As I have previously mentioned, the Firefox extension Sage was my choice for reading RSS feeds. After reading Chris Gonyea's post on Feedlounge, a new web-based RSS feedreader (like Bloglines), I became intrigued about using an online aggregator. Since Feedlounge is still in private alpha testing and I was not really enthused about using Bloglines, I decided to look at aggregators that I could administer myself.

I first decided to try Feed on Feeds, since I recognized it from my access logs. Its feature set was decent enough that I used it for almost a day. Unfortunately, I began to run into a bug that prevented me from updating some of my feeds (for some reason, the SQL statement that Feed on Feeds was using to update the database would become broken). Since I was using v0.19 (the latest release), I decided to look around to find if there was a development version that would solve the problem. The website of Steve Minutillo, the author, was not much help (although it did have shiny screenshots of what the next version would look like), and the CVS code on Sourceforge seemed outdated. Since I generally prefer rapid development over rock-solid stability (which I why I had problems when I attempted to use Debian), I decided to stop using Feed on Feeds.

Although I was almost discouraged enough to return to Sage, I decided to try out Gregarius. Its website was initially a bit off-putting, unless I realized that it was advertising the program's interface. Information about installing and using Gregarius is available on the developer's blog. Unlike Feed on Feeds 0.1.9, which was released last December, the latest release of Gregarius, v0.4.2, was released in late May. Also, Gregarius' Sourceforge CVS repository is up-to-date, containing code that will be a part of the next release.

One thing both the Gregarius and Feed on Feeds projects seem to be missing is a vibrant developer community, something that is important for the health of open-source projects. While I know that in both cases, people actually are working on these projects (there a number of forks of Feed on Feeds; Gregarius has an open plugin architecture similar to WordPress), it is difficult to find out about their efforts (I can do Google searches, but I have better ways to spend my time). Since Gregarius looks like it wants to become the WordPress of self-administrated online news aggregators (easy to use, while still being highly extensible), I hope one coalesces.