Swimming with the Razorfishes

Sunday, December 30, 2007


I like me a good RSS feed. Even atom. And having first tasted the sweet nectar of syndication in a web browser, via Radio Userland, I enjoy reading through feeds that way. So I was excited when Apple added feed reading to Safari.

Unfortunately, the more feeds I added to Safari, the slower it got. And slow it was.

So this morning I got sick of the drag on safari, and decided to move my subscriptions back to NetNewsWire (excellent software, by the way). Safari, though, doesn't seem to allow me to export the subscriptions in any meaningful way. A bit of sed, a bit of awk, and a little SQL later and we have some rudimentary OPML.

As it turns out, Safari stores subscription information in a sqlite database, which makes getting at the data relatively easy. And, just for fun, I wrapped the script in an Automator action, so it is a double-clickable app on the MacOS.

Should you want to use it, grab it here. Double click, and it will generate an OPML file on your desktop containing your feeds. This file should import cleanly into NetNewsWire. It doesn't preserve any folder structure you might have had in Safari; this doesn't seem to be saved in the sqlite database, and I was way too lazy to figure out how to marry the bookmark structure with these feeds.

NB: This will only work on MacOS 10.5 -- earlier versions of Safari likely stored the feed data in different places or different formats. Additionally, it has barely been tested. It might just reformat your main drive and replace it with a copy of Windows ME. Well, that isn't likely, but do back up the relevant prefs and files before you muck with this.


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