I love feed readers as they allow me to keep tabs on all the articles from various blogs and sites I follow on a regular and irregular basis. I love being able to organize and group feeds by content and purpose.
As its very core, it's an RSS reader, but if you want to sound fancy, you can call it a news feed aggregator, but I'll stick with RSS for the time being. The name itself is actually an abbreviation for Linux Feed Reader.
Here is a screenshot of it in action.
Anyways, it's in the main Debian repositories and can be installed with the usual apt-get install command. In case you need the full thing type the following in your terminal app of choice or install it via the Synaptics Package Manager via Main Menu -> Preferences menu.
sudo apt-get install liferea
The app consists of mostly C code with small amounts of XML, HTML, and a few other oddball languages. I haven't quite peaked at the code yet, but according to the statistics, it's a little over 27,000 lines of code.
1. As I mentioned in the intro, the app (for all of you iOS haters, forgive me for calling it an "app") is extremely simple and as a result incredibly lightweight. Having it running in the background and periodically refreshing my feed list is unnoticeable. The software's website states that not many features are or will be added as the goal of the app is to keep it simple and lightweight. However, anybody willing to contribute their own time and features are welcomed to do so.
So far the app has not crashed once for me nor has it given me any other sort of issues.
2. The developers and contributors have provided excellent documentation for the application that is accessible from within the application itself. Much more information can be found on their FAQ.
3. The app does have a built in browser, but you can actually custom configure it to launch an external browser of your picking. To set it to something such as Iceweasel, head to Tools -> Preferences -> Browser tab and enter in "iceweasel %s" without the parentheses under the Manual option at the bottom of the tab. The %s is the variable placeholder for the actual URL that is to be loaded by your browser of choice.
4. Plenty of keyboard shortcuts for commonly used tasks such as doing a manual update of all of your subscriptions with Ctl + U (or Command + U if you have swapped these button's functions). I shan't go over them all here, but having them available saves me time from swapping back and forth between the trackpad and keyboard. Huge win in my book.
5. Support for all walks of feeders. I'm sure there are some that are not supported and will not work, but I haven't run into one yet.
6. Lastly, there is support for organizing your subscriptions into folders that you can name each whatever you please. Yes, a no brainer, but definitely worth mentioning. Moving subscriptions between folders is simply a drag and drop of that subscription or subscriptions.
1. Unfortunately, the latest version (1.10.11) has not been made available on the PowerPC platform. I am going to help change that here in the next couple of days. I'll provide an update to this existing post once it has been made available.
2. On the security front, it has some pretty big gaping holes. The first being that any proxy or authentication configurations to certain feeds are stored in plain text in ~/.liferea/feedlist.opml. Ouch. Obviously, if you aren't using any feeds that require any sort of authentication and/or proxy configuration, no worries. The second is that the content database cache data is also stored in plain text. The maintainers have also made it known that there could be and probably are other possible existing security issues.
Of the two issues described above, the first does not affect me and the second doesn't concern me a whole lot as the content I have in my feed is nothing I feel the need to be concerned about having in plain text. If I'm looking at this from the wrong perspective, let me know.
3. This may sound a bit picky, but there is no keyboard shortcut for adding a new subscription or folder. Seems like it would be simple enough to implement, but perhaps moving forward I could help in that arena as well.
All in all, it's the best lightweight Linux RSS reader I've been able to find to date and right now the pros outweigh the cons by a significant margin. There are a ton of other preferences and features that I did not cover, so check them if you feel enticed enough. If you know of something more lightweight, powerful, or perhaps even secure, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
And of course, if you have any suggestions, questions, or requests on a post for me to cover regarding PowerPC Linux let me know. Lastly, on another side note, I've decided instead of posting about all the different PowerPC hardware I own, I will create a dedicated hardware page.