Feedability – Full Feed RSS Server with Readability

Feedability – Full Feed RSS Server with Readability

If you’re an avid reader of blogs and still got your head in the sand using RSS you probably use a feed aggregator service like Feedly to read your news. Putting aside the argument of whether RSS is dead and everyone uses Twitter or Reddit to get their news, feed readers can be useful at least to provide an app like Reeder or GReader content for you to sync offline and read while you suffer through internet withdrawal on a plane (although this has changed much in recent years with most flights, even over the Pacific or Atlantic getting internet service).

Offline content is great, but the dreaded “partial feed” can cause a particularly link-baity headline like “26 Things That Will Make You Say ‘Hmmm, That’s Interesting’” end in disappointment as you see the truncated excerpt and then the taunting “Click here to read more” link only you can’t click there since you don’t have internet!1

Feedability screenshot, GitHub link

Well, have no fear dear reeders, and enjoy whiling the time away in-flight (assuming you remembered to sync your feeds before you went into airplane mode), because Feedability is here! Feedability is a full feed readability server, which takes existing RSS or Atom feeds as input, and replaces the truncated article synopsis with the full Readability‘d version of the feed entry links. As shown in the screenshot above, you can preview article content to tweak it with CSS white/blacklist selectors before generating a feed link–the Readability library (the same one used in Firefox for its “Readability mode”) does a pretty good job at extracting the page content but sometimes needs a few hints to find all the article content and exclude non-content. Feel free to fiddle with the demo site, but if you want to use it for real you’ll have to set up your own server since the demo site has IP throttling to avoid tons of people from using it and overloading my demo server.

This is another tool that’s aimed at the techie crowd, but let’s face it–normals don’t really use RSS anyway. Besides, there’s some joy in tweaking the CSS selector rules to get your feed looking just right (until the authors change the page layout, but whatever). So, hope this is useful to you and if not at least now all of my feeds are full-feed, and as a bonus I got to learn about the Materialize CSS library (to the point: don’t use it, too immature) and then Polymer (two-word review: thumbs up!), and the recently released ASP.Net Core 1.0.

GitHub Link: https://github.com/Marcus-L/feedability/

  1. Or the internet in-flight is so slow that even a picture of a totally peeled watermelon can’t entice you to wait for the page to load

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