Feb 2003

PreFab UI Browser

From the folks who brought you PreFab Player: PreFab UI Browser helps “you explore, control and monitor the user interface of most Mac OS X applications. It lets you navigate the user interface hierarchy then generate useful AppleScript statements with a single click.”

Creating an RSS News Feed with PHP and MySQL

Low End Mac has posted a tutorial on creating an RSS feed. It’s interesting to me because my sites are also built with PHP and MySQL, but my RSS feeds are generated dynamically rather than written to disk and served as static files. I may switch. (By the way, here’s Low End Mac’s RSS feed.)

News feeds to reshape the web

Caroline White writes for journalism.co.uk: “Journalists and web experts in the US are predicting that news feeds will re-shape the way online news is published, despite several European court rulings outlawing the practice of deep-linking.”

Big Cat 1.0 Released

Big Cat is a freeware contextual menu plugin that adds a Scripts menu to apps like the Finder and BBEdit, apps that support system contextual menus. You can add your own scripts—AppleScript and shell scripts—to the Scripts menu.

Controlling Your Mac with AppleScript and Java

Scott D.W. Rankin writes for O’Reilly: “AppleScript, while a fantastic language for running scripts locally, has minimal support for doing anything else, like sockets or serving web pages. This is where Cocoa and Java come in.”

Huevos 1.1

Huevos is an open source Cocoa app that makes it easy to search lots of different search engines. It comes with 15 search engines built in, and you can add more.

The main change since 1.0 is that you don’t have to use the mouse at all—you can bring Huevos to the front via a hotkey, and you can set command keys for your search engines. The up and down arrow keys also navigate through the search engines popup menu.

And so it has a new tagline: ”Search anytime. No mouse required.”

FruitMenu 3.0 works with Big Cat

Unsanity released FruitMenu 3.0, which resolves an incompatibility with the Big Cat contextual menu plugin. So... if before you had to choose between one or the other, now you don’t have to. Cool. Big thanks go to the Unsanity folks.

Big Cat Text Scripts 1.0

From Michael Grant comes a selection of scripts that work with Big Cat. Scripts include new and improved search engine scripts, Make Entourage Note, Make iCal To Do, and Make iCal Event.


Apple posts a technote: Ensuring Backwards Binary Compatibility—Weak Linking and Availability Macros on Mac OS X.

Important stuff if this is the kind of stuff that’s important to you.

Rumor: Safari tabbed browsing

Perhaps you’ve seen the rumor (with screen shots) that Safari is getting tabbed browsing. Assuming these rumors are true, my hope is that you’ll be able to set a pref that says to open URLs in new tabs (when requests come from other apps such as NetNewsWire).

This way I’ll be able to use NetNewsWire with Safari the same way I use it with Chimera (er, Camino). That is, I read through the news in NetNewsWire, opening URLs as I go—in the background, in new tabs—and then I switch over to Chimera.

By the way, I like the name Camino. (The reason why should be obvious, so I won’t spell it out.)

NetNewsWire to Radio shortcuts

Emmanuel M. Décarie writes: “I wanted to create Radio shortcuts from my NetNewsWire subscriptions. So I wrote this little script at shortWavesSuite.netNewsWire.createRadioShortcuts. It take the name and the home url of all subscriptions and create Radio Shortcuts.”

They Blog, You Blog, iBlog

Pierre Igot on weblogging, Movable Type, Radio UserLand, and more: “If you are interested in starting your own blog as a Mac-using writer, you should know that there are a variety of options—which are not necessarily in competition with each other. Some of them are decidedly user-hostile, while others are significantly closer to the ideal of a blogging tool for non-tech types.”

Huevos 1.1b4

Huevos 1.1b4 changes include no more metal and the ability to open and close the main search window.

Spring 1.2 released

Spring 1.2, the innovative desktop canvas from UserCreations, adds support for RSS and NetNewsWire.

Huevos 1.1b3

A new beta of the open source Huevos search application has been released. This beta makes it so you can choose a search engine from the popup menu by setting command keys or using up and down arrow keys. (The point is to make it so you don’t have to use the mouse.)

The previous beta added a configurable hotkey so you can bring Huevos to the front from within any app. (Not a new feature, but worth mentioning.)


Philippe Martin: “It allows you to change quickly and easily your default emailer, Web browser, and news reader, simply by choosing an item from a menu displayed in all applications.”

NetNewsWire Lite 1.0.3b2

A new beta of the Lite version of NetNewsWire was released today—it includes a bunch of bug fixes and some new features that come from the full version. Here are the change notes.

One frequently-requested change is that the Lite version should no longer send a bogus referer. Done.

NetNewsWire 1.0.1b1

This first post-1.0 beta version includes brand-new XML-RPC code. NetNewsWire no longer uses the system-supplied code, which was a source of crashes and bugs. For more details, see the change notes.

