In the aftermath of Google’s bone-headed-but-determined execution of Google Reader, there has been some great work done developing alternatives to Google’s service. One open source implementation was NewsBlur, but at least from our experience at codescaling.com, it was a bit tetchy and the user interface was idiosyncratic. Among the other services we tried was Feedbin, with its clean stripped down user interface, growing app support and good RSS pickup speed. But it wasn’t open source, at least until now when Ben Ubois announced Feedbin was being opened.
While we at codescaling.com are still happy with Ubois’s hosted version of Feedbin at feedbin.me (currently priced at $3 a month or $30 per year), it’s really good news to see him open up the code under an MIT licence and host it on a GitHub repository. It means that users of the Feedbin service know they have an alternative they can host themselves, that they can get involved in development and help take the cause of better RSS aggregation forward. “It’s because Feedbin is making money that I felt comfortable doing this” said Ubois on a Hacker News thread.
The code itself is a Rails 4.0 application, running on Ruby 2.0 and using both Postgres 9.2 and Redis 2.6 for data storage duties. Instructions for getting the system running on Mac OS X are available in the Github readme; partial instructions for Ubuntu 12.04 are also present. “Install a local Feedbin server” is now on our to-do list (though that is a very long list).