It's even worse than it appears..
Why would I leave Twitter? It's like living in NY and not taking the subway. Sure it's dirty and smells bad, but it's how you get places. #
I just realized a lot of people have the wrong idea about NYC. I've never been mugged. No one in my family has ever been mugged. You go around and do stuff in the city and yeah sometimes it doesn't feel safe. One time a drunk asshole from Utah or Wyoming walked into me and tried to pick a fight. I did what NYers do, no eye contact, keep walking, just mind my own business. I thought it was funny he was trying to explain how to walk in Manhattan. Fucking idiots walk six across, take up all the space, drunk, what do they think is going to happen. Of course next time they're going to be carrying a gun thanks to the Supreme Court. #
I like the name FeedLand because even though it's a new name, it feels familiar. I also like that it's not any brand of feed, let's move beyond that. Feeds are feeds. I don't care what language you use. Let's have fun. And "land" well -- that was half the name of a company I started many years ago, that did some great stuff that I'm proud of. #
To FeedLand users, Ed Zitron wrote a great piece today about Facebook. Nails it. So I found his feed and subscribed to it. You can subscribe with one click if you're logged in. Right now I'm the only subscriber. It'll be interesting to see if I can communicate with some FeedLand users through my blog. 😄#
FeedLand can also generate feeds, not just read them. For example, when I like an item in a feed I'm reading in FeedLand, it's automatically added to a public feed of the items I've liked. Every user gets one of these feeds. I've subscribed to the feed in Feedly, since it's RSS, it works. Of course you can also subscribe to it in FeedLand. #
If they like you, journalists will tell your story as one of invention, creativity, vision. That's how they used to speak of Zuck and Musk. If they don't like you, they talk about you as a bully, quoting people who lie about you, or misdirect. In both cases it's journalism. You have to question both approaches. No one they glorify really knew what they were doing, they had as many flops as successes. And the people they demean, in order to get where they are, had to be pretty freaking creative and honest because the old adage in tech applies -- you can't lie to a compiler. 💥#
  • A general note about feed technology. The reason FeedLand is syntax-agnostic is because of an open source package for Node.js called feedparser that I built on. It understands and flattens out the names in RSS, Atom and RDF feeds. I am thankful for not having to deal with feeds at that level.#
  • The first layer I built on top of the package hid some complexity in its API that imho is only necessary if you're like Google with an array of 100K systems reading a million feeds every minute. #
  • Five years later, as part of the FeedLand project, I added another layer, because I don't want a stream of items with data about the feed packed into each item, I want to read the feed and get a JavaScript object with everything neatly organized, with all the info from the feed in the object. As simple as possible. Factored and factored again. #
  • It's all in a package called reallySimple. It's the code that FeedLand uses to read feeds, and it works pretty flawlessly as far as I can tell, and it's hell on wheels performance-wise.#
  • This is what the JavaScript object looks like, for the NYT's theater feed. Tell me if you think it's fast. I certainly do. #
  • Anyway -- I hope people use reallySimple. It really does make feed reading in Node as easy as reading a JSON file. #
  • In FeedLand there are three ways to view a feed and a menu to switch between them. To try this out, go to your Feed List (choose My feed list in the first menu) and click on the title of one of the feeds. This takes you to its Feed Info page, one of the three views. #
  • Feed Info page#
  • 1. Here's a link to the Feed Info page for Ars Technica. This page has basic info about the feed, when it was added and who added it. It says when it was last checked, last updated (a new item appeared in the feed), how many items we've retrieved from the feed, how long it took to read the feed (an indication of how healthy its server is) and most important, who is subscribed to the feed. When you click on a user's name, you're taken to their feed list (example), where you may find other feeds to subscribe to. This is what we mean about FeedLand being made of people (and feeds and news too, of course). #
  • If you look in the menu bar, you'll see there's a View menu. It gives you a way to switch between the three views. For the next step choose View as mailbox. #
  • Mailbox view#
  • 2. The Mailbox view presents a feed as if it were a collection of email, with the titles and descriptions in the left column and the full text of each item in the right column. You'll find this familiar if you use most other feed readers, it's the most common way of presenting feed content. I patterned my mailbox reader after the one in NetNewsWire, designed by a former colleague, Brent Simmons. #
  • River view#
  • 3. To see the River view, choose View as river from the View menu. In this view you see the feed contents presented as a river of news -- a format I've used in all my feed products going back to My.UserLand in 1999. The River view is different because it presents just the items from one feed, not a set of feeds. The full text of the item is not displayed by default, but you can see it by clicking on the down arrow in the lower right corner of each item, if it has text that is hidden. Screen shot.#
  • Screen shots: River view, Mailbox view, Feed Info page.#
  • For more info, see the Deeper docs page.#
  • And a place to ask questions. #

Last update: Thursday October 27, 2022; 8:26 PM EDT.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)