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The cancellation of Google Reader

Earlier this week Google announced the cancellation of Google Reader, probably the most used web based RSS reader. As of the 1st of July 2013 you won’t be able to use Google Reader anymore. According to Google Reader I’ve been using it since 15th of April 2011. Almost 2 full years now. I’ve been subscribed to 77 RSS/Atom feeds. Imagine having to check all those websites manually on a regular basis.

I began using Google Reader because manually checking out my most visited websites, around 6-7, was becoming too time consuming. Time that can be spent on more important things. I found Google Reader to be of great use to filter out the interesting articles and updates from all of the other noise that’s thrown in your face. We live in an age where we’re being fed so much information (really too much) that good tools are required to filter out the noise.

Google Reader provided that. And now Google is taking it away from us. From me. Sure, it’s their good right because it’s not as if it was a paid service (Earth to Google! I wouldn’t mind paying for it!).

With Google Reader disappearing some of my conveniences will disappear as well. If behind a PC I would log on to the Google Reader website and start consuming my feeds. If on the road, or on the coach, I fired up Reeder on iPad to stay up to date. All synchronized.

Though Reeder for iPad did announce that it won’t end with Google Reader ending I’ve yet to hear an announcement from them to find out which service(s) they are going to support next.

Also, with Google seemingly pulling the plug on RSS/Atom support (they already revoked their RSS subscribe plugin for Chrome) I wonder what’s next. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they cancel Feedburner next. My blog feed is actually being supplied by it, though I must confess I never check it to find out about usage statistics. Still, I expect I should update my RSS/Atom links soon.

To prevent Google from taking down Reader a petition has been started. I signed it, but I doubt it’ll have any effect. Even if they would decide to keep the service running the damage has already been done. People are massively migrating to other services and I think people once again realized that Google doesn’t hesitate to cancel one of their services as they don’t care much about their users.

Personally I don’t mind having to migrate to another service (hell, I’d even write my own if I have to) but for me my biggest inconvenience is no longer being able to consume my feeds on my iPad. I know Feedly is one of the services I can migrate to, but I don’t like the app. And yes, this post may be a rant on Google and it actually is. I’m pissed at Google even though I know I’ve no right to be.

RSS and Atom feed for BlitzMax.com

This evening a wrote a Perl script using Mojolicious to generate a RSS and Atom feed for the BlitzMax website. I did this because that website has been lacking it. I use Google Reader to stay up to date with countless websites. Any website that doesn’t provide a RSS or Atom feed I’ve got to visit manually and scan through it to see if anything new and interesting has been posted. Which in turn can takes some time.

Below is the script I’ve written that uses some modules of the Mojolicious toolkit. Mojo::DOM makes it very easy to get specific content from a page and the CSS selector support is great. On top of that I’ve hardly had to use the documentation to figure out how to do what I wanted. Very clear API! For the feed generation I’ve used XML::Feed. I’m also using CHI to cache page content so it doesn’t need to fetch this every time the script runs.

You can host the script yourself, or you can add one of the links below to your RSS/Atom reader. As long as traffic doesn’t get too high I’ll be providing public access to the feeds.