Posted on October 5th, 2009 by Neil Crosby. Filed under Blog Posts.
I’ve been a NetNewsWire user since I first bought a mac about five years ago. It’s always been a nice, usable piece of software for me, and I’ve enjoyed using it. So, after I wiped and reinstalled Snow Leopard last week after a botched upgrade (I was getting lots of beachballing) I once again reinstalled NetNewsWire. Unfortunately I had a few woes doing so.
Now, it turns out that a week or two ago NetNewsWire was updated to include syncing with Google Reader (since it no longer syncs with NewsGator’s services), and one of the steps you’re asked to go through whilst installing is to link to a Google account to turn this syncing on. Fair enough, that makes sense. So, I linked to my Google account. It may or may not be important at this juncture to note that I’d never used this Google account with Google Reader before, so the account was fairly pristine for these purposes.
Before installing NetNewsWire on my new machine I’d made sure that I’d exported all the feeds that I was following to a grouped OPML file so that I’d be able to easily reimport them later. Pretty sensible, especially when you’re following a couple of hundred feeds – I wouldn’t want to have to resubscribe to all of them again manually! So, once I’d linked the Google account to my new NetNewsWire install I reimported the OPML file. Here comes woe number one – everything I imported was placed inside an “Imported on 29/09/09″ folder. Not the worst thing in the world to happen, and it was easy enough to drag everything out of that folder and back up to the root level, but it would have been nice to have had the option for that not to have happened. Likewise, since I was doing this import from a clean state (I’d previously deleted all the feeds that get activated by default) it would have been nice for NetNewsWire to have realised I was probably restoring to a known good state and not put everything into this sub folder.
Unfortunately this wasn’t my biggest woe. After importing the OPML and refreshing everything using the “Refresh all” button in the app, I apparently had no unread items. “Fair enough”, I thought. “That’s probably a design decision to stop you from feeling overwhelmed when you first start subscribing to things”. The problem was that several hours after this I still had no unread items in NetNewsWire. At this point I was becoming a little concerned that something wasn’t right, and went to log into the Good Reader web interface. Lo and behold, I saw a list of folders that mirrored those in NetNewsWire, but none of these folders contained any feeds! Going back to NetNewsWire I decided to have a dig through the preferences panel, and had a look at the “Syncing” pane. Right in the middle of this pane was the ominous text “If you’re just turning on syncing now, you should Merge Subscriptions”. Now, I wasn’t just turning on syncing then – I’d linked the account when I installed NetNewsWire, and the “Sync with Google Reader” checkbox was already ticked – but it couldn’t hurt to push the button, could it? And it didn’t. As soon as I’d manually pushed the button to merge subscriptions NetNewsWire started pulling in new news items, and I was happy.
My theory is that if you import from OPML then for whatever reason the code to sync with Google Reader doesn’t get triggered. So, if you have issues with NetNewsWire not seeming to update your feeds, then try doing a quick manual merge.
PS This post was written on the train – yay!
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