's frustration that Google Reader is going away, I don't get all the hostility toward Feedly. In just a few months' time, they've replicated by far the most important aspect of Google - serving as a backend for any front end reader that choose to use their API.

I too tried the Feedly iOS app and found it didn't suit my workflow and stylistic preferences. But I didn't need it. My favorite way of consuming news over the past couple years has been with Newsify, with Google Reader as back end. Now my favorite way continues to be Newsify, but with Feedly as back end. The transition was seamless.

My only 2 complaints are:

1) I was only able to import 1000 starred items into Feedly.

2) No search - but that's coming.

So - I wish I hadn't had to spend a dozen or two hours over the past few months evaluating alternatives to Google Reader. But I'm quite happy that Feedly stepped up to take Google Reader's place.


Exactly. Pretty much from the beginning of the Readerpocalypse, I'd decided to go with whatever the developers of my apps did.

Both Press and gReader decided to support Feedly, so that was simple enough. There were a few hiccups in the transition (initial bugs, creating my Feedly account in-app was confusing), but now everything is working as smoothing as it did with Google Reader. I can even directly compare that, since I've switched to Feedly on my phone but not on my tablet (yet).


gReader Pro on android has worked pretty darn well now that the bugs have been shaken out. I'd definitely recommend it over the pretty but useless feedly interface.


If you want the cached feed data from Reader preserved, ArchiveTeam is still collecting OPMLs:

http://allyourfeed.ludios.org:8080/

http://archiveteam.org/index.php?title=Google_Reader

We've saved about 30M feeds (6TB gzip'ed text) so far, and ~44K unique feeds from a few hundred uploaded OPMLs that we didn't find in the billion of URLs we've crawled.

We're also looking for

(1) massive URL lists we can grep, in case you have access to one

(2) query lists of just about anything that we can use to search for feeds using Reader's Feed Directory.

(3) some assistance in writing a few crawlers to discover more URLs on specific sites

(I'll try this submit this to the homepage tomorrow as well.)


By "OPML" they mean the subscriptions.xml file in your Reader takeout .zip

It's a list of the feeds you follow.


I appreciate his position but I have trouble taking advice on UI from somebody whose blog is eye-burning neon green text on a black background and has been since 1995. We know you're l33t, Jamie, you are a living legend. Can I get a readable color scheme already?


>Can I get a readable color scheme already?

Yes. In your OWN blog. This one is retro styling for the intended audience, and we won't have it any other way.

"Eye-burning"? Maybe lower your brightness? I have -3.00 diopters myopia and can read it just fine.

Not to mention people worked for 15+ hours on green on black displays and you didn't see them complaining -- and that was with phosphor displays, with an electron gun blazing, and tons of others issues, from flickering to v-sync.


Complain? We had options to change the intensity or use amber/black or white/black. No one in the day would have used intense green characters for a whole shift, it would have "burned" the CRT.


Er? There were metric-f'tons of green-phosphor terminals in use "back in the day", and I don't recall anybody ever adjusting them to reduce brightess... I'm not even sure if most them were even capable of easy adjustment.

E.g., the green model of the H19/Z19 (super popular), various IBM synchronous terminals (the ones I remember from the system/34 had a particularly saturated green phosphor), the later H29 (a very pleasant bright whitish-green), various cheapo Wyse models from the final days of dedicated terminals (though usually these were pretty adjustable), the original PC monochrome monitor (adjustable, but typically quite bright and saturated green), etc.

[Not that I actually like jwz's blog style, mind you...]


If I recall correctly, you could adjust the brightness on the VT 100 series through one of the setup modes. The VT200 had choices other than green. The TRS-80 Model 4 had white and I used a 4p as a terminal to remote mainframes and minis. The Xerox 820 was white. Most of the early Apple/IBM PC monochromes were green, but there were some really nice amber third party monitors.


"didn't see them complaining"? Here in Europe, laws were passed, in most countries, forcing employers to pay for eyeglasses and regular visits, because people were literally going blind.


I think you got just a very bad monitor, if it doesn't have a green / amber switch. Simply go and buy a better one. Btw. Blog is completely missing the lovely slow phosphor trailing effect, it could be added with js. I was great that you were able to read text from monitor about 5 seconds after powering it off. - After quick Googling, I couldn't find pre-existing javascript to do it. It would be nice to make one.


Might be hard to do in JS; http://www.jwz.org/blog/2011/01/cathode-vintage-terminal-emu... apparently uses OpenGL to get its phosphor effects.


It might be nice to replicate the 8 x 8 pixels (on a 640 x 200 screen) of the CGA 80 x 25 characters text mode.


I was thinking the same thing. The text is way too sharp, so it's rather anachronistic to see the right color scheme with modern fonts. There has to be a slightly pixelated font out there, based on the pixel pattern of the green CRTs. Of course, it wouldn't be practical on the blog, but it would look cool on his home page (jwz.org).

