This is a tech­nol­o­gy suc­cess sto­ry. Due to my sta­tus as an XML maven, I got sucked in­to a long-running de­bate over an XML news syn­di­ca­tion for­mat called RSS (I could pro­vide a link, but you'd do bet­ter typ­ing "RSS" in­to a search en­gine). The sub­ject was how to use names­paces, but the re­sult was that I got in­ter­est­ed enough to go look­ing for an "RSS Ag­gre­ga­tor Program" for my own use.

A bit of pok­ing around took me to Ranchero Software's "NetNewsWire" pro­gram, which is based on Co­coa and thus Mac OS X on­ly. It's lightweight, quick, nice-looking, and gets out of the way.

Of course, when you click on a news item it sends the brows­er off to dis­play it. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, Co­coa has very lim­it­ed tools avail­able for brows­er con­trol, and if you're us­ing IE or Mozil­la, it pops up a whole new brows­er win­dow for each sto­ry, which is ir­ri­tat­ing and slow. If, how­ev­er, you down­load the ex­cel­lent Chimera brows­er for Mac OS X, Gecko-based but built with Co­coa, you can get it to open each new sto­ry in a tab, which is much faster. Al­to­geth­er a seam­less, low-overhead, and ex­cel­lent news graz­ing en­vi­ron­men­t.

When brows­ing around the lists of RSS news sources, I chanced across "World Press Review" - this is a mag­a­zine that my par­ents sub­scribed to when I was a child - it was called At­las then - and is still around, con­sist­ing of noth­ing but ma­te­ri­al har­vest­ed from non-US pub­li­ca­tions around the world. As I type this, items are avail­able from The Dai­ly Mail & Guardian of South Africa, Pan-African news agen­cy of Dakar, Sene­gal, Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung, The Guardian, Le Mon­de, Arutz She­va (pro-settler pub­li­ca­tion from Is­rael), and the Is­lam­ic Repub­lic News Agen­cy from Iran. This is pret­ty darn cool.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
September 18, 2002
· Technology (76 more)

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