incanus77 2 months ago

NNW was the first software I bought immediately after I switched to the Mac in 2002. It was great then, had some ups and downs, and is fantastic now and 'boring' in the best possible way. Extremely stable and fast, it is the epitome of what native software on the Mac should be. And it's open source!

Also, Brent is a top notch human being. Huge inspiration to me going indie originally to write Mac software in 2006.

kitsunesoba 2 months ago

Been using the newer rewrite (6.x I think) for the past couple of years and it's been great. It's lightweight, snappy, and doesn't bog down over time like many RSS reader apps tend to. Its UI is all standard AppKit/UIKit and is designed more to be useful than to look pretty or act as branding. All around great.

  • kstrauser 2 months ago

    Took the words out of my mouth. It’s in my favorite category of “boring software” that chugs away, doing what it’s suppose to do, requiring no maintenance or other attention. Its UI is simple and elegant, with no missing or extra complicating features.

    Thanks, NNW team! I love your work!

    • vincode 2 months ago

      "Boring software" is a great complement! You should be focused on the content you are reading and not the app you are reading it in.

    • mvonballmo 2 months ago

      Also worth nothing, if you have multiple machines: the cloud-sync works flawlessly. Just boring.

  • selfhoster69 2 months ago

    Yup, glad there's no SwiftUI here.

    • vincode 2 months ago

      We do use SwiftUI when appropriate. You just can't tell when we do.

      A few years ago we did try to port the main interface to SwiftUI, but it just wasn't ready yet. In a couple more years, maybe it will be time to try again.

grahamjpark 2 months ago

I’ve found that many sites these days have an RSS feed, but don’t advertise it. I’ll come across a site with no mention of it, and then just start trying urls to see if any work. For example:

/feed

/blog/rss

/rss.xml

I wager whatever content management system they’re using automatically creates it.

  • noveltyaccount 2 months ago

    View source and search for "link"

    <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" href="http://www.example.com/rssfeed.xml" />

    • treve 2 months ago

      Browsers used to put a RSS button front and center when this link appeared in a body. I'm grateful the link is still often embedded even as there's less motivation to do so.

      Many RSS readers will just find this link tag, so often you don't need view source, they'll do this step for you.

  • vincode 2 months ago

    NetNewsWire will scan for those and find them for you. NetNewsWire has a Share extension that you can use directly from Safari or most any app that supports sharing a URL. The Share extension hands the URL off to the main NetNewsWire app that will try a series of common RSS feed locations if it can't find it as an alt link in the page source.

  • lurtbancaster 2 months ago

    There are Firefox extensions that do this automatically, giving you that convenient RSS icon beside the URL, that you may then use to either read the feed directly in Firefox or copy-paste into your feed reader of choice.

    Livemarks - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/livemarks/

    Want my RSS - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/want-my-rss/

    Easy to RSS - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/easy-to-rss/

    There may be Chromium alternatives too but I don't use Chromium.

  • boxed 2 months ago

    Normally you can just throw the site into your reader and it will find that link automatically. So you don't have to worry about that stuff.

  • rambambram 2 months ago

    Yeah, I found that too, when I was building my Really Social Sites module for Hey Homepage (a DIY website system). I think we have to mostly thank WordPress for all the existing - but unadvertised - feeds!

  • okasaki 2 months ago

    Does the Google RSS Subscription extension do this kind of detection? If not, this would be good to add.

  • Eric_WVGG 2 months ago

    I regularly email site-admins/support-staff when I come across that, along with the actual text of a `<link />` tag. Just about every time they come through!

njsubedi 2 months ago

Wow, this app has presented RSS reader as a cool new app in the market. Kudos to whoever wrote the copy for the landing page. I’m convinced to give it a try to experience a “synced” experience because I don’t have a RSS feed reader on my phone. I use Thunderbird on my mac for mail and RSS feeds because everything I need to read is right there in the same app.

  • tobr 2 months ago

    It might be cool, but definitely not new! It just turned 20. https://netnewswire.com/history

    • bigiain 2 months ago

      Yeah, I remember it from way back. I can’t recall why I stopped using it, I’ve been using Feedly for RSS for 5 or 10 years now.

      • epistasis 2 months ago

        I switched from NNW to something else, I think something that synced with mobile perhaps, but was based on Google's RSS infrastructure.

