For the past six years, since Google Reader closed in 2013, I’ve been self-hosting my RSS feeds via Tiny Tiny RSS. Overall it’s been OK, except for a few years I missed that the update method had been changed and I hadn’t updated. Then I learned the new method was to clone the git repo. I did it and kept up with it. There was something I didn’t set up way back when with my MySQL so it’s got a weird miscount between the app and the tab header. But otherwise it was working just fine enough.
Then I came across this post on the self-hosted subreddit. There were others that agreed with him that perhaps the code wasn’t as well-written as it could be. Also, he wanted to get back to a sane update mechanism. In one of the comments, someone mentioned Miniflux. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted a minimalist OR opinionated feed reader. But it kept gnawing at me and so I decided to give it a shot.
First off, let’s compare when first logging in. Here’s TTRSS:
It’s easy to get a quick overview of the new articles since you last logged in or last refreshed the “fresh articles”. You can click on any of the feeds, categories, or items quickly. It’s more of a dense view, but with the advantage of one-click to many different views.
Here’s the initial login of Miniflux:
There’s a lot of great information available here, including the ability to mark it read without loading it, the ability to go to the original post, and to star it. At the very least, you can potentially do more without loading the posts, because TTRSS requires you to load a post to go to the original page or to star it.
To Minflux’s detriment, though, it’s a lot more tedious to get a quick view of the articles available via categories or feeds. At least, on the plus side, it did import the categories from the exported OPML:
As I’ll show in a video at the end here, it is a bit more tedious to get around. Miniflux is helped by being written in Go and therefore EXTREMELY fast! Let’s compare how an article looks in each:
There is definitely a certain elegance and cleanliness to Miniflux that comes from a more modern design, but overall it doesn’t seem to show any benefits outright.
A few other points before I show a video that illustrates some of my points when it comes to how many clicks are needed and how quickly things load. Tiny tiny RSS is always loading the newest articles if you have the page open (or have configured the cron job) while Miniflux needs one to click a link to load in the background. To be fair, I haven’t finished reading the Miniflux manual AND it’s very fast to load in the background. Finally, TTRSS requires a paid app to be useful on mobile while Miniflux has a responsive design. I have had some issues with TTRSS and the app and not syncing up correctly with the web page, so I’m looking forward to seeing how I like Miniflux on mobile.
I’m not 100% convinced that I should leave TTRSS, but I’m going to try Miniflux for a week to see how I like it. Here’s a video that also contains some of my first impressions that are easier to capture on video: