RSS readers are now among the essential tools for people who use the web to keep up to date on technology, politics, or online friends, and Akregator is the KDE version. I have previously sung the praises of various KDE programs, including Kate and Konversation, but now I have to say that Akregator deserves to be called Aggravator. The problem is that it frequently – nay, almost always – locks up for many seconds or even minutes while fetching/parsing a feed. Worse, if it decides to fetch feeds – which it apparently wants to do just about all the time – while I’m looking through the previous batch of articles then when Akregator unfreezes it redraws the entire item list with all previously-new items removed. If something had caught my eye but I hadn’t gotten to it yet I can only find it again if I can remember which of my 60+ feeds it came from – and then only by switching from my default “New/Unread” view to “All” and back. At the same time, paradoxically, Akregator seems stupider than most readers about showing me the same articles over and over again even in the New/Unread view. That problem pales in comparison to the total unacceptability of removing information from the screen before being asked to (even implicitly), though, not to mention the ineptitude that has to be behind the freeze-up behavior in an era when the default way to write any kind of GUI-oriented program is to use a separate GUI thread precisely so that the user is never left staring at a window that isn’t even being redrawn in response to standard window events. People who falsely claim that a project is in a “Production/Stable” state on the various open-source sites (e.g. Sourceforge, Freshmeat) should be banned from using those sites to distribute anything for a year.