Just for the record, all the people complaining about jwz's green text have no idea what they're talking about. It might be old-fashioned and out of style, but it's totally readable. There are way worse websites, even among designers who should know better. What's funny is that it never fails that someone criticizes the green color, and says something about not taking the content seriously, every time jwz's posts get hackernewsed.


A green / amber switch are you serious? Are you in a time machine?


Of course he's serious. Green for hacking code, amber for reading Usenet.


Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that someone's complaining about UI of the source when the stuff under discussion already cleans up things for you and makes it readable?


Almost nobody uses feed readers, which is why Google shut down Reader in the first place. You guys are a small but INCREDIBLY vocal minority.


"Almost nobody uses feed readers" - prove it. I'll read that as "I stopped using it, therefore how could anyone else possibly want to?"

"which is why Google shut down Reader in the first place" - nope, Google wants to stuff us all into their walled Google+ crap and feed us ads. Notice the lack of RSS feeds for updates.

"You guys are a small but INCREDIBLY vocal minority" - this is a discussion that involves Google's cack handed behaviour with Reader, what do you expect. If you don't use RSS then why the hell do you care, stay out of the discussion.


> You guys are a small but INCREDIBLY vocal minority.

24-36m people is a vocal minority?


what kind of geek doesn't have EZRSS and a few other torrent feeds fed into Sickbeard or FlexGet for automatic television/movie/game downloading?


Me.

I have never watched much TV, skip most movies, and am unable to play any first shooter from Doom onwards without getting motion sick. Plus I think that I should respect copyrights.

Let me turn it around. What true nerd would consider consumption of mass market media a defining characteristic of nerdom? As opposed to, say, burying your nose in a math text for fun?


> [...] am unable to play any first shooter from Doom onwards without getting motion sick.

Wow, I thought this was just me! This prevents me from playing even the good stuff like Portal, which is a terrible pity.


Try increasing the FOV.


I tried to watch a video of Portal. I failed.

It was clear to me that increasing the field of view would not help.


Thank you for calling me on the No True Scotsman fallacy, then perpetuating the same in your reply. :)

Shame about your respect for copyright in the digital age; I'm in full agreement with you otherwise.


I didn't say I don't use RSS; I just don't use it for news (or any kind of reading). I plumb it into automation quite often, though.


and you use google reader for your plumbing? does that not seem a little robust for such an activity?


I'd say that is a fairly mainstream geek kind of thing, I associate it with the kind of video game playing, reddit frequenting geek. (Yes overly broad stereotypes).


I would never participate in automatic torrenting; I am pretty discerning about what I watch.

Additionally, RSS feeds just seem pointless to me; I visit web sites when I want to consume information from them. I dislike the idea of turning my computer into a television.


You can still be discerning in your automatic torrenting. For instance, Flexget has an option to download S01E01's of television, and the ability to check Metacritic ratings for Games/Movies before downloading (I have a threshold of 75% or above). While I tend to find a bunch of tripe television (the wife enjoys it, and I built her media center out of love), I happily delete the awful stuff, and don't add it to the list of "automatically download this title" shows I've curated.


Add this to your bookmark bar - https://gist.github.com/autarch/5856172 - it's quite handy.


That is super useful! Thanks!


Hear, hear. I just spent 5mn reading his post and then a few comments, then switched back to Hacker News and for about 20 seconds, my eyes were popping greed dots on my retina like fireworks.

Very, very painful.


I thought I'm the only one who hates his color scheme. Use stylish chrome extension to fix it, because jwz will never change it.


jwz's blog is't a product, doesn't exist to sell a product, or to sell jwz as a product -- which is why his ugly green color scheme is fantastic.

His blog's color scheme also has no bearing on evaluating actual products' UX.


False, jwz is selling himself on this blog. He's addicted to the attention, very much like a heroin addict.


That's really, really uncalled for.


"addicted to attention like a heroin addict"


Google doesn't seem to realize that one of their most valuable assets is trust. And that trust has eroded a great deal in recent months.


It really is time to grow up.

They have a product where they can't make money and can't fit it into their corporate direction. Good companies eventually cancel projects like this. Yes, we had a great product for free for a long time. Now it's time for someone else to fill the vacuum.


Your apologia is begs the question of whether Google could make money or find a fit for it when they never even allowed the team to try:

“‘There was so much data we had and so much information about the affinity readers had with certain content that we always felt there was monetization opportunity,’ he said. Dick Costolo (currently CEO of Twitter), who worked for Google at the time (having sold Google his company, Feedburner), came up with many monetization ideas but they fell on deaf ears.”

http://gigaom.com/2013/03/13/chris-wetherll-google-reader/

Had there been interest, revenues were easy to find: a college student trying their first project would at least have slapped some Google text ads on there. Given Google's other projects, they could have just made Reader a service with a $5/year charge, bundled it with Google Drive subscriptions, etc. The Google+ integration was a hopeless botch full of obvious opportunities to make both services more valuable but they simply did not try and succeeded only in making a strong, active, influential community use their services less and distrust their executives‘ vision and competency.


no, you seized control of an open RSS ecosystem with Reader and Feedburner, made those a platform no one could compete with, and then pulled the plug on the ecosystem.

