Welp, I’ve decided on a name, and I’m pretty happy with it. My web-based RSS reader will be called Fez.
I’m pretty pleased with logo, mostly.
Fez isn’t ready yet, but the progress is pretty great. It looks pretty, too. I’ve talked a lot about Fez in bits and pieces, but I figured I’d put it all together here.
Initially, Fez will be available for a subscription rate (on a sliding scale — you pick the amount you think is fair), with discounts for paying for 6 months or a year up front. This will support development and server costs.
Shortly there after (or maybe at the same time if I keep rocking), there will be a one-time purchase for a self-hosted version of Fez you can install on your own web server if you’d like more control over where your data is stored. Plus, this option will be cheaper since you only pay once.
There will be a light social layer on top of Fez, allowing users to share articles with each other within Fez. This will still work for self-hosted Fez users — you’ll be able to share with and get shares from subscription users as if you’re all on the same system. Accounts will be standard Zhephree accounts, so if you use neato! on iOS, Android, or webOS, you’ve already got an account.
Additionally, there will be ways to share articles via other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, or time-shifting apps like Pocket or Instapaper. Similar to how Google Reader offered an option to add your own sharing methods by using variables in a URL, you’ll be able to add your own share destinations, as well as use ones created by other users. So, let’s say you want to share to some new website and support for it doesn’t exist in Fez yet, you’ll be able to add support in by supplying the URL and filling in some variables, like URL and title for the article:
The actual method will be more elegant, but that gives you the idea.
In addition to subscribing to RSS and Atom feeds, you’ll also be able to subscribe to Facebook Pages. You’ll just add the URL to the Facebook Page like you would an RSS feed, and boom, it pulls in just like an RSS feed does, with no need to visit Facebook to see what your favorite local business or band is up to. There are plans to support other networks in the future, but Facebook will be available at launch.
And Fez will have all the typical features of an RSS reader — marking read/unread, starring to bookmark, tagging, etc. The idea is to make Fez a great RSS reader with some unobtrusive bells and whistles, as well as keeping it flexible for how you use the web.
Fez will be web-only, but will be mobile-friendly. After the core-Fez product is stable and working nicely, an API will be opened up for developers to build apps upon, but this will be quite some time later. The plan is for the API to be built into self-hosted versions of Fez also so you can use apps with your own domain.
So, here are some screenshots! Keep in mind, this is still in Alpha stages and isn’t even running on a staging server, let alone a production server. Stuff can and will likely change form what you see here.
This is the main feed view, in the “summary” view, one of four views for feeds.
This is the main feed view, in the “grid” view. This works really well for feeds that aren’t just text and frequently contain images.
This is the view menu. Each feed remembers the last view you selected for it, so if you want grid view for a specific feed all the time, it’ll remember this and always display it as a grid.
Tagging happens in-line via a pop-out text field so you don’t have to navigate away.
All of Fez will be navigable via the keyboard as well.
You will also be able to import your Google Reader subscriptions when you sign up for Fez, so you won’t have to worry about starting over from scratch.
I don’t have an ETA for Fez, but I have a goal to finish it before the July 1st death day of Google Reader.
So, that’s it for now, but more to come!