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Stringer: Open Source Self-Hosted RSS Reader

As many of you I’m a huge user of RSS – I still think there’s something powerful about that protocol and unless something dramatic changes I don’t see it leaving us anytime soon.

Unfortunately, the applications that we use to read RSS seem to not stick around too long, the biggest and most recent example being Google Reader. I’ve already chosen my replacement for starters, which you can read about here: Feedly.

But I’m not terribly happy with it although it does work so I’m still looking out for other alternatives and possibilities and I found one that got me excited the other day:


Stringer is open source, so that’s a great place to start. It’s been dubbed the “anti-social” reader because there are neither any external dependencies (a good thing) and no way to really share your content.

It’s just for you.

You get a few keyboard shortcuts to speed things up but that’s about it. It’s built in Ruby and built on Sinatra using PostgreSQL for a database. Easily deploy it via Heroku (which I’m using for another small app) and that’s all you need.


The project is released under MIT licensed and hosted on GitHub, so you can get started quickly.


I’m going to boot this up this weekend and if I have some time I’ll write a review of it after I use it for some time. I like the idea of having my own system so that I never have to worry about another system being down or being sunset.

What about you? How have your searches for RSS Reader replacements been?

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  • http://eatingrichly.com Eric J

    “What about you? How have your searches for RSS Reader replacements been?”

    Not so well i’m waiting until the last minute to see what reeder (the iPhone app) ends up supporting. I do not like feedly personally.

    • http://john.do/ John Saddington

      just wondering what your reasons are? i don’t LOVE it either… but it’s working for now.

      • http://eatingrichly.com Eric J

        I don’t like that you need an extension to use it in a browser, that is a huge downside for me, also while you can tame down the eye candy it just didn’t seem to click with me which is very subjective but I’m sure it will only get better as it has already started to improve a lot.

  • http://www.t-gk.net RJ Webb

    I’ve been using TT-RSS (tt-rss.org) for years. PHP-based, support for PostgreSQL & MySQL. It’s a pretty nice interface overall. Having never used Google Reader, I can’t compare the two, but I’ve seen a lot of stuff around (especially on Lifehacker) that Reader users seem to like it for the most part. There’s a few plugins that will accomplish “reader-like” actions like keyboard navigation and such.

    When the announcement came out about Reader, I had the misfortune of borking something on my server and needed to re-image. I saw a few new threads on the support forums about Reader-like features/plugins/skinning, so I don’t know how well those have taken off or not.

    I keep my installation pretty simple. I just use the bookmarklet for subscriptions and that’s about it, really.

  • http://ottopress.com Otto

    I’ve been using Feedly, but I agree that it’s not the greatest reader. The arbitrary width limitations, the slowness of the interface, the downright bizarre hotkeys.. There is very little about it that I like other than “it works”, basically.

    If a good Reader clone doesn’t come out soon, I’ll probably have to write my own.

    • http://john.do/ John Saddington

      oh freakin’ please do… that would be awesome.

  • http://www.webmaster-source.com redwall_hp

    I just installed it locally and imported my feeds. It’s pretty nice, actually. Simpler than I like (I prefer the three-column layout of the Reeder OS X app over the “river of news” UI) but it’s a nice Ruby application.

    I’m using Fever right now, since Reeder for iOS supports it, but I’d really like to come up with a better solution sometime.