If you don't even understand that, that's why you can't be trusted.


Open Office has seized control of the document suite. Any day now Microsoft is going out of business, and the GIMP is about to destroy Photoshop...

Bottom line is if there is a real market for something and someone makes a better product.


Your analogy sucks and you could have easily fixed it: "If Microsoft gave Office away, destroyed the competition, then killed Office..."

Google killed Reader and trust.


My comparison is simply that someone built a solid product and gave it away. Yes, people still pay hundreds of dollars for the same software when Open/Libre Office will work for most people.


The difference is that Google gave away access to the product, while Open Office and The GIMP gave away the product. If Open Office dies (like it almost did in the LibreOffice fiasco), you can grab its source code, recompile it, and keep on working. When Reader dies, you have nothing.


In my experience, those who loudest scream "Grow up!" are the ones who most need to do it.


One imagines they felt they were leaving too much on the table, or that they felt the counterparty (ie, us users) didn't value it as much as they did their lost opportunities.


Personally, GR is one of few services that I would have gladly paid $100/year for. They should at least have asked us users if we wanted to pay for the service in exchange for letting it live on.


The blowback on google charging for a formerly free service would have been a magnitude worse than them just shutting it down.


I disagree. As part of writing http://www.gwern.net/Google%20shutdowns I read through scads of blog posts, forum threads, articles etc for figuring out which of the ~300 entries were paid; aside from a Google Maps API charge which very quickly blew over and has been forgotten, there were no blowbacks to Google starting to charge for something, much less your incredibly hyperbolic 'magnitude worse' blowback. Reader's shutdown has cost them vastly more than switching to a subscription model ever would have.


People yowled at Google App Engine increasing its prices.


Yeah? Case in point, you see anyone still bitching about that in front page posts to HN?


"there were no blowbacks to Google"

That's a factually incorrect statement. I'm sorry, but people who make factual claims are supposed to care when they're proven wrong.


I am amused by your attempt to shame me into agreeing with you, but some complaining about price increases is not a 'blowback'. Dozens of new readers and business starting up and endless bad PR (I have Google Alerts set up, so I see the new articles all the time, and the Reader is still generating bad press especially now that the shutdown is nigh) - that is blowback.


That's an unproven assertion which the torrent of people saying “I'd have paid for Reader” calls seriously into question.


It should be trivially easy to look at the Graveyard, and find products that Google cancelled, where someone else later produced a competing product - for pay - that has attracted comparable users.

http://pinterest.com/googlegraveyard/google-graveyard/

People say they would buy things, all the time.


Even then, there probably aren't enough of you to make it worthwhile (and you're not a growing market). Keeping things free gives the provider tremendous leeway to do as they please.


Not many people seem that interested in my approach to solving the feed reading problem. I run my own backend and frontend and just let it fetch things for me. Then I periodically check in and flip through to see what's new. If I wind up on some new platform on which the web frontend doesn't make sense, I'll write a native one which speaks the same simple "POST in, AJAX out" language. No big thing.

I set up a Kickstarter to turn it into open source and release everything I've written and then some, but it seems the momentum just isn't there yet.


Have you heard of Newsblur? Sounds exactly like what you're describing.

API: http://www.newsblur.com/api

Open Source: https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlur

Also, cheers for not including a link to your Kickstarter.


I saw Newsblur quite some time back, maybe in 2011 when I decided to move myself off Reader. It didn't look like anything I wanted: so many frames!

Reader itself had a whole bunch of stuff which got in the way. One time I tried mocking it up with most of that stuff gone and I liked what I found. That's the sort of ideal I went for with my own thing: enough of a bar so people know it's a feed reader and not some scuzzy content thievery site (since they arrive when they see it in their referrer logs), and a way to flip through the posts.

The Kickstarter was an attempt to try something really "out there" for me and see if it would work. It looks like it will not.


The nice thing about NewsBlur is that it exposes the API so that, if you want, you can make a completely new front end for it. This is what I did: http://www.altfeedreader.com/


Hit shift+E then shift+F. That opens "Everything" which is the river of news, then fullscreens it so it's a single framed river of news.


NewsBlur is also YC S12. I can't say I've tried them all to compare fairly, but I'm quite pleased with NewsBlur for my feed-reading needs. Samuel Clay has been quite responsive to the few GitHub issues I've filed, too.



