announcing PyFeRea

categories: code

tldr; An RSS reader without Gnome/KDE dependencies using Python, Gtk, Webkit:

About a year ago I wrote the following email to the debian-user list:

Subject: is there no sane, minimal, graphical RSS feed reader in existance?


I've been looking for a good RSS feed reader for years now but I still seem not
to be able to find a sane, minimal graphical RSS reader.

What I'm using now is liferea which is okay but could be more minimal and
mainly, is way too slow to enjoy using it (search for the fsync issue).

So what is left?

- There is a bunch of web based readers but I treasure having my stuff offline
  as well.

- There are readers for the gnome or KDE environment. Since I use neither it
  would mean to get 100s of MB (literally) of dependencies

- There are firefox extensions but why would I have to install a web browser to
  read my RSS feeds?

- There are thunderbird, evolution and opera but same argument: why would I
  want to install an email-client/browser for my feeds?

- There are clients like blam that are written in .NET/mono and would also
  require dozens of dependencies (not talking about .NET evilness)

- There are readers for the terminal but I have several feeds with images and I
  dont want to open another window of my browser each time.

I can't imagine there are no others who do not use Gnome/KDE (having a more
minimal setup) but would want to have a graphical RSS reader?

What I'm looking for is not much: it would just depend on either
gtk/qt/efl/whatever for its UI, would have one list of the feeds, another list
for recent feed items and another frame with a gecko or webkit plugin for
presenting the item. Why this feature/dependency bloat everywhere?

Why is there no simple reader with minimal dependencies? Am I just overlooking
one? Are my requirements too weird? I'm not afraid to compile from source
either, should it not be in Debian. Should I like it I would also package it
for Debian.

As I said, liferea is close (just had to bear with the gconf2 dependency) but
slow as hell (and no, I refuse to use the "fsync workaround").

Are there others that share my need? If there is really no such thing as a real
minimal graphical RSS reader, I'm close to writing one myself.

Since I'm not subscribed, please dont forget to CC me. Thanks!

cheers, josch

I pasted this email because it best describes my issue and I would've just repeated its content anyways.

Well apparently I was close enough to writing one myself so that I did it, thereby announcing PyFeRea, a minimal RSS reader without Gnome or KDE dependencies, written in Python, using GtK and WebKit and coming without the LiFeRea slowness.

I suck at naming things and hence I am still left with my initial 'codename' for it: PyFeRea as I wanted something that looked just as LiFeRea but would not suffer from its slowness.

More can be found in the projects

git clone git://

Patches are welcome as usual.

Also tell me if I should've missed an RSS reader with my requirements in mind.

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