Archive for the ‘RSS’ Category


Thursday, November 14th, 2013

BirdReader by Glynn Bird.

From the webpage:

In March 2013, Google announced that Google Reader was to be closed. I used Google Reader every day so I set out to find a replacement. I started with other online offerings, but then I thought “I could build one”. So I created BirdReader which I have released to the world in its unpolished “alpha”.

BirdReader is designed to be installed on your own webserver or laptop, running Node.js. e.g.

  • import your old Google Reader subscriptions
  • fetches RSS every 5 minutes
  • web-based aggregated newsfeed
  • – mark articles as read
  • – delete articles without reading
  • – ‘star’ articles
  • – add a new feed
  • – sorted in newest-first order
  • – bootstrap-based, responsive layout
  • – tagging/untagging of feeds
  • – Twitter/Facebook sharing
  • – basic HTTP authentication (optional)
  • – filter read/unread/starred streams by tag
  • – filter read/unread/starred streams by feed
  • – full-text search (only works when using Cloudant as the CouchDB storage engine)
  • – icons for feeds and articles
  • – expand all
  • – browse-mode – go through unread articles one-by-one, full screen
  • API
  • – live stats via WebSockets (NEW!)

Not that you need another RSS reader but consider this an opportunity to create a topic map-based RSS reader.

You can subscribe to feeds or even searches of feeds.

But do you know of an RSS reader that:

  • maps authors across feeds?
  • maps subjects across feeds and produces histories of subjects?
  • maps relationships between authors and subjects?
  • dedupes aggregator content that appeared months ago but is re-dated to make it appear “new?”
  • etc.

RSSOwl and Feed Validation

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I rather hate to end the day on a practical note, ;-), but after going off Google Reader, I started using RSSOwl.

I have been adding feeds to RSSOwl but there were two that simply refused to load.

Feed Validator reported the feed was:

not well-formed (invalid token)

with a pointer to the letter “f” in the word “find.”

Helpful but not a bunch.

Captured the feed as XML and loaded it into oXygen.

A form feed character was immediately in front of the “f” in “fine” but of course was not displaying.

Culprit in one case was a form feed character, 0xc and in the other, end of text, 0x03.

ASCII characters 0 — 31 and 127 are non-printing control characters called CO controls.

Of the CO control characters, only carriage return (0x0d), linefeed (0x0a) and horizontal tab (0x09) can appear in an XML feed.

For loading and parsing RSS feeds into a topic map, you may want to filter for CO controls that should not appear in the XML feed.

PS: I suspect in both cases the control characters were introduced by copy-n-paste operations.