Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Goodbye Mint, Goodbye Fever

Shaun Inman:

As of today I’m officially suspending sales and support of Mint and Fever. But! As self-hosted software, absolutely nothing changes and you can continue using both Mint and Fever as you were yesterday.


These things were not distractions. The baby and the new game and my next are where I will be focusing my energy going forward.

Michael Rockwell:

I reviewed Mint and Fever around the time I first installed them and they’ve been my favorite web analytics and RSS syncing services ever since. But the writing’s been on the wall for both of them for quite some time — development has drastically slowed over the past two years. I expect I’ll continue using them for a while, but eventually I’ll have to migrate to something else.

I gave up Mint some years ago for a faster, more customizable homegrown solution. But I still really like Fever and am not looking forward to having to find a replacement.

The writing also seems to be on the wall for ReadKit, my current Mac RSS reader of choice. It still works, but development has slowed, bugs have gone unfixed, and e-mails remain unanswered.

So I’ll be looking for both a new RSS server and client. For clients, I found this roundup helpful, but so far I’m not enthused about any of the options. Except for Vienna, the apps seem underpowered and overly iOS-like, and Vienna doesn’t have many syncing options. Syncing aside, I don’t see anything to rival NetNewsWire 3.

As to the servers, it’s exciting how many options there are now, but it is not easy to compare them. I want to know how often they fetch and how they handle updates, deletions, and retention. I guess I’ll need to make a bunch of test accounts.

Update (2017-01-03): John Gruber:

R.I.P. Mint, the best simple web stats tool I’ve ever seen.

Would love to find a replacement with similar design.

A new version of ReadKit was just released, and the developer responded to my bug report and said it will be fixed soon.

15 Comments RSS · Twitter

I've been looking at switching RSS syncing services as well. Let us know your findings after you do some research. Nothing really works like Fever does.

I can whole-heartedly recommend Miniflux (https://miniflux.net). After the last time I rebuilt my VPS I decided to try something new, since Fever was (clearly) on the way out. That being said, iirc, I purchased Fever day one and got an _incredible_ amount of use from it - some of the best money I've ever spent.

Miniflux is faster and uses a sqlite db. Most importantly, it's implemented the Fever API, so I could continue using my RSS reader of choice (Reeder) in both macOS and iOS.

Yep, if you find a replacement for Fever, I'd love to hear about it.

A simple, responsive, web-based RSS reader almost seems like something one could quite easily write in one's spare time, were it not for the fact that one would have to parse all of the non-standard RSS feeds out there. I wonder if a decent library that abstracts away that whole mess already exists. Oh, and syncing with native apps will be a complete pain, but if the web-based UI is good enough, I don't need that.

I've been toying with writing my own reader this week. I want an old-school 3 panel reader ala NetNewswire 3. I want filters per feed. I want lots of options and couldn't care less about it being usable for newbies. I'm lightly scratching my itch right now, still trying to decide if it is worth pursuing. It would likely be open source, as I don't want what the market seems to want. If anyone is interested, let me know. @mlilback

I moved from Fever to Feed Wrangler + ReadKit. Not sure what client I'll go to when the latter dies off. Mark, I would certainly be interested in such a client.

I've tried mentioning this before, both here and in other fora, and I find no company for my taste. But...

If you can live without sync, and don't mind a very minimal and spare (but good UX) RSS client experience where you just click to read things in your default browser, I do love NewsFire. It covers my RSS needs like a glove.

(n.b. I don't run the latest version of OS X on the machine I use for such matters, and I've noticed NewsFire hasn't been updated for a while. So I have no idea how well it works with the latest macOS. But it's very damn simple, so it may be continuing to fare well. And I've never seen a single bug or an issue with it.)

I switched to Vienna a while back. I find that the shortcuts for moving to the next unread post (⌘U) and for marking all posts in a feed as read (⌘K) handle my skimming needs quite well. I'm sure NetNewsWire has something similar, but I never went beyond the arrow keys for navigation with it.

I've been using BazQux since Google Reader died and I can recommend it. I usually read my feeds via Mr Reader on iPad, but BazQux offers APIs that are compatible with Fever which is supported by a good number of native clients.

I switched half and a year ago from Fever to TTRSS (https://tt-rss.org/gitlab/fox/tt-rss/wikis/home) it has a mature feed parsing engine and an enourmous amount of plugins. The two features I use most in TTRSS are filters and its tagging abilities. Moreover, there is a fever plugin available for TTRSS (https://github.com/dasmurphy/tinytinyrss-fever-plugin) so that you can use Readkit or Fever as frontend readers.

I still use Fever as my main RSS client—I have it set up as the sync back-end for a couple of apps, but I find it just dandy as a simple web-based reader. I switched to it after NetNewsWire had that long stagnation.

On the plus side, I imagine it'll be a long, long while before Fever actually stops working. (I'm running it on PHP 7 without problems, and it's not like RSS is changing quickly...) On the down side, perhaps it'll outlive the existence of enough useful RSS feeds to be worth having a reader in the first place...

"rrss" is entirely browser hosted, installed as an extension. It uses Google Drive for synchronization between computers. Processing is done entirely locally, you can read intranet feeds for example. It is free-software: https://github.com/pmarinov/rrss

If somebody is interested in the parser, it is under a friendly license (FreeBSD) and can be adapted as a library if there is interest in that.

I've switched from fever to feedwrangler a couple years ago and have been happy with it. I use Readkit, and I'll be sad to see it go. I'm not super happy about the iOS reader situation either, with my current choice (MrReader) not being updated anymore....

@Brandon: Do you use Miniflux' web-interface as well? Using the Fever-API, I find the sync with Reeder much better with Miniflux than with Reeder (Fever sometimes shows me really old entries again),
but I just can't get used to its webinterface, especially coming from a (optically) extremely well designed app as Fever° and its well-thought out hotkeys.

[…] my post in December lamenting the lack of updates, ReadKit got several quick bug fix updates, and now this. It’s great to […]

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