Emacs 23 is finally released!

Hurray! The latest version of the Emacs Operating system … erm text editor has been released today. The new version is at 23.1 and has a lot of goodies packed. The three features I am looking forward to the most are:

  1. Native transparency
  2. Easy sizing of the font display via C-x C-+ and C-x C–
  3. Full unicode support!!

The third one is going to be most useful in the long run – with an easy ability to use the editor for texts in my native language and script. MULE was a workable option – but clunky compared to the solution in this release.

The build and install on OSX went smooth, after the usual CVS update followed by ./configure and make. Remember to use the –with-ns switch for the ./configure invocation.

Happy Emacsen!


Moving away from NetNewsWire RSS Reader

So today morning I got an email from http://www.newsgator.com, makers of the excellent NetNewsWire RSS Reader for OS X. NetNewsWire was originally a paid for application and a best of the breed at that. It was made a free download last year and has been my primary RSS Reader till date.

The main USP I found in NetNewsWire was the companion http://www.newsgator.com/ngs/subscriber/WebEd2.aspx online RSS feed aggregator site, and the excellent synchronization between the local client and the web edition. This basically meant that I could read RSS feeds where I wanted to – even when away from the OSX laptop, and my reading history would be in sync when I fired up the OSX client. Heck, there was even a iPhone client to do the same sync up.

However, the email communication now states that the online version of the aggregator will no longer be available from 31st August, and the new client version (currently a beta at 3.2b6) will sync with Google Reader. This should be business as usual – right? And Google’s RSS reader is also a very strong web based client, with lots of AJAX goodies to make the browsing experience pleasant.

BUT – the new local client now displays advertisement on the lower left corner – which is very intrusive and annoying. I do understand the need to monetize a free client using occasional and unobtrusive advertisements – but the current implementation seems to be more of “in your face”.

The google sync does work fine and the initial setup is pretty seamless and fast. But the deal breaking advertisements still remain.

Sigh … time to start looking for a replacement client now … Vienna seems to a good candidate.