Changes in Browser and RSS Reader

In yet another flip-flop in my preferences for primary applications, I just switched to Vienna 2 as my RSS/Feed aggregator. It's basically an Open Source clone of NetNewsWire. NNW kinda turned sour for me when it was bought out and the .Mac etc... features got tossed in the trash can.

Vienna is a nice app - it's a native Cocoa app, so it runs spanky fast. It uses the SQL Lite database, so it's pretty speedy - and there's a chance I could write something to do something useful with the database if I really wanted to.

I've been using Blogbridge for the last couple of months, and it's a really nice app. I just got tired of command+tabbing back to it after hitting a link, and having my RAM sucked up by Java's greediness.

Things I prefer in Vienna over Blogbridge:

  • Performance - despite the claims of awesome performance for a Java app, BB was always just a little slow, and sucked up terabytes of RAM. Well, not quite terabytes, but an unholy proportion of my system's available resources went to sustaining BB.
  • Pages sent to the browser actually open in the background as they should. Man, it's annoying having to command+Tab after hitting a link every. single. time.
  • Searching. BB doesn't have a search tool. WTF? That's kinda the point of having a local database of posts, no?

Things I'll miss about Blogbridge:

  • Feed suggestions - found LOTS of great new feeds using that feature, which spiders my current feeds and their posts to find relevant links that I'm not subscribed to.
  • Starz. Much more granular to be able to apply a 0-5 star rating to a feed or post, rather than just marking as flagged.
  • Star ratings on feeds. I really like having posts ranked higher based on the priority I've given to the source. Wonder if that's possible to reproduce using some kind of smart feed in Vienna...
  • Flickr feed handling - rather than just displaying these feeds as straight RSS subscriptions, it presented a form of photo album view. Very cool.
  • The combined view, showing full posts of all feeds in one place, rather than having to cycle through individual posts. It'll just take some getting used to - might be more efficient with separate post view anyway.

My switching to Vienna isn't a mark against Blogbridge at all - it's great software, and I totally recommend it to anyone who's looking for a reader. It's also not a permanent switch - I'm apparently pretty non-commital when it comes to software, since I just have to keep going and trying the shiny new toys as I come across them. I'll be keeping my eye on Blogbridge, since they've got a lot of cool ideas in the works.

In a further flip-flop, I'm trying Firefox yet again, after being forced to do so after my WordPress 2.0 upgrade exposed a funky cookie-related bug that makes Safari kinda unusable for me (oddly, since it's working fine for King in his new WP installation...).

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