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NewsGator has released a Beta update (3.2b6) of NetNewsWire, which is their Mac syndication feed reader. I’ve used NetNewsWire for over a year, and before that I used their FeedDemon syndication reader on Windows. I’ve been very happy with their readers, so when I received the notice of the new version + impending change to their synchronization service, I immediately upgraded.

Here is a snap review.

The UI is unchanged and there are no new features. Q: What new development has Newsgator done with their syndication readers? A: Nothing.

The only change is that it now syncs with Google syndication reader, because they’re nuking their NewsGator Online syndication service. Essentially, it’s now just a front-end to Google Reader. A front-end with a dated UI.

As an extra bonus, it nuked 3/4 of my subscriptions. By, “nuke,” I mean that they flat-out disappeared. Gone. Pffffffffffffft. That’s 3/4 of the subscriptions I have lovingly built up over the years. Thank you, that was swell.

I can easily confuse it by creating folder names containing commas.

I know this is a Beta, but come on.

I’m looking for recommendations for alternative RSS readers. I don’t like web-based readers; I prefer a local application. Any suggestions?

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Update 7/30/09: The NetNewsWire Beta blog has a to-do list for version 3.2. It lists things that don’t work because Google Reader doesn’t support them. Like nested folders, and folders with names containing “certain characters.” The 3.2b6 Beta deletes them with no warning. Brilliant.

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Over the years, I’ve used many website forums and bulletin boards. They’ve been based on a variety of packages, such as phpBB, LiveCloud, or vBulletin. PhpBB is, I think, the reigning king of forum software.

To add a forum to a site, you can use an off-the-shelf system, or roll your own. Casual sleuthing will reveal an assortment of at least 50 some-odd off-the-shelf bulletin board systems, from which you can choose one to run your forum. If you want a bespoke forum, most frameworks provide bits of the necessary functionality, if not entire customizable forum modules. For example, see the Django forum applications or Drupal’s Forum module.

Web forums are OK, but I’ve yet to encounter one that wasn’t clumsy in some way — sometimes, in multiple ways. And you know what? I’ve yet to find one that beats august Usenet, when accessed with a decent reader such as Agent or Unison.

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I’ve used identi.ca micro-blogging for the past five months. I’m switching to twitter.

Why identi.ca?

I was involved with a number of projects at Fisher Communications until last month. Including building a Plone system to be its news sites’ in-house CMS. Our development environment and technology stack were open-source, with only a couple exceptions.

When I worked on our technology roadmap, an early consideration was how to distribute quick (lightweight) intra-team updates. Virtually the entire development team would be within the same building; of those, virtually all would be within one office. The CMS project would eventually reach 10 heads in dev, QA, and operations; plus content creation and advertising traffic control. Other dev or page layout individuals would be on other activities. For all of this, we needed a way to inform each other about daily activities. Daily stand-ups are used for this in a typical XP or Scrum team. (To be fair, stand-ups are used in many different development methodologies, but XP and Scrum have greatly popularized them in the mainstream technical media.)
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I’m launching a new Django-based project at work.  I’ll initially be the sole developer, but I expect it to grow to 10 heads (developers, QA, web designers, operations, and project management) over time.  I hope to start the ball rolling this week, and one of my first decisions is the Source Code Management (SCM) tool.

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I’m puzzled by LinkedIn profile photographs.

I’m certain mine is a minority opinion. LinkedIn added them because, they said, it was their most-requested feature. And the blogosphere’s reaction was generally (uniformly?) positive. The CW was that LinkedIn was responding to Facebook market pressure.

I may identify myself as antediluvian by writing this, but I think this feature is rather odd as it’s been implemented. Read More