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A [work-in-progress] self-hosted, anti-social RSS reader.
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A [work-in-progress] self-hosted, anti-social RSS reader.

Stringer has no external dependencies, no social recommendations/sharing, and no fancy machine learning algorithms.

But it does have keyboard shortcuts and was made with love!

When BIG_FREE_READER shuts down, your instance of Stringer will still be kicking.

The app is currently under active development, please try it out and report any issues you have.


Stringer is a Ruby app based on Sinatra, ActiveRecord, PostgreSQL, Backbone.js and DelayedJob.

Instructions are provided for deploying to Heroku (runs fine on the free plan) but Stringer can be deployed anywhere that supports Ruby (setup instructions for a Linux-based VPS are provided here, and for OpenShift, provided here).

git clone git://
cd stringer
heroku create
git push heroku master

heroku config:set SECRET_TOKEN=`openssl rand -hex 20`

heroku run rake db:migrate
heroku restart

heroku addons:add scheduler
heroku addons:open scheduler

Add an hourly task that runs rake fetch_feeds

Load the app and follow the instructions to import your feeds and start using the app.

In the event that you need to change your password, run heroku run rake change_password from the app folder.

Updating the app

From the app's directory:

git pull
git push heroku master
heroku run rake db:migrate
heroku restart


Keyboard Shortcuts

You can access the keyboard shortcuts when using the app by hitting ?.

You can run Stringer at using a CNAME.

If you are on Heroku:

heroku domains:add

Go to your registrar and add a CNAME:

Record: CNAME
Name: reader

Wait a few minutes for changes to propagate.

ReederApp Support (experimental)

Stringer implements a clone of Fever's API so it can be used with any mobile client that supports Fever.


Use the following settings:

Server: {path-to-stringer}/fever (e.g.

Email: stringer (case-sensitive)
Password: {your-stringer-password}

Currently, only reading is supported and this is kind of a hack so please report any issues you run into. If you have previously setup Stringer, you will need to migrate your database and run rake change_password for the API key to be setup properly.

Stringer has been translated to several other languages. Your language can be set with the LOCALE environment variable.

To set your locale on Heroku, run heroku config:set LOCALE=en.

If you would like to translate Stringer to your preferred language, please use LocaleApp.

Clean up old read stories

If you are on the Heroku free plan, there is a 10k row limit so you will eventually run out of space.

You can clean up old stories by running:

rake cleanup_old_stories

By default, this removes read stories that are more than 30 days old (that are not starred). You can either run this manually or add it as a scheduled task.


Run the Ruby tests with rspec.

Run the Javascript tests with rake test_js and then open a browser to http://localhost:4567/test.

Getting Started

To get started using Stringer for development simply run the following:

bundle install
rake db:migrate
foreman start

The application will be running on port 5000

You can launch an interactive console (ala rails c) using racksh


Most of the heavy-lifting is done by feedzirra and feedbag.

General sexiness courtesy of Twitter Bootstrap and Flat UI.


Matt Swanson, @_swanson

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