Dear LazyWeb: libnotify + Google Reader?

I’ve tried a gazillion feed readers. I’ve used Liferea, yarssr, rssowl, irssi-rss, gdesklets…

As I’m a fairly mobile person (and in this case mobility can mean anything from shifting from using desktop computer to laptop computer to using only mobile phone and/or my Nokia 770), I’ve not been happy with having multiple instances of the same reader (or even worse, multiple different readers) running on several different platforms. On Sunday, I became very frustrated because of this, and although I love RSSowl to pieces, I’ve moved to the simplest and the most accessible feed reader, Google Reader.

This solution is not the best possible still, as I’ve grown accustomed to have libnotify or an equivalent alerting me with a bubble about new, unread entries. One solution to this is to publish all my feeds and use YET ANOTHER RSS READER, such as… “Yet Another RSS Reader”, also known as yarssr… *sigh* which can almost do what I wantalso sucks and can’t do a thing I want it to do except make a pretty icon on the systray…

So. Is there any solution of my problem? I want to – at minimum – get a nice little bubble informing me that I’ve got unread feed items. Or, if not, would someone be willing to mentor me to create such an application (preferably cross-desktop, to be usable in all Ubuntu derivatives) with Python?

This entry was posted in ICT, Planet Ubuntu and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Dear LazyWeb: libnotify + Google Reader?

  1. Wolfgang says:

    Hi Miia,

    I guess what you are searching for is Actually I have never used the app, because I find it too distracting from work. There is also a Firefox extension


  2. myrtti says:

    @Wouter, JohnnyG:
    Thanks a million, just what I wanted, installing now :-D

    But those would require me to use Firefox ;-)

  3. Stupid fix if you want to do it yourself:

    python -c “import urllib,urllib2; from xml.dom import minidom; fp = urllib.urlopen(‘’,urllib.urlencode({‘Email’:’GOOGLEUSERNAME’,’Passwd’:’GOOGLEPASSWORD’}));‘\n’)[0]; rq=urllib2.Request(‘’,None,{‘Cookie’:SIDDATA+’;path=/;;expires=1600000000′}); fp=urllib2.urlopen(rq); dom=minidom.parseString(; unreadcount=[x.parentNode.getElementsByTagName(‘number’)[0].firstChild.nodeValue for x in dom.getElementsByTagName(‘string’) if x.firstChild.nodeValue.endswith(‘/state/’)][0]; import pynotify; pynotify.init(‘Google Reader Unread’); n = pynotify.Notification(‘Unread messages’, unreadcount);;”

  4. Patrick says:

    I have been using yarssr for a while now for my RSS feed, but found it does not support all sites I want to check, such as, for example, google mail. I just want a software hidding at systray, checking in background and give me a notice if anything are updated.

    Im going to try out Grnotify, but have also found Specto,, cant say its the solution to all problem, but it is worth a try, and it does support alot of feeds.

    // Patrick, UK.

  5. Pici says:

    I was going to suggest building something yourself using the not-yet-published-but-reverse-engineered Google Reader API ( ). Perhaps a project for a rainy day?

  6. Hi,

    have you thought about using some Rss/Feed to E-Mail Service?
    There are some out there, eg. Feedblitz, rssfwd, sendmerss or Feedburner and Feedit.
    This way, you only had to manage one application.


  7. Jason says:

    prism-google-reader !?

  8. lsi says:

    it would be better with other languages support, but thanks..