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any distributed private RSS reading tools out there ?

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 11:41


Hey web, lazy is my middle name.

I am in the market for a piece of software that lets me read RSS feeds. Lots of them exist. For my usual RSS feeds, I am actually completely happy with BlogLines. It just works, and being web-based it saves my read status as I move from machine to machine.

What I now want is a piece of software that I can trust with a bunch of private URL's (for example, for bug trackers of private projects) that I would not trust any online service with. I want to get RSS feeds of all my TODO items in various bug trackers and other places. I want to keep the same advantage - whatever computer I use (under my control) I want to save the state of what I've read. Two obvious ways of doing that are 1) having it be web-based and/or 2) having some sort of - preferably text-based - state of what's been read that I commit to svn (as I do for my todo list).

I would give this application only my todo RSS feeds, to resist the urge of reading other stuff that aren't my tasks :) But I want to have an easy tool to get a glance of the state of items assigned to me.

Anyone using anything that fits the bill that they recommend ?


  1. A firefox add-on? https://addons.mozilla.org/nl/firefox/search?q=RSS

    And please fix the links in the RSS of your blog. They point to an empty page.

    Comment by Fons — 2008-01-23 @ 11:53

  2. Planet and .htaccess?

    Comment by Jon — 2008-01-23 @ 12:17

  3. @Fons: how does a firefox add-on ensure that items I read on machine 1 are marked read on machine 2 ?
    Fix which links ? Why not show me which link you are talking about ?

    Comment by Thomas — 2008-01-23 @ 12:23

  4. Torii (http://torii-portal.org/about/about.html) might be what you’re looking for.

    Comment by Sebastian Bergmann — 2008-01-23 @ 12:24

  5. You could use rss2email. It’s private since it runs on one of your own servers. You presumably already have your mailflow set up in such a way that mail marked as read stays that way – this just hooks rss feeds into your mailflow.

    I use it for all my rss reading, and I’m quite happy with it.

    Comment by ward — 2008-01-23 @ 14:08

  6. @Thomas: Use Google browser synchronisation. But that would probably not be secure enough as google stores all your browser settings on your Google account. I think.

    About the links: seem to be the correct links, but when I click on them from my RSS reader I get a page with only titles and no bodytext.

    Comment by Fons — 2008-01-23 @ 14:48

  7. I’ve looked at lilina – it seems like a nice php + mysql solution. Also, the guy behind it is a really helpful chap. You can find more info here http://getlilina.org/ .

    Comment by Johan Thelin — 2008-01-23 @ 15:00

  8. I like liferea. http://liferea.sourceforge.net/

    Comment by Chris — 2008-01-23 @ 15:40

  9. I’m a big fan of netvibes, but of course it’s an “untrustable online service”!
    And i just found this project which looks pretty interesting (basically the open source version of Netvibes) :

    Would that work? It looks similar to Torii, just a bit more ajaxy!

    Comment by kevin — 2008-01-23 @ 16:41

  10. There is GobbleRSS — web-based and private.

    Comment by Nate — 2008-01-23 @ 16:49

  11. How about thunderbird. I am adicted to it for this reason, I can check my mail and feed from the same tool, and use the same “Grouped by sort G” grouping.

    Comment by Alastair — 2008-01-23 @ 17:33

  12. ttrss (http://tt-rss.org) is my favorite reader. It’s quite easy to install (just uses either mysql or postgres) and php. I use it for private feeds, and it works great.

    Comment by Craig — 2008-01-23 @ 18:14

  13. I thought about this a wee ago. The key would be in having a standard RSS extension for encryption and Javascript support for crypto. You basically create a keypair on your browser, send the public key to the RSS author, have them encode all the data using your public key. The remote RSS client just handles the encrypted content normally, and then your browser autodetects the encrypted blocks (or some JS triggers the encryption).


    Second step is writing an RSS proxy which performs the encryption, so that someone can provide the encryption while RSS authors implement it.

    Comment by alex — 2008-01-23 @ 19:50

  14. Tiny Tiny RSS(http://tt-rss.org/trac/) and Gregarius(http://gregarius.net/) behind a basic auth. Both are web based readers that are good enough be used for your private feeds or to replace bloglines completely.

    I’ve wished for a client side RSS reader for Gnome that could sync it’s feeds between machines(think IMAP for RSS) for a long time, something that NNW(http://www.newsgator.com/Individuals/NetNewsWire/) on OSX and RSSBandit(http://www.rssbandit.org/) on Windows can do.

    Comment by Matthew — 2008-01-23 @ 21:54

  15. I use Tiny Tiny RSS and would highly recommend it.

    Comment by Alexandre Franke — 2008-01-23 @ 22:46

  16. @fons: *which links* are you talking about.

    Comment by Thomas — 2008-01-25 @ 18:54

  17. I’ll second the recommendation for rss2email. I use that on my IMAP server.

    Comment by anonymous — 2008-01-27 @ 09:34

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