Fooling with Feed Readers

Well, my Firefox browser just updated itself to Firefox Quantum, and NewsFox, which is a feed reader I have been using for years, doesn’t work with Quantum. Two choices: Roll back to the 56.02 version of Firefox and live in the past with security vulnerabilities, or find a new feed reader. I’ve been trying out RSSOwl and Feedbro, but naturally neither works as well as NewsFox.

Feedbro is an in-browser plugin that works in Firefox (at least for now), and in order to comment on a blog in Feedbro, you have to go to the actual web page, because Feedbro only displays content. To go to the webpage, it opens a new browser tab, which is a PITA.

RSSOwl is a stand alone, but it also only displays content, and if you want to comment you also have to go to the actual webpage, which opens in RSSOwl.

There are several blogs I can no longer comment on because RSSOwl doesn’t give me the option of using my Google ID, and there is one blog I can no longer comment on because Feedbro can’t open the site in a new tab with the URL because it cannot identify itself to Blogger as one of the people allowed to view that webpage, and RSSOwl won’t allow me to use my Google ID to sign in to comment.

As for reading webcomics, neither feed reader will display the actual webpage to begin with.  It just shows content which typically involves a thumbnail of the comic page.  You have to click through to the webpage on every %$#@!*$%$#!@!# one in order to be able to read the &*!^%#@&*%&! comic, which on Feedbro means you’ll have humpty eleven tabs open if you don’t close each and every *&^%*$#%!^$#@!#$ one when you’re done reading the page.

The only high point in this dark  pit of dudgeon is that I was able to save all my feed info from NewsFox in an .opml file and import it into both RSSOwl and Feedbro, else I’d have been on the warpath for sure.

The poor fat(cat)boy has gone into the other room and crawled under the bed because mama is cussing a blue streak.  To put it mildly (and in socially acceptable terminology), I am not a happy camper.

Author: WOL

My burrow, "La Maison du Hibou Sous Terre" is located on the flatlands of West Texas where I live with my computer, my books, and a lot of yarn waiting to become something.

2 thoughts on “Fooling with Feed Readers”

  1. OK, I confess. I laughed out loud at that gif. I lead such a simple online life a lot of this is either unfamiliar or just plain puzzling, but I do hope you’ve got things sorted by now, and can breath a little easier. I have this urge to say, “Put down the hairbrush, and no one will get hurt.” 🙂


  2. I have used a number of RSS feed readers over the years. None are perfect but some do the job adequately as long as you put up with their foibles. I used to use the Google RSS reader but it was discontinued to much protest. I moved to a portable version of RSSOwl but that no longer works for me as I apparently don’t have the necessary Java components installed on my system. (I always use portable applications where possible.) My choice is also limited by the fact that I want to have the same reader on both my PC and my iPhone to maintain consistency between them.

    One reader that works on both systems is Feedly. It is very popular and a lot of people swear by it but I can’t get on with it for various reasons. Maybe you have tried it – it might do the business for you.

    I am at present using Inoreader, which is a Web application with a matching iPhone app, not because I think it’s perfect (it isn’t) but because it’s the least bad of the currently available crop. (There’s a paid-for premium version but the free version does all that’s necessary.) It does the thing that I most deprecate in RSS readers, namely, marks an article read as soon as you look at it so that you have explicitly to mark it unread if you want to keep it for later. (The dear old Google reader marked an article read only if you told it to).

    There is another perfectly good solution though it may seem clumsy at first sight. You can add a folder to your Firefox bookmarks toolbar and to this add the URLs of all the blogs you follow (using a folder reduces the clutter on your toolbar), then go through each of the URLs at whatever interval you choose and read and comment as required.

    As I discovere recently when trying to find a good passwword manager, we often make life unnecessarily complicated for ourselves by insisting on having software that does all the work for us. Using unsophisticated manual methods sometimes turns out to the best solution. (In case you are wondering about the password manager, I am now using Keepass and not making my passwords hostages to fortune by storing them on other people’s servers.)


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