Vienna – An Open Source NewsReader For The Macintosh

Screenshot of Vienna News Reader

I had mentioned in a post earlier this year that I have outsourced many of the tools that I use to third party vendors. Google Reader was one of the applications that I started using.

Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the “river of news” type of newsreaders, and would rather see a list of sites that I can categorize under folders that I can check conveniently. When I was on Windows, I used FeedDemon after hearing about it from Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and I really liked the application a lot. It was perfect for me.

Since moving to the Mac though, I’ve been unable to find something as easy for me to use as FeedDemon, so I’ve just made due with Google Reader.

That is, until I found Vienna.

Vienna is an open source RSS news reader for the Apple Macintosh. It has a feature set comparable to Feed Demon. It also supports “Smart Folders”, which are a way of defining search criteria to automagically group posts based on filter criteria.

The reader also supports tabbed browsing, using WebKit – really nice if you are looking for “continuity of experience” – not having to jump from app to app in order to finish a unit of work.

I was able to pull my current subscriptions from Google Reader as an OPML file and import them straight into Vienna. No muss, no fuss. The application is very stable, I’ve found no bugs or issues that have gotten in my way since starting to use it a couple of weeks ago – and I find it much more to my liking than Google Reader was. I can look for specific site updates without scrolling all over the place or trying to figure out keyboard shortcuts. There are too many features to list here without being redundant, but their site has a list of the features included in the application, so check it out if your curious.

The best part about Vienna is that the source code is available. If you don’t like something, you can tweak it.

I’ve had a very positive experience with this news reader and recommend it highly to anyone looking for a news reader for Mac OS X.

What Corporate Projects Should Learn from Open Source

Aside

OnLamp had an excellent article yesterday called What Corporate Projects Should Learn from Open Source. The articles pretty long, but well worth the read. While there are obvious differences in the two types of projects (like budgets and deadlines), I still believe that corporations can move closer to the OSS model of development and get major productivity increases.

Transparent Commodity Infrastructure and Web 2.0

Tom the Architect pointed me over to this article called Transparent Commodity Infrastructure and Web 2.0. Excellent piece.

I especially like this quote here:

Let me use an example: back in 1998 if you were building a web-based startup, you were probably running on Solaris/SPARC and using an Oracle database. You were also likely to be running on some sort of a Java servlet engine (though there were exceptions, this was again the leading edge). This huge apparatus usually required at least 1 of the following: DBA, sys-admin, release manager, and build manager– nevermind all of the consultants and vendor people that it took to solve problems that arose from trying to get everything working together.

Fast forward to 2005. Anyone still using Solaris/SPARC for web apps is either a moron or a depressed Sun shareholder. MySQL and Postgres are now considered “enterprise-grade,” and if you should be so masochistic as to still want to do Java development on the app-tier, you’ve got Tomcat, Jetty, and even JBOSS available to you on your platform of choice.

I couldn’t agree more. So many companies stuck in the 90’s … excellent article and worth a full read.