My Own RSS Reader - Leselys

Attempting to put it off until the very last moment, I finally caved today and setup my own RSS reader. After reading many articles on which new RSS reader would take over for Google Reader, I managed to setup and install my own.

Leselys is a free to use application that is self-hosted. I have been opting for self-hosted apps wherever I can. It allows me to have all the control and I need not worry about if the service will be shutdown or not. Initially I had the install running on one of my servers. It was relatively easy and only required me to install MongoDB. However, I didn't like how it ran on a port and required me to modify my firewall and such. Fortunately there was a secondary option and that was to install it via Heroku.

I've never used Heroku before, but oddly enough I had done some research about it in the past 2-3 weeks or so just for fun. There's a Ruby gem you can install to easily get your application created, and deployed. The steps on the Lesely README made it really simple to get the application up and running. I first signed up for a Heroku account and then followed the very simple install instructions:

git clone git://github.com/socketubs/leselys.git
cd leselys
heroku create
heroku addons:add mongohq:sandbox
heroku addons:add redistogo:nano
heroku addons:add scheduler:standard
heroku addons:open scheduler
# Add "sh heroku.sh && leselys refresh heroku.ini" job every 10 minutes
# And "sh heroku.sh && leselys retention heroku.ini" job every day
git push heroku master

Literally I had the app up and running in 5 minutes. I created my own custom sub-domain for the app to run on and imported my XML file from Google Takeout. For some reason a couple of the feeds didn't import, however after troubleshooting I found out both of the feed URLs had changed (which likely was why they weren't updating in Google Reader).

Overall the application is decent however there's a few things which need to be fixed.

  • Renaming feeds - Sometimes for whatever reason RSS feeds are given really odd, long and obscure titles and it makes things look ugly.
  • Star or Favorite Stories - This would be useful to keep track of interesting stories.
  • Ordering feeds in list - Currently there doesn't seem to be any sort of rhyme or reason as to how the feeds are order in the sidebar listing. It would be nice to have the option to manually order them or at least sort them by alphabetical order.
  • Fix Add Feed box / UI Issue - There's a slight bug when clicking on the Add Feed Box, it appears as cut off and doesn't look good.

I've subscribed to the repository on GitHub so I can report and track issues. I would love to see these few items above get resolved!