I wasn’t one of the people viscerally affected by Google’s announcement of the forthcoming shutdown of Google Reader, since so far I’ve relied on a combination of standalone RSS clients and antediluvian hit-the-refresh-button-repeatedly habits. I am dinosaur: hear me roar!
However, the announcement prompted me to take another look at RSS readers. Nowadays, I rotate among my PC, phone, tablet, and laptop frequently, so going back to a purely standalone reader like NetNewsWire wasn’t appealing. The online services like NewsBlur would fit my needs better than a standalone reader (and I’m willing, even happy, to pay for the hope of longevity), but suffer from two disadvantages. They’re not open source, and as a consequence, it’s hard to dig through their guts. And I like digging!
I first found out about Tiny Tiny RSS from one of Ed Corrado’s tweets, and like a lot of people, visited the website and saw… a whole lotta nothing at first. Google really ought to give their open source competitors a little more warning of service cancellation announcements so that they can beef up their web hosting in advance!
Fortunately, I persevered and installed it. Tiny Tiny RSS, which is primarily written and maintained by Andrew Dolgov, is a web-based feed reader that you can install on your web server. It’s licensed under version 2 of the GPL. Installation is very simple if you have a VPS, and looks fairly easy to install on shared hosting as long as it provides MySQL or PostgreSQL databases. Once you have it running, you can easy import an OPML file or manually subscribe to feeds. The web interface for reading and managing feeds is clean and responsive. It also has an API and there are at least two Android clients. I couldn’t find an iOS client, but I suspect that somebody will scratch that itch soon.
So far, I’m quite happy with it. Thanks, Ed! Thanks, Andrew and all of the the other contributors!