Building a sort-of RSS Reader

Part of the backend of my site is/was the reader. It was social feeds and RSS. In the most recent version entries on RSS lists weren't saved anywhere - it was always a 'live' feed. This did mean unless I filtered, blog posts would get lost among short notes / status updates. I previously considered the difference between 'following' and 'subscribing' and decided that could be a distinction broadly along the would like to see / must see lines.

So I should consider this when rebuilding the reader. Some things will be fine to just follow and maybe see in the live feed, but some things I want to read. There are a few whose blog posts I tend to always read. This means I need to save information such as which posts are read and unread - but this adds complexity. In the olden days I'd add a database, but this site is supposed to be free of anything like that. All the written content will remain text files. Easy to move elsewhere if something happens to the webhost. Maybe a live OPML file for the subscriptions with a custom field for latest read entry? I'm just thinking aloud here.

Tags: meta, rss
2023-07-17 - (No webmentions atm - find me elsewhere if you want to respond)


I have totally neglected my website. Mostly because the bits I have bothered with were just for me. The backend was quite handy - plumbed in to various services over the years - it worked as a client for social media things like Twitter, app.net, status.net, identi.ca, Mastodon, Pnut, 10C and maybe some others? As well as RSS feeds in of the stuff I want to read.

But the bloggy bits got cut off, plus some of the stuff I built - there was some self-censorship involved, I have recently undertaken work contracts where some stuff could be interpreted as significant conflicts of interest. Some things I made became woefully out-of-date and possibly dangerous to install and I don't want to ruin anyone's day.
Rather than be out of work and hungry, it was simpler to put it all on the laterbase. But later never comes.

I don't feel the need to share loads - I'm not after a following, I don't think my thoughts are so important that everyone should see them, and I never really shared anything seminal. But it feels like having hundreds of thousands of words archived away in nvAlt is a waste.

Twitter cutting off my API access meant I could no longer see posts from the people I followed there - and I realised at some point I became more of a consumer than a creator. So why not use this as a chance to overhaul the site?

I want my backend to be the first place I visit because it's plugged in to everything I want to read - a jumping off point for finding new things. I have some very interesting RSS feeds from blogs already, but there could always be more. I used to rely quite heavily on Twitter surfacing interesting content, and while the people I follow on other sites are good at this too, there's less of them.
I want the frontend to be super-interesting (YMMV) things I've shared or, better still, made.
But I don't think it needs to have half-finished code where I've abandoned implementing ActivityPub or the AtProtocol.

This has become rambly. Never mind.
Going to remake this thing. Might do a "build in public" thing like the cools kids.

2023-07-10 - (No webmentions atm - find me elsewhere if you want to respond)