Mar 2005

Opening Files Together in a New BBEdit Text Window, Redux

Daring Fireball presents an AppleScript script for opening files in the same window in BBEdit 8.1.

Useful file metadata for programmers

Michael McCracken: “In light of the upcoming release of OS X 10.4, and its sure-to-be blockbuster new Spotlight feature, I was thinking about what kind of metadata I would want stored for my source code files. What information would be most useful to search for or use to define smart folders?”

ongoing · Unswitch?

Tim Bray: “My big gripe with Apple, of course, is their cult of hermetic secrecy.”

Return of the Mac

Paul Graham: “With OS X, the hackers are back. When I walked into the Apple store in Cambridge, it was like coming home. Much was changed, but there was still that Apple coolness in the air, that feeling that the show was being run by someone who really cared, instead of random corporate deal-makers.”

Intro to Using PyObjC

Overcoming Newbie Hurdles when using Xcode and Interface Builder: “Python is a great fit for the Macintosh.  It’s an elegant language for an elegant computer. We are all indebted to the guys who made the PyObjC bridge, for it springs the doors wide open to what you can do with Python on a Mac.”

Pricing clarification

This is just to clear up some confusion about pricing that people have...

NetNewsWire 2.0 (in beta at the time of this writing) is $24.95. Once it ships, it will still be $24.95—this is its normal price.

MarsEdit is a separate product: it also costs $24.95.

You can buy NetNewsWire and MarsEdit together for $39.95, which saves about $10.

To be clear:

NetNewsWire 2.0..............$24.95
MarsEdit 1.0.................$24.95
NetNewsWire/MarsEdit bundle..$39.95

(NetNewsWire 1.0.8, which is still for sale for now, costs $39.95. I think that’s where the confusion comes from. The older version of NetNewsWire costs more because it includes a weblog editor as well as the aggregator.)

If you have any questions about pricing, please send email to

BBEdit 8.1 adds Subversion support

Macworld News: “This upgrade adds support for the version control system Subversion, an open-source tool for managing and tracking code changes in a distributed software environment.”

Behind the Red Shed, with Jonathan ‘The Wolf’ Rentzsch

DrunkenBlog interviews Jonathan Rentzsch on mach_inject, garbage collection, WebObjects, the OS X Finder, and plenty more. “Finder X is the compromise between the Mac OS folks and the NeXT folks. Neither won, everybody lost. Oh my god, the entire bastardized notion of switching from metal to aqua and hiding the sidebar when clicking on the toolbar chiclet in the upper right-hand corner.”

How to find a subscription in the subscriptions list

To find a particular subscription in the subscriptions list, here’s what to do:

1. Click anywhere in the subscriptions list.

2. Type cmd-F to bring up the Find panel.

3. Type part of the name of the subscription you want to find.

4. Hit return.

This will select the first matching subscription. (NetNewsWire will expand groups as needed.) Hit return again to go to the next matching subscription, if the first one wasn’t the one you were looking for. Continue until you find it.

The search is not case-sensitive, so “mac” will match “MaC” and so on.

NetNewsWire and MarsEdit resources pages and feeds

A type of question we often get asked is “Where can I find more styles for NetNewsWire?” or “Where can I find more scripts for MarsEdit?”

To answer these questions, we set up some web pages—and feeds, of course—for NetNewsWire and MarsEdit. Each application has an All category that gets everything, or you can subscribe to one or more categories: tips, scripts, and so on.

Here is the NetNewsWire Resources page and here is MarsEdit Resources.

Since these feeds also have web pages, next time someone asks where they can find more styles for NetNewsWire, we’ll be able to point them here. (The web pages, as well as the feeds, are linked to from the above Resources pages.)


It’s a new wiki on productivity and time management, OS X software, Life Hacks, and more.

NetNewsWire 2.0 to AppleScript

Daytime Running Lights: “this Apple Script lets you post to from NetNewsWire - from the browser pane, not the subscriptions!”

SQLite, the kickass embeddable SQL engine...

Gus Mueller: “That’s right, YACWFS. (Yet another Cocoa wrapper for sqlite).”

It’s a Multi Language World

James Duncan Davidson: “I’ve heard rants before about how Java is the best damn language out there and that every piece of functionality should be implemented in Java. And I’ve heard the rants taken further and say that the one thing that Company A (or B or C, but usually A) to make themselves more appealing to developers is drop everything else but Java.”

WordPress 1.5 Themes Competition

There is a competitition for WordPress 1.5 Themes. Many prizes to be won.

How to get the URL of the current tab

Here’s a short AppleScript script which gets the URL of the current tab. If the current tab is the News Items tab, then the URL is just an empty string.

tell application "NetNewsWire"
	set urlsList to URLs of tabs
	set ixCurrentTab to index of selected tab
	item (ixCurrentTab + 1) of urlsList
end tell

Technorati & Tag Maker for MarsEdit

Garrick Van Buren: “It takes any selected text and appends a ‘(t)’ to it linking to the corresponding tag at Technorati, or a ‘(d)’ for tags, or both. For example: MarsEdit (t), Applescript (t d).”

How to subscribe to multiple gmail accounts

A generous NetNewsWire user sent us this tip:

For your first account use

For second and subsequent accounts use or some other name=value pair.

The name=value pair can be pretty much anything. Be sure to include the ? after atom.

You will be prompted by NetNewsWire when you initially subscribe to each gmail account feed.

