Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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399 words

As Nicholas, creator of ICeCoffEE correctly points out

NetNewsWire? Archipelago? Kung-Log? There are many ways to escape the suckitude of writing in a web browser...

So I'll give these another try - my first looks at this kind of application a while ago were rather unsatisfactory, making an unpolished impression and not being much more comfortable than a web browser. Now, of course, Safari has raised the bar a bit higher by including spell-checking in its text-fields that Chimera lacks.

I am just typing this in NetNewsWire's non-light beta version - and it feels quite good - I can see my previous posts and apparently correct them, HTML and links in my text are highlighted and there is spell-checking, which - a nice touch - doesn't mark HTML or URLs as wrong. The typing of text seems to be lagging a bit, though. Probably the code hooking in the text system to highlight the text and modify the spell checking isn't quite optimal yet. I hope they'll resolve this. On the downside, there are specific buttons for bold and italic text, which is probably bad style, and a link button the use of which - including a sheet - seems vastly less efficient to me than typing the appropriate HTML myself.

I would favour NetNewsWire, because I have a copy running anyway to read RSS feeds. I also like the Notepad feature the non-light version offers. The UI still needs a lot of refinement, though:

  1. They forgot the File menu. There may not be much need for one in this kind of application, still it belongs into any app.
  2. It seems like both the Notepad and the Weblog Editor cannot be used without having the toolbar activated. Why don't people learn that toolbars are bad and should be strictly optional for the convenience of the people who actually like wasting their screen real-estate.
  3. Command-Left/Right arrow in the Weblog Editor's text entry field is broken.
  4. The arrangement of menu items is still quite obscure. Why is there a Notepad menu but no Weblog Editor Window? And why are there View and Window menus where a Window menu would suffice?
  5. Probably the Bandwidth Statistics window should be removed. It has a by far too technical and nerdy feel to it.
Still, I consider it a promising application and hope it won't be too expensive once they start selling it.

February 7, 2003, 20:19

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