At about the same time that I switched to using GMail again, I stopped using Gregarius in favor of Google Reader as my primary feed reader. This means that I probably will not be making very many contributions to the Gregarius codebase in the near future. Unlike my switch from Thunderbird to GMail, my annoyances with Gregarius do not stem from the application, but from its community. Many of the issues that have bothering me have been occurring for at least six months, which means I probably should have written this post earlier, instead of playing XBox and hoping that things would get better on their own.

When I started using Gregarius, I was not just looking for a agggregator, but also for a community. In Gregarius, I found it. My primary means of communication with the other members was through the gregarius-dev mailing list. We shared code, debugging tips, and conferred on plans for "total world domination" - our intended goal.

At some point, people started using the forums to communicate rather than the mailing list. On one hand, this was good, since it allowed less technical users (who had been unable to find other support channels) to get help. On the other, it was depressing to find that a large number of these users were not using Gregarius for personal feed reading, or even as a community-building tool (by aggregating like-minded websites for people with similar interests). Instead, they were building aggregation sites and then adding Adsense, in hopes of gaining money from visitors clicking on advertisements. As a result, they were less concerned with improving Gregarius' user interface and experience, and more concerned with search engine optimization and how to increase their sites' PageRank. I have no issues with people monetizing their own websites, but many of the problems of today's Internet are caused by people trying to make money off of other people's content without adding any value of their own.

While I have previously suggested that the next version of Gregarius should only be released when the planned features were completed, I not believe that it is imperative that it release a new version as soon as possible. Since the last version of Gregarius was released a year and a half ago, many former users assumed that development had stopped. Releasing a new version would be simpler than in other open source projects; Gregarius' trunk has always been very stable, so the primary roadblocks are logistical (packaging and what not) as opposed to technical (bugs).