Shrook and Distributed Checking

By Deane Barker on July 19, 2003

Shrook: RSS done right: This is an RSS client for the Mac, with one very interesting feature that people are talking about.

“A central server maintains a database of when each channel was last updated. To keep it up to date, every so often, the server chooses a computer to check for new items and report back. The frequency of this varies from every 5 minutes for popular channels, to every half hour for channels with only one online subscriber, and it tries to use a different computer each time. At the other end, each copy of Shrook checks in with the server every 5 minutes, and if any of its channels are out of date, it reloads them.”

So, instead of you checking the news server, you check-in with the Shrook server to see what news feeds you need to go get. The Shrook server keeps its database up-to-date by having one machine check the feed periodically. So you only update the feeds that need to be updating, thus saving your bandwidth and the bandwidth of the feed provider.