The only way to know for sure is to try

I Built A Static Feed Aggregator

Because websites are getting more complicated for little benefit

October 31, 2020

Dev news is really hard to get these days. Hipster devs are on social media, but I'm not. Reddit nags you so much to use their app. Medium is full of click-bait. Feed readers are still terrible after all this time. Podcasts are noisy. News sites are really slow and filled with tracking junk. And books become outdated by the time they get published.

I found temporary peace with DEVURLS, an aggregated list of dev news from popular sources. But I can feel JavaScript jank running in the background. Half of the sources are from blogs that are not very active. Sometimes it's slow to load. And seeing uBlock Origin light up means it's another site with stuff tracking you.

All I really need is a source of dev news and articles. Is that a really hard ask? Apparently, it is.

So I built Augury.

It parses news and articles from several sources and compiles them into a simple page of links. It's a frankenstein project assembled from modules I've been working on as part of a big learning exercise. In fact, it's the same stack that builds this very blog.

The whole thing is built and hosted on Github. The aggregator script is run using Github Actions and the generated static site is committed back as Github Pages. This approach is mostly inspired by hBlock, which uses Gitlab pipelines to aggregate and deduplicate multiple ad block lists into one ad block list.

The result? a ~10KB HTML page and an ATOM feed of pure dev news. It's light, it's fast, and it's easy on your device. It packs enough links to last you through your break. It's also updated hourly and no faster, because you don't really need news right away. You have things to do, like work and life. 😜

If you found the tool useful, you're welcome. I don't have comment boxes or donation links. But you can do what one guy did once before: send me an email saying thank you. That's enough to brighten my day.

PS: The name comes from the term Augury which is "the practice from ancient Roman religion of interpreting omens from the observed behavior of birds". In this case, we're interpreting the trend of software development by observing the influx of news. Very nerdy name, don't you think?