Gmane is by now a very important piece of my Emacs life. It allows me to get postings to lots of mailing lists using NNTP, i.e., using Gnus, i.e., in a way fully integrated with the “information retrieval and massaging” engine i’ve built around a handful of Emacs packages and elisp snippets (one central actor among them being org-mode).
Another important (if only due to its volume) source of incoming information are RSS subscriptions, to which i have a mild addiction. After trying several options, i had settled on rss2email to read my feeds and channel them to Gnus, with the help of some filtering rules. Although it works pretty well, i wasn’t totally satisfied with this arrangement because it depends on an external program over which (as i don’t like hacking in Python) have less control than i’d wish.
But now, thanks to Gmane’s creator,Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen, i’m nearing the RSS nirvana: he’s created a new service, Gwene, which works like Gmane, but for RSS feeds instead of mailing lists. The interface is damn simple: you just enter the URL of the feed you wanna read, give it a name, and its contents is available over NNTP and updated every thirty minutes. All that is left is to add news.gwene.org to your list of NNTP servers in Gnus (or, in my case, leafnode) and subscribe to the corresponding group.
Any group you add will be available to everyone (for instance, i found this blog already there as gwene.com.wordpress.emacs.feed), and i’d bet Lars will keep adding features in the future. To me, it’s already extremely useful as it stands today!