Let's make DTP an awesome RSS reader

I think DTP has the potential to replace all of the various RSS readers. The Applescripts that come with DTP are a great start. With just a hand full of scripts, you managed to get most of the important features of an RSS reader like Cyndicate, Endo or Vienna. I would like to request DevonTech and the DTP community to provide more RSS support.
Let me just briefly outline WHY I think DTP would be a breakthrough RSS reader. I’ve begun to think of RSS feeds like I do magazines and newspapers. Most of the info is throw away, but the few gems, I want to cut out and file. Since DTP is my filing system, naturally I will be storing some RSS articles there. Sure, I can grab the article and save it to DTP from another reader, but there is a webkit built right in to DTP. Why not do it all in one place. Secondly, most RSS readers let you flag (and sometimes tag) articles for retrieval, but rarely do they let you organize them into folders/groups let alone add notes, link them to other documents, do complex searches on them, or any number of other features DTP brings to the party.
However, there is still some ground to cover to truly “sell” the application for this purpose. In my opinion, here is a list of some features that DTP needs for it to be a standalone RSS reader.

  1. Import OPML files to create individual feed folders(Allows for easy migration from another reader)
  2. Import Icon of feed to replace default folder icon (visual queues are great)
  3. Smart search folders (this is a feature I would like for DTP in general, I know it can be done with scripts, but that’s some superhuman effort for most users)
  4. “Empty” buttons for the tool bar that can be tied to applescripts (click one button to update all of your feeds)
  5. A way to aggregate all articles into one continuous HTML file (just scroll through one file to read all of your feeds)

I think most of this could be done with some Applescript kung-fu (and maybe some Perl). Also, most of these requests could be useful in other situations. I’d love to hear other suggestions to super-charge DTP into an RSS reader. I’m going back to slug through some applescript to create a folder of unread articles.

Why don’t we make it replace Photoshop as well :frowning:

I don’t want a kitchen sink application. DT is great at what it does. I want to see smart groups and better ways to organize my data… I use NetNewsWire for news reading and clip whatever I need straight into DT Pro using command-(

couldn’t agree more. i for one would hate to see devonthink turn into bloatware. it could do with some improvement, but a newsreader. i use net newswire, and it does a pretty good job in helping me quickly access useful information, and getting rid of the dross (about 90% of newsfeed articles i would say).

Pour it all into devonthink automatically? no thank you. For me DT is a repository for long time storage of information. Net News Wire gives me quick access to what’s coming up now and what might be useful. does it very well too, i can instantly save things i want to keep by clipping to DT

Well, I for one love the webkit integration they added into DTP. What about the email archiving? Yup, I use that too. They new OCR features? That too. I’ve paid for upgrades of Devonthink all the way from the personal version to the office version. I keep almost everything in DTP. In fact I struggle to understand why I would ONLY using DTP for organizing documents? With Quicksilver and/or Spotlight, I can find almost any file on my computer without even copying it to DTP first. I can save web archives to a folder on my drive too. I can also archive email without DTP. I own ReadIRIS Pro for OCR. But the power of DTP for me, comes from keeping little treasures chests of information about specific projects. All of the information easily searched, linked, replicated and filed. All without firing up any additional software (if possible). I expected there to be a rift between the people that only want a minimal feature set, and those that want more. I think that’s why there are 3 different versions of Devonthink (thanks Devontech!). Just like many of the other sophisticated application packages, there are many more features than the “typical” user will access. DTP seems to be evolving into an all in one research documentation tool. In my opinion, that will mean ever more support for new information forms. like RSS feeds.
That’s my two cents. To each their own.

Following from that little reply ( :slight_smile: ), here is a little Applescript that exports the current feed article from Vienna to an RTF document in DTP. I find RTF files better than web archives because I can add my own notes and comments (there’s usually not enough formating in a feed to even worry about). The RTF file will also contain all the images downloaded from the article.

tell application "Vienna"
	set theTitle to the title of the current article
	if theTitle is not false then --checks to make sure vienna has a URL
		set theURL to the link of the current article
		set theArticle to the body of the current article
	end if
	tell application "DEVONthink Pro"
		--set theTitle to get rich text of base URL theURL
		set theTitle to create record with {name:theTitle, type:html, source:theArticle} --creates record with URL from Vienna
		-- Convert the HTML to RTF and then delete the original HTML document
		convert record theTitle to rich
		delete record theTitle
	end tell
end tell

  1. is already possible, 2) should be scriptable, 3) & 4) will be added in some way to future releases and 5) should be scriptable too.

