One of my biggest frustrations with NetNewsWire was that it scaled horribly. When starting the application, it would take several minutes to load -- not to refresh the feeds, but just to load all the feeds. My poor MacBook Pro would whirr away from all the work it took, and if on battery would drain it within 10 minutes.
Simply put, it was the laptop killer. I used it only very sparingly, and only when I needed to cull through a zillion posts for my BlogHer Contributing Editor gig.
But on January 9th, NewsGator Technologies updated the application with a major refactoring. Just check out the change notes:
Fixed a bug that prevented automatic sleep for some people.
It’s possible that people who leave NetNewsWire running for hours without interacting with it in some way are having memory use go up and up, since no events are processed and thus autorelease pools are not drained.
See Mike Ash on the subject: http://www.mikeash.com/?page=pyblog/more-fun-with-autoreleas...
I’m following Mike’s advice and posting an NSApplicationDefined event at strategic times, which should drain the pools. We’ll see.
This was a big one for me, bringing my entire computer to a crawl. It was like the 'Book had a virus.
New storage system
A big problem with 3.0 was that each news item was stored as a separate file—and this caused way too much disk access for some people. It was slow. So we took the previous storage system (from NetNewsWire 2.x) and updated it some. News items storage is much, much faster than it was in 3.0.
NetNewsWire now stores the news items for a feed together. One file per feed. This was how NetNewsWire 1 and 2 stored data — so we’re going back.
We’re not going all the way back, though — there have been some changes. It’s not exactly the same.
The first time you run NetNewsWire, it will have to convert old storage to new storage. This may take a few minutes, depending on how much data you have. The next time you run NetNewsWire the startup time should be more normal. (On my machines it’s about a second, but it will be different for different people.)
The changelog is very long indeed. Kudos to NewsGator for truly stepping up! Already I am seeing a huge performance improvement. For one thing, I've written this entire post on battery power, with nearly two hours of time left -- something that was completely impossible before.
And now it's free! (I paid for my license some months ago, but I can't regret paying a company that ends up doing a good deed.)
You can download the now-free NetNewsWire here. This is now truly the #1 RSS reader for OSX, in my book.