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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Firefox users, never EVER install NewsMonster !

The reading of this post is reserved to geeks who use Firefox. The others may skip it.

NewsMonster is supposed to be sort of a Firefox extension that should act as a RSS reader.
Do you want my advice ? NEVER EVER install it !

Good reasons for not installing it:
- the uninstall procedure DOESN'T WORK. How would you want to install a thing you cannot uninstall ?
- After the installation, a wide sidebar appears on the right, approximately 30% the size of the window, NOT sizeable, not shrinkable.
- some of the menu items added by NewsMonster seem not to work (especially the "NewsMonster Preferences" menu item, from which, by the way, you are supposed to uninstall the product...)
- unlike other Firefox extensions, NewsMonster is not listed among the other installed extensions (via the "Tools | Extensions" menu item)
- the OPML import function doesn't work. I tried to import my RSS feeds in OPML format, and it imported only one of them.

I successfully uninstalled it by doing the following tasks:
- closed Firefox
- deleted the c:\newsmonster folder
- under "c:\program files\Mozilla Firefox\chrome", I deleted "newsmonster.jar"
- under "c:\program files\Mozilla Firefox\components", I deleted a group of files (*.jar, *.js) last modified at 10/23/2003, 3:13 AM
- under "c:\program files\Mozilla Firefox\ subdirectories, edited every recently changed *.rdf file, trying either to delete xml tags containing the "newsmonster" string, or turning them into comments, i.e. changing tags like


<RDF:li>
...newsmonster...
</RDF:li>

into

<!--RDF:li>
...newsmonster...
</RDF:li-->

Strangely, it worked. Once reopening Firefox, the NewsMonster disappeared, and everything else seemed to work fine.

I'd not generally advice to do what I did for erasing NewsMonster. Don't do this at home. You might get burned.
Instead, I'd suggest to uninstall Firefox and reinstall it.

If you want a fairly good RSS reader, try FeedDemon. It is not perfect, it has a few defects , but it's better than many other RSS readers.

And DON'T install NewsMonster, for Heaven's sake !