aekotra

"On Demand" Feeds

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Use Case:

There are feeds/websites where the user is not interested in being made aware of every new item.  Especially for high volume feeds, there is a sense of fatigue with sorting through long unread lists and the subscription bar providing a constant reminder of new items.  Instead, a user would rather have a snapshot of what is on the "front page" or is current at that moment.  However, the interface should remain neutral and avoid impelling the user to chronically check the feed for changes.  In other words, the user is given the ability "to visit a website" within the efficient and consistent interface of the reader without being burdened by backlogs of items.

 

Behaviour:

When a feed is set to "on demand", it is queried as normal.  However, any articles marked "unread" must be among the nth newest articles, where n is defined by the user.  Articles beyond this limit are automatically marked as "read".  

It's important to emphasize: the limit applies to "the newest articles" not "the newest unread articles".  This has the benefit of the user being able to ignore uninteresting articles, leaving them as "unread", but be confident that they will eventually be hidden from view as the feed progresses.  Otherwise, uninteresting articles have the potential stagnate in the unread queue for far longer without user intervention, an unnecessary annoyance.

Example:

The user has set the limit to 3.  A feed has unread articles a,b,c (a is the newest).  The user reads a and b, leaving c unread.  The user switches to another feed.  A new article x arrives (x,a,b,c).  When the user views the feed again, x is the only unread article.  c has been automatically marked as read because it is outside the limit.

 

Interface:

A user can right-click on a feed in the subscription list to configure it as "on demand" and set a limit: eg. "Only show unread from the [10] newest articles."  In the subscription pane, the feed does not indicate when new articles are available.  It does not have a new article count, nor bold the title.  Instead, it shows an indicator in the feed title (perhaps the feed title is italicized/underlined) to remind the user that it is an "on demand" feed.

When the global view mode is set to "show unread", selecting this feed will show any unread articles among the [10] newest articles.  When the global view mode set to "show all", the whole feed is shown as normal.

Additionally, a different type of limit could be made available: "Only show unread from articles published in the last [2 days]."

 

Thanks for your time and a great product!

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Thank you for the comprehensive feature request. 

The suggestion has been added in our to-do list for consideration but can't promise anything for now.

We also thank you about the good opinion about our product. We really appreciate it! 

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