This week I decided to start the Google Reader replacement tryouts. It was the article, Yoleoreader Is Another Google Reader Alternative With Slick UI, by Jonathon Hu and the fact that Google Reader is supposed to disappear on July 1 that motivated me to get moving. I guess Google wants us to use Google+ instead of RSS readers. That is a much bigger problem for me than finding a RSS reader replacement. So I created an account on Yoleoreader and imported my feeds. The user interface is nice but the server rebooted during my feed import. I tried again but it still has not loaded. I guess they are having some problems scaling the system up for more users. The support person was nice but I think I will wait a week before trying again.
Another alternative to Google Reader is Tiny Tiny RSS. Since I have a self hosted site and experience installing web software, I installed it. For the average Google Reader user they need a Yoleoreader type solution. I found some instructions for Installing Tiny Tiny RSS on Bluehost. The instructions relied on the command line so I modified the instructions to use the GUI tools. Here is my version of Richard’s instructions.
- I went to the Tiny Tiny RSS site and downloaded the tarball, v1.7.9 (May 13, 2013)
- I logged into the Controlpanel application on Bluehost and created a subdomain(Domains-Subdomains) with its own folder. I called the subdomain, reader, as a memorial to Google Reader.
- I used the File Manager(Files-File Manager) to upload the tarball to public_html, expanded the tarball, and then moved the source code to the reader folder.
- I created a new data base(Databases-MySQL Databases) called myusername_tt-rss, a data base user called myusername_ttrss, assigned the user to tt-rss, and assigned all privileges to the user.
- Although I used PhpMyAdmin to import the schema and edited the config.php file via the File Manager, I found that this was not necessary. When I opened the browser and went to http://reader.wehuberconsultingllc.com, I accidentally ended up at the install screen. I had saved my edits to config-dist.php. I followed its instructions to import the schema and edit the config.php. When I went to the home screen, everything worked. If I ever have to do this again I would open a browser and go directly to http://reader.wehuberconsultingllc.com/install/ instead.
- I followed the instructions for securing the admin password and importing my subscriptions and starred items.
- I followed the instructions for updating the feeds manually but I changed the cron job command line to: cd ~/public_html/reader && /usr/php/53/usr/bin/php-cli ~/public_html/reader/update.php –feeds –quiet >/dev/null 2>&1
Here are some of my initial impressions on Tiny Tiny RSS.
- The user interface is not as slick as Yoleoreader but it is more than adequate as a replacement for Google Reader. My browser response time was excellent.
- My Google Reader feeds and starred items imported quickly without problems.
- Tiny Tiny RSS is more persnickety about the quality of the feeds. I guess that Google Reader fixed the feed problems behind the curtains. I read a bunch of comments from RSS developers complaining about the different feed exceptions that had to code for. In my case I had about twenty bad feeds. The feed shows up in red. Some of the feeds no longer exist. They were easy to fix. Some feeds have problems but still display the posts. Five feeds have valid addresses but the feed cannot be read. Maybe this weekend I will see if the newest version of the RSS and Atom code will fix the problem.