Yep - I have the same approach. My subscriptions generate 5-10 posts a day, I look at them once in the afternoon, mark all as read and move on.

Open sourced mine here: https://github.com/swanson/stringer - it's <10 minutes to deploy an instance to Heroku and be on your way. All the data is in your own database - do whatever the hell you want with it.


I've been looking for something like this. Thanks for sharing!



I can't imagine there'd be much interest in so such a thing just to read blogs.

It probably goes without saying that, perhaps despite appearances, Kickstarter projects require a massive amount of marketing to have any hope of success.


> I set up a Kickstarter to turn it into open source and release everything I've written and then some

You could also, you know, just release what you have as open source without asking people to pay $30,000 for the privilege?


It's not that simple.


I'm curious but helpless, what's it called so I can learn more?


BTW, OT but what do you think of Larry, Sergey, and Eric?


I never met any of them. I doubt they'd know me if they saw me.


You can't send an email?


I did (via the contact form), but no response was received.


You'll have to let me know how getting ignored in two different mediums feels.

Protip? Getting people to talk to you is another form of sales.

Also, don't ask questions in public for which the answers that could cause them to get blacklisted in their field of choice. That's a pretty good way not to get an answer.

Rachel tends to be a drive-by participant in this community. Look at the comment/post history and the profile which is exceedingly well tuned.

Lastly, why do you care what IT people that used to work for Google think of the Triumvirate?


Thank you for responding to the central point and not attacking the author's identity.


It wasn't about you at all, but your consistency is well noted.


I was trying to figure out what went wrong at Google.


Interestingly, the guy who wrote NetNewsWire says Dropbox and RSS readers can't work together: http://inessential.com/2011/10/25/why_just_store_the_app_dat...


It might not work for all scenarios, but it can work.

At some point I used RSSBandit (Open source desktop RSS reader for Windows), and I set up its %appdata% directory to be a subdirectory in the Dropbox folder. This can be done by modifying one of the config.xml files in the program's files. It worked. The whole state of the application was shared between computers.

Desktop app, synchronization between home and work, that was all I needed.


Thank you for that link. It's very interesting. I'm working on a protocol for brass reader that is similar to what he describes. It uses a shared filesystem like dropbox as the communication medium but it is a change set based protocol. I'm still not sure if it's going to work, but I'm going to give it a shot.


Syncing feeds is a little bit harder of a problem than the author lets on. It's not just about storing a state file in dropbox. It's also about efficiently pushing the delta of what's new. A central service is vastly more efficient at that than millions of clients pulling their own feeds.

But I 100% agree that Reeder is (was) the awesomest client and all I need to be happy is a backend replacement that just Makes Reeder Work. I don't have to care about Feedly's UI if it's just a backend.

There was a press release at the beginning of the month about Feedy & Reeder collaborating.. what's the ETA? We're really down to the wire here. http://www.macstories.net/news/reeder-to-add-support-for-fee...

Oh, and F U Google. Thanks for the 4 months heads up, dick.


We learned a lesson that you can't rely on free services like Reader because they likely will eventually be shut down.

Reeder is now asking for $5 per month so that is can be sustainable, so isn't the solution just to pay the $5 per month rather than asking one of the free products to imitate what you get from a paid product?

You will just be at square one again anyway since even if Feedly does implement all of these changes, you still have a free product that at some point will need to compromise itself through advertising, become a paid product, or shutdown.

I really thought the punchline to this post would be 'and this is why its worth paying $5 per month for Reeder.

Ranting at Feedly to fix their free product seems to miss the point of why we are all in this situation with the Reader shutdown in the first place.


Does anyone know for sure that $5 is actually sustainable? Just because it's non-zero doesn't automatically mean it'll be around for the long run.


Does anybody know for sure that anything is actually sustainable at any price point for any number of users?

Buying into a service, either through time or money means risk on the part of a user, no matter free or paid.

Something remains open or something closes. Who knows.

I hate to sound like a god damned schmuck, but there are no guarantees in life, not the least of which when it comes to such frivolities as rss feeds.


Exactly. A few services have popped up that are $10 or $15 a year. Probably enough to pay for servicing your account but if the service isn't popular, and there are only 100 users, that developer is not going to commit that much time or energy to the service and may just pull the plug after a year or earlier. As long as they refund your money, you can't complain, right?


I don't think that's the lesson at all. Even a feed reader that charges 5$/month is more likely to go broke than Google. Charging money doesn't guarantee success.


What's the source of that $5/month claim? It's not on Reeder's site or twitter - is there another place that's come out? Not calling your statement into question or anything, just very disappointed to find that out...


Reeder is replacing syncing to Google Reader with Synching to Feedbin, which costs $2 per month

The complaint about iPhone is also only short term, since the team is working on adapting the other apps to use Feedbin as well before the shutdown date.

