Archive for February, 2012

linkrdr a week on

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

linkrdr is a Web app with goals similar to Amethyst and a very different implementation. I have been using it off and on for a week, mostly shadowing what I’ve already read in Amethyst. The linkrdr team is making rapid improvements. Between the two, it’s starting to reflect my interests. I’m still thrashing about a bit, not understanding what some of the links do. I’m not sure what the icon at the far right does and how that is different from opening up the item (clicking on the greater than sign at the far left or the title) and clicking on the links there.

I’m not ready to abandon Amethyst yet. Nor linkrdr. If you are interested in a smart RSS reader, give linkrdr a try.

More on the Future

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The Sun is Setting on Rails-style MVC Frameworks points out a lot of the same problems I am encountering with Amethyst and suggests a direction to move. Including pointing out what isn’t there yet in terms of API styles and support libraries/protocols.

New Shiny versus Getting Things Done

Friday, February 24th, 2012

As Your favourite programming language is not good enough points out, don’t fall in love with a programming language and stay with it until “death do you part”.

Rails Went Off The Rails: Why I’m Rebuilding Archaeopteryx In CoffeeScript is a longer rant on fashion, framework developers versus framework users interests, and when to get off the train to go in a new direction. I largely agree that Rails 3 is heading in a direction I don’t want to go. Or my application doesn’t need.

I’ve started porting it to Padrino, but I wonder if that the best course. Much has changed in the 5-6 years I’ve been working on Amethyst. Perhaps moving to a different architecture, both server and client side might be a good idea.

linkrdr

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Linkrdr is a new Web RSS reader with claims similar to Amethyst and a very different approach. They went public yesterday and are making changes rapidly. After I had added a dozen feeds that I read often, they announce OPML import support. The initial ranking before I started reading anything was basically the more links in my feeds and in the posts they point to a topic, the higher the “relevance”. Reading several dozen posts did not seem to materially alter the order. This morning they announced a new ranking algorithm and the ordering of posts is starting to reflect my interests.

I still prefer Amethyst. Linkrdr shows the most promise of any other RSS reader I’ve tried.

Faraday?

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The most troublesome, ugly, bug infested code in Amethyst fetches RSS feeds in the face of Internet congestion, down servers, buggy RSS implementations, incorrect encodings, and so on. I’ve tried several times to clean it up, but it is dealing with messes, so it is messy. Mess is just part of its job. I’ve seen BMW repair shops where you could sit on the floor and eat a picnic without worrying about your clothes and the food safety. But I’ve never seen a garbage truck that didn’t smell.

Faraday is a library by Mislav, the author of mislav-will_paginate, a gem I (and many others) use for pagination in Ruby on Rails. It is a very nice package. Faraday is middleware for making HTTP request, the flip side of Rack, middleware for handling HTTP requests. This is an intriguing idea. I don’t think I can replace all my ugly RSS fetch code, but it looks like I can replace a lot of it and break the remainder up into smaller, more understandable bits.