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kju, 03/23/2009 20:39

What is RSS

Really Simple Syndication - wikipedia

To cut it short some source offers some sort of news as a so called feed.

It can be used as alternative to email notification or check your x-tens sites for new blog
posts, release posts, forum thread or post, wiki edits or code changes.

In other words a different way saving you tons of time!

How is it useful

Dev heaven, as well as several other community site like OFPEC, AH, AA.info, AA.de offer feeds.
So for the later you can be notified about news or forum items.

For dev heaven

  • For the complete site
  • or per project (just subscribe to multiple rss feeds to pick what is important for you)
  • Learn from the activity view (the current active filter creates a custom rss feed) about
    • new forum threads/posts
    • code commits
    • new tickets/ticket changes
    • new wiki pages/wiki edits
    • project news
    • new files

How does it work - subscribe to a feed

In general you need an application, either standalone or you can use the browser for it.
This topic is part of the next section.


  • In the top address bar on the right side there is a star. It will turn orange, if a feed
    is available on the given page. By clicking you can subscribe to the feed.
  • The alternative is an atom link present on the dev heaven pages at the very end.

Feed reader applications


Firefox itself has no feed reading ability. Yet there are many great addons out there.

Note: To avoid slowdowns with many feeds (20+), you need to download FF 3.1 beta.


Home site of brief

The Overview page really sums up brief very well with textual and picture description.


  1. Install brief
  2. Save all of your feeds to a folder called feeds among the other bookmarks.
  3. Make brief read your feeds
    1. Open brief (see second item of the workflow).
    2. Open the brief options (tools icon in the top left of the 'page').
    3. Switch to the second tab called 'feeds'
    4. Select the folder where you feeds are located in / save to.


  • In lower right you see the current number of unread posts. Mouse hovering shows the detailed
    list of item (name and count posts).
  • CTRL LShift A opens brief as a new tab. Alternatively press the button left to the address bar.
  • It is recommended to use brief as a 'task list'.
    This means removing done or no longer of interest items out of are of immediate attention.
    • By default the unread list has the focus.
    • If the selected item is not of interested or the single feed item is enough,
      mark read the item either via pressing M, LMB DblClick on the item description or the button.
    • If you want to view the full web page for the context or to add your thoughts,
      click Enter or item header (first line) to open the given page in a new tab (see note below).
  • Brief will save item by default indefinitely. There are different ways to remove them, if needed.
  • You can also search the stash of item in the search box in the top left - quick access via *.
  • You can make brief look for new items by clicking on the top left icon (two green spiral arrows).
    Set the automated cycle time for brief to check in the main options.

Basically the most important thing is to keep it organized (remove complete site feeds and
mark items read no longer of interest) as well as do not get waiting for new item addicted.

Recommended settings

Open brief options again.

  • Main
    • Reduce cycle time if needed.
    • Tick: Open brief in a new tab
    • Tick: Open items in new tabs

Advanced topics and tweaks:

  • Keyboard shortcuts
    • Enable current item highlighting by press Q once (toggle)
    • You can bookmark post via B or by clicking on the star in the top left of the item.
      Below the unread category, you find the bookmarks.
      Pressing B or clicking the star again to remove the item from the bookmarks.
    • You can use J/K to scroll the items. Arrow up/down for the categories.
    • You can check the key shortcuts in brief options - Display too.
  • You can set a delay for checking each feed
  • Customizing appearance of feeds


No experience present. Please share yours!

Standalone applications

No experience present. Please share yours!


Home site
Screencast by ViperMaul

Overall pretty much the same as FF + brief combo.

Matter of perspective:
Standalone with more options vs less integrated and features available via external filter combination.

  • Configuration (filters, interval of checking per feed).
  • Good key-shortcuts.
  • CommitMonitor like notification (configurable per feed again).
  • Fast.
  • Nice UI.
  • Item list with full item text via full/web view (Alt 3).
  • The ratings feature might be useful.
  • Internal browser or call external browser.
  • Free.

Internet explorer

No experience present. Please share yours!

External feed reader filters

Feed Rinse

Home site

You need to create an account at the start to configure your filters.
Recommend to use in combination with Brief to filter items of yourself from dev heaven.

  1. Create account.
  2. Login.
  3. Add the atom URL of the activity view for all projects or your project(s) of dev heaven.
  4. Modify filter of the feed to block the post if any of the following conditions are met: author contains YourDevHeavenNick.
  5. Save.
  6. RMB click on the feed icon and copy link location.
  7. Add new rss feed to your app (ie Brief).

For multiple feeds to filter repeat the whole story.

  • Unlimited Number Of Source Feeds.
  • 500 Filters Overall.
  • Only 5 Channels - mix multiple incoming to one outgoing.
  • Keyword Filtering.
  • Tag Filtering.
  • Author Filtering.
  • Isolate Filter By Title/body.
  • Opml Import / Export.
  • Opml Reading List.
  • Bookmarklet.
  • Regular Expressions.
  • Profanity Filtering.
  • Free.



Similar programms


Home site
ZapTXT Version 2. What's New

ZapTXT is a free service that lets you monitor one or many RSS or Atom feeds for a set of keywords that interest you. We will monitor the feeds for you, and send you a notification whenever one of your feeds matches your criteria. You can choose to receive these notices via:

    * Email
    * Mobile device (SMS) (US and CA only)
    * Instant Messenger (Skype, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, GTalk as well as LiveJournal’s LJTalk)

People use ZapTXT to monitor newspapers, blogs, classifieds, jobs, events and millions of Web sites that support RSS. Click here to learn more about what people are doing with ZapTXT.

brief_visual_overview.png (55.9 kB) kju, 03/23/2009 14:35

feed.gif - Orange RSS feed icon (1.3 kB) Spooner, 03/25/2009 14:55