Brent Simmons, as a labor of love, has brought back to life NetNewsWire, as free open source software:
People have offered money — just in general or for a specific feature. But we won’t take any money at all. Money would ruin it.
When money’s involved, it becomes an issue, and in this world it’s the issue. We have our own little utopia where we can pretend like it doesn’t exist. . . .
This means, though, that our decisions can be entirely about what’s best for the app and the people who use it — we never, ever have to think about what’s best for revenue.
It’s rare and beautiful to see someone do something purely as a labor of love in a world so heavily focused on making money.
NetNewsWire is an RSS reader app for the Mac. It shows you articles from your favorite blogs and news sites, and it keeps track of what you’ve read. RSS readers used to be much more popular than they are now that the big social media sites dominate the web.
Simmons supports the open web. He explains that wants to give the public a free tool to get news from the open web instead of the big social networking sites:
NetNewsWire is part of repairing the web we lost, and it’s part of building the web we want. That future web should not include viral hate speech, abuse, massive corporate surveillance, or successful influence operations by hostile governments and entities opposed to democracy.
NetNewsWire isn’t the answer — it’s an answer. It’s just a small part of what needs to be done. But it’s the work we personally know how to do, so we do it.
If the open web appeals to you here is a collection of open and indie Mac, iOS, and web apps that help promote the open web.