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Welcome to Rivus

Rivus is an application to help you follow your remote foes easily, and preferably in one place.

So far, it's nothing more than an RSS aggregator displaying information in a timeline. In that, it's kinda related to River, by Dave Winer & co. However, if Rivus isn't (yet?) real-time and as feature full, it also has very different goals and isn't even particularly dedicated to RSS.

Project goals

Co-workers need not share the same office anymore, nor the same timezone. For companies that embrace, and encourage remote work, this means a need for clear information channels. We know of two kinds:

  • synchronous channels: IM, IRC, Campfire,
  • and asynchronous: e-mail, bug-trackers, RSS feeds, ...

Rivus is an attempt at making some of the asynchronous communication channels available in one place. No more, no less. Preferably, you'd want to own the place and the data, rather than having it duplicated say 30 times over in Google's über-data-centers.

To help with that Rivus is distributed with an open-source license.

Is it any good?


Is it production ready?

Absolutely not. And if you can code, stop reading, now.

Wanna hack?

Rivus is a Rails 3 application, using a MongoDB store. It runs over unicorns, with a bunch of sidekiqs (welcome to Ruby-land).

What can it do?

So far, Rivus reads information provided by:

  • Your github news feed,
  • whatever RSS or Atom feed,

and displays it in a neat timeline.

While you can get this through your bona fide feed-reader, other sources are planned that may not be available as easily through RSS. In no particular order:

  • Trello activities and notifications,
  • mails from your favorite IMAP server,
  • Twitter search and/or user timeline (BTw Twitter does a great job at removing useful things, like RSS),
  • other social networking things with nicer open protocols like OStatus, or Tent,
  • you get the idea.

Since this would be a very static and messy timeline to view, you are welcome to suggest how you think this informations should be organized. Cool user-interface ideas welcome too. For starters we want very basic things:

  • a search box,
  • a bunch of filters to hide, file, or notify of interesting stuff,
  • tags because it's can't be hard, right?
  • and favorites because everybody loves putting little stars next to stuff they like.


You'll need the Bundler gem, and ruby 1.9.

  • Run bundle install,
  • Copy config/gaston/sources.yml.sample to config/gaston/sources.yml,
  • Copy config/mongoid/mongoid.yml.sample to config/mongoid.yml,
  • Configure the files you just copied (use your brain),
  • Run bundle exec forman start.
  • The development environment should be available on http://localhost:3000/


This list belongs in a TODO, or Roadmap file. If you don't like lists, sorry.

  • Code cleanup: while it was fine to bootstrap fast, the project does a few (and hopefully, only a few) things wrong. These must be fixed before more cruft can be added.
    • Source model:
      • extract authorization
      • separate concerns (GH, and RSS handling should be in separate entities, that kind of things).
    • Auth controller code is weak.
    • Confirmable subscriptions if we stick to pure e-mail and passwords.
    • Omniauth to sign-up with external accounts would be a better approach.
  • Describe setup and installation steps
  • More Sources!
    • Finalize the Github source's views
    • Trello
    • IMAP
    • Update the RSS/Atom source to use PubSubHubbub
    • Twitter
    • OStatus
    • Tent ?
  • A nicer buzzwordy HTML5 interface (Backbone's bootstrapped already).
  • Search (ElasticSearch...)
  • Filters
  • Tagging
  • Source groups
  • Sharing (meh).


This was started during Rails Rumble by oz. You can send him more coffee if he does not code well. Patches or pull-requests are also welcome. If you can buy him free time, he's game too.


Rivus is licensed under the GPL v3.