inessential by Brent Simmons

Features to possibly delete from NetNewsWire for Macintosh

I’m working on NetNewsWire 3.2 for Macintosh (and also still working on the iPhone version, worry not). Part of planning is figuring out what features I can delete.

Deleting features has always been a big part of the way I work on NetNewsWire — in some ways, it’s my favorite part, since clutter is the death of software.

(Recall that NetNewsWire 1.x included an outliner and a weblog editor! The outliner got deleted, and the weblog editor got split out into MarsEdit — which, by the way, has a cool new release today. And plenty of other features have been deleted along the way.)

Today I sent an email to my beta testers list with my ideas for features to delete. I welcome feedback, of course — agreements, disagreements, and other ideas for features to delete — though I don’t have time to reply. (I have to spend my time working on the software itself, rather than emailing about it. ;)

Here’s the list:

- Microformats (I bet I could delete them and no one would notice)

- Automatic enclosure downloading -- nuke it (use iTunes!)

- Full Screen command

- Sites Drawer

- FTP syncing (already deprecated)

- Sort (news items) by Arrival Order (it's weird, because there's no Arrival Order column, and sort by Date is already the default)

- Remove ability to turn on/off icons and favicons in subs list (they'd always show)

- Remove ability to turn on/off sort animating in subs list (animating would be on)

- Remove ability to show/hide styles menu (it would always show)

- Remove Add Author to Address Book (which I bet nobody uses)

- Remove subfolder for each feed option in Downloading prefs; don't make "NetNewsWire Enclosures" folder -- people complain about both, so I'd just make it flat

- Remove Combined View's "Collapse read items at startup" pref -- it would be on, no way to turn it off

- Remove the weird pref for "When going to next and previous unread items" -- it would always "Respect expansion state of the Subscriptions List"

- Remove the HTML News Archive feature -- which I bet nobody uses