Saturday, March 16, 2013

The death of an awesome product

Google announced that they will retire Google Reader.
It made me sad as it was the best RSS reader ever. I have tinkered with desktop solutions as Omea, Liferea, Thunderbird but none was as capable as Reader. It had the unique feature of caching the feeds so old information was retrievable. That is the way I kept information about closed blogs and stuff.
But, sadly, Google decided that they will close the this product as "the usage declined". What about G+? Why don't you shut it down also as it never had any usage. Sometimes Google makes strange moves creates a hype, launches a product and then, out of the blue, shuts it down.
Will it happen also to Blogspot or GAE?
Hopefully not.

In the meanwhile I have found a way to download the cached content of my Reader data.
1. Export the OPML with TakeOut
2. Parse OPML and create a JS map from xmlUrl attributes
3. Using jQuery create a page that displays the entries and then adds them to the following URL<your link URL escaped>?r=n&n=5000

4. Then, using "Down them all" get the full cached content

This is not fully automated as I have no clue yet on how to authenticate Python to Google (some OAuth2 think I suppose) but I salvaged the data in less than 15 minutes.

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