Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Evolution and RSS Feeds

(originally posted at

While reading an article yesterday about what UserLinux might look like, I learned that Ximian's Evolution now does RSS aggregation on its Summary page. Neat.

As Evolution 1.4 comes standard in the Fedora Core 1 Personal Desktop Installation, I decided to give the feature a whirl. To find it, you have to be at the Summary page and click Tools, then Settings, then select the News Feeds tab. Simple enough.

The most immediate feature lacking was the ability to import OPML files, which is important when you've got a lot of subscriptions... which brings me to the next downfall: the feature doesn't scale well. As evidenced by Ximian's screenshot of the summary page, the formatting and display of the feeds takes up quite a lot of screen real estate. Most RSS aggregation software uses a 2 or 3-pane view for a reason. If I wanted one long list of news feeds, I'd find a way for php to parse opml and collect the news items for display on a webpage.

Which brings me to the third and most important point regarding Evolution and RSS aggregation. RSS is a technology more closely tied to browsing than to e-mail. So why isn't RSS aggregation built into the browser?

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