inessential by Brent Simmons

Dynamic Sites Drawer

I get email and comments here about how people would like the Sites Drawer to be dynamic.

People usually suggest one or both of two things:

1. The Sites Drawer should be an OPML or RSS file hosted on my site that the app could read.

2. People should be able to replace or add to the Sites Drawer with other OPML or RSS files that list subscriptions.

It’s #2 that’s interesting to me. I won’t do just #1 because of two main drawbacks: every network operation is prone to failure, and it’s a big list—it would chew up bandwidth without a really compelling reason.

I like the idea of being able to import OPML subscription lists into the Sites Drawer. Some people might maintain lists that are comprehensive for certain categories—say you have a list of all the weblogs by people in Chicago. The idea is it would be possible for NetNewsWire users to add a Chicago category to their Sites Drawer by downloading your list.

The challenge, as is almost always true, is the user interface. NetNewsWire can download and parse and store OPML files, no problem.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ll do this for 1.0.3. But it’s on the to-do list.