A feed aggregator for ownCloud – week 1

Alternative title of the post: Yet another “hey, my proposal got accepted to GSoC!” post.

In the next three months I am going to develop a feed aggregator for ownCloud as a Google Summer of Code 2012 (GSoC) project under KDE. The mentors of this project are Frank Osterfeld and Jakob Sack. As you might remember from my previous posts (1 and 2), this belongs to a wider project that aims at synchronizing KDE Akregator on the cloud. If you are interested in more details, you can read my full proposal here.
This is how the web interface of the aggregator is going to look like (in two different views):


There are big changes happening in these days for what concerns the way ownCloud handles apps. Consequences of this are:

  • the apps folder can now live outside the main owncloud folder;
  • core and secondary apps are going to be moved to a single repository.

If you have already installed ownCloud and you want to follow the development of my app, then you need to clone the following repository:

owncloud/apps.git branch:newsapp (https://gitorious.org/owncloud/apps/commits/newsapp).

A stub of the feed reader app is already in the subfolder news (‘News’ is also going to be the user-friendly name of the app, as well as the owncloud app id – feel free to comment if you like it or not).
Unfortunately it is not possible to specify multiple app folders yet. If you want to both use ownCloud core apps (from the owncloud/owncloud.git repo) and check the development of my app at the same time, I recommend the following setup:

  1. install ownCloud in /your_web_server_root/owncloud
  2. clone the above-mentioned repository in the folder /your_web_server_root/apps (remember: my app is in the working branch newsapp
  3. create a symbolic link pointing to the folder /your_web_server_root/apps/news from the /your_web_server_root/owncloud/apps folder.

Things will become cleaner once the transition to the new app system will be complete. Stay tuned!

14 thoughts on “A feed aggregator for ownCloud – week 1

  1. great man! I’m currently slowly migrating to owncloud and a synced rss tool is what I really miss. I just hope that after this an android app will follow! :)

  2. Awesome! As someone addicted to my RSS feeds who migrated away from Google Reader, I’ll be watching this closely. Just a couple of questions. Will this app:

    1. Remember which feeds you’ve read if you switch computers (ie store what’s read/not read in ownCloud rather than a cookie)?

    2. Have a player for media using the media enclosure link? It would be awesome if it would just show a play button under the post, which would automatically play it using ownCloud’s built in player and a download button which would automatically use OC’s “Download from URL” to save the file into your ownCloud storage.

    3. Be able to play embedded players, ie embedded youtube,soundcloud players etc.?

    The last two would be awesome, but the first one is really critical (and yet so many readers fall down here). Good luck. This is a fantastic project that I’m thrilled to see get it. You may want to take a look at NewsBlur(.com), too. In my opinion it’s currently the most advanced open source, web based news reader. Most of it’s bells and whistles are unnecessary imo, but it’s interface is beautiful.

  3. @Bugsbane: thanks for your comment. About item 1: well, it will do even more, it will synchronize the read/not read properties of each item also with standalone apps, such as Akregator.
    The “Download from URL” feature you suggest is nice, I like the idea of saving/opening files directly to/from ownCloud.
    I have already got some inspiration from NewsBlur, as well as from Lilina (getlilina,org) while I was writing the proposal, I will certainly get more while coding.

  4. This sounds wonderful! I am really looking forward to your work and to your posts about it. This is a feature I will definitely be using a lot.

  5. That’s interesting, so it could be also seen as a Akregator web frontend in the future? I’m now using with satisfaction TinyTiny Rss installed on my server, but this could be a good alternative!

  6. I will use this plugin for sure ! I have a lot of feeds and I read them from 3 differents computers and a smartphone. I don’t use Akkregator anymore because I wanted to sync my readers with google reader (so I use RSSOwl now).

    I may have an idea but this is out of scope and maybe a little bit tricky I think :) : some feeds only provide a very short extract of the article. It would be great if a plugin could fetch the entire article directly in the webpage… just a drea… an idea :)

  7. Very cool stuff! ownCloud is rapidly on its way to becoming a must-have app for tech enthusiasts that like flexibility over their data.

    Hmm, on a related note, with all the Akonadi-google-fu happening lately, would it be possible to sync feeds and read status back to Google Reader? I know the point is to liberate our data, but for those times that Google is closer at hand, or if my server happens to be down, it would be nice to have everything synced.

    I don’t even know if the Greader API supports this, much less the Akonadi components.

    Regardless, awesome proposal, best of luck with the implementation. And I hope you continue to keep us updated, even if it’s just to talk about roadblocks and issues you personally rub into

  8. By which I meant to say, even negative experiences are valuable to share. Of course good news is always welcome too. ^_^

  9. I’m starting to feel like Owncloud is must-have nowadays! I’ll be watching this work very closely! Good luck and have fun!

  10. Awesomesauce.

    I hadn’t heard of Lilina before, but it looks good. The funny thing is, it already kind of looks like ownCloud, especially that top bar…

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