End of Google Reader and gReader combo: offline reading Android alternatives

Google Reader users have seen the end nearing of their favorite RSS aggregator and for a while now the webinterface makes it perfectly clear:

Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013. Please be sure to back up your data.

Yes, it stops in 1 month! As a long-time fan I’ve been using Google Reader for aggregating my news and blogs I’m interested in, and used the gReader Android app to synchronize with my account, download updates for offline use so I could browse and read through them while travelling to work. In the train that is. I’ve come to rely heavily on the offline reading feature, since there are many 3G network black spots on the route from and to work – and the wifi inside the train is sometimes far from performing. gReader and my Google Reader account work perfect together: at home gReader updates all feeds, and immediately downloads all article content (incl. images) and transforms them into a simplified format.

As soon as Readers’ retirement got out, the future of gReader also became unsure and a group has been opened to discuss alternatives. Apart from the suggested alternative RSS readers, gReader itself needs to find an alternative API which mimics the Google Reader API to stay useful. Sofar I have seen promises and possibilities of compatible API’s popping up, but even if one was out there and 100% compatible Google urls are still hardcoded in the gReader app.

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Leave the Selenium webbrowser open after a failed Cucumber JVM feature

When a Cucumber feature fails, Selenium quits and closes the browser instance. Quite often you want it to stay open to see what’s on the screen at that point to investigate what’s going on.

Looking for answers online I came across a lot of suggestions to put a breakpoint on the closing of Selenium or webdriver and run the test in debug mode, waiting on the breakpoint while you’re able to inspect the browser window. A more elegant approach I found over at bitcrowd without using a debugger!

Since it’s Ruby-orientented here’s a shamelessly copied and adjusted version for Cucumber JVM. Add the following file to your features/support directory:

@After("@leave_window_open")
public void leave_window_open(Scenario scenario) {
    if (scenario.isFailed()) {

        System.out.println("Step failed. Press ENTER to close browser...");
        BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(System.in));
        try {
            br.readLine();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }

    }
}

Add the tag @leave_window_open to the feature you want to investigate:

@leave_window_open
Feature: Dates with different date formats
 This feature shows you can have different date formats, as long as you annotate the
 corresponding step definition method accordingly.

 Scenario: Determine past date
  Given today is 2011-01-20
  When I ask if Jan 19, 2011 is in the past
  # here comes the failing step
  ...

Now, the step fails, but the selenium browser window stays open. When done, just hit return in the console you used to fire up Cucumber and it’ll finish as usual.

Thanks bitcrowd!