I think Feedbin was $5 per month and have discounted the price because of all the refugees being anticipated.

In short, OP can continue what he was previously doing, only now it would cost $2 per month rather than free. He wanted them to store the sync information somewhere free, like Dropbox, rather than Feedbin

Relevant links:

https://feedbin.me/

http://reederapp.com/reader/

I think I am just going to signup for Feedbin, I haven't really been able to adapt to using Feedly


I ended up choosing Feedbin after looking at the alternatives. I didn't really want something "innovative". I rather enjoy my workflow. Their web client is pretty decent, and somewhat resembles my favorite native app, Reeder. When Reeder updates, I'll happily continue to pay Feedbin to serve as the backend for sync only.


I have a bad feeling about the future of iPad/OSX Reeder. It's a shame, because they are excellent applications, but I'm actively investigating alternatives. rss2imap, in particular.


Yeah - particularly since reeder syncing is now via feedbin which is 2$ a month. Which makes this service 84$ a year. A bit steep in my opinion - particularly the reeder part.

I'm willing to pay up front for software that runs on my phone, but I'm not sure I'd pay 60$ for reeder, and making it a subscription, for a non-hosted service, would be a deal breaker for me.

Hopefully this report is inaccurate/mistaken in some way.


I'm sure the $5/month was a reference to the syncing service, not in addition to it.


> We learned a lesson that you can't rely on free services like Reader because they likely will eventually be shut down.

All Google services are likely to be shut down. Being paid or not doesn't seem to make nearly as big a difference as you seem to think; see my analysis of the topic: http://www.gwern.net/Google%20shutdowns


Your linked analysis does not seem to support the conclusion you make in the above post that "All Google services are likely to be shut down".


What population do you think I was sampling from, exactly? And your captiousness is not contributing to the discussion, which was to point out that the subscription/profit variable is only weakly correlated with being shut down, contrary to claims that free services are uniquely vulnerable.


I wonder how much money Google could've made if they just said "pay or leave" rather than just "leave" and/or spun off reader into some new startup.


I bet they could have made literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. Google will finally figure out how to be rich!


Charging a fee is not remotely a guarantee of longevity. At all.


One thing the google reader apocalypse seems to have taught us is that everybody's sense of entitlement is way too damn high.

Feedly is documented. Type "feedly keyboard shortcuts" or "feedly tutorial" into google and you'll get all kinds of good (and concise) information. The fact that you didn't try to find any documentation doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


I installed the feedly extension and it proceeded to trash every page I viewed by inserting itself at the bottom. Even in plain Javascript files I was viewing


Yeah it's a weird default that is quickly disabled but the point is moot now that we have a full web client of Feedly.


Unfortunately, if you get disconnected from feedly (like you do not use it for two weeks or you are in incognito mode), it no longer respects your preference. So the default should definitely be the other way around


Thanks for the info, might check it out again this weekend then.


I used feedly for 5 minutes, saw that stupid little button, and quickly uninstalled. I refuse to use some that invasive.


Type "feedly keyboard shortcuts" or "feedly tutorial" into google

Um...


What is really missed is the larger picture.

People who used/use Reader digest information. A lot of information and quickly (at least if you are using it correctly).

They are often the hubs in social/meme networks. I find cool stories all the time and propagate those stories out. It is hard to value that, if there is value there at all.

When the demise of Reader had been announced, bluntly feedly sucked. It looked like Pintrest (is that bad?) It was missing the key feature in a reader... the reading part. Pictures are nice and layout is ok, but seriously I just want to read really quick.

Feedly has gotten better or maybe I just have figured out the correct way to use it? Hard to say.

What I have really learned from google closing reader is that you cannot trust someone you are not paying with your data. And maybe you cannot even trust someone you are paying... how depressing.


No maybe about it. You can't trust someone you're paying either. See:

- Sparrow and all the other companies who were acquired and saw products killed

- the countless other companies that just went out of business

- the problems you run into when hiring people to develop custom software

- and so on

There is no substitute for individually (and regularly) assessing the risks and benefits associated with all the software and services you use. And even then, you will make mistakes.


I've tried just about all of them and as July 1 approaches I'm definitely getting anxious that I haven't found an RSS aggregator "home" just yet. I set up Tiny Tiny RSS on a Red Hat Openshift gear and it actually seems to work quite well. My main problem with it is that it doesn't seem to work in anything other than Safari.

The mobile options for Tiny Tiny RSS looks like it's going to take some legwork to set up so that will be interesting.

It's such a waste since Google already has a decent app that hooks into their API (on Android at least). All of this work by them that makes me very happy only to be ended. Such a shame. I'm really going to miss it.


I would like to see an argument for not releasing the Google Reader Android app source code, I can't imagine what in there exposes a critical Google service. If that was the concern they could leave that component out. (I'm talking about the internal Android component that provides the Reader login facility and sync option.)


