Notes on RSS readers

A few notes based on my experience using akregator and liferea.

A feed that doesn’t work

Here’s a feed that I attempted to add to akregator:


It is the comment feed for The Skeptical Zone.  When I added it, akregator fetched several recent messages.  However, it seems to never refresh, never fetch any additional messages.  I am not sure why; perhaps it is mishandling the ‘?’ character.  I have reported this to the KDE bug report site.

I decided to try the same feed in liferea.  And it works just fine there.  That makes it look like an akregator bug, rather than a problem at the feed site.

Running both akregator and liferea

For the present, I am now running both akregator and liferea.  Mostly, the two have different feeds configure, so that there isn’t much overlap.  There does not seem to be any interference between them.  Given what they do, I did not expect interference.

Currently, after login to a KDE session, I start akregator.  And I leave the akregator window showing.  It appears at the top left of the screen.  Then I start liferea.  It opens its window at the bottom left of the screen, presumably attempting to avoid overlapping an existing screen.  I should mention that I have firefox open on the right 2/3 of the screen while doing this.

Next, I close both windows (akregator and liferea), which leaves them with icons in the tray.  Now, whenever I click on the akregator icon, it places its window at the top left.  And whenever I click on the liferea icon, it places its window at the bottom left.  This is a congenial arrangement.

Notes on using liferea

Having now used liferea for normal work, and not just for testing, I’m finding that it does its job rather well.  I am still preferring akregator, for the reasons that I discussed in my earlier comparison.  However, liferea is still a pretty good application.

If I display a message in my browser, liferea is opening a tab in firefox.  This, in spite of the fact that konqueror is configured as my default browser.  This surprised my, though it is not causing a problem.  My guess is that it is going by the default browser for a Gnome session, rather than the default for the current KDE desktop.  I have not changed any Gnome settings from there installed defaults on the particular desktop system where I am now using liferea.

The way I am currently using liferea, is that I select the “Unread” folder.  That shows only messages that have not been read.  Well, it also shows the message that I am currently  reading.  As soon as I select another message, the one that I had been reading disappears from the message list display.  By the time I have read all, the only message showing is the one I am currently reading.  If I close the window (but keep the tray icon), that message will still show when I next open the window, but disappear when I select a different message.  Or, before closing the window, I can select a different folder, then reselect the “Unread” folder, so that the folder now shows as empty.


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About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

2 responses to “Notes on RSS readers”

  1. Lars Windolf says :

    Hi Neil,

    the effect you described that Liferea opens links in a new Firefox tab is a bug. Thanks to a contribution it was already fixed in git and will the fix will be included in the next 1.8 and 1.10-RC1 releases.

    With the fix I expect it to use your default browser again.

    Best Regards,


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