Important! SilverReader shutdown on November 1. 2014.

TL;DR

SilverReader service is shutting down on November 1. 2014. 00:00 CET. Make sure you have exported your subscriptions and found an alternative before that date.

A hard decision

It’s been quite a journey for the last year and a half and we are up to the point to decide whether to continue developing and investing into SilverReader or stop it altogether. Sadly, we decided to do latter.

We never intended to create RSS reader to compete with likes of Feedly. This was our side project, built on our spare time. The plan was to just make it self-sustainable, with ads and premium features, so it can at least pay for its hosting.

Unfortunately, we never got to that point. Our marketing efforts failed to bring us larger user base. We are just developers after all, enjoying building things, not marketing them. Also, the monthly costs of hosting accumulated over time. While they are not as high now, we would need to invest in an expanded infrastructure in near future.

Moving on

We came to the crossroad. Should we invest more time in marketing, implementing ads, adding premium features and hope that more users will come? Or should we just give up?

We already got caught up by our daily jobs and other side projects. In the last 6 months only Android client app has been getting new features. Web app and Windows Phone client were on ice. iOS client was planned and started but never got far. So, looks like we already made up our minds, just were not aware of it.

On November 1. 2014. 00:00 CET, SilverReader service will shut down, after 491 days (it started on June 28. 2013.). It was a hard decision to make. We hope our users will find a great new home somewhere, as cozy as SilverReader was. For alternatives, take a look below.

In a few days, a shutdown notice will be added to all our apps, linking to this post.

Make sure you have exported your subscriptions before November 1. To export your feeds in OPML format, open SilverReader web app, click on your username / avatar on top right and choose Settings. Then go to Import/Export and click Export button. You’ll get a standard OPML file that you can import to any other RSS reader. Note that you won’t have your bookmarks exported with this! Bookmark those items somewhere else while SilverReader is still active.

Plans

SilverReader is our child and we wouldn’t like for it to just disappear. It took a considerable effort to develop it. There are several possible scenarios for future.

  1. To sell the service
    If there’s someone interested in taking over SilverReader (with our support for further development), please let us know.
  2. To make the code Open-Source
    In the next few months, we might publish the source code for crawler, web app and some / all our client apps on GitHub.
  3. Android client
    SilverReader Android client might be resurrected to use some third party API (like Feedly). In a more unlikely case, Windows Phone client also.
  4. SilverReader blog
    This blog will not be shut down. It will be our channel for any future updates, like source code publishing, client app changes, etc.

Alternatives

For a list of alternatives, take a look at: http://alternativeto.net/software/silverreader/.

Feedly might seem like a most obvious choice, but for users used to Google Reader-like interface, there are plenty of other options. Here are some of our favorites in no particular order:

Goodbye

From the bottom of our hearths, thank you.
Your SilverReader team

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
– Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Yesterday’s scheduled maintenance

As you might have noticed, we had a scheduled maintenance yesterday. Few days ago we set a system message for all users with the information about downtime.  The plan was to bring the SilverReader down on Sunday 25. August, 4 PM UTC and to do upgrade during the next 6 hours (at most).

Well, it didn’t go according our plan. We had several problems during the upgrade. Downtime was almost 11 hours and we eventually had to restore the old version. Also, the loading might have been slower for some users this morning. That’s been fixed also.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience that it might cause. This was an important lesson to us. We’ll certainly have much better maintenance plans in the future.

Thank you for your understanding.

Your SilverReader team

Version 1.0.8.3 change log

As usual, here’s the summary of changes between versions 1.0.7.0 and 1.0.8.3 that was published yesterday.

  • When one feed is selected on the left, feed title above feed items will be a link to feed home page
  • Also, RSS icon next to feed title will be a direct link to RSS feed
  • Added “Visit home page” and “Visit original feed URL” feed context menu options
  • Added Shift+V shortcut and feed item context menu option for opening an original post in popup window
  • Log in using Google or Facebook will now be remembered – no need to log in again when restarting the browser
  • Implemented support for system messages – don’t worry, we’ll use this only for very important system updates
  • Share on Twitter button now sets the item title as the tweet text
  • Fixed problem with email and open in new window shortcuts
  • Shortcuts like bookmark item and open in new window are now working on current item also
  • Fixed problem with Rename feed not working on Uncategorized folder
  • Fixed problem with OPML import on Internet Explorer 9
  • Various crawler engine improvements and optimizations
  • Small user interface fixes and improvements

Some feed edge cases are now supported in crawler. If you had some feeds not working before, you might notice that they are fetched now.

