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NetNewsWire styles: Reflex and Spotlight+wrap

David Chartier

It's been a couple of months since I switched from NetNewsWire to Google Reader, but I am happy to announce that I saw the light and have returned to greener pastures. While Google Reader is still roughly 3000 times as functional as NewsGator Online, I simply could no longer resist the torture of no search (in a Google product, no less), and no support for authenticated feeds. Aside from those two setbacks, however, I still recommend gReader as the best web-based reader that is easily head and shoulders above the rest.

Since I'm back to NetNewsWire though, I have once again gone kookoo for styles and have come across two that impressed me quite a bit. First up is Reflex for NetNewsWire from Oliver Boermans (pictured above), which is the most functional and optimized style I have ever seen, and has quite possibly usurped my previous favorite: Tiger style by Jon Hicks (sorry Jon!).

First, Reflex offers a two column design by default (which can be slimmed to one if/when you prefer) that places metadata (author, blog, date, categories, etc.) in a non-scrolling column on the right of the post body. This is really handy if you don't want to keep scrolling up and down posts just to snag all the info you might need to, say, write about the post or the site you're referencing. Speaking of scrolling, Reflex will fade in a slick overlay headline at the top of the post if - and only if - you wind up having to scroll down so far as to knock the post's headline above the fold. Last but not least, Reflex offers two color styles (white/black) and layouts (single or double column) via a button at the top right of the reading pane.

This most excellent Reflex style can be had from Oliver's blog, and I'd like to tip my hat to the man himself for his fantastic work.

The second style hails from Jonathan 'Wolf' Rentzsch, of Mac OS X development and C4 fame. Jon's Spotlight+wrap style is a modification of NetNewsWire 2.0's built-in Spotlight style in the name of functionality. First, and most noticeably, he added a wrap to the headline so long'uns will display in their entirety. The other big change is that he borrowed from Takaaki Kato's Samurai Style and eliminated the Feedburner footer that's catching on with so many bloggers these days (the ugly 'digg this, that' standard links appearing in many RSS feeds). Jon also mentions some stylistic battles he had to wage, but at the end of it all is a very functional improvement to a beloved default NNW style. You can grab Spotlight+wrap from Jon Rentzsch's blog.

[via Ranchero's blog]

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