I also configured an instance of Tiny Tiny RSS. I found TTRSS-Reader to be very easy to configure - just the url, username and password, and possibly some certificate information if you're using a self-signed one (ok, it wasn't a huge fan of my wildcard certificate, but that's a small problem for me). You just have to enable API access in your account for it to work.


I had no problem setting up YATTRSSC as my mobile client on my iPhone. All I did was check the enable API checkbox in preferences and I was good to go. It’s a PhoneGap app so feels slow and clunky but since I do most of my reading on my computer I tolerate it.


I don't particularly like the way Feedly does things either, but I can maintain that opinion without a lot of vitriol.

While it's great that all these new projects have been springing up, I didn't want to entrust my feed reading so something that has been written at the eleventh hour, so have only been looking at options that have been around for a while. (Also, ruling out ones without an Android app, which may or may not be a consideration for others.)

Tried TinyRSS which was okay. If I had a better server to run it on it probably would have done the job for me (long story that is probably not germane.)

I ended up going with Newsblur. It has an interface similar in behaviour to Reader which is what I like, and although it does have some rough edges it's getting the job done and is established. I figured I'd spring the $24 for a year, and then see what the landscape looks like then.


jwz is just a bit behind because he's on iOS.

As of this writing, only one iOS app (Newsify) is ready while two Android apps (Press and gReader) and a widget (Pure News) are. See: http://blog.feedly.com/2013/06/19/feedly-cloud/

This will presumably be sorted out soon. Perhaps the combination of Feedly's late deployment and Apple's approval process have complicated things for some developers. I did notice that both Press and gReader had to bugfix their initial Feedly support. I can certainly imagine an iOS developer having a harder time dealing with a late-breaking issue like that.


Swipe to navigate is a terrible design antipattern. I can always tell when I'm reading a blog on blogspot because it'll dump me to the adjacent article when I'm scrolling or trying to zoom in on an image. I dumped chrome on ios because they didn't get it right either.


Hear hear. Although, I don't remember needing to swipe with chrome on iOS.


IIRC it's the way to switch between tabs


I'm fine with Reeder switching to Feedbin, but why couldn't the author update the desktop all at the same time as the iOS client? This means there is a gap where Reeder on the desktop just won't work correctly.


The iPad version of Reeder also doesn't have Feedbin support yet.


Check out https://www.inoreader.com/ - tried the usual suspects like Feedly, OldReader etc and did not like them. I have not found anything bad yet about inoreader and about as close to the Google reader as I could get.

No iOS app yet :-( but I hear they are coming.

NetNewsWire might have have a new version soon so keep an eye on that as well.


Who knows, the demise of Google Reader seems to be spawning a lot of cool projects and Show HN's. I don't think it's the end of the world...seems to be driving forward innovation.


Let me emphasise your point with a bit of shameless self-promotion. It may not be what the OP is calling for but some of you might like it. It's a web based feed reader that I've been working on since before Google announced the imminent shut down of Reader.

http://Readable.cc


I've tried most. Not a single one has 80% of the usability of Google Reader.


By usability you surely mean something other than the traditional sense of the word. Exactly what was usable about the Reader interface?


Folders, drag and drop feeds between them, the caching of entries Google did, and the Android app was ok, and it didn't install some browser crushing plugin to work, it was a website.


I liked reading that. More people need to voice their true opinion, unhidden being politically correct sentences.

Else we end up with various shitty software that we end up thinking are the gold standard.


I was considering various things, with a strong desire for something simple and likely to stay around for awhile. I thought about emacs gnus, Thunderbird, and some of the new entrants.

I realized that I would be as happy with something that just sent me a filterable email for every entry in all of my fields, since I already have good interfaces for reading and culling mail on all of my platforms.

So I found one. http://blogtrottr.com/ It seemed nice and had an easy import. If something happens to it, I'm sure I can find another.

For now I'm filtering it all into its own folder, though I try to keep my feeds pretty low-volume, so it wouldn't even be a huge deal if they all landed in my already-pretty-noisy inbox.

I just did that this weekend, but so far I'm quite happy


jwz hates web interfaces, wants an app.

No web version was a dealbreaker for me (until they fixed it). http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/19/tech/web/feedly-google-reader

I don't want an app of your website. I don't want to give you permission to access every I/O and stored file on my phone. I don't want to help you track me as I drive around town, not using your app, because you're curious why I'm not using it more often. I don't want your program to break if I have to use another machine or borrow a device from a friend (not that you ever should). I don't want your program to break if some company invents a better way to do computing than anything we've ever seen before, but your developers didn't anticipate the architecture, so they won't have an app out the door until that thing is killed off by the next wave. I don't want your program to break because my devices are different than the name brand most people use. I don't want to feed the illusion that a launcher in front of a webapp somehow makes it different, as if it's 1999 and applications are fast and stuff on the internet is slow.

