Lo and behold! everything happens unto he who asketh (well I made that up but you get the drift…)!! I stumbled on Liferea accidentally
when I made my routine mining in Synaptic Package Manager. I’m still surprised and wondering how I didn’t start using it before now, but anyways, happy I found it. More about Liferea can be found in their homepage. Now, my idea about this post is not to write an Ode to Liferea. I rather wanted to bring out what is what about this cool little tool so anyone out there who is/was in the same boat as I, would benefit by using this…
To start with, few days back, I had installed Liferea from Ubuntu repositories through Synaptic Package Manager. The version was 1.6. No sooner did I start using, I started seeing Liferea all around me Liferea released 1.8.0 a couple days after I had installed with apparently a huge focus on performance improvements and few minor feature enhancements. Nothing to get my interest for two reasons: one, I was happy with the version I had, and two, Ubuntu has not yet compiled in their repositories the newer code, and I’m someone who has recently taken to NOT being on the bleeding edge in my business Laptop. Today, I found another news (again!!) on Liferea that version 1.9.0 was available as a purely unstable version. What caught me red handed, so to speak, was the fact that 1.9.0 is capable of getting built against GTK3. Ever since I kind of started understanding the technical advancement of GTK 3 over GTK 2, I’ve all been for anything to do with GTK3. That’s how I ended up rolling up my sleeves and compiling Liferea 1.9.0 against GTK 3 libraries and had it working after some initial hurdles (that’s why we are in Linux Land, eh!). Now to the review:
1. Compared to 1.6, 1.9 GTK 3 feels super fast.
2. Less memory footprint as far as I could see. I just did a basic benchmarking using ‘top’ command in both the versions.
3. GTK 3 feels more native to the Ubuntu 11.10 system.
4. Systray icon (no indicator applet yet. I guess that comes from Ubuntu land) is very responsive and fast.
5. I got around 1000 unread + 500 read posts when I imported the .opml file saved from the previous version. The application didn’t seem to stumble like in 1.6 to get things updated.
6. Update All option too is pretty responsive and did not freeze up (it did often in 1.6, though it eventually recovered after some 20 odd seconds by itself) the GUI.
7. I set Liferea as startup application and it didn’t slow down Ubuntu boot up in anyway (I’ve known quite a few apps which do).
For a detailed list read here. Most notable items are:
1. Upgraded Webkit support.
2. Ability to be compiled against GTK3.
3. Support for TinyTiny RSS.
4. DB vaccum everytime Liferea starts up.
In all, this release really looks like a quality enhancement release and folks over at Liferea deserve a hats off! People who are using the older version and who will transition to the newer version in future in Ubuntu and other platforms will do the same when the experience the positive engagement the app brings.
So folks, I know this is not a extensive pictorial review and I plan to do it sometime tomorrow. In the meanwhile, you can follow this article I wrote today and upgrade to 1.9.0 if you are using a older version or install new if you want check this out. Trust me, its worth it. My Ubuntu 11.10 laptop running Liferea hasn’t coughed up on me since I did the compilation and I believe there’s no reason for it to, too.
Until tomorrow, Ciao..