There are software programs that use occasionally, and there are software programs that people spend a lot of time in. A feed reader falls in the second category for a lot of people, including me. So it’s important to have an affinity for your feed reader, like you might have with your pet and your jeans.

I’ve tried three feed readers in recent years: NetNewsWire, NewsFire, and Google Reader.

They’re all excellent programs. But I still yearned for a feed reader that was simpler, more lightweight, and more comfortable to use. I wanted an feed reader that worked in the console, and that had good key bindings for moving around quickly and efficiently.

So over the weekend and the last few days, I wrote FastReader, a console-based feed reader. It’s still pretty rough around the edges. But it’s definitely usable.

FastReader is free and open source.

Here are some screen shots:

Installation

FastReader is packaged as a Ruby Gem and distributed from RubyForge. So installation is very simple. Open a Terminal, and type the following:

sudo gem install fastreader

This command should work out of the box for anyone running OS X 10.5, which comes with the gem command pre-installed. Apple users with older versions of OS X might have to install Ruby and Ruby Gems manually. Here are some instructions.

Launching FastReader is also simple. Just type

fastreader

from your command line.

You can find more documentation here.

Hopefully I will fix the inevitable bugs and enhance the program in various ways over the next few weeks. So please check for updates and update the software periodically.

The command to update is

sudo gem update fastreader

Source, Bug Reports, Feedback

To leave any feedback, please visit the RubyForge page for this project. You can file bug reports, request enhancements and features, and comment in a discussion forum.

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