17 August 2008

Google Reader Synchronization

As you might know I've been working on Google Reader Synchronization in Liferea for a Google SoC project.

Let me go through what has been done, and what has not.

What's new

A noticeable change has been the ability to items "Mark as Important", or in the Google Reader lingo, "Mark as Starred". Liferea will synchronize this flag to, and from, Google Reader.

Another cool feature that has been added is an efficient feed updater (Let's call this fast-update). So here's how it works: Every 10 minutes, Liferea will make a request to Google Reader asking for a list of modified feeds. The response is very small, and hence this does not affect your bandwidth. But from this small request, we can determine a list of feeds that have been updated, and so we can download exactly these feeds. This means that when a new post is available, you will get the update within 10 minutes! Every 24hrs, a full-update is done to complete the synchronization, because there are some situations where fast-update can miss out subscriptions.

What does not work

Comments do not work (as I have pointed out in the past, this is something I cannot fix). I decided not to implement Labels as Folders, simply because some users (who might have been more generous at tagging their subscriptions!) would not like it.

Synchronization with other Web-based aggregators

True --- I wanted to work on this. However, I couldn't get myself motivated enough, because I didn't think I will be using it. :-) I would have had to learn the intricacies of the new API. (Btw, the Google Reader API is *nasty*!) And plus, since I won't be using it, I won't be able to maintain it properly. (oh, excuses!) If you need help implementing synchronization for another web-based aggregator, I will be ready to help. As long as they provide a clean API, it should not be too hard.

That's all folks!

Although SoC is almost over, I will continue developing and maintaining the Google Reader code in Liferea. So you are most welcome to give me suggestions at any time.


chmac said...

Thanks for all your work on this. It's great to see sync in Liferea. I'm not a Google user myself, but I think any type of sync is a great step forward.

eMerzh said...

It could be great to have at least tt-rss (http://tt-rss.org/) support or another opensource web-based rss reader!

However, thanks for the great work!

Rafael F. said...

Tiny Tiny RSS has future. You might want to check it out

emanuelsprung said...

Hi! I have a linux Laptop at work and since a few months a mac mini at home.

The best feedreader for linux is liferead and for mac its net newswire because there is also a good iphone version.

the mac version syncs with google reader and newsgator.
the iphone version syncs only with newsgator.

my whis is an adaption of the newsgator-api http://www.newsgator.com/ngs/api/ to liferea.

but if there is no need else i learn c++ and publish my results...


Tim Cowlishaw said...

I'd love to see sync with Newsgator.com - as there is currently no linux desktop nesreadr that does so. They have a publicly-acessible API, I may look into this and have a crack at it myself actually!

Lars said...

Thanks for your hints concerning the NewsGator API.

Right now I suggest *NOT* to invest any efforts into at as there is no permission for 3rd party applications to use the API. Therefore I'd refuse to merge any patch adding support for this feature.

Absolute precondition for supporting an API of a commercially backed up aggregator is a written permission (EULA or similar document). I'm not aware of such a permission at the moment.

daniel said...

Hi, I'm trying synchronize newsgator and liferea. I like include a new button into toolbar of Liferea but I don't undenstand Liferea interface. Somebody know of I can to make??? thanks...