→ Dr. Drang on RSS

The issue of feature mismatch between a feed reading app and a syncing service is the subject of this post by Brent Simmons. He makes a good argument in favor of having the app and the service tightly integrated and suggests that that might be why Black Pixel is taking so long to add syncing to NetNewsWire. I think Brent’s paternal feelings toward NNW are coloring his judgement. Although having its own customized sync service makes sense in the long run, Black Pixel should have included syncing with one or more of the commonly available services as an interim measure. By having no syncing at all in NNW 4, they’ve made their product irrelevant to the many users who read feeds on two or more devices and will not use a reader that doesn’t sync. They’re going to have to come up with something extremely compelling to get those users to pay attention again.

I completely agree. Maybe Black Pixel will beat everyone else to the Mac with an app that syncs with various RSS service. It not, however, I doubt I will ever give them a second thought.

As an aside, my favorite paragraph from Dr. Drang’s article is actually:

Although the Google Reader site is shut down, the Google Feedfetcher process is still going strong, valiantly visiting sites and grabbing their feeds for no apparent purpose. My site logs show it visiting here hundreds of times today, faithfully doing its job like WALL•E. Will someone at Google remember to flip its switch off?

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