Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

News You Can Use

Brent Simmons with Ranchero Software just released two very interesting pieces of software for the Macintosh - a beta version of NetNewsWire, the best RSS newsreader, and a new app, MarsEdit.

I've been testing the new version of NetNewsWire for over a month, but haven't been allowed to discuss my impressions. Now that the software has gone public, I can say that the 2.0 version turns a great piece of software into a truly exceptional, essential piece of software. The news reader is much more powerful, allowing you to search your feeds, control the presentation, and, easily my favorite new feature, flag posts for later reading. With this ability, you can keep a folder of must-reads that will never be deleted or archived, while still keeping up with the latest news in another folder.

Another wonderful addition is an integrated, tab-enabled web browser based on Safari that allows you to view links without leaving the application.

I have not encountered a single bug and quickly replaced my official version with the beta. If you own a Macintosh and have any interest in RSS, you have to give it a try.

MarsEdit is a new application that allows you to post to many of your favorite weblog tools from a desktop client. It offers the holy grail of web writing, built-in spell checking, along with other improvements over browser-based writing.

I tested it with Typepad and immediately found two issues. First, MarsEdit supports many of Typepad's features, but not, as far as I can tell, the ability to post to the past or the future. As those of you who follow along regularly know, I use this great feature all the time to fill in days that I miss due to typical assortment of work, school, baseball, and entertainment distractions. I hope that there is a way for MarsEdit to support this.

Second, my post looked different from all my other Typepad posts. The spacing seemed off, despite the fact that there was no special HTML involved. Even when I edited the post within Typepad, the differences remained. As soon as I deleted the post and copied the exact same text and HTML into Typepad did the post look correct. I don't know what caused this, but it will prevent me from using MarsEdit until there is a solution.

The software is still very much worth playing with, so be sure to download the beta and experiment.

My thanks to Brent from supporting the Mac with insanely great software!