PlainReader (working title) is a clean, minimal web-based client for the excellent NewsBlur RSS reader. It's still in an early beta state with only the bare minimum of features to work as a functional news reader. PlainReader is designed to work on WebKit browsers only, such as Safari (including iPad) and Chrome.
Go try it out: the hosted version is now online!
- Simple list of unread items from NewsBlur's River of News
- One-click to send to Instapaper
- Pinboard integration ('popup with tags' & 'read later')
- Full article mode using Instapaper's text engine (just click the article title)
- 20px Georgia article font
- Keyboard shortcuts: up/down arrows to flip through articles, enter for full article mode (see above), spacebar to smoothly scroll articles
- Preview links and footnotes in a Lion-style popover
I started building PlainReader out of a desire for a simple, minimal RSS reading experience akin to that of Silvio Rizzi's Reeder,[^1] but in a web browser (and using NewsBlur instead of Google Reader). The goal is a single webapp that works equally well on my 11" MacBook Air and iPad 1. If you have a bigger or smaller screen, well, your mileage may vary. It's also not intended to be a replacement for the default NewsBlur interface -- PlainReader will never reach feature parity with NewsBlur's web UI, that's not the point.
- NewsBlur: web-based RSS reader (think Google Reader, but better), does all the actual work fetching feeds and such.
- Instapaper: text engine provides cleaned up article content to minimize loading times (and advertising).
- HTML5 Boilerplate: HTML/CSS/JS template.
- HTML5 Boilerplate Ant Build Script: minify, concatenate, and gzip.
- Iconic: free, minimal icons distributed (among other things) in OTF font format, allowing PlainReader's interface to get by without a single image.
- nginx: HTTP server that proxies NewsBlur.
- interface additions/refinements:
- feed favicons & intelligence classifiers in story list
- reimplement 'mark all as read' button
- intelligence tag buttons in the article header
- offline storage
- mark as read/unread button
I don't plan on ever supporting:
- changing the Intelligence filter mode (only yellow and green items are displayed)
- non-WebKit browsers
- reading individual feeds (instead of the River of News)
- social anything (unless you count pinboard)
- realtime updates (PubSubHubbub)
That said, I'll consider patches / pull requests on any of these if you figure out how to implement them without adding a bunch of complexity or cluttering up the interface.
[^1]: the UI is presently a brazen copy of Reeder for iPad, albeit with lots fewer features and no textures or gradients. File this under 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.'