inessential by Brent Simmons

July 2002

10.2 testing help needed

If anyone who’s running OS X 10.2 could lend me a hand with a quick test, I’d appreciate it.

Some 10.2 users have reported a crash-on-startup bug with NetNewsWire Lite. I think I’ve fixed it, but I don’t have 10.2 to test with.

Here’s what to do: download this special build, launch NetNewsWire, and then email me (to brent at ranchero dot com) reports of success or failure. (Both types of reports are important.)

Naturally I will keep the fact that you’re running 10.2 confidential.


Something weird and experimental

If you’re brave, and you want to try something rough and weird and experimental, check out this screen shot.

On the left is the most recently updated weblogs as reported by On the right is the page corresponding to the selected weblog.

If nothing else, it’s an interesting test of OS X’s built-in HTML renderer. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this bit of software or not, given the bugs with the renderer. (Which will be fixed someday, perhaps? I don’t know.)

You can download Blogoscope 1.0d3 if you’re brave. I don’t think anyone would actually want to use it in the state it’s in though.

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b5

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b5 fixes bugs with the new headlines view, fixes some crashing bugs, adds a bunch of new sites to the sites drawer, and has a cooler prefs window.

NetNewsWire Prefs

The prefs window for NetNewsWire Lite was getting unwieldy—so I spent yesterday getting it to work like and Project Builder. Here’s a screen shot. Now it’s cleaner and the window fits on machines (such as old iBooks) with smaller screens.

I had the hardest time coming up with an icon for the proxy settings. What image means “proxy?” Then I changed the name to “Proxy Server” and it was obvious—it should be a server. So the icon is the left-hand corner of an Xserve box.

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b4

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b4 includes new features—aggregate feed, dock menu—and bug fixes.

Doug Baron’s new weblog

Doug Baron, having recently moved to Austin, Texas, has started a new weblog.

Chimera 0.4

A new version of Chimera has been posted.

I noticed that it can now function as one’s default web browser—it will open URLs when requested by other applications.

For NetNewsWire users, that means NetNewsWire can open URLs with Chimera (if it’s your default browser).

And there’s an additional cool feature—you can tell Chimera to open URLs in a new tab (instead of a new window) when requested by another application (such as NetNewsWire). Very nice.

Open the Preferences panel, click on Navigation, then click on the Tabbed Browsing tab. Then check the box next to “Loading a page requested by another application.”

Crash logs

I love crash logs. I collect them. A crash log in my inbox is like a birthday present. Two crash logs is like Christmas. Three crash logs is like... well, something good that’s even better than Christmas.

I got two crash logs yesterday. One was pretty much worthless: no useful information. (Though the user’s description of what happened was helpful.)

The other crash log was a thing of beauty—one of those wonderful logs that hit you on the head and say, “Dude! The bug’s right here! And it’s easy to fix, too!”

Developers—you know what I’m talking about, right? You know how a good crash log can make your day.

Upcoming NetNewsWire Feature

This screen shot shows a much-asked-for NetNewsWire feature in progress—a special feed that contains just new headlines. An aggregate view, in other words. Though it will be off by default, you’ll be able to turn it on just by clicking a checkbox in the Preferences panel.

I’m shooting for a Friday release.

Congratulations to UserLand and Salon

What a cool thing Salon Blogs is. Congratulations to both UserLand and Salon for making this happen. Right on.

NetNewsWire 1.0b3

NetNewsWire Lite public beta

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b3 includes an automatic refresh feature. On the Preferences panel you can choose how often, if at all, NetNewsWire should automatically refresh the news.

Other changes include bug fixes and two new commands in the Help menu.

dmoz RSS news reader page

I noticed from my referers that there’s a page listing RSS readers at dmoz.

Poll: which app icon do you prefer?

Which application icon do you prefer for NetNewsWire? You can vote online.

The choice is between the current icon and a new icon.

current icon

new icon

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b2

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0b2 has been released. Get it while it’s hot!

Changes include performance enhancements, crashing bug fixes, a fix for importing AmphetaDesk OPML files, and more sites in the sites drawer.

Bug tracker

I always appreciate it when developers put their bug lists and feature requests on the web. I like it even better when you can add bug reports and make feature requests.

I wanted to do the same thing—but I couldn’t find software I liked. They either didn’t run on LAMP systems, or (more commonly) were just way over-featured and hard to use. So, naturally, I wrote one that works the way I want it to work.

You can, of course, view bugs and report bugs.

It’s a funny thing—I haven’t done a web app in a couple months, but as I was doing it I could hear my inner Dave Winer questioning every decision. “Do you need that feature, or is it just a distraction? Think of the users: don’t put roadblocks in their way. Hack away at it until it’s simple.” (Thanks, Dave, it helped.)

NetNewsWire Lite on VersionTracker

NetNewsWire Lite can now be reviewed on VersionTracker.

NetNewsWire Lite public beta

NetNewsWire Lite public beta

NetNewsWire Lite—public beta. It’s an OS X (Cocoa) news reader app.

Mon premier amour

Je me souviens de mon premier amour...

J’ai cinq ou six ans. Ma famille est à la maison à la plage. C’est fin août ou peut-être la premiere semaine de septembre.

La maison a quatre appartements: deux en haut, deux en bas. Chaque appartement est loué à une famille diffèrente. Ma famille a l’appartement en haut à droite.

Dans l’appartement en haut à gauche il y a une petite jeune fille, tres radieuse, avec cheveux blonds et yeux bleus.

(Son nom? J’ai oublié. Ce n’est pas important.)

Chaque jour elle et moi, nous jouons avec les coquillages, nous construisons les châteaux de sable.

À la fin de la semaine, un soir quand le soleil se couche, elle et moi nous regardons la mer, nous ne parlons pas, et un petit coup de vent touche ses cheveux. Elle est tres belle.

Et alors j’ai mal à l’estomac parce que je pense: pour moi, elle est perdue. Et pour elle, moi, je suis perdu.

(I’m taking French class this summer. It’s okay to correct me if I make mistakes.)

Happy July 4th!

Happy July 4th!

“WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”