inessential by Brent Simmons

NetNewsWire Lite 2.1

I’m so glad to get NetNewsWire Lite 2.1 out the door!

It might be interesting to get a little peek behind the scenes...

Before the NewsGator acquisition, it was pretty easy to have a Lite version. It didn’t cost much more—yes, some support, some extra work, and of course the issue of competing with myself—but it was easily worth it. (Mainly because it made me feel good to have a freeware version. A silly reason, perhaps—questionable from a business standpoint—but if the software business didn’t make me feel good, well, there are other professions.)

But then with the NewsGator acquisition came the issue of sync. Should the Lite version include it? If so, the equation is different—the cost of the Lite version is higher, because each person who syncs is using server resources.

The decision we made was, I think, a very generous decision—and it makes me proud of my company. The Lite version includes sync, and it works with a free NewsGator account. This means you can sync multiple copies of NetNewsWire Lite and it means you can use the online reader when you’re away from your normal computer(s). (Depending on what software and what account you have, you can also sync with InBox, FeedDemon, and other aggregators.)

What we also did—the responsible thing to do—was wait to release NetNewsWire Lite until we’d done some upgrades and added a bunch of capacity.

Right now the NewsGator syncing in the Lite and full versions is the same—but the full version will be getting new features, starting with synced clippings. (Both already sync subscriptions and read/unread status.) So there will be different levels in the future—but still, this level of syncing is what lots of people have been asking for.

And it makes me feel good to be able to put this feature in NetNewsWire Lite and give it to Mac users.

Now, of course, I hope folks will check out the full version—because it really does have tons of features the Lite version doesn’t have. (Searching, browsing, flagged items, widescreen view, scriptability, attention sorting, and so on.)

But still, it pleases me to be able to say that my company has done the generous thing and included such a cool feature in the Lite version.