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Software The Internet

RSSOwl 1.2 Released 114

Benjamin Pasero over at RSSOwl.org wrote to tell us that they have released version 1.2 for their RSS/RDF/Atom newsfeed viewer. It looks like a lot of work has gone into this version. Some of the new features are; a fully customizable toolbar with new elements like 'History', new search scopes allow for more detailed searches, a new 'Linked Mode' to update selection in your favorites automatically, support for Atom 1.0 format, and quite a few others.
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RSSOwl 1.2 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2005 @08:34PM (#13965896)
    This is an honest question and not an attempt to troll or bait. (Posted AC because I fear gettting moded to hell)

    What can an RSS/Atom reader do for me?

    I have no problem browsing my favorite sites once or twice a day, and enjoy doing so. What am I missing out on?
    • by trollable ( 928694 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @08:40PM (#13965937) Homepage
      I have no problem browsing my favorite sites once or twice a day, and enjoy doing so. What am I missing out on?

      Nothing if you have only two or three favorite sites. But if you have fifty of them? Basicaly a RSS reader lets you see all the new entries of the blogs and websites you track. And you can quickly go the articles of interest. Now if you're a pure slashdoter (someone with no post outside), then it is not for you.
      • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @08:53PM (#13966008)
        "Those who do not understand USENET are doomed to reinvent it, poorly"
      • by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @08:57PM (#13966026) Homepage
        I agree with your points, but would also add that an aggregator also gives you some things that a web browser doesn't.

        For one, you can save locally-cached copies of posts. Yes, a web browser also has a cache, but you can't typically have both easy and fine-grained control of the content you keep or throw away. Some sites that have feeds have mediocre connectivity (and feeds were originally promoted partly as a bandwidth saver--you don't download as much content at once). Some authors have a nasty habit of deleting the best content. By archiving it in an aggregator, you can save the best stuff.

        Aggregators also let you search over all relevant feeds and only those feeds. No more dealing with separate search engines, with their separate "advanced search" syntax (or, worse, very basic or non-existent searches).

        Finally, an aggregator lets you apply filters so that the best, most relevant content sees your eyes & bad/spammy content doesn't. I keep my feeds in Thunderbird, and treat some blogs as email--I apply Bayesian filters to particularly noise-filled feeds (such as comment feeds), and sort content topically. Some aggregators eliminate or group related posts that come from different feeds. Some let you push these posts (which have the most "buzz") to the top, so you don't miss it.
        • Problem: RSSOwl doesn't support autoarchiving of feeds. That's like selling a car with a 1-gallon gas tank. Not only do you have to stop and constantly refill, it's frustrating to the point of exclusion. I'll stick with FeedReader despite is bugs.
    • Imagine Google Home with more control over how fast you fetch feeds.
    • Be honest. Are you looking at more than one or two sites per day? I don't think so. If you go to one of these favorite sites, and the page hasn't changed since the last time you visited, you've wasted time. How many times do you refresh each site to see if anything new has come in? If you've done so just once, you're still wasting time and an RSS reader can help you save time.

      Think about whose time you're using up... your employers', your family's, your own. That's one resource nobody can replenish, s
    • I have no problem browsing my favorite sites once or twice a day, and enjoy doing so. What am I missing out on?

      Most other replies missed one of the advantages most important to me- separation of the data and presentation layer.

      There's a great amount of inconsistency on how all these billion sites are designed- CNN, Slashdot, Digg, Washington Post, myriad blogs and so forth. As I jump from one site to the next, it's hard for me to adjust to how they think I should view the data. RSS provides me an easy
    • I like RSS readers. I've only been using them for awhile. It works really well for many sites. I don't have to hit up each site individually and I can get my listing of new books at O'Reilly's online service, JWZ's latest lazyweb postings, the latest gadget stuff from gizmodo and stuff from boingoing, the one or two blogs I actually read (one is about cooking for engineers), Slashdot and a bunch of other stuff. And it makes it all uniform and easily accessible and quick to read/skim/inform myself without go
    • "What can an RSS/Atom reader do for me?"

