Raissa is an RSS headlines and news reader for the Newton MessagePad running NewtonOS 2.0 and higher. It should read RSS 0.91 and 1.0 sources but is currently not namespace aware. Courier can be used as a more functional replacement.


Raissa is built upon the NewtApp framework an should be as easy to use as any other NewtApp application. Raissa maintains a set of RSS sources which can be organized in folders. As the detailed view shows, an RSS source is described by a title and a URL. It can be updated by tapping the “Update” button or by chosing “Update” from the Action menu. The overview shows a list of RSS sources with their respective update times. New sources can be entered after tapping the “New” button. Existing sources can be updated by marking them and selecting “Update” from the Action menu. They can also be read out loud if the MacInTalk and SpeakText extensions are installed.

Channels can be marked for a scheduled update by checking the “Sched. Update” checkbox. The update schedule can be set using the preferences panel. The preferences panel also allows to set the fonts for headlines and descriptions.

When tapping on a news item, Raissa can be configured to launch Newt’s Cape, NetHopper or Courier to fetch the story linked from that news item. This behaviour is activated in the preferences panel.


The program is based on the ntox XML tokenizer and the NHttpLib HTTP library for the Newton. The incoming XML data is tokenized by ntox and the headline and description part for each news item is stored in the application soup. Currently, the corresponding URLs are not stored but this would only be a minor change.


  • Version 1.2: Added TapBar button
  • Version 1.1.2: Upgraded to use ntox 1.8
  • Version 1.1.1: Fixed a bug when selecting Courier in the preferences
  • Version 1.1: Added Courier as browser for opening links (anchors not working yet)
  • Version 1.0.4: Added warning about missing packages
  • Version 1.0.3: Changed to use NHttpLib 3.0
  • Version 1.0.2: Added version information
  • Version 1.0.1: First release version

Bugs, To Do List and Enhancements

The following bug fixes and enhancements are planned for future releases:

  • Error-handling
  • Namespace-awareness
  • Copy and paste
  • Add print/fax routing formats
  • When switching from detailed to overview, display should start the beginning of the list
  • Schedule tapped headlines for off-line browsing with a desktop computer
  • The scheduled update setting for channels seems to get lost sometimes