Adding Yahoo! Saving Tools to NetNewsWire

NetNewsWire is my RSS newsreader of choice. Originally developed by Ranchero Software, it is now owned and under active development by NewsGator. Built from the group up with AppleScript support, NetNewsWire allows non-NewsGator employees to enhance the application with simple scripts; due to this foresight, several enhancements (such as the “Post to del.icio.us” action available on any item) have managed to find their way to users even before the developer rolled them into the product.

It was actually this “Post to del.icio.us” addition that got me to thinking: why not add Yahoo!’s other two bookmarking tools as well? Shortly after experimenting with del.icio.us, Yahoo! released MyWeb: a competitor to the public bookmarking/tagging tool which accommodated privacy, page caching, and prioritization of saved pages on Yahoo! search results. And it was this last feature (search prioritization) that has kept me a MyWeb user, as opposed to the ever-popular del.icio.us. (Since the release of two upgrades to the MyWeb service, Yahoo! Bookmarks 2.0 has begun rolling out in beta with an improved interface and folder categorization as well as tagging, although all entries saved are private-only.)

So, how to add these tools, too, to NetNewsWire? Repeated efforts of modifying the original del.icio.us AppleScript (among others) resulted in some half-working tools: items in an RSS feed could be posted, but the URLs of the Safari/WebKit-rendered tabs’ pages were ignored. Sadly, that’s where I would generally find the interesting pages I wanted to bookmark.

Then, I happened to discover Deeje Cooley’s “Tag This” for NetNewsWire script example. Magic. By stripping the code back down to a similar construct as the original del.icio.us scripts and adding the appropriate URLs, I got to a working solution. Now, when I find an RSS feed item or browse to a page that I want to save to one of these services, I can simply select my script in the NetNewsWire script menu. Immediately, Safari (or whichever Web browser you have selected as your default) will fire open in the background with tag and note entry fields ready for quick saving.

Want to try them out yourself? Download them today, un-ZIP, and move into

˜/Library/Application Support/NetNewsWire/Scripts/

before firing up NetNewsWire. You can download the files here:

Unfortunately, these scripts don’t seem to work with NetNewsWire Lite, the free (albeit with a somewhat reduced feature set) counterpart to its non-Lite sibling. That may be more of a limitation of my knowledge of scripting, though, than a real NetNewsWire Lite limitation.

Next up is seeing if I can get this to work for Vienna, which is an open-source newsreader that has already seen some good work on extending the application.



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