NetNewsWire Redux

Back in my pre-Tiger days I almost always had four applications running on my machine: Safari, Mail, NetNewsWire, and SpamSieve. It’s a great set of apps for staying productive but it’s too many apps. I once begged Brent to add regular bookmarks and browsing history into NNW but he rightfully responded that NNW shouldn’t be a full browser. Once I started using Tiger, though, I decided to give the new Safari RSS features a try.

The bottom line is that Safari works pretty well as an RSS reader. It could certainly use OPML import and export features but the search box and feed limiter are nice touches. There are a few things I don’t like:

  1. No podcast (enclosure) support – I had to run iPodderX and the new v3.0 makes my head hurt
  2. No way to view multiple feeds without turning on Auto-tab for the enclosing folder
  3. Not enough control over persistence
  4. No flagging of feed entries (oh, I suppose I could bookmark them or something arcane like that)

So I switched back to NNW this weekend and I’m trying to use it as an aggregator, iPodder, and my primary browser. What made this possible was that in organizing my feeds for Safari’s RSS, I discovered that feeds are available for 99% of all sites I visit. For those few that don’t, I can easily enter the URL for eBay by hand as quickly as I can locate and select the bookmark. Already I’ve found a few sites that aren’t happy with NNW as a browser: Google Maps flashes an “are you sure you want to use that weird-ass browser?” page and gMail falls back to “basic HTML” mode. Javascript pop-up windows fail sometimes, too. My bank site works great, though, and that’s usually the test of good alternative browser.

Podcast support in NNW is great but not quite as granular as iPodderX. For example, I can’t set a custom genre or playlist name on a per-feed basis like I can in iPodderX. I’m anxious to see what iTunes 4.9 brings to the mix.

Of course, that will bring me back up to 4 running apps (at least until Mail’s junk mail filtering gets better). So much for consolidation. Brent, if you’re reading, I’d still like to see some sort of browser history and a configurable web search option added to the search box in NNW.

3 thoughts on “NetNewsWire Redux

  1. Hi Seth — we’re looking at browser history, web searching, bookmarks, and more fine-grained control over genre and playlist. I can’t make promises as to what or when, but all this is on the list of things we’re thinking about.

  2. I’ve been on this quest too – trying to consolidate many apps into one. Safari RSS and NetNewswire seem to be the best candidates for this, but I guess you’ll always miss out some functionality somewhere.

    Good to hear that more browser features are coming to NNW.

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