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NetNewsWire 3.0 pre-beta released

David Chartier
08.07.06
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Since the headline says it all, I need to echo Brent Simmons on this and remind you: this isn't even beta-worthy. It will almost definitely act wonky. If you decide to play with it, backup your present NetNewsWire support directory (~/Library/Application Support/NetNewsWire, using cmd + d will duplicate the folder which is good 'nuff for now) as this release will have bugs in it.

With that warning out of the way: Mr. Simmons announced on inessential.com (his blog) today that he's decided to take a bit more of a public approach to his work on NetNewsWire 3.0, a significant update to one of the most widely used RSS readers available to any OS. With this new slightly more open-door policy to his development work, Brent has unleashed a very pre-release copy of NNW 3.0 into the wild.

He also has provided a list of what's new (which is most likely also a work in progress) in this version, and it goes a little something like this:

  • New Combined view (pictured) - completely rewritten to be faster, more fun, and more useful
  • Attention Reports - NetNewsWire 2.1 added sorting subscriptions by attention-and now you can also see reports that list feeds that get the most and least attention
  • Cosmetic changes - tabs and browser header tweaks, along with other changes that bring it into a more Mac OS X 'unified' look
  • Post Tabs to Weblog - Opens a new window in your weblog editor listing all your open tabs in NetNewsWire. It's a way of doing link-dumps. Right now it only works with MarsEdit, but Brent just needs a script to make it work with ecto too (I'm not sure if that's a hint or not; it's just what's in the release notes)
So far it's a nice update, though I can personally attest that it's definitely wonky. The new combined view (which I don't typically use; I'm a Traditional View man myself) can seize up occasionally, in addition to other minor quirks. On the bright side, this 3.0 update will be a free upgrade for existing users (which is kinda rare for a full-version update), but I hope Brent has more features on the drawing board to warrant a major point upgrade (Labels? More organization features to better facilitate blogging and research? A kitchen sink, perhaps?). However, if you're still feeling adventurous and you've backed up your present NNW support folder, knock yourself out and give this pre-release a test drive.

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