a review


another first: me actually reviewing something !

as i mentioned, i was checking out sage and habari xenu as options to bloglines. bloglines is neat, but it checks the RSS feeds at certain preset intervals.. sometimes doesn’t check for days – in which case one gets 4 posts in a row. i’m not complaining about a free service, however it is irritating to find out that you’re reading old stuff simply coz the server didn’t check correctly.

at any rate, a half hour check on extensions for firefox threw up sage and habari xenu as recommended ones.. there were others, but not as refined.

installation and the rest is straightforward, one can import subscriptions via an OPML file.. the inbuilt manager for both is the default bookmark manager for firefox- but thats just background.

habari xenu is clearly a mozilla extension from the base look of the extension, as opposed to being a firefox extension.

both the extensions have a simple 2-pane interface, with blogs on the left, and the entries on the right. optional panes are for search, list of entries, etc. when asked to update, the aggregators check all the concerned RSS/RDF files and highlight the updated ones.

one main difference is in the method of entry display. habari xenu shows you the simple headline, with a link to the entry. sage on the other hand gives you as many details as will be provided by the feed file – meaning you can read the entry via the feed itself.

both the aggregators don’t have an auto-update function for feeds – this is one main difference from bloglines. they won’t check at preset intervals.. they check when you ask them to check. as they directly read the RSS/RDF file, this means they don’t have time delays when it comes to updates.

habari xenu didn’t work as well as it should – it crashed a couple of times.. and updating was a little cranky too. sage is working great so far – however one has to manually mark feeds read/unread to prevent confusion.

verdict: sage.
wise man know which reader better now 😛


8 thoughts on “a review

  1. I have now been trying Sage.. thank you alot. You see, silly me expected them to automatically update and wondered why nobody was posting.

    In fact, my own blog doesn’t show up as having an RSS feed.. so I have to figure that out now.

    sent. 🙂
    i’m now looking for a way of getting notifications when the updates happen..

  2. SEV your site looks great! Haven’t had a lot of time to check in on anyone so it’s been a while since I’ve been here but I can see you’ve been hard at work designing this site. Fabulous, dahhlinggg, just fabulous!

    thanks 🙂
    i’ve adapted the aplus theme for wordpress, actually. i guess its come out well. i guess i’ve finally found ‘a look’ for the blog.

  3. see, I don’t *GET* Bloglines. I’m a mac user and I get RSS feeds built in to Safari, so why would I use bloglines? I have this terrible suspicion I am missing something (I *hate* missing something!) – can you help???

    and what *cough* is Sage?

    bloglines is a web-based interface to keep up-to-date with blogs etc.
    RSS feeds are built into firefox too, but as the number of blogs go up, its difficult to check each feed all the time. i was using RSS checking directly in firefox, but i ended up missing more, plus it was very boring to check the feeds.
    basically, i’m lazy 😉
    sage is an extension for firefox that checks and highlights the updated feed – this makes it easier to check for me. i guess you’re missing the point of ‘ease of use’ 😛

  4. I had trouble with habari xenu the last time I tried it as well. I didn’t like it anyways, but when firefox crashed twice in a row, the second and third time it had done so ever after many months of use, I knew it had to go.

    I’ve been using Sage for some time. It’s rather lacking in features really, but it works fine. It would be nice to see it have an auto-update feature (though this isn’t a huge deal to me….I just have it check the feeds when I actually have time to read them).

    It took me a little whiel to realize, but it doesn’t really track if you’ve read items within feeds very well. It’s kind of pointless to even try to use it to do so, which is of course one of it’s shortcomings.

    as i said, habari xenu looks more like a mozilla extension, than one for firefox.
    sage has some drawbacks, but the only comparable checker i found was the in-built thunderbird RSS manager. it doesn’t display notifications, but highlights relevant ones automatically when you set up the auto-update.
    to use sage for keeping track of what you’ve read, you’ve to mark the feed items as read. new ones show up as unread. not the best way – but a decent workaround.

  5. i’m trying to get into the RSS thing, but i prefer the blogrolling thing so that i can see a person’s design and such (since that’s pretty important to my whole experience).

    i’m so picky.

    good point.. i used to manually check fields until i realised i was missing more than i read.
    but yeah, the design is very important – i only see it for articles i comment on.
    oh well.

  6. I have no idea what that post was about, but I love the eyes up top 😉

    Simple minded… I know 🙂

    if you really want to know, i’ll explain in more detail.
    simple things are the most beautiful – didn’t you know ?
    thanks.. their significance is worth a post too 😛

  7. That’s odd what you said about bloglines, because I use it as well and I had no idea there was any “pre-set” time that allowed them to miss days of posts. I follow about 50 blogs and most of them are updated an hour or so after use and the longer it takes usually depended on the type of feed (RSS, RDF, Atom)…unless bloglines reads them differently?

    it’s weird because i didn’t decide to drop bloglines until it really got cranky and didn’t give me some posts until 2 days later. as far as i know they check every hour, but i guess incase the RSS feed acts up.. they get “lost”.
    either way, sage and/or thunderbird keep me happy enough now 🙂

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