It has many problems and we could use Icedove instead.
Let's use this one as meta ticket.
- Type of work changed from Code to Discuss
I'll first describe what's the current status of feed reading support in Tails, so we can take this baseline into account when we discuss the next steps, and we can avoid demanding than the replacement solution replaces things that we never had, or does perfectly something the old solution did poorly:
- We don't document Liferea usage anywhere. It's only mentioned on our doc/about/features page.
- We have no persistence setting for Liferea, so if anyone uses it seriously, they have to add a custom persistence setting. But we have a persistence setting for Thunderbird.
- We have had concerns for years about the safety of Liferea because it's essentially another browser we ship, with JS enabled by default (#9429) and merely running it with torsocks is not enough to make a web browser anonymous. On Thunderbird with Torbirdy, by default only text (not HTML) is rendered which is safer. Users can enable full HTML rendering in Thunderbird too, but at least the default configuration is safe.
- I've not heard anything about Liferea from our help desk for many years. I seriously doubt anyone is using it in Tails currently. The only person I know who uses Liferea on Debian Stretch, wrapped with torsocks just like we do, sees it crashing (segfault) every 15 minutes or so. Likely there's something Liferea dislikes about being run in a torsocks environment. I suspect Tails is affected just the same but nobody noticed.
- A few of us are using Thunderbird (in Tails and outside) for their feed reading. AFAIK they're all happy with it.
- Years ago we decided to focus on this very ticket instead so we've left numerous Liferea issues open, e.g. #8793 and #9989. Thunderbird does not suffer from these bugs.
- Most of the research we wanted to do on #7626 has been done, and https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/torbirdy#IsitsafetosubscribetoRSSfeedswithThunderbirdandTorBirdy now says "Is it safe to subscribe to RSS feeds with Thunderbird and TorBirdy? → Yes, RSS support was added in TorBirdy 0.2.0."
To sum up, it seems that Liferea support in Tails is poorly integrated, unmaintained, buggy, unsafe by default and probably unused. The current state of Thunderbird support for feed reading in Tails is already better than that on all these counts.
So I'm proposing we stop shipping Liferea, drop it from the list of features, add feed reading to the list of Thunderbird features on doc/about/features, and close #7626.
Then #7625 can be repurposed into "Modify the description of the Thunderbird persistence setting to mention feeds" (not a blocker IMO).