Mostly, I don't want your fucking app: http://idontwantyourfuckingapp.tumblr.com/


Since I am leading my efforts into a reading/translating/communicating toolkit I find this very interesting, and personally useful (I need people to share their opinions like that):

* There is no documentation

My code is not documented, then again I am using the principle idea behind __doc__: Code IS documentation, and I've decided to blend the difference between code, document, and even data.

* There is no desktop version

My road-map includes a core frame, which has Presentations for Terminal, GUI desktop, and webby version of it (html, css, js, ...)... um yeah... Presentations, Control, Model (model slice, inner model slice, perspectives, view-points): PCM (Present, Control, Model)

* There is no Next button!

The main web reader I plan to provide, has a Letterbox layout, with next: (chapter, page, etc.) prev: (...), bookmark-tags (alabala bla bla [: some name for the BM])

* + Sequential Layout-ing:

Instead of even touching the buttons or mouse, you let the "AI" helper (Wordy) to blurt it out on the terminal paragraph, by paragraph, sentence by sentence, word by word, with tempo and optional "accenting"... Just like a kid listening to his father telling stories. You have the option of speeding up the tempo, or simply push it forward

* +Convo-trees

Trees of Conversations (Documents outputed and printed)

This is highly wondorous tool which I still conceptualize with the following scenario: You are a Weed Farmer with A blog, mail, etc. You want to communicate with your prospective buyers, but you don't want cops in your clientele. Therefore, you decided to place a mail on the site, and only after an interview, you decide whether the seeker is a sincere buyer or a cop (or interviewer) under cover.

So you have those repetitive tedious interviews with common answers and such, and you WANT to automagicate the process a bit.

What if you put Wordy behind the mail-server and make it redirect things it can't respond to, to your advanced intellect? Nice? may be. Depends on Wordy.

... The rest of the arguments OP presents are technical hiccups rather than poor user interface design mal-techniques (choice of paradigms)


Well, the good news for jwz is that these all seem pretty fixable. It's come a long way since the version I first saw after the Reader announcement. It took me a long time to warm up to Google Reader, and for it to have enough features for me. I was a Bloglines user for quite some time. Change is hard.

http://blog.feedly.com/2013/06/21/summary-of-the-last-100-da...


But he is right - the Internet was designed to be used in a certain way. One website to rule them all is not the natural state of the web and this is an example


I am surprised nobody mentioned CommaFeed yet; How are people using CommaFeed holding out?


+1 for CommaFeed. I had been in denial about Google Reader shutting down simply because all the alternatives were painful in comparison. Thankfully, I discovered CommaFeed a few days ago and now I'm not dreading July 1st.

CommaFeed almost seems too good to be true: it's free; the code is open-source; you can run a self-hosted version. I made a $10 donation to the developer a few days ago and I've stopped looking for my Google Reader replacement.


I'm liking it well enough. It's mobile interface isn't good and I haven't tried updating it yet, but it is certainly holding up adequately.

While I haven't done any tinkering with it yet, I enjoy knowing that I can make whatever changes to it I like.


Many startups are trying to consolidate news and social media posts — to become, basically, a one-stop shop for users.

I understand that this offers greater convenience, but it also overlooks something people enjoy about the Internet. People like having different websites and services to check, with notifications unique to each one.

It's kind of like spreading out your Christmas presents instead of tearing them open all at once.


I agree. This is my approach for http://mnmlrdr.com/ — no social integration because a lot of people are only interested in reading their feeds, not talking about it in their reader app.


That's a cool. I like the simple, elegant interface.


After waiting and waiting for Reeder to update their Mac version, I decided to go back to an old friend, NetNewsWire. It does not sync between devices, but that's ok for me. In fact, I kind of feel good about the fact that now there is no online entity keeping track of what feeds I subscribe to and what articles I read. ... well, if not none, at least one less entity keeping track.


I switched to tt-rss last Sunday. I have a cheap VPS that I paid 15$ a year, set up a minimal debian, install nginx and postgresql, let tt-rss import google reader feeds and starred posts and install the mobile app as well. A good looking skin and now I have a nice replacement. Not so difficult


When I first hear about the pending shutoff I first tried Bloglines / Netvibes. It seemed alright, but there was a weird bug that caused a big panel to take up the bottom third of the screen a lot of the time. I then tried Feedly, but (like some commenters below) just hated the interface. I think I tried another online reader as well, but can't remember what now.

I ended up going back to bloglines. I did find a way of getting rid of the massive menu bar that kept appearing at the bottom of the screen, but the problem seems to be fixed now.

Getting your feeds into Bloglines is not quite so easy as Feedly, but once you have everything set up it seems to work really well. Still not as good as Google, but the closest I have managed to find so far.


