Friday, July 06, 2007

Emacs G-Client, Reader, And CSE: Searching Past Articles From Google Reader

So I use module greader (part of package G-Client to read a large number of ATOM and RSS feeds. I have long missed the ability to search for articles I remember having read a few weeks or months ago; though I typically find it with an appropriately phrased Google Search, I've always wanted to have the ability to restrict the search to the feeds I subscribe to --- this makes formulating the query much easier.

The advent of CSEs --- see my earlier blog post entitled On The Fly Custom Search combined with Google Reader's ability to export ones subscription list as an OPML file gives me exactly what I needed.

HowTo: Enable Searching Of Past Articles From Google Reader

  • Since you need to be signed in to access the subscription list, the CSE magic cannot directly retrieve your subscription list at present. as a consequence, you need to retrieve and save your list of feeds to a location that is publicly accessible. Feature Request: Would be nice if Reader did this automatically by talking to CSE on behalf of the signed-in user --- that would obviate the next manual step.
  • Export your subscription list using command greader-opml. You'll need to do an svn update to get the above command; alternatively, sign in to Google and retrieve your subscription list.
  • Finally, customize emacspeak option emacspeak-url-template-reading-list-opml to the location of the saved OPML file.

Now, you can use Emacspeak url template reader subscription search from the Emacspeak Web Command Line to search articles you remember having seen in your Google Reader. This is also an excellent means of finding articles of interest that one might have missed in the past. As an example, I recently became interested in Selenium --- an extremely powerful Web application testing framework. Finding articles from the past that I ought to have read but hadn't was a snap using the feature describe here.