NetNewsWire and HTML rendering
A number of emails have asked me if NetNewsWire will use the new HTML rendering engine that Safari uses.
I’d like to include a better HTML renderer in NetNewsWire, and perhaps even include a mini-browser as an option for viewing stories so you don’t have to jump to your web browser.
Coincidentally, the weekend before MacWorld I downloaded the Mozilla source to see how Gecko integration might work. As a test case I did a version of BlogBrowser that uses Gecko instead of Apple’s built-in HTML renderer. (The pre-Safari renderer.)
It worked wonderfully. Totally cool.
Except that BlogBrowser was suddenly 258.8 MB in size.
Obviously there’s a way to strip that down, or else Chimera and Mozilla would be much huger than they are. (On my machine Chimera is 21.4 MB.)
Still, though, a rough guess tells me that adding the Gecko renderer would add ~15 MB to NetNewsWire’s size.
Safari, on the other hand, is 7.1 MB. Adding Safari’s renderer would add about 4 MB to NetNewsWire. A better choice in terms of size—and it appears that Safari’s renderer is faster, too.
On the other hand, Safari appears to do a less good job of rendering sites. My sites inessential.com and ranchero.com are totally broken in Safari. I don’t know why (yet)—maybe it’s a bug in my HTML or CSS, maybe not.
So... what does all this mean for NetNewsWire? No decisions yet. More investigation is needed.
I like very much that there’s a choice. Neither option is perfect. There are trade-offs.
But I prefer having a choice, with all its trade-offs, to having no choice.