I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the software ecosystem on OSX, so I’m always surprised when someone points me at a program I’ve never heard about before, particularly when it’s better than what I’m already using.
Vienna 2.0, the free, open source news aggregator and rss reader from Steve Palmer is fantastic. I’ve said how much I like <del>Ranchero’s</del> NewsGator’s NetNewsWire before, but it has been bogging down with the volume of news I’ve been looking at lately and getting slow, particularly using functions like “Mark All as Read” which sends my hard drive spinning and slows down the rest of the system. It is also commercial, and while reasonably priced for the professional version (particularly when bundled with the MarsEdit blogging program), I still prefer my programs open source and free in principle whenever possible.
Vienna is great. You can import your entire OPML list in and it is fast, lightweight and has a clean, spartan interface so you can see more news and get through it quicker. It is non nonsense and built for people who need to keep up with a lot of newsfeeds and the infoglut it creates.
Vienna sorts well with the way I work. I generally pick a feed, scan the headlines and then check to see if anything is a must read. Sometimes reads get flagged for later checking. Then I “Mark All as Read”
Vienna makes this super fast and easy. I believe it may be the fact it uses the SQLite DB engine rather than XML files (like NNW does). It also supports flagging, Smart Groups, Folder organization and password authentication for people with secure rss feeds you have access to.
You can have functionality extended via Applescript (in fact, I’ve already [contributed an Applescript(http://www.opencommunity.co.uk/vienna_files.html) so I can take articles I read and blog them directly into MarsEdit, my favourite blogging app)
So far, it seems to be a more than worthy replacement for the commercial NetNewsWire I’m using.