inessential by Brent Simmons

NetNewsWire Comes Home

After some years spent traveling the world, NetNewsWire is now back where it started! It’s my app again.

We’ve kept its room ready for all these years. And I am thrilled to welcome it home.

Thanks to Black Pixel

First thing: I want to thank Black Pixel for their stewardship. They released NetNewsWire 4 for Mac and iOS, and they even brought it to Apple TV. They wrote and deployed a syncing system — which is a massive challenge. (I happen to know, from several first-hand experiences, just how difficult syncing is.)

They kept it moving forward — the app is now 16 years old — and that’s huge.

And I want to thank them for a second thing: their incredible generosity in bringing it back to me. When I asked them about it, they told me they’d already been discussing it. There was never a need to convince them: they thought it was the right thing to do before I even said a word.

You might reasonably wonder if nevertheless they asked for some large amount of money. There was no charge. That’s what I mean by “incredible generosity.”

As a friend of mine said on this subject, “Sometimes life is poetic.” Thanks to Black Pixel for making that true.

If you haven’t already, you should read Black Pixel’s announcement.

What This All Means

Here’s the scoop:

You probably know that I’ve been working on a free and open source reader named Evergreen. Evergreen 1.0 will be renamed NetNewsWire 5.0 — in other words, I’ve been working on NetNewsWire 5.0 all this time without knowing it!

It will remain free and open source, and it will remain my side project. (By day I’m a Marketing Human at The Omni Group, and I love my job.)

Black Pixel will stop selling their versions of the app, and will turn off the syncing system and end customer support — all of which is detailed in their announcement. (Important note: I will not get any customer data from them, nor will I be doing support for Black Pixel’s NetNewsWire.)

My Goal

I want one thing: to make the very best versions of NetNewsWire ever made.

And, along the way, I’d love to have your help.

Nothing to Download Yet

I don’t actually have an app bearing the name NetNewsWire ready to download yet. I will have test versions ready soon, though. It’s still going to be a while before the final version of 5.0 ships.

The repository is on GitHub.

I’ll also be creating a website for it, of course. And I’ll have news about a Slack group you can join.

PS For Reference

I should outline NetNewsWire’s history:

  • 2002: NetNewsWire Lite 1.0
  • 2003: NetNewsWire 1.0
  • 2005: Bought by NewsGator. I continued working on NetNewsWire as a NewsGator employee.
  • 2011: Bought by Black Pixel. I remained at NewsGator, and stopped working on NetNewsWire.
  • 2015: Started work on Evergreen
  • 2018: NetNewsWire comes home; Evergreen renamed to NetNewsWire

It was acquired twice before now. I worked on it for nine years before it went to Black Pixel, and it was there for seven years. And now it’s back home.

For good!

PS Pardon the dust — there’s a bunch of renaming to do and ducks to line up. Things may be confusing at first. But where you see the name Evergreen, think NetNewsWire.