After hearing and reading some nice things about Blog Bridge (an open source blog aggregator), I finally downloaded and installed it today. I’ve been using RSS Bandit (another open source blog aggregator) so far and been quite happy with it. Now I have both the aggregators running and its a good time to compare the two (RSS Bandit v188.8.131.52 and BlogBridge v2.7).
The UI of RSS Bandit is simple and has well managed visual real estate. I find its three-pane layout quite good. Although the Feed Subscriptions pane won’t extend wider after a point. The reader themes are also clean and neat in their look & feel.
The BlogBridge UI is also quite cool, show-casing a three-panel layout but slightly different. The good thing about RSS Bandit is that it only displays the new articles/posts in the main frame, while I could only get BlogBridge to list all the downloaded articles/posts in the main frame (I guess it groups the news posts under the “Today” section, which clutters the main pane. The coolest thing about the BlogBridge UI is 7-day activity chart (a tiny matrix of the post activity for each blog). There are other features like tag integration, blog guides, keyword association and blog rating (BlogStarz). Although I couldn’t find in-built support for posting comments/replies to blog posts.
Considering that RSS Bandit is written in .NET and BlogBridge is written in Java, I was eager to gauge their performance and memory footprint. Running on a Dell P4 laptop with Windows XP Pro, 512MB RAM and a 40GB HDD (with nearly 50% space free), RSS Bandit started with around 61MB of RAM (as seen in the Task Manager) and BlogBridge started with around 64Mb of RAM. The memory usage dropped to 21MB for RSS Bandit and 8MB for BlogBridge after a few minutes. What was quite strange, was that during a complete feed refresh, resource usage for RSS Bandit shot upto 61MB RAM and 60-80% CPU usage while for BlogBridge it rose to about 60MB RAM and 20-30% CPU usage. So I conclude, wihout bashing any development platform or language, that RSS Bandit is more resource intensive than BlogBridge, atleast in the regular test condition I had.
So will I replace my default blog aggregator from RSS Bandit to BlogBridge? I guess not now! Because the BlogBridge UI and usability still has some sharp edges to it like frequent flickering and sluggish responsiveness. However, I won’t uninstall BlogBridge right away. Its UI is a bit of a up-ladder coming from RSS Bandit, but I find it quite suitable for daily blog reading.