reader 3.13 released – scheduled updates

June 2024 ∙ three minute read ∙

Hi there!

I'm happy to announce version 3.13 of reader, a Python feed reader library.

What's new? #

Here are the highlights since reader 3.12.

Scheduled updates #

reader now allows updating feeds at different rates via scheduled updates.

The way it works is quite simple: each feed has an update interval that determines when the feed should be updated next; calling update_feeds(​scheduled​=True) updates only feeds that should be updated at or before the current time.

The interval can be configured by the user globally or per-feed through the .reader​.update tag. In addition, you can specify a jitter; for an interval of 24 hours, a jitter of 0.25 means the update will occur any time in the first 6 hours of the interval.

In the future, the same mechanism will be used to handle 429 Too Many Requests.

Improved documentation #

As part of rewriting the Updating feeds user guide section to talk about scheduled updates, I've added a new section about being polite to servers.

Also, we have a new recipe for adding custom headers when retrieving feeds.

mark_as_read reruns #

You can now re-run the mark_as_read plugin for existing entries by adding the .reader​.mark-as-read​.once tag to a feed. Thanks to Michael Han for the pull request!

That's it for now. For more details, see the full changelog.

Want to contribute? Check out the docs and the roadmap.

Learned something new today? Share this with others, it really helps!

What is reader? #

reader takes care of the core functionality required by a feed reader, so you can focus on what makes yours different.

reader in action reader allows you to:

  • retrieve, store, and manage Atom, RSS, and JSON feeds
  • mark articles as read or important
  • add arbitrary tags/metadata to feeds and articles
  • filter feeds and articles
  • full-text search articles
  • get statistics on feed and user activity
  • write plugins to extend its functionality

...all these with:

  • a stable, clearly documented API
  • excellent test coverage
  • fully typed Python

To find out more, check out the GitHub repo and the docs, or give the tutorial a try.

Why use a feed reader library? #

Have you been unhappy with existing feed readers and wanted to make your own, but:

  • never knew where to start?
  • it seemed like too much work?
  • you don't like writing backend code?

Are you already working with feedparser, but:

  • want an easier way to store, filter, sort and search feeds and entries?
  • want to get back type-annotated objects instead of dicts?
  • want to restrict or deny file-system access?
  • want to change the way feeds are retrieved by using Requests?
  • want to also support JSON Feed?
  • want to support custom information sources?

... while still supporting all the feed types feedparser does?

If you answered yes to any of the above, reader can help.

The reader philosophy #

  • reader is a library
  • reader is for the long term
  • reader is extensible
  • reader is stable (within reason)
  • reader is simple to use; API matters
  • reader features work well together
  • reader is tested
  • reader is documented
  • reader has minimal dependencies

Why make your own feed reader? #

So you can:

  • have full control over your data
  • control what features it has or doesn't have
  • decide how much you pay for it
  • make sure it doesn't get closed while you're still using it
  • really, it's easier than you think

Obviously, this may not be your cup of tea, but if it is, reader can help.