Am I going to have to write my own news reader?

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I have been using PulpFiction to read RSS feeds ever since it came out. It has some really nice features. It also has a number of flaws. It tends to randomly crash every once in a while or spew out random error messages that force you to quit. It also eats up system resources. It eats a lot. It also seems to get slower and slooower and sloooooooower as you collect more data. Marking all items in a folder as read takes forever and is not an easy hotkey. For instance, my LiveJournal friends feed has 201 items and often takes a second or two to move from one article to the next. I dug into the app a bit and discovered that it holds everything in an embedded SQL database. The way PulpFiction behaves, I would be willing to bet that it works on the database directly, without caching anything. On the one hand, I can kind of sort of see using a SQL database. On the other, Apple's Mail application uses standard flat mail files (but also build up binary index files that sit alongside) and it works quite fast (well, up to a few thousand messages per mailbox; my spambox has 14K items and can be a bit sluggish). Add into this a lot of missing or awkward hot keys: no hotkey for “mark all in this folder as read,” no hotkey for “go to next unread folder” (there *IS* one for “go to next folder,” but it takes about 5 seconds to traverse from one folder to the next).

Anyway, I gave it plenty of chance, but will have to switch back to NewNewsWire. Maybe I will drop the NNW folks a quick note and ask if it might be possible to add some kind of persistent history–even if it is as simple as dumping items into text-based log files.

Posted in: Dear Diary

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