I wish I could break this to you easier. I wish I could say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I wish I could just do the college freshman breakup and say, “Hey, you’re a great feed reader, you do a good job. You’re probably the best on Linux, but I’m leaving Linux, so I can’t take you with me.” I wish I could make this easier, but I can’t. So, I’ll be blunt, you’re just not up to snuff anymore. Ubuntu has made me want more out of my laptop. I can’t settle for good enough, it needs to rock my world, and to be honest, Liferea, you’ve stopped doing that form.
At first I could handle your little strangesses. The fact that I seem to get an inordinate number of Yellow screens of death from even slightly misformatted feeds should have been a warning. It’s the web, you’re supposed to be open to different translations, people messing things up. You’re supposed to be flexible, but you’re not. You’re stale. You remind me of 2001.
As time went on, you became more picky. Startups began to drag on. Waking you from your slumber would sometimes take a couple of minutes before your window would even appear and let me know that you’re alive. Even after letting me know you’re alive, you frequently went non-responsive and shunned me. Leaving me solid colored boxes on my desktop and a warning that even though you’re ignoring me, if I try to make you go away, it could have dire consequences. Yes, it’s turned into a bad relationship. I’m sorry, but I can’t live with this cycle of dependency and rejection. You’re getting the boot.
And, no, before you ask, I wasn’t seeing other feed readers before coming to this decision. But I’ve taken some looks since then, and found that you still are probably the best around, but you’re just not right for me. Thunderbird is a great standby and mail reader that has some support for feed reading, but it’s a cruddy hack, forcing me to view the entire web page. It completely ignoring most of the stuff in the feed, such as embedded media and tags. It feels like I’m reading RSS feeds in some sort of bizaare love child between an email client, a web browser, and a feed reader that was genetically engineered by a committee. It’s painful and slow. It reminds me of being back in the days when I needed to visit each web site by hand. Sure, it probably meets some enterprise specification, and would be a great friend if I were in a locked down corporation, but I’m more open minded and free willed than that. I can’t handle how Thunderbird wants to confine me.
I also looked at some old friends from before I met you. Straw was my first and I considered hooking up again. Sadly, it lookes like very little has changed since I decided that that was a match that could never work. It still is kidna slow, chunky, and sometimes likes to ignore me just like you do. Straw feels familiar, it’s in Python so I can hack it, but I shouldn’t have to. It should just work. I’m not looking for high maintenance right now.
After I broke up with straw, I was with Blam!. It was sexy, it was fast, it was C#. Hey, I thought that experimenting with C# was a good idea at the time, turned out it was just bad advice from a friend. Blam! still refuses to play well with others, crashing completely on numerous feeds. Blam! also found a way to take up more of my time and resources that you ever did. Clearly Blam! would make a poor replacement for you, Liferea.
Some of my friends have been telling me to try out the new bicycle in town, Google Reader. Everyone is doing it, it’s fast, it’s slick, and it means that I don’t need to worry about what’s on my system or do any maintenance. Plus, it’s available everywhere and I can take it with me on a plane. I’ve thought about, and may still visit it, but I’m worried information it keeps about me and what it will with that information. Will she go out and let the man know that I read Al Jazeera if they ask? She also has a nasty tendency to want complete control over all of my information. I’m not sure I’m willing to become that dependent.
You see, Liferea, it’s not that I have something else right now. It’s just that I can’t be with you anymore. I hope you can understand. One day, we may look back on this day with fondness and conclude that it was a great relationship. That you let me experience feeds like never before. In the mean time, I’m just going to take my OPML file and go looking for someone else.