Synchronizing with other feed readers

Awasu is now able to synchronize channels and which feed items have been read for each one with other feed readers. Currently, three other feed readers are supported but Awasu's framework is extensible and can handle others if they provide a suitable interface that Awasu can access.

This feature is available only in the Professional Edition.

Installation

Synchronization services are not installed by default and must be installed manually:

You must read the notes below for each service to understand what each service can provide.

 

General use

Each of the synchronization services works in the same way.

When exporting channels out of Awasu, you simply choose which channels you want to export and whether you want to include information about which feed items have been read or not. Awasu will then package up the necessary details and send it over to the other feed reader.

Importing channels is a two-step process.

Awasu first connects to the other feed reader and downloads the synchronization data. You can specify whether or not information about which items have been read should be included and if so, how far back to check.

Awasu will then show you the channels in the other feed reader. You can choose which ones you want to import and where to put them in your My Channels window.

It is strongly recommended that you create a new folder in your My Channels window to hold channels that you want to keep synchronized with another feed reader i.e. one for Google Reader, one for Gregarius, etc. Don't forget that channels can be placed in more than one My Channels folder by holding down the Control key as you drag them around so do this to place the channels you want to keep synchronized in the new folder.

You should also create a channel filter that only shows channels in this folder. This makes it easy to control which channels will be shown when exporting channels out.

 

Synchronizing with Google Reader

Google Reader is Google's online feed reader. They only provide a limited API which prevents Awasu from synchronizing completely:
  • Awasu can keep which feed subscriptions you have in Awasu and Google Reader in sync.
    Since Google Reader does not support folders, feeds will instead be tagged with a special label. You can control which of your Google Reader feeds will be sync'ed with Awasu through the use of this label.

  • Awasu can update its record of which feed items have been read from Google Reader.
    The number of feed items parameter controls how many read items will be retrieved from Google Reader (and has to cover all channels being synchronized). This number should be increased as you synchronize more channels or as the amount of time between synchronizations increases. If it is too small, you may find that Awasu does not notice that certain feed items have already been read in Google Reader.

  • Awasu cannot update Google Reader's record of which feed items have been read in Awasu.

  • The way that Google Reader exposes which items has been read has been designed for people implementing a feed reader, not a synchronization feature, and is very inefficient. If you are going to be synchronizing which feed items have been read, it is recommended that you don't keep too many feeds synchronized. Start with a handful and work your way up. It will be very slow if you are on dial-up!

Not being able to notify Google Reader which feed items have been read in Awasu is disappointing but the most common use case for this kind of synchronization is covered: you use Awasu to do most of your feed reading but want occasional access to your most important feeds from a browser.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Details of Google Reader's API have not been officially released and were obtained by reverse-engineering their web site. It is subject to change at any time, which could break Awasu. If you find things stop working, please let us know and we'll make the necessary changes to get things going again.

 

Synchronizing with Bloglines

Bloglines is a popular online feed reader. They only provide a very limited API which prevents Awasu from synchronizing completely:
  • Your Bloglines feed subscriptions can be transferred into Awasu, but not out.

  • Which feed items have been read in Bloglines can be transferred into Awasu, but not out.

  • The way that Bloglines exposes which items has been read has been designed for people implementing a feed reader, not a synchronization feature, and is very inefficient. If you are going to be synchronizing which feed items have been read, it is recommended that you don't keep too many feeds synchronized. Start with a handful and work your way up. It will be very slow if you are on dial-up!

 

Synchronizing with Gregarius

Gregarius is an open-source online feed reader that has been modified to allow Awasu to provide a fully-featured synchronization service.

You must be able to run a copy of Gregarius 0.5.4 on your own web server. It requires PHP (version 4.3 or later) and MySQL or SQLite. Installation is very simple and only takes a few minutes.

Once you have Gregarius up and running, create a sub-directory under the main installation directory called siam and unpack this ZIP file into it.

All you have to do now is configure Awasu with the base URL of your Gregarius installation, the account name and password and everything should Just Work (TM).