Thanks for the feedback Christian.

The OPML import only creates a web-link to the feed. I guess I should have been more explicit. It would be more useful if it worked like the “New Feed (html)” Applescript you wrote. I ended up copying the link for each feed and then running that Applescript (100+ times for each feed. I’ll feel pretty dumb if you tell me there was an easier way to do it.

I’m working on #5 first, since that is something I would be able to take advantage of immediately. Glad to here 3 &4 are being considered.

I am using NNW as well but, as far as I know, there is no way to clip data to DT while using the internal browser of NNW. Links must be open in the external default web browser (such as Safari) to have the services available.
Do you confirm or did I miss some trick :question:

I’m using two scripts that either save the RSS text or the web archive from the internal browser of NNW in DTP. I found them somewhere in this forum; if you can’t find them, I’ll be happy to repost them here.

– MJ

Thank you for answering. The only Devon “scripts” I know supporting that are, actually, bookmarklets called “Archive.inetloc” and “Bookmark.inetloc” which are delivered in the Extras folder of the DTP application. When placed in the Bookmarks bar of Safari, they can be used to clip to DTP either a web archive or a web bookmark. In addition, I am used to use the Safari services for DTP to take or append notes in DTP.
None of these solutions is available nor works in NNW.
No emergency but I would be very grateful if you could exhume the scripts you are talking about.
Thanks :slight_smile:

Here you go.

I have them in user/library/scripts/applications/NetNewsWire. (Copy text to Script Editor and save.)

– MJ

>>Add news to DTP (http)

tell application "NetNewsWire"
		if exists selectedHeadline then
			set this_headline to selectedHeadline
			set h_title to title of this_headline
			set h_URL to URL of this_headline
			if exists date published of this_headline then
				set h_when to date published of this_headline
				set h_when to date arrived of this_headline
			end if
			if exists description of this_headline then
				set h_note to description of this_headline
			else if exists summary of this_headline then
				set h_note to summary of this_headline
				tell application "DEVONthink Pro" to create record with {name:h_title, type:link, date:h_when, URL:h_URL}
			end if
			set h_note to "<html><body><p><a href=\"" & h_URL & "\"><bold>" & h_title & "</bold></a></p><small>" & h_note & "</small></body></html>"
			tell application "DEVONthink Pro" to create record with {name:h_title, type:html, date:h_when, URL:h_URL, source:h_note}
			error "No headline is selected."
		end if
	on error error_message number error_number
		if the error_number is not -128 then
				display alert "NetNewsWire" message error_message as warning
			on error number error_number
				if error_number is -1708 then display dialog error_message buttons {"OK"} default button 1
			end try
		end if
	end try
end tell

>> Add a web archive to DTP

tell application "NetNewsWire"
	set savedURL to ""
	set savedTitle to ""
	set userTab to (index of selected tab)
	if (userTab is greater than 0) then
		set tabURLs to (URLs of tabs)
		set tabTitles to (titles of tabs)
			-- may fail if the targeted tab is, for instance, empty 
			set savedURL to (item (userTab + 1) of tabURLs)
			set savedTitle to (item (userTab + 1) of tabTitles)
		end try
		set myHeadline to ""
		set myHeadline to selectedHeadline
		if (isFake of myHeadline) is equal to false then
			set savedURL to URL of myHeadline
			set savedTitle to title of myHeadline
		end if
	end if
	tell application "DEVONthink Pro"
		set archive to create record with {name:savedTitle, type:html, URL:savedURL}
		set data of archive to download web archive from savedURL
	end tell
end tell

Wow ! :smiley:
This will be so helpful. I really apreciate :wink:
Edit note: I have them in User/Library/Application support/NetNewsWire/Scripts. That way, they are directly accessible from the Scripts menu of the NNW menu bar. Just have to check whether they are preserved in case of installation of a new NNW version.

You’re welcome. :smiley:

– MJ