I’ve recently decided that I prefer to read and write Google groups messages in my web browser rather than in OS X’s Mail.app. The main reasons are:
- Google Group’s discussion format is a lot easier on the eyes
- I don’t need to keep a copy of every message–that’s what Google’s for
- Mailing list messages (future anachronism?) aren’t as important as personal email
Unfortunately, there’s a big problem with this scheme–now I have to poll the home page of every group I’m interested in to find out if there are any new messages. That ain’t gonna work. Fortunately, the folks at Google are very clever and helpful, and they have provided RSS feeds for every group! Great, so now all I need is a good RSS reader, right? Well, there’s an RSS reader built right into Mail.app… let’s give that a whirl!
First problem: Mail.app doesn’t update the unread counts when new messages become available. Except when it does. Which it does, when you click on the name of the feed. Sometimes. It’s safe to say that I have better things to do than click on the names of all of my feeds constantly.
Second problem: Mail.app ate my feed. Well, the content of the feed, anyway. It helpfully shows me a list of topics in the list view, but when I click on one of the list entries, it shows a blank preview pane. That’s a little less than useful.
So now I’m going to give NetNewsWire a try… again. I used to use it waaaay back when, but ditched it in favor of Bloglines so that I could keep track of the same feeds at home and at work. But there’s a version of NNW for the iPhone that can sync with the version on the desktop. Sounds pretty slick…