Welcome to fluxreader

The site is in the very early stages of development and as with beta software, a lot of stuff is just plain broken. If you'd like to try it out, feel free to sign up using the form to the right.

What's a fluxreader anyway?

The short version is that fluxreader is my Google Reader replacement.

On March 13, Google announced that they will close down Google Reader on the first of July. I use Google Reader every day to keep tabs on the dozens of blogs, webcomics, news sites, etc. that I follow, so I immediately started looking around for a replacement for Google Reader. While I did find a few sites that showed promise, none of them quite did what I wanted.

Specifically, I wanted a simple news reader that I can read on whatever device I happen to be using. So it would need to be able to do a few things:

  1. Maintain my list of feeds and harvest them periodically in the background for me even when I'm offline (there's nothing worse to me than logging in and having to wait while something goes out and parses a bunch of feeds)
  2. Remember which entries I've read, regardless of which device I'm on. The problem with some of the apps and desktop readers I found is that they maintained my reading history on the device, meaning that as soon as I wanted to check my feeds on my tablet or phone, I'd have to mark a bunch of stuff read again. Unacceptable.
  3. Have a simple interface. I don't want a bunch of flashy nonsense. I don't need a fancy interface where my reading pane flies in from offscreen or does a dance or something any time a new post appears. I just want something simple and usable. I want Google Reader, but if Google is going to deny me that, I want something close.
  4. Be a web app, if possible. If I'm at a friend's house and I want to use her computer to check my feeds, I should be able to do that without the need to install a browser extension or download some app.

None of the services or apps I found seemed to do exactly what I wanted (although, to be fair, Feedly and Newsblur were both being hammered so hard by people looking desperately for an alternative to Google Reader that they were both effectively down for me, so maybe those services are great).

"How hard can it be to build an RSS aggregator that does what I want it to do?" I thought, somewhat naively. I didn't know much about the actual RSS or Atom specs, but I figured it couldn't be all that hard. "It's just text-parsing, right? I build code to do that all day for my day job." By the time I realized just how awful these two "standards" really are, I was in too deep.

A few weeks later, I had a feed reader that I now use every day to keep up with the world. So, even though there's still a lot to do, it's filling the hole left that Google drilled in my heart on March 13.

I'd like to make this available for use to other Google refugees, so I'm currently figuring out how much it can handle. If you'd like to help me figure that out, sign up at the top of this page to be a tester.

Here's a preview so you can see what it looks like so far:

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