Date: January 27th, 2003
Cate: Meta

It worked last time…

Here’s my new idea, now that my previous two are done. Not really an idea for this weblog, but a project I want to do.

Recently I got into the whole RSS thing big time. I use Feedreader at work to keep up with various sites. It works great, except for a few problems:

  • It isn’t integrated with my browser well enough. Sometimes I want to read news items right in the newsreader. Sometimes I want to open up individual items in a page. Sometimes I want to click on links in news items and open tabs. Sometimes I want to go to the home page of the site that the news is from since their feed is plain text only. All these things are inconvenient/impossible in Feedreader.
  • I don’t want it to sit there reloading feeds all night when I’m not there. There’s no way to “pause” it, all I can do is close it, and then it loses its place the next morning and everything is marked unread. Not cool. This is a minor problem, I know.
  • A bigger problem: What about when I get home? If I used an RSS client here too, it wouldn’t be in sync. Stupid.

To get around all these limitaions, I want to make a browser based RSS client. Since it’s right in my browser, all the different ways of navigation I want will just work. I’m thinking of making it only update the feeds, if they’re out of date, when I load the page, so it won’t sit there stupidly updating all night. It will then be in sync wherever I go: I can just load my feeds page and see the latest news, kind of like Livejournal’s friends pages, or News Is Free. But I want it to keep track of what I’ve read, and of course be free and Free. If I do it, I’ll make the code available so others can set up their own versions on their own servers.

I would set it up here so random people can log in and set up personal lists of feeds, but I don’t think could handle the strain. Maybe if it gets good enough some nice person with a big honking server will set up a public version, ready to go.

I think with a little PHP, and a little MySQL, and Magpie to do all the heavy lifting, it shouldn’t be that hard. Wish me luck!


    Poor, it is really on about 1/16th of a FreeBSD box and not a super powerful one at that. Since your weblog gets about a billion more hits than anything else on the site (and for the first time in recorded history we are using a measurable fraction of our bandwidth limit) I hate to think what would happen if you did something great.


  1. stevesteve  
    January 28th, 2003

  2. If the traffic keeps going up, I guess there will be two possibilities:

    1) keep upgrading to more space, more bandwidth, more cpu, more everything

    2) \”steve minutillo – the weblog\” moves on to its own server, probably at some cute domain name like \’\’ or \’\’ or \’[something].[the next stupid TLD they come up with]\’

    I favor option 1 since all the other users of would benefit.


  3. January 28th, 2003

  4. I too favor option 1. Bandwidth limits and disk space are easy to increase. CPU and database disk space (measured seperately) are harder with my current plan. I guess when the issue comes up I will look into it.


  5. stevesteve  
    January 28th, 2003

  6. OK. That may happen sooner than we think: It appears that after this month\’s Google Dance my weblog is at Pagerank 4.

    The root page ( is PR2, and is PR0. Probably the problem there is that all the links to don\’t count since it they redirect to