maddhin

Offline folders & 3/4G: no image and full content download

Recommended Posts

I don’t know if this is designed behavior or a bug but when on 3/4G (read: not on WLAN), it seems that no image/thumbnail nor full content/text is downloaded when new articles are loaded after the offline articles are read (hitting bottom of reading list and Inoreader loads new articles).

At the Offline settings, I have all options on “on” (max article: 100).

I have not paid very much attention but this could also be happening at simple reloading (after 20? articles) before hitting my 100 articles limit.

In any case, I do always have sections with articles without images and no full content. So either there is some problem during the WLAN download or for some reason articles are downloaded during 3/4G in the background (which should not happen as I switched "Download only on wifi" on).

Besides this, there is still wierd stuff going on when new articels come in. E.g. when reading an article while the new articles are added, the screen goes white and irresponsive for a while until the article appears again but not at reading position but from top of article...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty puzzled here... Is this happening while you are "offline"(reading these articles without any internet connection)? How old are these articles (are they older then than the most recent 100)?

If you choose "WiFi only" articles shouldn't be loaded in mobile data. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, wesson said:

I'm pretty puzzled here...

that's good I guess because that means it is a bug.

21 hours ago, wesson said:

Is this happening while you are "offline"(reading these articles without any internet connection)?

I'm usually reading articles and seeing this behavior when on 3/4G.

21 hours ago, wesson said:

How old are these articles (are they older then than the most recent 100)?

Yes, the articles seem to be older than the recent 100 (but I am not sure when Inoreader has to reload articles). But what I'm seeing at the moment is that there are always "blocks" of articles which do not have a thumbnail and no full content.

So, what I'm imagining is that when on 3G, articles are downloaded without thumb / full content and stay this way. Although I have seen articles being "updated" with thumbnails (cannot confirm full content) when back on wifi. But this doesn't seem to be consistent because then the most recent 100 should all be having thumbs and full content but which is not the case.

So, for me it's hard to figure out what really goes wrong as I don't know the intended behavior.

One of the possible reasons why things could go wrong is that I might change from wifi to 3G while the offline folder is updating. As the background update/sync "is not perfect yet", I usually open my main offline folder shortly before I leave to update it. As the update is usually slow, it is very possible, I'm switching from wifi to 3G while the update is happening. At least this is the only possible explanation I could find for the weird behavior on my side.

But I never had those issues with the old app.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually it isn't a bug. 

Please note that articles full content will be downloaded for the articles already pulled locally on your device (the most recent 100 for your case). And if you are reading 101st article on mobile data (or WiFi, it doesn't matter...), this article full content won't be downloaded automatically because this article has been deleted (from your device) when you load the next "portion" of 100 articles. 

In other words, we don't keep more than 100 articles locally (in your case). 

Also you should see "Older articles" text when you reach the end of the "preloaded" articles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, wesson said:

Actually it isn't a bug. 

Please note that articles full content will be downloaded for the articles already pulled locally on your device (the most recent 100 for your case). And if you are reading 101st article on mobile data (or WiFi, it doesn't matter...), this article full content won't be downloaded automatically because this article has been deleted (from your device) when you load the next "portion" of 100 articles. 

In other words, we don't keep more than 100 articles locally (in your case). 

Also you should see "Older articles" text when you reach the end of the "preloaded" articles. 

hm.

1. The issues I am having with not fully loaded content and missing pictures are within those (100) recent articles. Sometimes within the recent 10 articles... ;)  Which is particularly weird as (I think) I saw Inoreader "updating" at very least the thumbnails for the 100 recent articles in the past. Currently my reading list is mixed between fully loaded + thumb articles and articles without downloaded content and thumbs. This never happened in the old app.

2. I am always a little irritated as of which articles are recent (100) articles and which ones are "newly downloaed when on the road". After 20-30(?) articles, my phone needs to reload more articles. At some point, the reloading takes quite a while so I am assuming this is the point where the 100 recent articles buffer is empty. The "older articles" usually comes when there is a gap between recent and still unread articles. Say I have 200 unread articles and 30 are 3 weeks old, my phone would load the articles as decribed above until it hits those 30 old articles and "Older articles" appears to load those 30 articles. In my experience, I never connected the "100 recent articles buffer" with "Older articles". It would actually makes sense to implement it this way but as far as my experience goes, Inoreader doesn't work that way... It would actually be great to mark (or make a counter) for the offline articles so one knows when they are empty.

3. In the latest version 6.0.5, there are still issues with offline folders. Today some articles have been download and added on top of the reading list and again have been maarked as read. In fact, I had 2 sections (each about 7 articles) which were marked as read but I have not read them (I do have the "mark read on scroll" function switched on). So there is definetely something weird going on with offline folders.

