Sunday, March 09, 2008

RSS Reader

There are a few RSS Readers for GNUstep. Ticker is a simple one. When it starts, the Feeds window shows up. Or you also use menu 'Feeds > Administer feed...' to bring it up. In feeds window, you can input a feed and change its appearance, then use menu 'Feeds > Add/Update' to store it. Once it is stored, use menu 'Feeds > Instantiate' to make a window out of it. It will stay on your desktop and cycle through entries of RSS. Menu 'Article' allows you to show all entries, open entry in default web browser, Lynx, etc. You can instantiate as many RSS as you want and arrange each feed as individual window. To open entry in Mozilla, check Ticker website for details.

Grr is a 3-pane RSS Reader as most of RSS Readers out there. It is currently hosted in Étoilé Project. If you already download Étoilé as previously suggested, you can install RSSKit and Grr in Etoile/Frameworks/RSSKit and Etoile/Services/User/Grr respectively.


Grr can parse various formats of RSS and Atom. You can subscribe feeds and organize them with categories. RSS can be downloaded with proxy and searched. It can parse limited HTML with reasonable result. That is pretty much you can expect from a standard RSS Reader.

NewsStand is another RSS reader in Étoilé Project. It is ported from Vienna 2 without fancy user interface and WebKit. You can find it in Etoile/Services/User/NewsStand. It uses the same XML/HTML parser as StepChat. Therefore, you may want to install StepChat first, or at least ETXML inside. It also depends on curl to parse various date format.


It works more or less the same as Grr. Besides, it allows you to import and export your feeds in OPML format. Smart folder works, so you have a few default ones like 'Unread Articles'. But the interface for editing smart folder is not done yet.

Frankly, both Grr and NewsStand suffer from stability problems with different reasons. One is written from scratch and has to fight with malformatted RSS. The other one is ported from a Cocoa application and the difference between Cocoa and GNUstep need to be ironed out. It would be nice to have a stable RSS reader for GNUstep.

Previous articles in this series:

  • Gomoku and Localization in GNUstep
  • Font Manager and GNUstep Backend
  • System Preferences and Theme
  • Ink, a GNUstep text editor, and Services
  • Addresses, a contact manager
  • StepChat, TalkSoup, and Grouch
  • More on Services
  • Image Viewer and Editor
  • PDF Viewer

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