wars refuse to die. After being a very satisfied two-year monagomous
relationship with Safari, recently we have been having an on-again, off-again
affair with Firefox. Now Safari, perhaps aware that her sheen and sparkle
had started to fade, has come back with a vengance by embracing today’s
sexiest new technology – RSS! Check it out:
Apple has turned Safari, the Mac OS X Web browser, into an RSS reader.
Combining RSS with the browser makes overwhelming sense, because you
don’t have to flip back and forth between the headlines in one program
and the full articles in your Web browser. (Firefox, an outstanding free
browser for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, integrates RSS feeds in a very
similar way, although without as much flexibility as what you’re about
Here’s how life with Safari works. Any time you see an RSS logo appear
in the address bar, Safari is telling you that you’ve stumbled onto a
Web page that offers an RSS feed. (That’s handy, because it’s not always
easy to tell if a page does or not.) Of course, you can also seek out
RSS sites using Web sites like Feedster.com and Technorati.com.
If you click the RSS button, you enter Safari’s RSS-reading view: a scrolling "front
page" containing all of the tidbits (articles, blog entries) from
that Web page. A clever Article Length slider expands or shrinks all
entries simultaneously, from full-length articles, with photos, to headlines
only. Searching and sorting controls await at the right side.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Exactly as in Firefox, you can
bookmark this RSS feed. From now on, your Bookmarks menu (or Bookmarks
bar) lets you know how many new articles have been published on the Web
site you subscribed to – you’ll see, for example, "NYtimes.com
(7)" – so you don’t waste time visiting pages where there’s nothing
If you drag several of these bookmarks into a single bookmark folder
– because they’re all on one related topic, like tech gadgets – you gain
a new option: a View All RSS Articles command that sprouts from that
folder. Now ALL of your RSS subscriptions appear on a single, neatly
consolidated page. On my Safari bookmark bar, for example, I have a folder
called Tech that shows me, at a glance, all the new entries from Engadget,
Gizmodo, NYTimes.com and, of course, my own Pogue’s Posts – all
on a single page.
But wait, there’s more! Suppose you now search this master page for something
that interests you: "Treo," or "HDTV," or whatever.
Safari hides all entries except those that match – and now you can bookmark
In essence, you’ve now built yourself a self-updating, personal clipping
service. With one click, you make Safari display all the articles, from
the Web sites you consider relevant, that pertain to a topic that interests
you. It’s a fantastic way to keep tabs on a sports team, movie star,
company or whatever.
We’re not sure we understand all that, but we are raring to try, especially
since our Manila RSS aggregator has been misbehaving something awful
email from David Pogue
Pogues article on the new Mac OS – Tiger