In: , , , ,
On: 2005 / 11 / 30
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For my feed reading needs, I've been using Feed Reader at first. Pretty straightforward and very light software. On the other hand, nothing too customisable and very few options.

My search for something else was restricted by a few technological choices or necessities due to the software configuration of my PC at work : no Java or .NET required, installs without Admin rights needed, light on memory, runs smooth on an outdated machine, etc…

So, for a few weeks I've been running Feed Demon, with the feeling that it was almost exactly what I wanted. Good stuff, but "almost" perfect. I was rather satisfied with it, yet always with something like "hmm I'd rather like this feature to do this instead of that.. well overall that's pretty good software anyway" on my mind.

At that time, I couldn't install Curio Studio's GreatNews. This was probably related to my being an unfortunate Windows NT4 — doh — user, but now that the IT folks suddenly decided to start filling the gap between our company and technology that is just 6 years old (read : I'm now on Windows 2000, wow) I've been able to try this software. And I love it.

GreatNews, despite a somehow silly name that will probably keep it from any decent search engine ranking, is what I've been waiting for. Small executable with no funky install (I usually hate software that come all packed into a single setup.exe so you can't see what's inside before you actually install it), OPML import / export feature that works with Bloglines or local files, and a really good usability of all features like tagging an item or the "Blog this" feature. In particular I like the way GreatNews is using simple .css files to manage display styles, rather than powerful yet too much complicated .xslt documents for Feed Demon. I've been using it for 3 days now, and so far I really love it.

A few things I'd like to see improved or changed. Yes, there are still a few :)

  • less empty wasted space in the "tree" panel on left hand
  • A "discover feed" feature : paste blog url, let the software find its feed (Feed Demon does this, that's cool)
  • The ability to change location of temporary / cache directory

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This entry "Now Using GreatNews to Read Feeds" was posted on 30/11/2005 at 4:34 pm and is tagged with , , , ,
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11 Blablas

  1. Steve says:

    Yes I also find that'ìs a great piece of software, i used a lot of feed aggregators, i tired sage into Firefox but neither of them satfied me completly till I come to GreatNews.

    The discover feed features exist, if u go in a page with a feed inside, in the bottom right of the windows it will show up an RSS orange logo, clicking on it allow you to add the feed to GreatNews.

    What i would like to see is the possibility to use the default browser, in my case firefox… a lot better than IE :)

  2. Dave M. says:

    The best part of this reader is that it can be run from an USB Thumb drive just fine. I'm doing so right now. :)

    I have been using Bloglines pretty much since they started up, but I just don't like the occasional down times. Now I can carry my rss feeds around with me and not worry about Bloglines servers being down. :)

    What I would like to see: The ability to open a page in an external browser like Firefox, the external default browser would be fine. I would also like to change the sort order to show oldest posts first. I don't like reading posts in the wrong order. Especially personal blogs where chronology is important.

    Other than that, a really great reader!

  3. Jack Pan says:

    ozh, Thanks for the praise. I'm glad you like GreatNews. :D
    Steve, there's an option to use external browser with GreatNews. (Tools->Usability->Open RSS links in external default browser). The wording is probably very confusing.

    Dave, if News List is turned on(from Tools->News List), you can click at the Date column to set sort order.

  4. BB2k says:

    Do you know any good linux utility like this one ?

  5. Ozh says:

    beebeetookay » seems to me that the best thing available around for Linux is probably Liferea ( although I don't find it as usable as GreatNews. Ca va les filles sinon ? :)

  6. BB2k says:

    Answering my own question : I just found this one : liferea that is not so bad =)

  7. Dave M. says:

    Jack Pan, Thanks for those pointers! That was exactly what I was looking for! Both answers.

    The "locations" of the settings weren't quite right, but at least I could look for them and found them. I now have GreatNews configured perfectly.

    Never thought I would see the day I would find an RSS aggregator that worked the way I wanted it to. I don't see any donation links. If you ever put one up, you will defiantly get one from me!

  8. Jack Pan says:

    Thanks Dave. I appreciate that.

  9. Ozh says:

    Jack, in case you're following the comments here : I have another suggestion for a next release. I'd like an option that would set timeout and maximum number of outgoing connections (when refreshing feeds). Indeed, on really slow connection like mine at work behind a poor firewall, things sometimes time out. Feeddemmon has an option like this, very handy for the poorly connected.

  10. Jack Pan says:

    Ozh, there are some hidden options to control these. You can add following lines to GreatNews.ini


    the timeout is set in seconds. Thanks.


  11. Ozh says:

    Ah ! Awesome :)

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