Textpattern beta 1

Cardigan Industries: “Textpattern, that hard-to-nail-down content management system, is now officially in beta.”

NetNewsWire Tips

I posted a number of NetNewsWire tips on inessential.com recently: some keyboard tips, a Dock menu tip, more keyboard tips, and easy subscribing from within Safari or Chimera and so on using the Services menu.

Subscribing to a site from within Safari

Posted on my personal site is a two-line AppleScript script that shows how to subscribe in NetNewsWire to the frontmost window in Safari. It should work with slight modification with other browsers.

Inside WebCore

Dave Hyatt has posted some early drafts of documentation on WebCore, Safari’s rendering code.

RSSClipboard Suite for REALbasic

The folks at PostalCode have put together REALbasic code that handles the RSS Item and RSS Source clipboard formats used by NetNewsWire and other applications. (For the curious: here’s a write-up on those formats.) This means you could write an app in REALbasic that accepts drags of RSS headlines from NetNewsWire, for instance.

tar-gzip script for BigCat

Michael Conrad Tilstra has published a bash script for compressing files via the BigCat contextual menu plugin.

Blosxom for Mac OS X Released

Rael Dornfest released Blosxom for Mac OS X, “the GUIest way to install the Blosxom weblog application on your OS X desktop or laptop.”

Carbon vs. Cocoa: The Speed Issue

A post at Unsanity.org is bound to stir up the holy wars.

My personal opinion is that Cocoa and Carbon don’t matter that much, it’s apps that matter. Good and bad apps can be written in both. That said, NetNewsWire is a Cocoa app, and I prefer to write in Cocoa.

Speed Up Your Site

It’s a new book on a subject near to my heart: speed.

NetNewsWire Press Release

“Ranchero Software proudly announces the release of NetNewsWire 1.0.” Etc.


The Irate Scotsman rants about UI inconsistency. It’s funny, a must-read. “Meantime, last but certainly not least, I’d like to introduce you to NSSchizophrenicTextFieldAndProgressIndicator, as seen in Safari.”

NetNewsWire 1.0

Thanks to all the beta testers and folks who’ve helped along the way—NetNewsWire 1.0 is now shipping!

Get it while it’s hot!

NetNewsWire 1.0fc1

This is the first final candidate release. Changes include a new pref for automatically saving drafts and a fix for a case when unread counts could go wrong. See the change notes for details.

NetNewsWire 1.0b19

This release fixes various bugs, including bugs related to saving drafts. See the change notes for more details.

At this point we’re looking for deal-stopper bugs only.

New pages on weblog config

Two new pages for NetNewsWire users: how to configure NetNewsWire to edit Manila weblogs and Movable Type weblogs.

NetNewsWire 1.0b18

This release fixes a mix of different bugs, including some weblog editor bugs. See the change notes for details.

We’re now looking for deal-stopper bugs only. (Bugs that are so bad they simply must be fixed before shipping.) Other bugs will be fixed in 1.0.1 and future updates.

NetNewsWire 1.0b17

This release fixes a really annoying bug that appeared in the previous beta. The new headlines and group feeds weren’t getting updated when they should be. Now they are. Other changes, mostly weblog editing changes, are listed on the change notes page.

X11 and OpenOffice on Mac OS X

Wei-Meng Lee writing for O’Reilly on how to install X11 and OpenOffice.

NetNewsWire 1.0b16

This beta fixes just a few bugs—most notably it makes arrow key navigation more smooth with feeds that have a bunch of unread headlines. (This has been one of the most common bug reports.)

It doesn’t fix any weblog editing bugs: the next beta will focus on the weblog editor.

WriteTheWeb Interviews Noah Grey

Noah Grey in this interview says something that made me laugh: “I’ve always hated the word ‘blog.’ ‘Weblog’ is alright, but ‘blogs’ have always made me think of what pets leave on carpets.”

RSS for Cocoa Mailing Lists

You can now get an RSS feed of the latest posts to the CocoaDev and MacOSXDev mailing lists. Very cool.

Spring 1.1b3

This beta includes new RSS features and NetNewsWire integration. Very cool.

NetNewsWire 1.0b15

This latest beta includes, well, a ton of changes. See the change notes for the complete list.

Blosxom 1.2 Installer

Rael Dornfest: “Just a double-click, couple-three single-clicks and you’ve your very own Blosxom weblog running right on your desktop or laptop.”

Interview with Ken Case

Ken Case, CEO of OmniGroup, answers questions about OmniWeb etc. at OSNews.

BBEdit Disk Browser Suite

From Emmanuel Décarie: “Managing files and folders in the disk browser window from the BBEdit’s Script menu.” It looks cool. And note that Emmanuel now has a weblog.


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