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Ben Bangert is a San Francisco Bay Area programmer, best known for his open-source work creating and contributing to Python libraries such as Pylons, Beaker, and Routes.
He currently works at Mozilla.


Sending RSS items to Growl via AppleScript / NetNewsWire

A friend alerted me the other day to some useful sites for tracking packages via RSS. There’s one for FedEx and one for UPS.

While these are quite cool, and nice to have in NetNewsWire, the same friend told me its even cooler to have updates to the feeds sent to Growl. That way you get a nice little pop-up window when one of your packages has moved on.

He wrote a Python script that sent RSS updates over the LAN to Growl (Note: The Python script requires While that was cool, his method of adding feeds to watch (editing a text file on a remote machine) didn’t seem that cool. It was about that time that I started thinking, well, why not have Net News Wire manage the feeds? That is what its for after all… so I started looking to see how I could tie this togther.

Searching through quickly led me to a page on calling scripts as subscriptions. So I figure, if I write an AppleScript, that searches a NetNewsWire (NNW) folder for unread items then sends them to Growl via the Applescript interface, that should do the trick.

So without further ado, here’s my little Applescript, based on Brent Simmons Folder Watch example, that searches a NNW folder for unread items, sends them to Growl, then marks them as read.



Download this where desired, add it as a script in NNW using the File menu -> New Special Subscription -> Script. Then locate the GrowlRSS script, it will then open the Show Info window. Expand the Script Settings option, and put the name of the NNW folder to watch as the Args. Close, and hit refresh, and it should send any unread items in that folder to Growl.


You should have Growl 0.6 from svn installed. It’s possible it’ll work with 0.5, but I haven’t tested that.