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Google Reader started to slow down my Firefox, probably because of my 500+ feeds, a lot of permanently opened tabs and way to many Firefox addons so I spent the last couple of hours searching for an alternative.

Things I really need in my feed reader:

1. Synchronization - I want my read feeds to remain marked as read when I go to another computer, like work, home, etc.
2. Translate Function - Not a must, but I do have about 50 feeds in languages I don't really understand :D
3. Somehow work on both Windows and Linux

A. The first thing I tried was FeedDemon 3 beta, which supports Google Reader Sync, so th first 'must' was covered. But after opening it for about 3 times, it marked all my feeds as read, even though I didn't read any. Also, it needs Internet Explorer to work which makes it really slow and doesn't work under Linux (tried it in Wine). Also, no translate function, so FeedDemon got one "+" and 2 "-" so it's out of the question.

B. Next, I said ok, I can have FeedDemon to run under Windows and the new Liferea v1.6 RC1 under Linux, which also has Google Reader sync. But it doesn't keep the tags assigned to feeds from Google Reader, so all my 500+ feeds got mixed up in one folder with thousands of unread feeds, and I had no idea which from where it was. It was so messy, I skipped checking anything else. Obvioulsy, Liferea also doesn't have a translate function either, so it's the worst option for my needs.

C. Adobe Air based feed readers. Well, Adobe Air needs a lot of resources, too many for just a Feed Reader so after trying a lot of possible feed readers, I uninstalled them all.

D. Online feed readers.

I had a Bloglines account for quite some time, and I tried both the standard and beta versions, but for some reason, a lot of feeds are never updated in Bloglines so that unfortunately made it impossible to use (for me). Also no auto translate either.

Newsgator online was pretty close to what I had in mind, the only thing missing being an automatic translation option. But an error was displayed when I tried to import my OPML file (which I exported from Google Reader), it was probably too big. I guess I could have splitted it into multiple files and then import it, but then it hit me and I finally found a workaround to keep using Google Reader, but make it not to slow down my main Firefox window. Read on...

Last night I was trying Mozilla Prism and that could have been a nice workaround, but it's quite hard to install addons and so on, and I really hate the white interface which Google Reader has, so than it hit me: I can create a Firefox shortcut which can open up a new Firefox window with a profile optimized for Google Reader only (delete the bookmarks bar, navigation menu, url bar, install Greasemonkey and my favorite Google Reader scripts and that's it.

My final solution [Howto]:

1. First you must create a new profile. For that, right click a Firefox icon click Properties. Under the "Target" field, at the end of the row, add: -profilemanager, so that would make the whole target field to look like this:
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -profilemanager

For Linux, it would be:
firefox -profilemanager

2. Run Firefox using that icon and create a new profile, let's call it "greader". Remember that name for our next step, and also please note that the profile name is case-sensitive (for both Windows and Linux).

3. Now we need to make Firefox open our new profile as a new Firefox instance, because we want to use both profiles separately, in the same time. To do that, right click that Firefox icon again, select Properties and in the "Target" field, at the end of the row, add this:
-P "greader" -no-remote

Which means the whole "Target" field would look like this:
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -P "greader" -no-remote

Now run Firefox using a normal icon (with no profile parameter) and then run it by using this icon. This will open two instances of Firefox, and you are able to customize the "greader" profile to your likings, for instance by disabling the bookmark toolbar, navigation buttons, url bar and so on (right click on the menu row and deselect them). Also you can install Greasemonky with your favorite scripts and not having installed many addons, Google Reader will run smoothly.

Yes, I could have installed another Firefox version or Opera, etc. but I'll stick to a stable build of Firefox for now (because of many various reasons like scrolling behaving badly under Firefox 3.5 beta in Windows, not to mention Linux where the scrolling on my computer is a total mess).

So this is how my Google Reader window currently looks like (I'm at work right now - using Windows):

google reader optimized