Final words on ecto and NetNewsWire

It’s hard to get back into the swing of things when you’ve been off on vacation. But there are a few left-over items from previous posts that I should finish up.

First, the blogging support tool ecto. I mentioned my ecto tryout here, here, and here. In a nutshell: I tried it, found that it didn’t fit in with my text-files-only-please workflow, but then went back to it because of its support for Technorati tags. I had been unable to get Technorati to recognize my posts using the Movable Type TechnoratiTags plugin, which is supposed to set up tags for each of a post’s MT keywords. The HTML it produced always had the tags laid out the right way, but my posts never showed up on the Technorati pages for those tags. Ecto-written posts, on the other hand, were always indexed under the appropriate tags. I’ve since written a couple of TextMate snippets that allow me to stick the tag stuff into my posts with little hassle, and the posts get indexed just fine. So good-bye ecto, again.

(I’ll post the tag-generating stuff right after I’m done with this.)

Second, the RSS aggregator, NetNewsWire. This is a very well-thought-out piece of software, with keyboard shortcuts that are just right (very important when I’m working on my iBook, as I hate the trackpad) and a smooth overall user experience. After using NNW for a few weeks as my only aggregator, I find it not surprising that I’ve never read a bad review of it. But the acid test is whether I would miss it if I didn’t have it. So I stopped using it at the beginning of the week and went back to Bloglines. Now, Bloglines, being a web application, just can’t have the slick user interface of a native Mac (or MS Windows or X Windows) program. But it doesn’t seem to matter—despite its clear superiority, I don’t miss NNW and won’t be going back to it. For me, at least, it just isn’t superior enough.