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I need a piece of software which would make it easy for me to systematically read through the archives of a blog.

Manually going through the archives is a pain. I want to be able to check off what I've read, mark good posts, and browse more easily than by slowly-loading pages which show all the posts in a month.

Is there an off-line reader or an RSS reader designed for archives that you can recommend?


Why most RSS feed readers won't work

By manually inspecting the RSS feed html file, I figured out that it only includes that last 10 posts. This means that no normal RSS feed reader is going to access the archives by simply looking at the current feed.

Google Reader apparently uses data gathered historically by Google to show you old posts when you use the "Sort by newest". But....


Why Google Reader doesn't work

If you select "sort by newest", you can scroll down, and it will load progressively older posts. But if the blog has been running for a few years, it isn't feasible to get to the beginning. It only loads roughly 5 new posts at a time, and you have to keep scrolling to get it to load another 5 older posts

If you select "sort by oldest", it only displays the oldest in the last 30 days.


I found this blog post about some guy's Perl code to do this. I really don't have the expertise to implement this code myself.

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See Also: webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/5810/… –  Senseful Aug 28 '10 at 0:10
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4 Answers 4

a) What does the blog run on? b) Is it your blog?

All blogs store data somewhere, whether it is on a file system or in a database - so if it is your blog, you could ditch the RSS feed method and go straight to the datastore to get all the information you need.

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(a) Wordpress. (b) no. (c) I'm sure I could download the posts in a raw format with some sort of web page scrapper, but this really isn't convenient for reading. If I was willing to do that, I'd just read through the (bad) archive interface on the blog itself. –  Jess Riedel Oct 11 '10 at 18:20
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If you're on Firefox, check out the Brief extension. You can set it to run in a new tab or a new window, and if you uncheck the "store no more than x latest items of each feed" box in the prefs, it will automatically download all available items in the feed. That said, if the blog's feed doesn't include their archives (i.e. it's only set up to display the most recent x number of posts) I don't know that there is an existing client, standalone or browser-based, that will do that for you.

Brief stores downloaded feeds locally, and allows you to delete a post or mark it as read but keep it. You can choose to display all posts, or only unread posts.

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Doesn't seem to work. See above. Thanks, though. –  Jess Riedel Oct 11 '10 at 18:21
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Postrank Labs has an interesting tool called RSS Replay. It will take old feed items from their archive and make a new feed for you. Plus it will slowly update the new feed with old items on an interval you set, so you don't have to read it all at once. This will work with any feed reader.

I've also been trying out Fastladder and quite like reading older posts on it. They keep an archive of several hundred posts, from what I've seen so far.

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RSS Replay starts the feed with the most recent blog post, is it possible to start with the very first one?

Also does anyone know the minimum time interval?

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