I'm a Reeder user myself, though 99% of my reading is done on the Mac version. So far, ReadKit ($4.99, MAS) is the closest thing I've found to a replacement. I'd still prefer Reeder, but I can comfortably live with ReadKit if need be.


I use Reeder (iOS) w/ Feedbin (https://feedbin.me/), and the Feedbin web UI on the desktop.

Reeder for OS X is scheduled to get Feedbin support in the near future.


iPad and OS X versions of Reeder have been scheduled to get support for more services for quite a while now. I'll believe it when I see it :)


FWIW, I started a vague attempt to round up the alternatives:

https://github.com/smithbr/rss-readers-list


Great list. You missed a few. Feeder.co (my preferred alternative), Stringer, and probably a few more. Check out Russell Beattie's blog post here: http://www.russellbeattie.com/blog/readerpocalypse-the-alter...


Also https://github.com/glynnbird/birdreader , a nodejs based open source project.


Is it me or has Feedly made it harder to switch the interface to titles only recently?

I change to that, but it seems to change back after a while. It's very annoying.


I feel like I'm the only RSS reader that never used Google Reader. I used iGoogle (formerly Google Personalized), and then switched to Netvibes a few years ago because of some complaint I can't even remember now.

Personally, I prefer to read RSS items on the author's website, and Netvibes suits that. Plus they have a Twitter widget that works even though my work proxy blocks twitter.com.


At the risk of being that ass who self promotes, you should check out the service myself and a friend launched yesterday:

http://bulletin.io is a fast, easy to use RSS reading service that has an open Google Reader lookalike API as well as our own OAuth implementation. Open to feedback from everyone.


It's hilarious when these days, Google is the one sticking to their guns despite public outcry (Reader) and Microsoft is listening to their users in some regard (Xbox One DRM). I really feel like Google is missing the forest for the very intricately engineered trees.


jwz is right. His criticism is remarkably close to my observations regarding both Reeder and Feedly. I am also worried that I won't be able to use Reeder anymore, and try as I might, I can't force myself to use Feedly for any extended period of time.


I was hoping someone would work with EasyRSS (the android app, not the torrent goodness) so it would use the NewsBlur api or something similar. It's sad that the dev is letting the project go with reader.


I need a Reader replacement that lets me export the feeds data later if I want to. I could not find that in Feedly. I don't want to get locked in a service for the same reason. Any suggestions ?


Tiny Tiny RSS [1] but you need to host it yourself.

[1] http://tt-rss.org/redmine/projects/tt-rss/wiki


I agree with most of the sentiments but definitely not that feed reading should be in an app. I have always found web-based feed readers to feel much more proper (including on mobile).


Wasn't the Google Reader apocalypse the week following the announcement from Google? You know, when every post on the front page of Hacker News was a Google Reader alternative.


I wish Pocket would adopt Feedly's UED and discovery engine, or that Feedly would pick up on Pocket's browser extension and archiving ability. That would be almost perfect.


I never thought of that. I really like Pocket's simplicity and ubiquity. If they could somehow pull it off I would be so pleased. That would be quite the pivot for them though.


I don't understand the hate with the decision of Google shutting down the Reader. Apparently, the Reader users aren't worth that much.


When Google makes the decision that I'm not worth much, I'm tempted to reciprocate.

DuckDuckGo is already becoming habit, and I'm pretty close to convincing others in my company that we need to switch off of Google Apps, because Google hides important messages from me and doesn't provide support [1]. What else does Google do? Drive? Dropbox is better. Plus? Haha. Google is putting all their effort behind things they're only mediocre at, chasing after the fashionable new kids on the block, and dropping the ball on their core competencies. Maps will keep me around for a while though. However, a maps app that cared about my privacy would win me over...

Every giant sees their peak and gradual decline. Google's just came very quickly. I hope they see a renaissance.

[1] http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/gmail/aU4UUye3...


You can't hand-wave away the fact that Gmail, Docs, and Maps are best-in-class.


Of course I can, particularly if they are best-in-class in a class that is not relevant to me. I'm not going to use web apps for email or for office documents, except for edge cases. And that is the case for most people in the world, web apps are a nicety, but not the primary use case.

Maps, as I said, are different.


I think you're extrapolating your opinion to "most" people. Gmail is extremely popular, and while Docs is no Gmail, it has no serious competition for cloud-based editing.

Even if you're not using Gmail's webapp, it's an entire email infrastructure serving as the backend for Mail.app or Mailbox or whatever you use. At this point, if someone doesn't have their own mail server, they're probably using Gmail.


> Apparently, the Reader users aren't worth that much.

How would Google know when it never tried to monetize them? (See above threads discussing this with quotes from people on the Reader team.)


Only a worthless person can say something that worthless. You are not worth anything. See i can write that too.

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