Subscribe to
Posts
Comments
NSLog(); Header Image

Cyndicate Feed Reader Now Available

Cyndicate IconCyndicate, or PulpFiction 2.0 as some might call it, is now available. Previously known as Iris on this blog, Cyndicate brings some pretty nifty features to a PulpFiction-like feed reader1.

Ratings
One of the coolest features is ratings. If we can use Bayesian methods to determine whether email is spam or not, why not apply the same methods to determine how interesting an article is likely to be?! Cyndicate does this. After a little training, the results are often impressive. I recommend everyone download it (or buy it for $29.95) and set up a smart folder that shows unread 4- and 5-star articles right now.

The Name and Icon
I liked the PulpFiction name and icon, but I like Cyndicate's name and icon even more. The icon is distinctive and stands out in the dock. The name and icon weave a little double meaning:

  • Not only does the fedora represent a "press hat," but a fedora is also associated with the mafia.
  • The mafia is perhaps America's most well-known "crime syndicate," and the application helps to collect "syndicated" content.
  • The company name is "Cynical Peak," so changing "syndicate" to "Cyndicate" makes sense on that level as well.

The name was decided upon long before the icon, but credit for thinking of a black fedora goes to John Siracusa of Ars Technica and John Gruber of Daring Fireball.

A Rewrite
Cyndicate, let it be known, uses absolutely no code or resources from PulpFiction. It's been written to take advantage of some of the latest technologies, like CoreData, resolution independence, updated RSS/Atom standards, improved enclosures support, and more. It's faster and does more than PulpFiction could have ever dreamed of doing.

PulpImport
For those loyal users who are still using PulpFiction, an importer is available. It will import your PulpFiction folder structure, articles, subscriptions, and labels. You'll have to recreate your filters and smart folders.

The Company
I'm a small partial owner and operator of Cynical Peak software. Essentially, Brad Miller (formerly of Freshly Squeezed Software) writes the code, and I do almost everything else. Most of Cyndicate's UI and general concept are mine (and date back to PulpFiction), but all the actual work has been Brad's. I'll be handling support, though, and doing as much else as I can to allow Brad to focus on coding. I'm still primarily doing web and software consulting under my own name, not that it matters. But some people ask…

P.S. I still believe my thoughts in this article apply, though I haven't had a chance to re-read that article yet today…

Footnotes

  1. I hate that there really aren't any good names for these things. News Reader sounds like a usenet app, and "feed aggregator" doesn't sound quite right either.

9 Responses to "Cyndicate Feed Reader Now Available"

  1. This is my first time seeing Cyndicate, and my first impression is: WOW.

    You have kept the essence that made PulpFiction what it was, but it is now updated with the newer look & feel of Tiger apps (thinking iTunes and Mail; and not that I like that look & feel, but it is what it is).

    And, ja, it's tons faster than PF in Rosetta (I had no doubt that would be the case).

    I was about to say that it appeared that stylesheets were missing, but that was just that I forgot where the preference was set and what it was called. I'll have to go create one like the old Mail stylesheet, because that's the one I use.

    I'll be buying this one pretty quick. Awesome job, guys!

  2. Thanks Daniel! If you make the mail theme, please post it in the theme forum. I'd like to get a little more community involvement with them then what we had with PF. The forum also contains instructions with all of the keys and options.

  3. First off, congratulations on shipping!

    Second of all, and I don't mean this to be an attack, but what assurances do any of us have that this app will benefit from continued development? PulpFiction got orphaned, and though that was not your fault, I think many users are worried about that happening here again. Do you guys have a plan for continued development and for Cyndicate 2.0?

  4. Hi! What are your plans regarding PF license owners?

    Thanks! =)

  5. Steven Canfield said on August 2, 2007:

    Second of all, and I don't mean this to be an attack, but what assurances do any of us have that this app will benefit from continued development? PulpFiction got orphaned, and though that was not your fault, I think many users are worried about that happening here again. Do you guys have a plan for continued development and for Cyndicate 2.0?

    I doubt many users are worried about that happening again, and Brad and I weren't the ones to "orphan" it. I sold a company that had several products because I got married and bought a house. Those kinds of life changes really only happen once.

    I've written here several times over the dismay, grief, etc. that Don Yacktman's actions (or inactions) have caused me. I wouldn't wish it upon an enemy of mine let alone myself again.

  6. Erik J. Barzeski said on August 2, 2007:

    [I doubt many users are worried about that happening again, and Brad and I weren't the ones to "orphan" it. I sold a company that had several products because I got married and bought a house. Those kinds of life changes really only happen once.

    True. And, I'm just not worried about that happening with a $30 product.

    I realised the other day that I bought WeatherPop 5 years ago for $8. And I still get free updates! It's about time for those authors to make some more money off of me...

  7. Ricardo said on August 2, 2007:

    Hi! What are your plans regarding PF license owners?

    We plan to announce something soon (I'll likely update this comment). It's more Brad's decision than mine, but I've weighed in with my opinion.

    In the meantime, email your PF registration to the support@cynicalpeak.com address and we'll work something out with you.

  8. Steven Canfield said on August 2, 2007:

    First off, congratulations on shipping!

    Second of all, and I don't mean this to be an attack, but what assurances do any of us have that this app will benefit from continued development? PulpFiction got orphaned, and though that was not your fault, I think many users are worried about that happening here again. Do you guys have a plan for continued development and for Cyndicate 2.0?

    As Erik said, we were not the ones who "orphaned" PF. It was the new owner and Erik outlined his reason for selling so I'm not going to rehash that. I do not foresee another sale like that happening, it was a disaster. I plan on sticking with it. Cyndicate (and PF before it) is an app I use all day, every day and I want to see it continue for my own use. I frankly don't like the way the other Mac news readers work. The paradigm Cyndicate uses fits me a lot better than the others.

    Also, take a look at what PulpFiction's development was like when we controlled it. You received 6 updates in less than a year, with some of them containing major new features like smart folders. I'm not making any promises that we'll have the same update frequency with Cyndicate, but you will see them on a fairly regular basis and we have some really cool additions in mind.

  9. [...] really have to thank Erik Barzeski for making the release of Cyndicate happen. It’s really an amazing RSS reader, and I’ve [...]


Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Please abide by the comment policy. Valid HTML includes: <blockquote><p>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, and <a href>. Please use the "Quote Me" functionality to quote comments.