Stand-alone RSS readers are out of the question. I prefer to view the actual webpage of the RSS item, instead of the summary. I get to read the comments, and it makes placing a comment much quicker (thanks blogger.com, for only offering atom feeds. ). As a result, I think I would be much better off with a Firefox or Thunderbird extension. This way, I make sure the Gecko rendering engine is used.
I should first explain why I don’t use Firefox’s live bookmarks feature. It’s a nice feature, but it does not indicate which RSS items I have read, and which ones are new. I don’t want to have to reread through the list of items on every RSS feed to see if I recognize the titles. Live bookmarks is a nice technology demo, but I have trouble finding a practical use for it.
So I looked at the RSS extensions available. I tried Forumzilla a few months ago on the Mozilla Application Suite and Netscape 7, having been told to add it to http://ilias.ca/MozillavsFirefox. It would not remember any RSS feeds I entered, let alone fetch items. It seems to work for others, so I assume the problem was local.
Next, I had look at Aggreg8. According to the Aggreg8 weblog, development on Aggreg8 has ceased, and Habarixenu is recommended. So I tried Habarixenu. I quickly uninstalled it, after finding no way to set it to display the actual webpage of an RSS item.
So I went to addons.mozilla.org, and saw Wizz RSS. It has the layout I’m looking for. It also has the stupidest caveat I’ve seen in an RSS reader: You have to store your feed list on the Wizz Computers server. Buh-bye.
Next, I tried Sage. It has a good user interface. It keeps track of which items are read and unread. It has a nice “check feeds” button, which checks for new items on all my feeds, and puts an indicator beside those feeds, which have new items. My only problem with it is that the list of items kept on the list is not controlled, like it is in Thunderbird. I like to hold on to certain blog posts, that I find helpful. I suppose simply bookmarking them would do the trick.
And so, I chose Sage as my new RSS reader.