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PulpFiction Response

PulpFiction has received a largely positive response. I'm always amused by this type of thing because, well, the darn thing ain't out yet! However, not all responses are positive. Let's have a look at a skeptic's thoughts

Looks like there may be a couple of interesting features- filters, perhaps- but it'll take a bit to convince me to shift…

We're entering a market with mature, popular software. We know this and believe that we're ready for it.

I'm unconvinced that lifting your UI straight from Apple's Mail is a great idea, but then I think that it's a fairly crap email application anyway, which seems to be a fairly minority viewpoint.

We're not unconvinced. Though I appreciate the power of Entourage or other email applications, the vast majority of Mac OS X users use either AOL (ugh) or Mail. AOL is certainly nothing after which to model yourself, so Mail got the nod. "Intuitive" is a funny game: different people find different things intuitive. There are a variety of feed aggregators out there, and about four different models. We wanted to take a fresh approach based on the idea that feeds are almost like being subscribed to a mailing list.

…includes syncing, which PulpFiction (why the intercap? What's wrong with spaces?) doesn't seem to do. (Admittedly it's a bit unfair comparing one unreleased product with a possible future product. Ho hum.)

If you copy your database from one computer to the other, you've got all of the synchronization you need. Preferences are stored in a different folder, so one machine can check every 30 minutes, and another every few hours if you'd like, each with unique stylesheets (etc.).

Why the InterCap? Because searches on Google for "Pulp Fiction" would be far more likely to return results for a movie than for our software. Search Google for "PulpFiction" and you'll see we've already jumped up in the listings.

One of the commenters (Raena) says 'if it can import an OPML file, it can import stuff from [other aggregators].' Pet rant, here, but OPML is fucking shite. It seems that, despite the fact it's an outlining (hence heirarchical) format…

PulpFiction doesn't organize by feeds: it organizes by content. If you want to filter everything from my blog, for example, into a "Friends" or "Mac Folk" or "Morons" folder, you're more than welcome to. However, if you want to filter all of the posts on my blog in the "Software Development" category to one folder, everything in the "Computing: Mac" category to another, and everything else into an "Off-Topic" folder, you're more than welcome to. Stuff with "QotD" in the title you may wish to go straight to the trash - I don't know.

This leap requires a bit of creativity or imagination, but we think it's one many people will make.

If PulpFiction can't offer a seamless import from other apps, I'm not minded to switch.

It works beautifully. But then again, it should. That's one of our goals.

6 Responses to "PulpFiction Response"

  1. One suggestion: As a semi-developer it would be nice if you could export to XML your feeds, their contents and your configuration. Configuration so that I could sync all my various PF's via the Internet (publish the config on .mac and sync from there) Feeds so that I could move my feed list between platforms (Say to whatever sorry feed reader I'm forced to use on WinXP or Linux at work) and to publish all of my feeds to the web, or publish a subset to the Web. I'm thinking exporting my flagged articles to a blog here.

    All three of those functions should have the option of exporting to XML, possibly with some standard XSL templates to transform into XHTML or (for feeds) OPML. If they exported into straight XML, with your own DTD then building blog modules to publish those files would be a snap (well snappier) and all one would have to do is hit 'export' once per day to keep things up to date.

    Just a thought. I'm an XML junkie though. There's a link between blogs and news readers that needs to be made sooner rather than later I think. NNW is a start, but the blog writer in it is crap. 1.1 might make things better, but I haven't seen it. Personally, after seeing the filtering capabilities, even just in a screenshot, of PF it seems a better conduit for feed-blog integration.

  2. Note that PulpFiction can read hierarchical OPML files, the file is then displayed in a tree in the import dialog (however, the subscriptions list itself is still flat, since anything else doesn't make sense, as Erik stated).

  3. What Brent and the other guy mean by "syncronization" is that posts read on one machine (say at work) will not be highlighted as "not read" on your home machine.

  4. Clint Ecker: the read/unread state is saved in the database, too.

  5. 2004/04/18 11:40


  6. I'm not reading my stack of RSS feeds as often as I did once, so I've only just come across this response. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my points.

    I hope you don't mind a little skepticism. (I agree that such a positive response to something that people haven't seen is a bit strange. Nothing like trying to balance things out a bit.) As I tried to make clear, though, I will wait and see how it feels once it comes out before a final judgement. Anything else would be unfair.

    -- the entity also known as 'blech'