phil wilson :: a geek commodity

2:04 PM

permanent link to post Aggregators: Part One 

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

And now for something, err, completely normal for bloggers: talking about aggregators.

Because of Gareth I’ve been spending some time looking at different desktop aggregators. I haven’t used one as my main aggregator for about a year now, choosing instead to use the pretty-good JabRSS so it’s been an interesting journey to see what’s been happening in my absence. By all accounts – not much.

This is a great opportunity to give lots of constructive feedback to all the aggregator authors, but I’m too lazy, so here are my five minute reviews:


I started on the Weblogs compendium aggregator list and my first download was Jyte. Small, fast, and rubbish; mainly because each time I tried to add a feed, or import an OPML feed, or create a search it crashed. Only beta though, so I got fair warning. Can’t parse Atom. Had to register to be able to use, which was a very simple and quick process.


Looks good, quick and easy to use. Failed to import my OPML file and didn’t tell me why. Doesn’t render HTML properly so that my big post about mobile devices is impossible to read. Has a “search web for feeds” function which searches syndic8. Managed to crash it within ten minutes and then couldn’t close it down (and it spawned about five identical processes). Minimises to tray which is nice. Can parse Atom. Website has a nice “share your OPML” section. special mention: Adds a new item to the IE context menu when right-clicking a link “Add content to Tristana” useful for all those orange RSS, RDF and XML icons.

Hot Zoup

Looks good, but doesn’t do OPML import. Supports Atom and recognised that my already added RSS feed was the same thing and so didn’t add it (I would have preferred to be able to add it anyway, but nice to see some smarts going on). The website made it look like I could search my feeds for stuff but it only provides a “search google” function. The HTML pane looks really nice but again didn’t parsemy big post about mobile devices well. Has a nice “flag item” function for marking items to read later. Adding an item is harder than it should be and there’s no drag and drop from browser to aggregator. Have to double click the item title to be able to open it in the embedded browser.


Screenshots shows that it doesn’t give me an address bar, so I didn’t download it. I must be able to see my current URL at all times.

Active web reader



Woah. Pay-for software and I don’t see an address bar. Not a chance. Although on the plus side, it apparently supports OPML and OCS import and has a built-in blogging tool. Which is nice.


I would have downloaded this if the screenshots alone didn’t make me go blind.

Here ends today’s lesson.