For a long time, Apple gave Safari users the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds and read them from within the Safari sidebar. Few people knew about this feature, and even fewer used it. With the new Safari 11, that feature—called Shared Links—has been removed entirely. But if you’re a user of Shared Links, what are you to do? You can move to a different RSS reader…. but how do you save your subscriptions in a format so you can migrate them?
This was the question my friend (and former Macworld colleague) Scholle McFarland posed to me the other week. We knew where the Shared Link file was stored on macOS (as a .plist file), but how to easily convert it into an OPML file? Our Google searches came up with a bunch of utilities from more than a decade ago, when the file lived in a different location.
I thought this might be a job for Dr. Drang, the Internet’s favorite text-munging scripting snowman. And so I asked Dr. Drang if he had a solution and, wouldn’t you know it, he had a bunch of work he was trying to avoid and so he solved the problem. Drang wrote a python script to do the job, and then I wrapped his script inside an Automator action in order to make it a double-clickable app. Teamwork!
I don’t know how many people still care about Shared Links, but with any luck those people will find Dr. Drang’s blog post on the subject rather than those outmoded utilities from 2005.