After a couple of days of use, I’m really liking NewsFire. It’s only at version 0.21, so it has a few rough edges, but it does a whole lot of the little things right.
Excellent autodiscovery support. You can subscribe to feeds either by:
<HEAD>, and scrape the HTML looking for feeds in pages that don’t.
Per-feed update intervals. There are still some minor nits, but it’s smart enough to use the information provided in the feed if it’s present.
Per-feed persistence settings. You can tell it whether or not to store old entries on a per-feed basis. In practice, this works great: I usually want weblog entries to be stored persistently, while things like weather feeds, BBC news feeds, and the like to be transient.
Humane interface. There’s very little clutter, just a two paned window with a list of feeds on the left and a space to display feed indexes and articles on the right. You can configure it to sort feeds either by newest content or most unread articles. In perhaps the coolest touch, it visually shuffles the feeds as new items comes in, with audible feedback.
Of course it does the basic things expected of every OS X aggregator: it uses Webkit for display, imports and exports OPML, supports all the extant RSS variants plus Atom, etc.
At least for now, it’s free.
The programmers of old were mysterious and profound. We cannot fathom
their thoughts, so all we do is describe their appearance.
Aware, like a fox crossing the water. Alert, like a general on the
battlefield. Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests. Simple, like uncarved
blocks of wood. Opaque, like black pools in darkened caves.
Who can tell the secrets of their hearts and minds?
The answer exists only in the Tao.
— Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”