I generally think offline folder do have some issues when operating in a 3/4G enviroment. But IMHO, the "classic" use of the offline folders is in a 3/4G enviroment. I tried using the offline folders a few times in an airplane in true offline enviroment but it was difficult as content wasn't downloaded completely, etc. Offline folders are certainly a great feature and I do not want to miss it but it's not a "Pocket" reading list yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I'll try to shed some more light here.  

4 minutes ago, maddhin said:

1. The issues I am having with not fully loaded content and missing pictures are within those (100) recent articles. Sometimes within the recent 10 articles... ;)  Which is particularly weird as (I think) I saw Inoreader "updating" at very least the thumbnails for the 100 recent articles in the past. Currently my reading list is mixed between fully loaded + thumb articles and articles without downloaded content and thumbs. This never happened in the old app.

 In the previous post you said:

On 5/9/2018 at 1:32 PM, maddhin said:

Yes, the articles seem to be older than the recent 100 (but I am not sure when Inoreader has to reload articles). But what I'm seeing at the moment is that there are always "blocks" of articles which do not have a thumbnail and no full content.

:)

Anyways, reading more about your "reading" behavior, this could be also caused about delays of the full content fetcher/response from the remote sites we are pulling dynamically when downloading your next "x" articles for the offline folder. For example, you are on WiFi connection -> the fetching process starts.. -> you are leaving that place/disconnecting the WiFi = The RSS content of these articles is already pulled but the images or their full content isn't pulled yet. Please note that they are 2 separate threads. As you most probably know, we have the articles RSS content (text only) locally on our databases and the loading time of this content should be much faster than the other content such as images or full content is not stored locally (for understandable reasons). 

15 minutes ago, maddhin said:

2. I am always a little irritated as of which articles are recent (100) articles and which ones are "newly downloaed when on the road". After 20-30(?) articles, my phone needs to reload more articles. At some point, the reloading takes quite a while so I am assuming this is the point where the 100 recent articles buffer is empty. The "older articles" usually comes when there is a gap between recent and still unread articles. Say I have 200 unread articles and 30 are 3 weeks old, my phone would load the articles as decribed above until it hits those 30 old articles and "Older articles" appears to load those 30 articles. In my experience, I never connected the "100 recent articles buffer" with "Older articles". It would actually makes sense to implement it this way but as far as my experience goes, Inoreader doesn't work that way... It would actually be great to mark (or make a counter) for the offline articles so one knows when they are empty.

The "buffer" never stays empty. You always have the most recent ("100" and "unread") articles saved locally. There is no moment when you don't have stored articles (except of the moments of the offline folder creation).  We are just removing the older once depending of the "new articles to pull. For example there are 30 new articles (for downloading), in this case we are removing the oldest 30 articles (stored locally) and importing the newest 30.  On other hand we are always preloading 20 articles in portions for the articles list view (for better reading experience) and the loading time between these loadings (for the next 20 articles) depends of many things (it doesn't matter if they are stored locally or not (pulled remotely)).  This time depends of the articles content (images, videos, text, etc.). 

24 minutes ago, maddhin said:

3. In the latest version 6.0.5, there are still issues with offline folders. Today some articles have been download and added on top of the reading list and again have been maarked as read. In fact, I had 2 sections (each about 7 articles) which were marked as read but I have not read them (I do have the "mark read on scroll" function switched on). So there is definetely something weird going on with offline folders.

To be honest, we didn't change anything for the "offline folders" logic compared with the older (before the redesign) version of the app. Nor in the backend. 

About the articles marked as read if you have the option "Download only unread articles" checked (as you already said before - "At the Offline settings, I have all options on “on” (max article: 100).") already "read" articles won't be downloaded for offline reading. 

 

32 minutes ago, maddhin said:

I generally think offline folder do have some issues when operating in a 3/4G enviroment. But IMHO, the "classic" use of the offline folders is in a 3/4G enviroment. I tried using the offline folders a few times in an airplane in true offline enviroment but it was difficult as content wasn't downloaded completely, etc. Offline folders are certainly a great feature and I do not want to miss it but it's not a "Pocket" reading list yet. 

Please note that the "Offline folders" are designed for complete offline mode (as you said in the plane) reading such folders on 3/4G doesn't means that you are reading only the already downloaded articles, they might be newer (not yet pulled) or older (already deleted) which I suppose is misleading you.  

 

I hope it's more clearer now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, wesson said:

Anyways, reading more about your "reading" behavior, this could be also caused about delays of the full content fetcher/response from the remote sites we are pulling dynamically when downloading your next "x" articles for the offline folder. For example, you are on WiFi connection -> the fetching process starts.. -> you are leaving that place/disconnecting the WiFi = The RSS content of these articles is already pulled but the images or their full content isn't pulled yet. Please note that they are 2 separate threads. 

this is valuable info to me and I'll try to figure out "what goes wrong" with this in mind.

