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Akgregator: A Good New Toy

Just dragged my sorry ass through a long and difficult paper that cost me a crazy amount of sleep and time that I would ordinarily spend doing something more fun than reading Ph.D dissertations as research material. I ended up working through the night and on until seven this morning. That said, I needed some five or ten minute breaks pretty frequently while writing that paper so the Bloglines clipping feature was pretty handy for that purpose. I'm becoming more of a linkdumper than I've ever been and while that sort of bothers me on one level I'm also trying to break the habit of working myself to death on things that are absolutely necessary. I'm much more apt to spend insane amounts of times on interesting problems than anything else which is ultimately more rewarding than most of the byproducts of weblogging. There's that whole sleeping thing to consider on occasion as well.

While I love, love, love aggregators for the most part all of them have incredibly annoying and what seems like very obvious flaws to me. With syndication becoming omnipresent and increasingly less annoying than actually visiting web sites the aggregator is approaching the importance of a web browser with the dependence on a zillion shitty plugins to simply read some text buried somewhere in all the singing, dancing trash. I imagine this stupid future will be brought to you by your non-dividend paying friends Microsoft. I've mentioned a million different Linux aggregators here and I'm never quite happy with them although Liferea the one disclaimed on its site as "under development" is about the closest to a perfect fit that I've found so far. It's pretty damn good for where it's at in development. I gave the new KDE aggregrator Akregator which unfortunately clings to that awful and arbitrary rule of all applications having a 'K' stuck in their name somewhere. I was impressed with its simplicity and speed. Importing the OPML file from all my Bloglines subscriptions took less than two seconds and I was up and running afterwards. The only thing that does annoy is the 'save as' dialog that pops up when you want to save your subscriptions. Dotfiles exist to keep you from doing this sort of thing and other applications that I've seen that use multiple configuration files often give you the option to create or open those files separately but never require you to create the initial or default file. It is a beta, though, so I can't fault the entire application for a design decision that I don't agree with when it functions very well already. Screenshot? Oh, why not:

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  1. Yeah, we are planning to remove a lot of the document-oriented behavior. We are still debating how we are going to do it, however. :-)

    – your random akregator developer

  2. I’m glad to hear that folks are thinking about that already. It really isn’t a major complaint on my part but I can already hear the gnashing of teeth and sharpening of long knives on the bug tracker. Other than that rather minor complaint I think Akregator is really well implemented. I’ll post more complaints when I’ve had some more time to really pound on it. :)

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