        And then Google killed their RSS infrastructure, and I stopped using RSS entirely.

        I am mostly to blame in this, for trusting Google, but at least it was a lesson on something like RSS instead of something absolutely essential, like email. I soon transitioned away from Google for all essential internet services, and will never depend upon them again for anything.

        • kaushikc 2 months ago

          Any service of Google that is not considered as a core by them cannot be relied upon at all.

    • njsubedi 2 months ago

      Of course! I meant the same.

      > It’s like podcasts — but for reading.

  • vincode 2 months ago

    Brent Simmons did the copy and is an amazing writer. He doesn't write publicly as much as he used to, but his back catalog on inessential.com is very entertaining and informative.

  • alexchantavy 2 months ago

    +1 about the well written copy. What's old is new again :). Maybe people will return back to individual hobby forums/BBSs. A long time ago I used to RSS subscribe to individual forums instead of relying on FB or Reddit. I do like Reddit for the most part but hate how only recent threads have any kind of visibility.

gumby 2 months ago

The feature that didn’t make the jump into the rewrite for me was filters. Can you now make your own “smart feeds”? I subscribe to a lot of feeds but a bunch of predefined filters makes it quick to get to the good stuff.

Instead I use ReadKit but in its recent rewrite the filters (“Smart Folders”) didn’t make it either so I am stuck on the older version.

  • schluete 2 months ago

    I'm curious, can you describe your ideas for filters/smart feeds a little more, or link to an older version of NNW that supported what you're looking for?

    • SllX 2 months ago

      https://web.archive.org/web/20090917224701/http://www.newsga... (Click on [Features])

      Some highlights from NNW 3.2:

      > Smart Lists: Gather news from all your feeds based on your criteria. It's like smart playlists in iTunes - only for news instead of music.

      > Search-Result Subscriptions: Make special subscriptions that display results from search engines or from keyword searches.

      > Scripted Feeds: Generate custom RSS and Atom feeds via AppleScript, Perl, Python, Ruby, and other scripting languages.

      Not sure which of these features the parent was referring to but in NetNewsWire 3.2 you had options.

      • gumby 2 months ago

        Yes, smart lists. So, example when news about the Queen flooded my feeds, I made “smart feed” (in ReadKit) that matched `not read && (“title contains Queen” || “title contains Royal” …)` similar to a “smart mailbox” in apple mail, and using the mac’s system widget for generating such filters.

        That way I could quickly scan down the list, read any I wanted to (few — they were mostly the same) and then mark all as read with a couple of keystrokes.

        I have a huge “Junk” filter (podcasts, stories about movies, other crud I don’t want) that I scan first and mass-mark-as-read. I have topic-selective “feeds” like the Ukraine war, climate change, etc.

        In fact I read my feeds almost exclusively using these topic filters, and only at the end look at the remaining unread. Much more convenient. It’s especially handy if you read a bunch of, say, NYT feeds as they cross post a lot. So I’ll see four or more NYT articles that are the same but not all posted at the same time and were posted in business, technology, science, etc. I just read one (or mine) and easily nuke the rest right away.

    • benhurmarcel 2 months ago

      Personally I'd just want to blacklist some words. Say for one feed, if "whatever" is in the title don't show that article (or set it as read simply).

jen729w 2 months ago

Happy user here, with the marvellous Feedbin as the sync back-end.

Feedbin's website is really, really nice if you want to check your feeds on the go.

  • themadturk 2 months ago

    Yes! I use Feedbin on the back end, and their site for reading on Windows. On Mac and iPhone/iPad, it's NNW and Feedbin all the way.

  • grahamjpark 2 months ago

    Love Feedbin! Best money I spend

  • mjmsmith 2 months ago

    Agreed, for me it’s the closest thing to Reeder for the browser.

awill 2 months ago

What’s the best cross platform solution? I use iOS, Max and Linux. Is there a good cross platform app, or maybe native apps in each with central sync?

  • themadturk 2 months ago

    Pay for a Feedbin account ($5US a month). It provides the feeds for NetNewsWire on Apple devices and has a decent web interface of its own; it's how I read RSS when I'm not on a Mac or iDevice.

  • juniperplant 2 months ago

    I had been using Miniflux for little less than a year. If you don't want to bother with self-hosting, there's a hosted option.

    https://miniflux.app/

  • nopcode 2 months ago

    FreshRSS as a self-hosted server.

