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Changing Applications as frequently as underpants.

Not too long ago I ranted about Twitter clients and RSS readers and eventually stated, that I’ll go on using Socialite for Twitter and NetNewsWire for RSS reading.

Also, I stated that Safari is just not right for me – for various reasons.

Well… during the last days I pulled at least two 180’s.
I abandoned NetNewsWire and I switched to Safari. And here’s why…

After having used NetNewsWire for a couple of weeks, I noticed more and more things I just wasn’t happy with. Maybe there are ways to work around these issues – but then I didn’t find them.
First of all, I really like Google Reader’s capability of sharing articles I like. I use this for myself (like bookmarks) and also have put up a „What I’m reading“ section in the left column of my website. You can even subscribe to „What I’m reading“ via RSS – and some people actually decided to do so.
In NetNewsWire, I couldn’t find any way to keep sharing articles.
Also, I noticed that NetNewsWire seems to have a tendency to „forget“ to display or even fetch new articles. So sometimes, a number would appear next to a feed, indicating that it has new items for me to read. If I clicked on that feed, nothing new would appear. Then I went to reader.google.com to check, and found the new items.
The last thing I found annoying about NetNewsWire: I’m subscribed to a lot of feeds. Google Reader has this neat feature to not show me feeds with no new items, which really helps to improve my reading experience – and my motivation.
I decided to drag NetNewsWire.app to the trash bin.

GRUML to the rescue!
The Gruml guys caught me with this: „Gruml allows you to view and manage your feed subscriptions of your Google Reader account on Mac OS X.
Read your newsfeeds, manage them in folders, tag them, and much more – all in sync with your Google Reader account.“
And it really does all those things and even more!
I can share articles, I can „star“ them and I even can „like“ them.
GRUML lets me post Notes with my shared items.
And I can even tweet articles directly from within the App without any scripting!
And that’s not nearly all: I can hide those feeds with no new items and, like NetNewsWire to be fair, comes with an integrated web browser, so that I don’t have to switch apps in order to read a full article from feeds where only excerpts are deliverd.
Gruml even has some cool features, I don’t even use. Like integration with Digg, Delicious, Facebook, Instapaper and more social services.
I really love Gruml – and I do think that this time it’s for real. 🙂

With Safari it all went down differently. As stated before, I really like Firefox and, for me, it has no real shortcomings that annoy me enough to make the switch.
Safari, however, has one incentive I couldn’t resist: HTML5 implementation. And to be more specific: HTML5 on YouTube. No more flash player using up incredible amounts of both, memory and CPU cycles. By now, Firefox sadly doesn’t support this.
Now that I really wanted to switch to Safari, I invested some more time and finally found a solution to my ad-blocking problem. The last time I tried to switch, I found glimmerblocker to be the best plugin/application/script to free me from ads on the web. I then decided not to use glimmerblocker, because it is nothing but a local proxy server and all traffic would be piped through it, bypassing my local firewall, LittleSnitch.
With Safari aDBlocker I found a solution that works similar to AdBlock Plus for Firefox.
The real killer with this one: it supports AdBlock Plus subscriptions. So with Safari aDBlocker, I actually see the web (close to) exactly the way I used to see it with Firefox and AdBlock Plus.

The last thing Safari lacks now in order to be „perfect“ for me: an alternative to Firebug. But for now I can live with having to open up Firefox once in a while to debug webpages.

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