Optimising Feed Reading Redux

In a comment to my earlier post “Optimising Feed Reading” Chris L points out Bloglines. I have previously steered clear of hosted feed readers because:

  1. I have somewhere that I can host for my self so don’t need to use a hosted service.
  2. I do not want to end up rely on something that becomes non free and I have to pay for to continue using.

However, I thought it was worth giving Bloglines a shot. What follows are my experiences gleaned from 15 minutes of use.

The first thing that I found annoying was that it was not immediately obvious where I could do an import – the Import/Export options are not visible when you are in “Add” mode only when in “Edit” mode. Being used to pointing tools at a web accessible OPML file I just copied in the url to my current OPML file and clicked Import only to be greeted with a “0 feeds added message” – It turned out that the only import method supported is from a local OPML file. I read the page a bit more it was actual wanting me to browse to a local copy of the OPML file on my PC and upload from there. This upload process worked fine and imported all the feeds OK. 🙂

I then decided to just see what it would do if I asked to view all the new posts for every feed. There would be quite a few at that point as it sees everything as new as you would expect. The page that then attempted to load up, with about 55 active feeds and maybe up to 1000 unread items, locked up Firefox and I gave up when the memory usage hit ~200 Meg and was still growing.

After restarting Firefox I logged in again and fiddled with the settings to see if I could get it to behave a bit better – by limiting the post view to “last 12 hours” I had much more success in displaying the page. The view looked good but I would prefer to have the posts displayed in true chronological order and not grouped by feed as this makes much easier reading when a active discussion is in place a blog posts rather than as a stream of comments to a single post – I’m not sure if Bloglines supports this view but I couldn’t see it during my quick test.

Overall, I found Bloglines to be good for a online tool – I still prefer the fully chronological display that you get with both lilina and feedonfeeds. Bloglines is prettier but prettiness is not high on my priority list :-). If you are looking for a well featured online feed reader and don’t have the time/effort/space to host one yourself then Bloglines looks like a good place to start.

2 Responses to “Optimising Feed Reading Redux”

  1. skippy says:

    I’ve been using FeedOnFeeds for quite some time now, and I quite like it. You’re right, it’s not particularly pretty, but it doesn’t get in my way, either! I recently tried Gregarius, and was mostly disappointed. It looks promising, but is not yet functional enough to replace FoF for me.

  2. westi says:

    I agree skippy FeedOnFeeds is still working well for me and coped nicely when I recently returned from holiday to 700+ unread items. I have a local Gregarius svn install that I was going to do a review of but haven’t got round to yet. It does seem to look nicer but I have a few quibbles with the number of clicks it takes to achieve some tasks – like marking as read for example. Maybe I’ll write that review up soon 😉



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