tt-rss dfm

wednesday, 9 september 2020

i am a massive consumer of syndicated web feeds. This allows me to collect and filter web content in digest mode without need of maintaining and visiting bookmarked pages of web sites of interest. Over time, close to 300 feeds have been collected spanning a variety of topics or categories. Tiny Tiny RSS or tt-rss handles these feeds with aplomb, filtering on content and, most importantly to me, allowing me to organize and present the digests in a distraction free mode or dfm. With this much content, every measure to reduce visual noise makes the browsing experience less fatiguing and more efficient.

My original tt-rss theme..

TT-RSS theme

was a heavily modified CSS script based on the Chalk Theme. tt-rss updates after version 17.4 broke this theme and, hence, my version of it. So for many years, i ran version 17.4 of the tt-rss server. There was nothing compelling enough to motivate upgrading the server so all the tweaking i did over the course of this time was focused on iterations of the theme itself in pursuit of the visually cleanest theme possible (pour moi).

Covid-19 arrived and with that, time to revisit tt-rss and consider upgrading, given the larger role tt-rss assumed in my daily Covid routine. The upgrade only required unpacking the most recent source files and initializing a fresh database – i was not concerned about retaining old starred articles. Only finding a suitable tt-rss theme remained.

Enter the Sepia Feedly Theme which was remarkably close to my modified Chalk Theme..

Feedly Theme

It is relatively clean (compared to the default tt-rss theme on installation). But is still too distracting by my standards with its highlight colouring and bold category headings; plus, its digests were severely truncated.

These are solved by inserting a custom css stylesheet wrapper via tt-rss preferences / customize (no need for rewriting the feedly source this time!) to yield this dfm theme..

Skinned Feedly Sepia theme

Main differences to the original modified Chalk Theme include..

  • no tt-rss home page title
  • no modified Special subheading labels
  • right justified feed source names
  • full single line digest
  • right hand date
  • highlighted starred entries with red titles (not shown) omitting the star (.png image)

Qutebrowser is my main browser and has keybinds for navigating tt-rss. So, keyboard driven, additional changes to the Feedly Theme include..

  • removal of unused Special subheading labels (features i do not use)
  • removal of pop-up tags for Starred, Published, etc.

While i like the multi-line digest of my original theme, the above changes were achieved with a substantially smaller and easier to maintain CSS wrapper, the resulting design, of which, i think worked out even better visually!

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