    NNW for Apple devices and NewsFlash for linux.

  • xnacly 2 months ago

    I would probably recommend feedly, its okay but not the best

    • olex 2 months ago

      You can use NNW with a Feedly account. Then you can still use the web UI or other clients on non-Mac platforms, and your feeds are kept in sync everywhere.

thom 2 months ago

Reinstalled this on iOS and resurrected my Feedly account. Bit of a wasteland to be honest. Lots of corporate feeds remain and what you would have called A-listers in the days of the peak blogosphere. But so many obscure jewels seem to have gone quiet. So it goes.

aendruk 2 months ago

> It’s like podcasts — but for reading.

The irony of this statement is astonishing. How did it come to this!

nbzso 2 months ago

Wow. I still have a license for NNW. Good for them to promote RSS. Will give it a spin:) Thanks for not binding the download only to Apple Store. The only gripe that I had with NNW is the lack of keyboard shortcuts customization.:)

saltymimir 2 months ago

Save for the fact that it doesn't support non-Apple platforms, NNW is pretty much perfect for me. No upsells of extra features or even a need to create an account. Just a very good, clean, and simple reader.

  • mrzool 2 months ago

    The focus on just one platform is the best selling point for me. I love 100% native Mac apps.

tunnuz 2 months ago

This used to be my RSS reader, good times. I loved to exchange blog recommendations with friends, and spending an hour or two a day reading what people I respected wrote about topics I cared about. Social media democratized idea sharing, but it turns out that there is just too much information to digest if you have to read everyone, also of course greed got in the way and we’re not optimizing for good writing anymore, but for ad performance.

john2x 2 months ago

I use this to subscribe to subreddit feeds (could really be any RSS reader though). Instead of doomscrolling all the time, I get the 25 hot posts and that's it.

  • grahamjpark 2 months ago

    I just got all my favorite YouTube channels added to my RSS reader (although I use Feedbin directly instead of NNW). I hadn’t thought about doing the same for Reddit!

  • scarface74 2 months ago

    I use NNW on my iPad to subscribe to subreddits in split screen mode with Reddit on the other half.

    You can click on the date of the subreddit post in NNW and it opens in Reddit. NNW keeps track of what I already read.

    It’s like being back in the Usenet days using “nn”.

    https://www.whitman.edu/mathematics/eegtti/eeg_70.html

ashton314 2 months ago

Literally was just catching up on my feeds before hopping on HN. This app is so simple and so good. The Twitter integration is super nice too.

  • nopcode 2 months ago

    The Twitter and Reddit integrations are really great.

    I have all my work-related social media in NNW without the distractions.

selfhoster69 2 months ago

I'm using NNW with FreshRSS on my home server. Great experience across operating systems. Miss the app on Windows and Android.

rrgok 2 months ago

I don't like RSS much. Most of the time RSS shows me the title and sometime it can show me the body too. But I want more: I want a unified interface for the content and the comments. I wish to have a protocol/app that can fetch body and N level deep comments and show me a Firefox Reader Mode like interface.

  • rakoo 2 months ago

    That's how RSS evolved into social. Let comments resurface with the salmon protocol, give some formatting with microformats, ... It's functional, but there's nothing that implements the whole stack. If you want more info on where it is today, check out https://indieweb.org/

    Today this has all been superseded by ActivityPub, rethinking things from the ground up and including everything.

  • jonwinstanley 2 months ago

    The save for later services such as Pocket and Instapaper are closer to this kind of thing aren't they? Put you have to save each article one by one.

  • codepoet80 2 months ago

    Please check out FullTextRSS from Five Filters: https://www.fivefilters.org/full-text-rss/

    They have an OSS version you can host yourself. It fixes the problem of sites not sharing their full text in their feed, by going and scraping the site into a full feed for you.

    • BryantD 2 months ago

      That’s very cool. I’d also recommend RSS-Bridge, which is another OSS self-hosted tool that generates RSS feeds. It might be useful if you’re looking for RSS feeds for non-article oriented sites: there’s a wide array of scrapers built in (Amazon price changes, Apple App Store updates, etc.) and it’s not too hard to add your own if you don’t mind PHP.

sh33sh 2 months ago

Never understood why nobody talks about NewsExplorer https://apps.apple.com/app/id1032668306, the only third party app on my phone that is available on ALL platforms it’s actually insane

  • brycewray 2 months ago

    Possibly some perspective on why NNW gets so much love vs. News Explorer:

    https://www.brycewray.com/posts/2022/04/gems-in-rough-17/#fe...

