[thelist] Re: newsreaders and news aggregators

Diane Soini dianesoini at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 23 21:15:44 CDT 2004

On Wednesday, September 22, 2004, at 10:21 PM, 
thelist-request at lists.evolt.org wrote:

> Re: newsreaders and news aggregators (apathetic)

Thank you all for your replies, but it didn't really answer the 
questions I had. Here's my background, so maybe that'll help. Sorry it 
is so long.

The boss thought it would be great to have an RSS feed of these weekly 
manager meetings we record so that he didn't have to go to the intranet 
page and see if they had been added to the list. So I looked up how to 
create the RSS XML file and created it and downloaded a few RSS readers 
to see how it works.

Well, these readers vary greatly. Some of them I can't figure out how 
to get them to show anything other than commercial stuff, like CNN and 
stuff like that. It's like all they know how to do is go out to 
pre-compiled lists of feeds. Then there are the nice little simple ones 
that look like email clients and can read my RSS file just fine. 
Problem with those is that sometimes when some of them load the link 
page into their preview pane, if there is any javascript it really 
messes up. Either can't handle it at all, or gives strange results I 
really don't want. One of them, FeedReader, give you the option of 
opening the link in a new browser window, but that feature doesn't 
work. And their newer version is worse than the alpha version.

So, what I'm facing is that whenever the boss tries out a new reader it 
often bombs and then he thinks it's all my fault for not writing the 
XML file correctly. Of course that isn't the problem. The problem is 
usually the ability of the reader to handle the html page in the <link> 
tag, or else with the ability of it to read RSS at all.

So I want to write some kind of thing up, recommending good, free feed 
readers that don't just serve up compiled lists of commercial web 
sites, and that will actually work if the linked page has any 
javascript in them. But I don't want to just say, "here, use this". I 
would like to explain what to look for when someone goes out in search 
of the reader of their choice.

With so much variation in what these things do, I thought maybe 
aggregator vs reader was going to be a good way to delineate the one 
that just serve up compiled lists of commercial web sites, but that's 
not the case. So, how do I explain this? Or am I better off just saying 
"here, use this?"


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