Again, a big thanks for our users for reporting issues, posting ideas and helping SilverReader to improve.

Enjoy!
Your SilverReader team.

Version 1.0.7.0 change log

We have published another version today – 1.0.7.0. This time, we mostly have bug fixes and improvements.

  • Added support for feed:// URI scheme
  • Fixed problem with loading HTTPS feeds with invalid SSL certificate
  • Fixed problem with domains not accepting HEAD request – we now do a full GET request for those
  • Workaround for bad feeds returning both the content and 404 error
  • Workaround for feeds using incorrect encoding name
  • Fixed bug with expanded view scrolling – scrolling over small items would sometimes cause the “jump” above the item
  • Fixed bug with expanded view scrolling – sometimes it would throw you back to the top of the viewport when using keyboard shortcut J or Next button
  • Fixed bug with not marking some items as read when scrolling with space key and mouse wheel
  • Few minor crawler fixes

For all our users who asked for new features and reported bugs, a big THANK YOU!

We’re moving on, trying to dedicate more time on mobile apps now, Android first.

Stay tuned!
Your SilverReader team

Version 1.0.6.1 change log

5 days ago, we had a post describing version 1.0.4.0 changes. In the meantime, we bumped the version up to 1.0.6.1, with several new features, optimizations and bug fixes.

  • Feeds and folders are now always sorted by name
  • Implemented Hide read folders and feeds option
  • Moving on to next items now work across folders and feeds – if you are on the last item in the current folder or feed, and try to move further (with Next button, j shortcut, space…), you’ll go to next folder or feed
  • Implemented URL based subscriptionhttp://silverreader.com/subscribe?url=%s
  • Added SilverReader bookmarklet for easier subscription from any browser
  • Added support for registering SilverReader as feed handler in Firefox and Opera (<15)
  • Support for registering SilverReader as feed handler can be added to Chrome with an extension
  • Several JavaScript libraries are upgraded to latest version, including Knockout, which should improve client side performance a little
  • You can now subscribe to http://silverreader.com directly from SilverReader – for official blog posts 😉
  • Fixed a bug with keyboard shortcuts in Firefox when Search for text when I start typing Firefox option is turned on
  • Minor bug fixes in crawler and interface

SilverReader subscribe popup

Stay tuned for more goodness!

Version 1.0.4.0 change log

As promised in the last post, here is the list of changes we implemented between first version 1.0.0.0, that went live on June 28, and version 1.0.4.0, that we have deployed yesterday. We didn’t jumped straight from 1.0.0.0 to 1.0.4.0. There were several versions in the meantime, with bug fixes and various improvements.

BTW, you can find out the current SilverReader version if you click on a Help button on the top, next to your user name. Version number is displayed on help popup, after copyright information.

  • Implemented RTL (right-to-left) languages support. This was a most voted idea we had on our User Voice page. We first tried with client-side support, but RTL detection wasn’t satisfactory. Version 1.0.4.0 brings server side detection of RTL languages.
  • UI speed is even more improved, especially on Firefox and IE
  • Crawler has been improved to handles more feeds
  • Handling of posts with malformed HTML is improved
  • Removed a button for direct Google Reader import, since it wasn’t working as of July 2.
  • Fixed the bug with scrolling using touch-screen
  • Fixed issue with scrolling in Opera 12.15
  • Fixed title display problem in list view for Opera and Safari
  • Fixed crawler and subscription issue when some feeds have incorrect published date
  • Fixed a problem with saving changes in settings after organizing feeds
  • Fixed compression / decompression bugs that were causing posts to contain garbage on some user machines / browsers
  • Fixed a problem where HTML content of some ATOM feeds was HTML encoded
  • Other small layout fixes

Most of the problems in the list above were reported by our users through User Voice. Some users even offered us help or solution to a problem! It’s so great to have a client base like that. Thank you so much!

As we move on towards the future 1.1.0.0 version, expect more features rolling out daily / weekly, with small version number increments. 1.1.0.0 will bring a more polished and responsive web user interface and more features requested by you, so don’t hesitate to ask. Also, we will be speeding up the development of standalone mobile apps. Android first.

If you really like SilverReader, let the world know. Help us reach out to more users. Like us, tweet us, plus us… Thank you!

Enjoy! Your SilverReader team