    • sh33sh 2 months ago

      But NE has safari view controller which supports ad blockers and also Mercury and other parsers. So beside FOSS what’s the downside ? It supports Tv and Watch

      • brycewray 2 months ago

        If you must have compatibility with tvOS and Apple watchOS as well as macOS and iOS/iPadOS, NE certainly will do the job. (Can’t say that I’ve seen it work with ad blockers, but I’ll take your word for it.) As for other parsers, I’m guessing most NE users stick with its default settings, but have no data on which to base that guess.

  • awill 2 months ago

    All? Looks like only apple devices

    • sh33sh 2 months ago

      I meant all Apple devices even the Watch and TV

Witosso 2 months ago

Switched to it from Feedly a few month ago. Great app, really good example of KISS principle.

amself 2 months ago

I wish NNW would support notifications on Mac with the app closed, maybe with a helper that's always running. I use it to get alerts on hardware availability but I don't want it always taking up space on my dock.

  • tannhaeuser 2 months ago

    I'd imagine this could be controversial when RSS is seen as a cure for attention grabbing and doom scrolling by some here who'd appreciate NNW to stay an app that only shows stuff when opened, doesn't lure, and doesn't update all that often.

simonebrunozzi 2 months ago

I see that you can only create an account on your computer (I use a Mac). I will soon take a look at how I can back it up (in addition to my usual time machine stuff).

Is there an option to create an online account that we could trust?

  • lifepillar 2 months ago

    You may create a local account and sync via iCloud. But NNW also supports six online services, and self-hosted FreshRSS. The latter is probably what best answers your question.

    Sent from my NNW :-)

  • HeckFeck 2 months ago

    It would be excellent if it supported NextCloud.

sureglymop 2 months ago

I can recommend Thunderbird as a great RSS reader on any desktop system.

_HMCB_ 2 months ago

Wonder if development has stopped or if it’s simply purring away. A year with only 1 update.

  • tantalic 2 months ago
    • vincode 2 months ago

      The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated…

      • lawgimenez 2 months ago

        Vin is really helpful on GitHub and Slack. Dude is really approachable and willing to help out on anyone willing to contribute to NNW.

        • vincode 2 months ago

          Thanks! I try to be approachable even when I'm not feeling like it. Brent Simmons really believes in community and kindness. I do my best not to let him down.

      • PainfullyNormal 2 months ago

        Is Brent Simmons no longer working on it?

        • vincode 2 months ago

          Brent is very much still active. He is the Founder, Project Manager, Product Manager, Release Manager, and much more for NetNewsWire. He just doesn’t have enough spare time to code as much as he would like.

        • tantalic 2 months ago

          From a quick look at the repository: his last comment on an issue was 8 hours ago and his last commit was in July.

      • cpach 2 months ago

        Haha, awesome. Welcome to Hacker News!

  • cpach 2 months ago

    I’m not sure I would consider that a red flag for this particular project. Both RSS and NetNewsWire are very mature, they’ve been around for about twenty years.

    • tantalic 2 months ago

      I suspect you may know this, but for the sake of others reading the comments, this "version" of NetNewsWire started from the original developer of NetNewsWire (Brent Simmons). NetNewsWire had passed through two other owners and the final owner (BlackPixel) returned the brand back to Brent Simmons who had already started a new, open source RSS reader which has since been known as NetNewsWire 5 (but doesn't share code with the previous versions).

      If you're interested in the full history you can find the details here: https://netnewswire.com/history

jbverschoor 2 months ago

How does RSS combine with a frontpage such as here on HN, or other forums?

tempodox 2 months ago

> AppleScript support

A rare commodity these days.

DavideNL 2 months ago

Or you could also... stop reading the news. And start doing something more creative :-)

"Internet addiction and the habit of book reading" : https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29601573

  • njsubedi 2 months ago

    Even if you’re doing something creative, wouldn’t it be nice to follow some blogs that publish content related to your work? That way you don’t have to regularly check for new posts.