After a lengthy period of hard-to-rationalize aversion, I recently began to envision ways in which an RSS reader thingy might actually benefit me and be more convenient than a browser.
Unfortulately, a quick search for linux RSS apps revealed that they all basically are browsers, just with lots of expandible bookmarks or which generate their own, ever-changing home pages. This, to me, is completely missing the point of RSS as a time-based service. What I would like to see in an RSS reader, by default, is a chronologically sorted list of all stories from all sources, perhaps presented like:
STORY | SOURCE | AGE
New Pope Elected | BBC | 3m
Something wacky yet erudite | TorgoX | 15m
/. | 2h43m
New comic | OG | 4d 6h
And as you read stories they sort to the bottom half of the list.
I spent about an hour perusing various project websites, and if any existing reader does this, it doesn't bother to say so on its site. Even the NetNewsWire, which is apparently the Gold Standard of RSS aggregators, doesn't (appear to) do this.
This presentation also does away with the need for the 3-pane interface, though if one were to keep it around, I'd recommend making it a list of user-defined categories instead of a list of bookmarks (NNW does appear to do this, but still presents stories within categories by source instead of by age).
For my personal use, I think I'd best like just 2 categories: News and Not. And I'd rather have a category popup instead of a persistant 3rd pane slurping up valuable horizontal real estate. Also, in the best of all possible worlds, it would be a curses app (or at least a non-UI-specific engine with variable front ends).