RSS in Hoary

John Richard Moser nigelenki at
Sat Jan 1 16:38:48 CST 2005

I see that in Warty the current RSS solution is "Use Firefox Live
Bookmarks."  This is very skeletal and poor.  I suggest a light-weight
news agregator for Hoary.  Liferea is already in Universe, and should be
brought into Main.  It is very lightweight; the 0.5 package for core and
gtkhtml are 306kB, 1085kB unpacked.

Liferea is very clean and easy to use, and has a good featureset.  I
personally use 0.6.0 on Gentoo.  There are screenshots available as well: contains a screenshot of Liferea
with many feeds. is a
screenshot of my Liferea viewing US-CERT TA04-260A.

Liferea handles many feed formats.  I have personally tested it with RSS
and RDF feeds of varying versions, some of which did not work in other
readers I've tried.  I haven't seen CDF feeds, and am new to Atoms; but
Liferea seems to handle atoms fine.  OPML is its
import/export format, which is also common to Akregator (KDE) IIRC,
meaning transitioning KDE users will be able to export their feeds to

Liferea can run in the background minimized to an icon.  It can be
started with `liferea --iconify` and become a small globe in the
notification area of Gnome (system tray).  This can be configured away,
but should be set by default; it is a powerful feature, as Liferea can
be left running at all times so that it continuously updates news.

Liferea pops up short-lived, unintrusive windows when it updates a feed
and finds new articles.  This can be configured away, but is very
unintrusive, as the windows are only onscreen for a brief few seconds,
just enough to glance for interesting articles rather than read each

Liferea can cache a limited or unlimited number of feeds on the disk, so
that all articles ever downloaded remain on disk.  The entire RSS
content is readable offline once downloaded as well.  Having thousands
of articles for a feed in Firefox' live bookmarks would definitely not
be feasible.

Liferea can search through feeds for specific words and phrases, and
save searches as virtual folders.

Liferea can also use a proxy.  Squid can be used to prevent Liferea from
downloading a full feed when it hasn't really updated.

The UI for Liferea is very pleasant and easy to use.  It is
pseudo-intuitive, easily learned by simply fiddilng with it for a brief
period.  It is a GTK/Gnome application as well, so it will integrate
fine with Ubuntu.

In conclusion, I believe Liferea should definitely be moved into Main
for Hoary and be the supported RSS/RDF/Atom/CDF/OPML News Aggregator for
Ubuntu Linux.

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