      At work I have a 'sidebar' installed that has a lot of interesting little odds and ends. It cycles through today's comics, etc. One of the features is that it downloads RSS feeds and puts the headlines up and cycles through them. For what I do for my job, my computer often ends up busy for a few seconds at a time, so I just glance over to the right and have a peek at what's going on in the world. Kinda nice having the info I want show up without my having to seek
    • First off, In answer to your question, a reader lets you check if your sites are updated instantly. Some of my co-workers have lists of 250 sites. Check them each day would be a PITA but an RSS reader lets them see at a glance which ones are updated. It also shows them the titles and possibly excerpts from each new entry making it easier to decide at a glance if you really want to go to that site to read the whole article or skip it.

      My question is, why do I need a desktop RSS reader? Bloglines.com works
    • RSS is like a Table of Contents of a long book. It allows you to see the important things without going in to deep. It gives you the freedom to just read what you want, and skip all the rest.

      It wont be a problem browsing one or two of your favourite sites daily. But imagine if you have around 100 of them. How will you keep track of each? Its here an RSS reader becomes so usefull.

      RSS readers are of two types : Desktop readers and Online rss readers. An online RSS reader (like FeedFeeds [feedfeeds.com]) is fast, simple
    • I had trouble with it too.

      I tried various RSS readers but they all seemed like a pain. But what turned me around was this http://inforss.mozdev.org/ [mozdev.org] extention for Firefox.

      It's like a News Ticker in your browser. Something catches your eye? Mouse over it for a more detailed discription (when available) or just click on it for the page to be loaded in a new tab!

      I love it! It should come as part of the default installation!
  • Kudos (Score:5, Funny)

    by trollable ( 928694 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @08:36PM (#13965906) Homepage
    Great software. Pity it doesn't use Swing. But wait maybe it is the reason why it is great software.
  • Where am I ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Freshmeat ??
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:00PM (#13966037)
    Pardon my French, but who the fuck cares? Why do I need to read about RSSOwl on Slashdot? I can understand reading about a new release of KDE or Gnome or the kernel or something, but a NEWS reader?

    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phwoar ( 586006 )
      Yeah, I mean, after all, this isn't a news site.
      • by whoop ( 194 )
        The point is, why is this program so special to get a headline? Freshmeat is full of millions of programs that have new versions every hour.
      • by Zeph ( 91283 )
        Don't be ridiculous, the OP is quite right. I've got a few hours to kill, I'll go ahead and submit a story for each and every updated bit of open source software released in the last 24 hours. I'm sure the "editors" will be appreciative.
  • This or bloglines? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by l0rd ( 52169 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:08PM (#13966083)
    I've just recently discovered bloglines after using firefox & sage to keep up with my many RSS feeds.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to if (and if so why) one should be using this instead of bloglines? This is not bashing, I'm just interested into what people use and why.
    • Well, I don't know what bloglines is, but it sounds like it's blog oriented. So... if you're not into blogs, then I would say bloglines might not be what you want?

      I have abbout 80 RSS feeds in my reader. Only two are blogs. Only one is a blog about or by an individual.
    • I tried a couple of readers, and settled on RSS Owl because it was OS independent, which a scant few readers are (to the best of my knowledge). The problem with this was when when dual-booting, I couldn't see which feeds I'd already checked and which I hadn't, as this was organised client-side. Also, when I was at uni and had some time to kill, I had to check sites the "old-fashioned" way. So I switched to Bloglines. It constantly monitors feeds, and this is important for those feeds that only show the la
  • by jacoplane ( 78110 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:14PM (#13966108) Homepage Journal
    Why do I need a seperate program to view this type of content? Doesn't it make more sense to implement such an implementation in a browser? Personally, I have been using Bloglines [bloglines.com] for a long time (and more recently netvibes [netvibes.com]). Google [google.com] and Microsoft [live.com] also seem to be going this way.

