I feel moved to publicly declare my thanks to Brent Simmons for releasing NetNewsWire 2.0. Not only is it packed with plenty of well-designed features, it also makes one very important difference: it’s fast.
Since upgrading to Tiger, I’d noticed how slow and slumpy my older copy had got, but version 2.0 is extremely zippy.
And zippy in more ways than one. NNW now includes a built-in browser element (in common with many other RSS reader applications), which turns out to be impressively fast. There’s nothing quite like tearing through a long list of subscriptions, using NNW’s second-nature keyboard shortcuts to read, move on, and open for browsing.
Everything else is faster too; downloading feeds, and moving about between elements of the GUI. Great work.
I particularly like the use of the lower portion of the window for a handful of control widgets and info panels. This is where you can see the number of remaining unread items, or quickly change the stylesheet without opening up the prefs panel.
The selection of built-in stylesheets for displaying feeds is another impressive bit of work. Most of them are just plain functional, but the BeOS style made me laugh out loud, just for the sheer delight of seeing those quirky yellow window widgets all over again.
The NNW + MarsEdit software bundle is good value for anyone spending a lot of time reading and writing on the web. The only thing I’m waiting for now is an update for the latter, which still runs pretty slowly on my iBook. If MarsEdit’s future releases make it as fast as the new NNW, I shall be a very happy bunny indeed.
Your thoughts on NNW, or any other RSS reader