I started with RSS and NetNewsWire as an aggregator quite a while ago to keep up with the blogs and other various information sources I wanted to follow. It was the most effective way of keeping up with the developer communities I was interested in. Things progress, change, and generally move – and I moved with RSS to using Google’s Reader – which was really a lovely solution, in that I had a sync’d view of what’s I’d read regardless of the device I was using. Then in 2013, they shut it down.
I was disappointed, but not angry. I was getting a lot of connected news stories from Twitter, LinkedIn, some email newsletters, and even a touch through friends on Facebook. Fast-forward to 2019 and the state of social media has devolved so much that I can’t reliably find recent updates – the timelines aren’t timelines, instead having morphed into tuned and algorithmically calculated ad-feeders. I suppose it was inevitable – trusting those sources to find and gather information, it’s a natural place to monetize with advertising, so of course the providers will optimize that.
A month ago I started the “purge these assholes” from my social media feeds, which was mostly successful. After I stopped following a number of hyperbolic-tending sources, the streams were better. They still didn’t help me learn and find new information – they still weren’t what I wanted and once had.
I was at the Xcoders meetup a month ago, and getting back into doing some IOS and Mac development projects. I knew that Brent had been quietly working on Evergreen, and that recently transformed/renamed to NetNewsWire – now open source and with a working build. It is a development build – so I fully expect things might break, not work, or otherwise have holes, but it was a no-brainer for me. Now it’s installed, in my dock, and getting daily use.
I’m relieved to have a news source that
- is only filtering what I want, when I want
- supports the open web
- isn’t brutally promoting ads into my face.
I’m happy to sort and filter through all the various sources. In fact, I even went through all the blogs listed in IOSDevDirectory and made an IOS Dev OPML file for myself. If you’re so inclined in that direction, feel free to grab it and use it yourself.