    Of course, as long as an application supports the importing and exporting of OPML [wikipedia.org] it doesn't matter what you use, because switching is easy. However, I can't really justify running a whole seperate application that seems to do little other than launching Firefox anyway.
  • Is it any faster (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wormeyman ( 797562 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:24PM (#13966149) Homepage Journal
    The problems i've had with a lot of rss readers is that they're SLOW because they use an xml database (opml file) the reader i use uses sql-lite or someother sql database for it's storage and while that causes problems when you shutdown the process without exiting properly it makes for an extermely fast rss reader.
    • Re:Is it any faster (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jZnat ( 793348 )
      Have you tried Liferea [sf.net]? My favourite feed aggregator and viewer of them all. Fast, lightweight, and sexy.
      • 'Yes, firefox is indeed greater than women. Can women block pops up for you? No. Can Firefox show you naked women? Yes.'

        I installed Privoxy on my boyfriend's computer. And I interrupt his browsing now and then for (half-)naked cuddles.

        I'd say that some women are much greater than Firefox.
    • I use RSSOwl and it seems very fast for my needs. It launches almost instantly and loads approximately 150 feeds within seconds. However, I'm running this on a fairly fast computer (3.0 GHz, 2GB of RAM etc.), so if you have a much slower computer the results may not be the same for you. My only gripe is that it uses SWT which IMO, for reasons I won't get into here, is just an unnecessary hack with a multitude of problems. If I found a similar feature rich client that was using Swing I would switch in a h
    • How many hundreds of thousands of sites do you follow that searching an XML file is observably faster than SQLite?

      Basically, for the relatively very small amount of data that an aggregator would be processing, any human-visible differences are due to algorithm choice or GUI design, and not the backend.

    • Well, at least Akregator [sf.net] uses Metakit as a storage in KDE 3.5 which is much faster than XML storage it used to use...
  • In all honesty with Mozilla Thunderbird having RSS and Mozilla Firefox having live bookmarks, why would I want a seperate programme on my machine just to deal with RSS feeds when I already have two capable programmes to do it ?
  • by Dr. Photo ( 640363 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:30PM (#13966172) Journal
    With RSSOwl, I can watch for software releases on Freshmeat [freshmeat.net], so no one will ever, ever again need to post software release announcements to Slashdot [slashdot.org]!

    Thanks, RSSOwl!
  • Cyclical trends (Score:2, Interesting)

    In 1970 I use to get 180 column print outs the thickest was about an eighth of an inch. By 1975 I was getting several that were about half inch thick. In 1980 they averaged inch and a half and had grown from four reports to twenty. In 1985 I was getting print outs that average two inches in thickness and the count was up to approximately 30. By 1995 I was getting about 30 daily reports that I would say averaged 2 3/4 inches in thickness. I used about five of them for information. No matter what I did I kept
    • You say all of this as you sit writing a comment on Slashdot. Unplug dude, there is a real world out there. It is your decision to get lost in the information.
      • Oh s**taaat...

        The 'real world'.....MTV'ers. There is no real world...it's only data input processed by neurons...Conscientious Conscience is only a theory. Getting unplugged is like becoming unconscience. Yeah dude...factsimiles included.

        memory dump...core data memory

        not found ** disk AA06 is corrupted ** dismount -- VM dismount...file unknown FF4 memory default sequence Core fault-- EE9908E4 > code 44X3CX
  • by peeping_Thomist ( 66678 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:41PM (#13966224)
    I've been using Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/ [bloglines.com] for about a year, and find it does a great job of aggregating rss, xml, atom and other kinds of feeds. I can move from machine to machine without a problem.

