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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Retro Reader

I don’t use RSS readers. I know it’s a matter of taste and this isn’t an essay on why I think people shouldn’t use them. In fact, so many people get something good out of feed readers that it comes down to a matter of taste. Instead, I want to describe what approach I currently favor for blog and news reading. But first, here’s why I suspect feed readers aren’t for me (I realized this once more when I pondered giving Google Reader a “real life” try) – important things first:

Actually, my feed reader would be quite retro (if I do need one – at the moment, entering URLs into the address bar works). All I want is a list of URLs I can click through, one by one. This could be implemented using bookmarks, but sharing between computers might be a problem here. A simple web site with a frameset at the bottom with previous/ forward buttons would work perfectly, though. I implemented this once with my friend Alex K. Here’s another implementation – a single all-in-one HTML page* (no external files needed) which loads an Iframe and does some JavaScript back-and-forth navigation using a configurable URL array. Feel free to use this, of course.

*Some disclaimers; this works best with blogs which change about daily. Also, it doesn’t support “frame-buster” blogs.


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