Zocalo is a lightweight web feed reader designed for Zaurus.

Web feeds are standardised summaries of web sites. If you want to surf the internet quickly or track a large number of web sites it is faster and more convenient to read feeds and only read whole articles that interest you. Furthermore, feeds can easily be downloaded and read offline.


Zocalo main features:



File Size MD5
zocalo_2.2_arm.ipk 216 KB 0f8dd09a698ab8301a3001f7b7de5d58

Transfer the ipk file to your Zaurus and then tap on the icon. If you have already installed a previous version of Zocalo then uninstall it first.

You will need to install libcurl, libidn and libz from my Zaurus Libraries page if you haven't done so already.

Changes in 2.2

Changes in 2.1

History of changes for previous versions.

About Zocalo

When starting this work, I wanted a feed client that makes it easy to update my feeds quickly and read them offline because using wireless internet on mobile devices uses a lot of battery power.

I wanted a client that didn't use a lot of resources. I don't want to save megabytes of old feed articles. I'm not really bothered about marking which articles I have read or not. RSS 2.0 recommends 20 articles as a limit to any feed anyway.

There didn't seem to be many web feed readers for the Zaurus, one that I had been using was ZauRSS, but it was missing many features and I didn't like the GUI. Fortunately Takatsugu Nokubi, the author of ZauRSS, had kindly made his source code available so I downloaded it and started rewriting it to satisfy my needs.

The menu and toolbar icons are the Crystal icons by Everaldo, the default feed status icons are from Wikimedia and the Zocalo icon is my own design.


Read the help file!

Use the cursor keys to navigate. Toolbar icons are from left to right: switch view out, switch view in, update current feed, open in browser, and stop transfers.

In portrait view use the jog wheel, OK and Cancel buttons to navigate.

Only one transfer is active at any time but you can update all feeds from the menu, they will be downloaded in sequence.

The articles view shows only articles that were in the feed when you last updated it, articles from previous updates are not stored. After an update, new articles are marked with a different colour (see settings) but articles that were present the last time you updated will be black. When you exit Zocalo the article status is cleared.

If you are short of space you can clear the data in the saved feeds (but keep the list of feed URLs) via the Storage tab in the Settings dialog.

Some web servers do not return the Content-Length header so for those feeds the progress bar will not move.

The version number does not reflect the status of the software and is an arbitrary number chosen by myself.

Potential Bugs

Please kindly report bugs and usability issues to the Zocalo thread at the OESF forums.


About Web Feed Types

I have been writing feeds by hand and using scripts to help automate that process for some time now and I think web feeds are great. The standardisation is not. There are 3 standards for web feeds, RSS 2.0, RSS RDF and Atom. In my opinion, RSS 2.0 is the best: simple and easy to write but its specification is not as clear as it could be. RSS RDF requires a lot of parsing and is less simple. It is not as suitable for a lightweight client on a mobile platform or if you write the feed by hand. Atom is good but still uses too many RDF-like features. When a human reads RDF it is difficult to imagine how it will be parsed.

Advice for Writing Feeds

When writing a feed or a feed module I think your philosophy should be to choose a standard and follow it. Keep it simple. Don't add images, HTML or CSS to the article descriptions. Don't include the whole article in the description, make a summary. Avoid using additional namespaces. I despise advertisements in feeds, it is not meta data.

About Web Feed Clients

I don't believe feeds are in any way similar to email. I don't think a web feed reader should treat them with the same paradigm of number of "unread" and "read" messages; although I did eventually introduce a limited version of this into Zocalo. I want to use a feed reader to skim a number of websites and pick out the articles I want to read in more detail. Some of them I will want to go to the web site and read them in a web browser. Or I will just want to read a summary because I don't have time to read the article thoroughly.

Change Log

Changes in 2.0

Changes in 1.9

Update 1.8.1

Changes in 1.8

Changes in 1.7

Changes in 1.6

Changes in 1.5

Changes in 1.4

Changes in 1.3

*1 Feed must be added by website URL. Discovery of feeds from website is not robust and is being improved for 1.4
*2 This is limited to one enclosure per article which is fine for RSS but Atom supports multiple enclosures.

Changes in 1.2

Changes in 1.1

Note: if you are upgrading from 1.0 then feed updated dates will not use the new system until you have updated them.