Jason Brome implemented a brilliantly simple idea: reading RSS
feeds via NNTP.
For background, RSS is a standard for web site syndication: for a
blog, an RSS feed is a file with the latest entries in it. For a news
site like Slashdot, it contains the latest stories. Programs called
RSS aggregators collect these feeds into a single interface, so
you can see which of your favorite sites have updated without visiting
all of them. NNTP is a protocol for sending href="http://groups.google.com">Usenet news around the Internet. I
use a client called gnus to read
NNTP news and email.
The program, called href="http://www.methodize.org/nntprss/">nntprss, translates the
RSS feeds into Usenet newsgroups, so I can read them with Gnus. It not
only parses the RSS feed of every blog I read (which no aggregator
I've tried before has done successfully), but doesn't tie up emacs for
several seconds while it parses the XML from the RSS feeds (as did
another very cool idea,
nnrss.el from the Gnus
distribution. A pity that emacs isn't multithreaded.)
This program simply rocks: I now have one less reason to
ever leave emacs.