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Tony Duckles on programming, photography, and general geekery

Google Reader

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I really dig the whole web-based RSS aggregator/reader thing. For the past year or so, I've been using reBlog on my Linux box at home. It had it's quirks, but it was great to use.

Enter Google Reader. Being the show-off's they are, Google has created a fantastic RSS reader web-app. I've ditched my home-based reBlog setup for using Google Reader for all my RSS feed reading needs. Here are the things which really won me over:

  • Super-slick UI, with fantastic keyboard navigation support.
  • Nifty AJAX tricks, like only loading enough items into the ListView to fit on screen initially and then fetching more as you scroll down. (Of course, they do this for performance reasons, but it's still implemented very cleanly and just “feels” nice.)
  • You can “star”/flag entries that are useful, and then go back and look at all the articles you've flagged. It remembers the timestamp of when you flagged the entry, which I find handy. (Though most useful links I consume in a del.icio.us-fashion these days…)
  • You can easily sort either by Oldest or Newest, and it saves that preference on each “view” (i.e. viewing entries from just one feed vs all entries) you have.
  • Has an “infinite” scrollback feature, to allow you to scroll backwards through all the posts which Google has ever fetched for that feed.
  • It's free. ;)

I would definitely recommend Google Reader to anyone that uses a fat-client RSS reader/aggregator, especially if you want something that does the aggregating 24-7 for you and is accessible from any computer.

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