Upon taking a new job that required her to post frequently on current topics, my wife asked for help finding a news feed reader that would help her aggregate various sources into a manageable system. She ultimately settled on Google Reader, but it still doesn’t give her quite the ability to organize source articles for future reference in the way she would like. So, being the professional web developer that I am, I decided to take a crack as solving this problem for her.
Once common trend among all the feed readers that she tried was that they all focused on helping the user read the articles. Which isn’t a bad thing, as that’s the whole point of a feed reader. But for my wife, and other professional online journalists and bloggers, reading the article is the start of the process, not the end of it. After you read it, you need to decide whether you want to hang on to it or not. Then you need a way to organize your collection of saved articles that isn’t just a single massive bucket of links. Finally, you want to be able to retrieve all of the articles that might be relevant to the specific post you’re working on.
So I’ve started a new project call Read Feeder (an inverted feed reader), where the primary focus is on organizing and retrieving articles from RSS and Atom feeds. To do this, you can “tag” articles according to user-defined tags, and you can also put them into named “queues”, where you can then retrieve them in a first-in-first-out fashion. Read Feeder lets you subscribe to multiple source feeds. You can also “tag” feeds using the same tags as you have for articles, and any new articles pulled in from that feed will automatically be given the those same tags.
Read Feeder is written in Django/Python, and is currently hosted on Launchpad. It is in the very, very early stages of development, I wouldn’t even call it alpha at this point. But, staying true to the philosophy of “release early, release often”, I’ve decided to make it publicly available from the start. I’ll be working on this in my spare time, but hopefully will make relatively consistent progress on it. Anybody with an interested in the project is encouraged to join in, even if all you have is a list of things you’d like it to do for you.
My current focus is on getting something working with the smallest amount of fluff. I have plans to re-vamp the interface using ExtJS, and to make it fully translatable. I may or may not offer it as an online service at some point in the future, but you’re more than welcome to run it yourself. Read Feeder is licensed under the AGPL v3.