Seasonality 1.0

Gaucho Software: “Seasonality takes weather monitoring to a whole new level with weather forecasts, radar images, sunrise/sunset times, and much more. View informative icons demonstrating what weather is coming your way over the next 7 days. Use radar images to check out where it is raining or snowing. Compare this month’s weather conditions to last month’s, or even last year’s. Keep track of just your hometown or multiple cities all over the U.S.”

Manila supports image and file uploading

UserLand Product News: “The MetaWeblog API in Manila has been updated to add support for the metaWeblogApi.newMediaObject. If the object is a picture, it’s posted as a new picture. If it’s another type, it’s posted as a gem.”


Mark Allerton: “FeedShuffle is a program that can be run as a ‘Special Subscription’ in NetNewsWire 2.0. It will generate an RSS feed containing a random selection of items from all of your other NetNewsWire subscriptions.”

Tip: How to find a feed in the Sites Drawer

You can search for feeds by name in the Sites Drawer. Here’s how:

1. Open the Sites Drawer if it’s not open already: choose View > Show Sites Drawer.

2. Click on a group or feed in the Sites Drawer.

3. Type cmd-F to bring up the Find panel.

4. Type something you want to search for—cnn, for instance—to find the first feed with a name that contain what you typed. The searching is case-insensitive, so cnn matches CNN.

5. Click Next to find the next feed.

P.S. This same thing works in the Subscriptions list.

Tip: How to open tabs in the background

You can tell NetNewsWire to open tabs in the background. Here’s how:

1. Open the Preferences window—choose NetNewsWire > Preferences...

2. Click on the Browsing icon.

3. Uncheck the box next to Select new tabs as they are created. (This is the same wording Safari uses, by the way.)

Now when you open a page in a tab, NetNewsWire won’t select the tab. Many people like to read through their news, opening tabs as they go, and then go through the tabs that they opened.

Tip: How to cancel refreshing

When NetNewsWire is downloading feeds, and you want to cancel downloading—type cmd-period.

Another way to cancel the refresh session is to open the Activity Window—which you can do by clicking on the progress indicator in the bottom left of the main window—and click the Cancel All button. You can also cancel individual feed refreshes in the Activity Window.

Tip: How to see all the latest items at once

NetNewsWire has a special, built-in subscription that includes all the unread items. New items screenshot

It’s kind of like a super-group in that it shows news items from anywhere in NetNewsWire.

Choose View > Show New Items Subscription to show it. It will appear at the top of your subscriptions list, with a green globe icon.

Tip: Use the Help Book

NetNewsWire comes with an extensive Help book. Choose Help > NetNewsWire Help to open it.

The Help book is also searchable. Type a question (or a keyword or two) into the search field at the top of the window and hit return.

If you need to find something, the Help book is the first place to look.

Startups Are Missing the Mac Opportunity

Business 2.0: “The startup buzz is back in the Valley. Entrepreneurs are at work again, dreaming up new ideas and new ways of doing old things. And even as they put their neurons through a grueling test, they are still hanging on to conventional notions of platforms and market share.”

WWDC 2005 Weblogger Dinner

Sci-Fi Hi-Fi:: “Please RSVP to Buzz if you plan to come!” The dinner will be at The Thirsty Bear this year.

AppleScripting Xcode

Rogue Amoeba: “Updating each one by hand, which I’ve done in the past, gets to be real painful after about the third one. Luckily, Xcode has an amazingly complete AppleScript dictionary.”

httpflow; tcpflow parser to help debug http

Bill Bumgarner: “A really long time ago, Ben Holt and I wrote a little python script that parses the output of tcpflow and reconstructs HTTP conversations from the raw data. Furthermore, it can easily be configured to detect and display or exclude specific headers as well as optionally squelching the body of the HTTP request/repsonses.”

Tasks Pro 1.5 and Tasks 2.5 “The new features added in 1.5/2.5 are partly from the original planned evolution for the products, but were also shaped by the wonderful feedback I’ve received over the last year.” New features include recurring tasks, task templates, favorites, new themes, and more.

Podcast Shuffle

Manton Reece: “Podcast Shuffle is an RSS feed with randomly selected podcasts. Each item is a direct link to the most recent enclosure for a particular show.”

The Builders of Basecamp

O'Reilly Network interviews Jason Fried of 37signals: “We built Basecamp because we needed it. I’m a big believer in investing in what you know and what you need. We invested our time, energy, and focus into building a product that we knew we needed to run our own business. When you build what you know, and when you use what you build, you’ve got a head start on delivering a breakout product.”

Managing Podcasts with AppleScript “In my last entry on the subject of podcasts, I mentioned that I was planning on writing an AppleScript to help me manage the podcasts to which I subscribe. That AppleScript—my first—is now complete.”

Getting Things Done with Your Mac “Being a smug Mac user is one thing, but even the smuggest of us (including me) have problems staying organized.”

Inside Ranchero with Brent and Sheila Simmons

The DrunkenBlog interview on NetNewsWire, MarsEdit, Apple’s dark years, frisbees, user interface, and coffee.


Nick Matsakis: “PodcastBuddy is an appscript that uses NetNewsWire 2, iTunes, and the Notes Reader on iPods to create iPod Notes for Podcast feeds. PodcastBuddy creates a note on your iPod for each podcast feed in NetNewsWire which has unheard programs.”

Import Linked MP3s into iTunes script This AppleScript script “will download all links from the currently selected item in NetNewsWire that end in .mp3, import them into iTunes, then trash them.”


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