Go home, Feedly, you’re drunk!

July 14, 2013

(This article was first published on Thinking inside the box , and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

With the
demise of Google Reader
, many of us have scrambled to find
alternatives which cover many/most of the features we were used to. For me,
synchronised access from web and mobile counts quite high, and I want the
(Android) mobile experience to be pretty pleasant too. So with that, and
like many other folks, I had shifted over to Feedly.

And before I carry on, let me say that Feedly actually does pretty
well. They handled the onslaught of new users; they also listened and
changed their UI a little to be more compact and Reader-alike And most
importantly, it mostly just works.

Until it doesn’t.

Around the time Feedly shifted folks to their own cloud-based backend, posts from my very own
aggregator of
CRAN package changes for R started to
show only
truncated posts. See this screenshot from reading Feedly:

Feedly truncates the CRANberries post

and compare it with this one from

OldReader shows the full CRANberries post

which contains the diffstat output, nicely marked up and all.

Now, it so happens that I am the creator of the very RSS feed I am
consuming here, and I wrote it so that I could read the very diffstat output
that is now missing. And I know full well that neither the code, nor the
hosting (on my own box), nor any other aspect changed. Before confirming this
via TheOldReader, I looked at the
RSS output, and I tried other frontend and
apps — and it became clear that the bug seems to be at the Feedly cloud
storage level. And trying to be a good sport, I
submitted a bug report / suggestion,
but to no avail (apart from two other chiming in that they see this elsewhere too).

Given that I am the coder behind the feed that is displayed in a truncated
manner, I am aware that I am using a code stack that is stale (the original
Blosxom static web
generator) yet which has not posed another problem anywhere in the decade I
used it. Nor does the CRANberries feed pose a problem when aggregated and
viewed via the TheOldReader code
path, or for that matter via Planet R
which also carries (parts of)

So for now, I have to either pivot out of the
CRANberries RSS
reading in Feedly and go directly to the webpage (fine, but cumbersome and in
need of a working connection) or use a second subscription mechanism. I
appreciate what the TheOldReader
folks are doing—presumably with a minor fraction of the resources available
to Feedly—and may hang with them for now.

But it would be awfully nice if Feedly
could sleep off its hangover and fix this. In which case I’d be much happier
recommending its service.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Thinking inside the box .

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