I had started using Google Reader for my reading feeds from about a month back, it took me till yesterday to discover that it actually doesn’t work properly because of my having multiple google accounts.

After many apt-cache searchs, I finally found this little publicized feed reader called Liferea.

Now for a start, its free software, and its written in C with Gtk+, and is pretty light. It integrates well with the gnome desktop, and uses gnome-notifications to inform you of new messages. Compare that with using Akregator (Qt based) on Gnome.

The brilliance doesn’t stop here, it allows you to add your Google Reader account as part of your feeds. So for those on the move, you can store all your reading list on Google Reader and simply use Liferea to read them while you’re on your home machine.

Liferea allows you to run a script on the feeds (the XML content to be specific) before it processes it. So for example, The Hindu‘s news feeds don’t have the news articles stored on them, only a summary of the news. Now I can write a script (and in fact have already written!) to download the actual news content (looking at the URI of the news, which RSS already provides) and replacing the item description with that. I don’t need to worry about the detail so downloading or whether the feed has been updated. How cool is that?

Liferea also allows you to store, in some sense, a Search query as a feed. This means that I can create a search query, that for example searches all my feeds for the word “Linux” and stores them on the left as one category.

On a per-feed basis, I can also change the way the feed is displayed on the view (Liferea gives the option of Normal-view, Wide-view and Combined View). It might seem like a triviality right now, but you’ll see how cool that is once you use it.

More? Liferea supports reading through comments (this is supported by the feeds using the <wfw:commentRss> tag, which atleast’s have by default). I’ve observed that this is a little buggy as for some reason it doesn’t seem to be working well with the feed for my own blog, but works fine for most others.

And all this in a very simple and intuitive interface, which is quite light (right now taking about 27MB in main memory).

Liferea unfortunately stands for Linux Fead Reader — unfortunate, because it seems to be ported to everything, right from Windows and Macs to a Nokia N770.

Ubuntu should definitely make this a part of its standard desktop install.

Three cheers to its developer Lars Lindner.


7 Responses to Liferea

  1. anshul says:

    Does it mark the feeds you read as “read” on google reader?

  2. arnstein says:

    @anshul: sadly no (or atleast I don’t think so), lets hope it might be added in the future.

  3. […] Arnie Almighty – Posted a good review of Liferea. […]

  4. daniel1992 says:

    Liferea is really good. I linked to this in a post of mine:

    I think I’ll start reading your blog.


  5. DarK says:

    tch, i expected you to discover this long before, anyways
    you can link all you gmail accounts, using forwarding, and then you can use the google online reader.

    any success using google gears for off line access to reader?

  6. […] project is on integrating Liferea with Google Reader. I have mentioned Liferea in a previous post (mentioned? The whole post was about this.) Well, I fell in love with Liferea, but there were a few […]

  7. Daniel Demski says:

    Hi, what does the script look like? :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: