Miniflux is a minimalist software. The purpose of this application is to read feeds. Nothing else.
Focus on Simplicity ¶
- Having a gazillion of features makes the software hard to maintain, hard to troubleshoot and increase the number of bugs.
- This software doesn’t try to satisfy the needs of everyone.
Why the user interface is ugly? ¶
- The Miniflux layout is optimized to scan entries quickly.
- The design of Miniflux is inspired by Hacker News, Lobsters and Pinboard.
Why are you not developing my feature request? ¶
- Developing a software takes a lot of time. Don’t expect anyone to work for free.
- As mentioned above, the number of features is voluntarily limited. Nobody likes bloatware.
- Improving existing features is more important than adding new ones.
Why choose Golang as programming language? ¶
Go is probably the best choice for self-hosted software:
- Go is a simple programming language.
- Running code concurrently is part of the language.
- It’s faster than a scripting language like PHP or Python.
- The final application is a binary compiled statically without any dependency.
- You just need to drop the executable on your server to deploy the application.
- You don’t have to worry about what version of PHP/Python is installed on your machine.
- Packaging the software using RPM/Debian/Docker is straightforward.
- No dependency hell.
Why PostgreSQL? ¶
Miniflux is compatible only with PostgreSQL.
- Supporting multiple databases increases the complexity of the software.
- We do not have the resources to test the software with all major versions of MySQL, MariaDB, SQLite, and so on.
- SQLite is excellent but there is a limited support of
ALTER TABLEand the Golang driver requires CGO and GCC. Miniflux 2 was initially designed as Twelve-Factor App to run in ephemeral containers.
- PostgreSQL is powerful, rock solid and battle tested.
- PostgreSQL is a great independent open source software.
- ORM abstracts interesting features provided by the database.
- Miniflux uses
hstore/jsonb/inetdata types, window functions, full-text search and handles user timezones with PostgreSQL.
- Server side template rendering is very simple and fast enough for that kind of application.
- Having too many dependencies is painful to maintain and update on the long term.
Why only ECMAScript 6? ¶
Miniflux uses ECMAScript 6 and the Fetch API.
- All modern browsers support ES6 nowadays.
- Only Internet Explorer doesn’t support ES6, but who cares?
Why there is no mobile application? ¶
Using the web UI on your smartphone is not so bad:
- Miniflux is a progressive web app
- The layout adapts to the screen size (responsive design)
- You could add the application to the home screen like any native application
- You can swipe entries horizontally to change their status
- The web browser is a pretty good sandbox, the application cannot access to the data stored on your phone
- It’s cross platform: works on iOS and Android
The development of mobile clients is left to the open source community:
- Developing a native mobile application for each platform (iOS and Android) and different devices (smartphones and tablets) takes a lot of work
- The main developer of Miniflux is not a mobile application developer
- You have to pay a fee to publish your app on the store even if your app doesn’t make any money