NetNewsWire 2.0

Thursday, May 12th, 2005 @ 10:49 pm | Mac

After a very extended beta period (even longer than this-here weblog’s outage, but that’s another story), NetNewsWire 2.0 is finally final. Since NetNewsWire is typically one of the first three application I launch when I log in (along with Mailsmith and Safari), I’m very psyched about this announcement.

Prior to trying the first 2.0 beta release, I looked through the list of proposed features (which has since been replaced by the list of new features in the final release) and made a mental checklist of which features I thought I’d like.

Persistence seemed like it would be the biggie. In fact, permanently storing my downloaded articles was one of the main reasons I gave PulpFiction an extended trial run as my news reader of choice. NetNewsWire still doesn’t have a Save Forever option, but I’ve got currently got my Keep Items option set at 10 years.

Hmm. I should set an appointment in iCal to double-check that sometime in 2014.

Tabbed browsing caught my attention. As I’ve already indicated, NetNewsWire’s implementation of integrated web browsing was the first that I truly found useful. It’s completely changed my news reading experience. Since NetNewsWire saves your open tabs across application launches (and usually even the occasional beta crash) and main window closings, I can open a tab and come back to a day or a week later. Previously, when I had all my tabs opened in Safari, I would rush through reading the open articles for fear of accidentally losing my unread tabs.

I saw several other features that made me think “That may prove useful.” I’ve used some of these regularly (like searching) and some not at all (like scripted feeds).

There was one feature I never thought I’d use — syncing. Why would I need to sync my NetNewsWire data? I’ve got a laptop. If I’m going some place where I’ll be getting online, I’ll bring my own computer, complete with my own copy of NetNewsWire.

Then, I finally decided to do something about my PowerBook’s inability to wake from anything longer than a half hour nap. Called Apple, shipped my only working computer cross-country once more. Prior to boxing everything up, I decided to try syncing my subscriptions, news items, and browser tabs to my .Mac account. The next day, I downloaded the newest NetNewsWire beta onto my office computer and synced that to my .Mac account. Just like that, I was back in the comfortable environment of my personal NetNewsWire setup (minus some preferences that needed tweaking and a stylesheet I didn’t bother to download). A week and a half later, my parents went on vacation, so I borrowed my mother’s iBook and synced that to my .Mac account. A week after that, I got my PowerBook back. I launched my original copy of NetNewsWire, let it download my feeds, synced it back to .Mac account, and watched as 2157 unread items was magically transformed to 317.

Two and a half weeks. Three computer. Zero missed beats. Very cool indeed.

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