    Would there be any advantage in switching to something like rssowl or liferea?
  • I personally produced a RSS->HTML feed. Instead of implementing the solution as an application I wrote a PHP script using the XML parser to convert RSS feeds to HTML. Customisation of the output is often as simple as a CSS file, more "complex" arrangements can be made by modifying the PHP code.

    There really isn't very much more to it than that, the page auto-updates every 30minutes. The only feature missing are the user configurable persistent storage of your favourite rss lists, but for the environment i
  • by 55555 Manbabies! ( 861806 ) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:44PM (#13966246)
    RSS is nice, but this software product is not really anything special or unique.
  • Interesting icon... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2005 @09:48PM (#13966269)
    Does anyone else find the icon [rssowl.org] quite similar to another popular icon [firefox.com]?
  • by Daath ( 225404 ) <lp@code r . dk> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @10:00PM (#13966329) Homepage Journal
    It looks ok. If you're on windows, though, you should try RSS Bandit [rssbandit.org] - An excellent open source .NET feed reader!
  • So, am I the *only* on on /. who even thought about the semantic web and the Web Ontology language (OWL) when this post was announced? I for one assumed this had something to do with RSS and OWL - in my opinion, a name with double entendre.. Vik
  • Even though it's got Owl in the name, and works on XML based files... the project has nothing to do with Web Ontology Language or the semantic web. :-(

    It's just a Java based newsreader (although the site associated with the project does have really pretty design).
  • I mean, why download a program when there are readers that work well on the web such as Google Reader [google.com]?
    • Google Reader is not that good: it does not show how many news items are in different newsfeeds, it does not follow the customary mail reader (Outlook :)) interface, where the threads (feeds) are in a column on the left hand side and the items themselves in the pane on the right. I am using SharpReader right now and like it a lot - it has very nice user interface.

      However, you are right, I hate being tied to a single machine, so web-based reader would be preferable. Any recommendations of web based readers t
  • I currently use sage for my feeds, as I don't see the necessity of using an extra program when I can do everything in firefox. Is there any substantial reason I would toss sage and use this?
  • maybe this belongs in an Ask Slashdot thread about which RSS reader works best for me. I am sure that RSSOwl is a nice little program, but I would actually prefer a topic to discuss RSS readers in general, such as local client vs. web, feature set, reading web pages in the program versus in the browser, etc.
  • Downloaded, ran install. All looked happy. Run the app, instant dialog comes up saying something about can not run, refer to install.txt.

    Look at install.txt, bunch of jibberish in there about installing java and dlls being in the same directory.

    I'm running Windows XP.
    I have Java installed.
    I write Java code with Eclipse all the time.

    Uninstall. Try again people when they have it right.
  • RSS feeders are going to end up getting far to bloated. I use the one built into firefox, and the Personalized Google RSS aggregator and i find them very useful, but i have never felt the need to waste CPU with some full blown groupware-RSS-magikal-argagator, which in reality, takes a text file, and cuts it into smaller bit of text.
  • Ive been using RSS-NEWS [rss-news.co.uk] as my main newsfeed program for a very long time now. It has however always been quite bugged, and since last update was last january i think its time to move on and get a new one.

    The only thing that kept me using RSS-News for so long is the EXELLENT layout. While these new readers keep insisting on the outlook-style with lotsa bloat toolbars and menues, RSS-News keep it very simple, feeds on the left, browser/viewing area on the right. Here is a Screenshot [btinternet.com]. Now here is my questio
    • feedDemon has customizable layouts so you can have an outlook style layout or one just like you showed in the screenshot.

      feedDemon, however, costs $$ - it's not expensive but it isn't free. It also synchornizes with bloglines (I think) so you can have feedDemon installed at home and work and know that your info will be synchronized between the two.

      I tried feedDemon out during one of its earlier beta's and it was really nice. Very easy to use and peppy. However, I wasn't willing to spend any $$ for somethi
  • Cool. No more crashing.
  • I think, it is natural - to include RSS reading ability in browser instead of having additional software.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.