A simple and elegant feed reader.
Feedbunch is a feed reader, a web application that allows users to subscribe and read Atom and RSS feeds. It is offered as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) at feedbunch.com, and is fully open source.
Feedbunch aims to be as pleasant to use as possible, with a simple and uncluttered interface. It hides unnecessary complexity from users as much as possible:
- it adapts automatically to different browser sizes (desktop, tablet or smartphone), presenting an interface suited for each screen size
- it has simple guided tours to familiarize new users with the use of the application without having to read any documentation
- it supports feed autodiscovery, allowing users in most cases to subscribe to a feed just entering the website URL, without having to look for the sometimes hard to find "subscribe to feed" link on the page
- all feed entries are sanitized before being displayed to the user, removing potentially malicious scripts and content. Users will be protected from malware and vulnerabilities even if the feed's website becomes compromised by hackers
- it learns and adapts to the periodicity at which new entries appear in each feed, ensuring that new entries are shown to users as soon as possible after publishing
- images in an entry are loaded only after the user opens the entry, saving bandwidth for images in entries that the user never opens (specially nice for people with bandwidth caps!)
- in most cases it can detect when a website has changed its feed URL and switch to the new URL without missing entries (e.g. if a blog migrates from Wordpress built-in feeds to Feedburner), even if the website does not set up a proper redirect to the new URL
- it detects when a feed has become permanently unavailable and desists from updating it, saving bandwith for the domain owner
What is a feed reader? What is a feed?
Basically, it is a way to aggregate content updates from various websites in a single place. Instead of having to visit each of your favorite websites every day to see if there's new content, anything those websites publish will appear in Feedbunch. This way you only have to visit Feedbunch to be up to date with all blogs, newspapers, webcomics etc that you follow. You will save a lot of time.
Another advantage of using a feed reader is that you can subscribe and unsubscribe from feeds as you get interested or lose your interest in them, in a way creating your own personalized newspaper. You can also organize feeds in folders to help you organize your reading efficiently and cope with information overload. Believe me, using feeds is addictive, you may soon find yourself subscribed to so many that anything that helps you organize them sounds like a great idea!
For this to work, each website has to make available a special XML document that gets updated every time new content is published in the website. This XML document is called the feed and every new piece of content that is added to it is called an entry. Entries can be news articles in a newspaper's website, new pages in a webcomic, new comments in a blog entry... Most websites nowadays have a feed (or several), in fact most blogging and CMS platforms include a feed by default in any websites they manage, without having to configure anything.
The main standards for feeds are RSS and Atom (wikipedia links). Often people speak about "RSS feeds" indistinctly, which is actually a bit of a misnomer. Feedbunch users don't have to worry about this, both standards are transparently supported.
Just visit feedbunch.com and sign up for a new account. You will need a valid email address.
Once signed in, take some time to follow the interactive tours, they will show you what you can do with the application. Import your subscriptions in OPML format from another feed aggregator or just start subscribing to feeds. Pretty soon you will have a personalized set of feeds that interest you.
You can get help, inform us of bugs, suggest new features or just tell us what you think about Feedbunch through:
You can use any of them, but in general:
- if you're reporting an error and have some experience reporting software bugs, the github repo's issue tracker is best. Please use english if possible.
- if you're asking a general question that can also be interesting for other users, twitter is best.
- for matters you do not with to discuss in public, use the email
Credits and acknowledgements
For a good long while the most popular feed reader was Google Reader. In fact it was probably the only feed reader that mattered for most of the Internet. However Google closed down GReader on July 1 2013, forcing users to migrate to alternative services. The development of Feedbunch was started to attempt to replace GReader and it is no coincidence that some ideas in the user interface are inspired in GReader.
The server API is written using Ruby on Rails, along with many ruby gems generously shared by the community. Sidekiq is used to process jobs asynchronously.
PostgreSQL is used for the database layer, and Redis for more transient data (Rails cache and Sidekiq data).
Licensed under the MIT license (see LICENSE.txt file in the root directory for details).
How to contribute
Code is hosted in the amatriain/feedbunch github repo.
You can create issues in the issue tracker to discuss any bugs you find.
To contribute code:
- fork the repo
- create a branch with a name relevant to the change (e.g. "fix-mcguffin-rendering")
- commit your changes to the branch. Make small commits, avoid huge commits difficult to review. Please take some time to read the surrounding code and imitate the coding style as much as you can. In your commit comments, use the first line to briefly describe the change and go into detail below.
- create a pull request
If you add new methods, classes etc please add comments comparable to the existing ones. If you change existing methods please update the method and class comment if they no longer accurately describe the method behavior.
Also you can add Ruby comments wherever you think the intent is not clear from reading the code. Just don't overdo it, the best code is self-explanatory.
The project uses Rspec for its tests. The
spec folder is organized a bit different from the default Rspec layout:
unit_testsfolder has unit tests for individual classes (models, controllers, etc).
acceptance_testsfolder contains what Rspec calls feature tests. They simulate a user operating the application with a headless webkit browser, using the capybara-webkit gem.
The tests use FactoryGirl object factories, instead of test fixtures. Factory definitions are in the
Please add new tests or update existing ones when adding or changing features.
TravisCI is used for continuous integration. Any pull requests that have failed tests will probably not be accepted.
The rails logger (
Rails.logger) is used to write a log of events. Most methods have log statements to help with
If you add features please consider if it's worth it adding log statements. Remember that the default log level in
warn, so use lower-priority logging (
info) for log lines that are not usually
interesting, only when debugging a particular problem. Try not to clutter the logs.