18 minutes ago, wesson said:

The "buffer" never stays empty. You always have the most recent ("100" and "unread") articles saved locally. There is no moment when you don't have stored articles (except of the moments of the offline folder creation).  We are just removing the older once depending of the "new articles to pull. For example there are 30 new articles (for downloading), in this case we are removing the oldest 30 articles (stored locally) and importing the newest 30.  On other hand we are always preloading 20 articles in portions for the articles list view (for better reading experience) and the loading time between these loadings (for the next 20 articles) depends of many things (it doesn't matter if they are stored locally or not (pulled remotely)).  This time depends of the articles content (images, videos, text, etc.).

I'm aware of this, I don't think the buffer per se is the problem. I actually do like this design as it always keeps something to read ready even if not updated.

20 minutes ago, wesson said:

To be honest, we didn't change anything for the "offline folders" logic compared with the older (before the redesign) version of the app. Nor in the backend. 

About the articles marked as read if you have the option "Download only unread articles" checked (as you already said before - "At the Offline settings, I have all options on “on” (max article: 100).") already "read" articles won't be downloaded for offline reading.

Here is a slight misunderstanding: I do not want to download read articles. But what happens is that Inoreader downloads new unread articles into the folder (while being in the folder or reading an article in the folder) and THEN those newly downloaded, unread articles are by Inoreader marked as read. That means if one doesn't scroll to the top of the reading list and double-checks, these articles will disappear when leaving the folder.

This is definetely a bug and needs top be fixed. I remember we had this bug in the past with the old version and you fixed it. For some reason it is back now. I might be wrong but I think you had fixed this in version 6 already but it must have come back with one of the recent bug fix releases.

25 minutes ago, wesson said:

Please note that the "Offline folders" are designed for complete offline mode (as you said in the plane) reading such folders on 3/4G doesn't means that you are reading only the already downloaded articles, they might be newer (not yet pulled) or older (already deleted) which I suppose is misleading you.  

Yes, of course, the offline folders are designed for complete offline use but they are "on" in wifi and 3/4G environments. Except for the moved article in the other thread, I didn't come across deleted articles, etc. Newer articles do have the bug mentioned above.

But IMHO the problem lies in the "offline settings":

1. it is 100% correct that offline folder should only be loaded in wifi. BUT in a 3/4G environment Inoreader ALSO looks for new articles and downloads them. There is no option to control this behavior

2. New articles which are downloaded in 3/4G environment do not have images nor full content. IMHO this is fine for automatically downloaded content. This is especially fine if Inoreader updated those articles with images and full content when back in an wifi environment.

3. When reaching the end of the "buffer" - X recently unread articles as defined in settings - and the app downloads new (older) articles, these are also downloaded without image and full content. Here there should be the option to allow images and full-content if one chooses to.

Simplified, what I am proposing is basically to have the option to tell Inoreader to act either like in a wifi OR a offline environment while in 3/4G. Depending on whether people want to use 3/4G data or not.

At very least (besides fixing that bad bug) there should be an option to load images in 3/4G if one choses to. I might be wrong but IMHO this was the standard setting in the old app. The other options are a logic analogy.

Looking at the problem from another angle, one could say: the "download only on wifi" option doesn't work correctly... If this option is switched on, Inoreader should not download new articles on 3/4G!!! 😋

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:) The whole thing here lies in the 3G/4G connection. 

The thing is that you deliberately "tell the program" to load articles "locally" (including full content and images) only on WiFi which in other type of connection (such as 3G/4G) is causing the issues for you.

In general - The "program" downloads any possible new content when it comes online despite their unread states or content. 

So could you please turn off the "Download only on WiFi" or symply try using that folder when you are completely offline? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, wesson said:

:) The whole thing here lies in the 3G/4G connection. 

The thing is that you deliberately "tell the program" to load articles "locally" (including full content and images) only on WiFi which in other type of connection (such as 3G/4G) is causing the issues for you.

In general - The "program" downloads any possible new content when it comes online despite their unread states or content.

Now I am a bit more confused but I am also understanding one point you are making.

I have mixed "offline folder content download" (as defined in the "offline folder settings") and "general download & updating of the folder" (as general app behavior). So, if I understand you correctly, the offline folder setting only define how the folder "is filled". But the offline folder settings do not define the general folder behavior.

That's why when the "download only on wifi" switch is turned on, the folder still gets new articles when on 4G (like any other folder) and when opening the folder. OK, although this is not really intuitive.

So, the "download only on wifi" option is basically just preventing "background folders" from being updated.

But this means that the not-downloading of images and full text content is "hardcoded"? But I still don't understand why specific offline folder options are overturned by "general rules". So, then I guess part of the solution is to ask where I could change that general behavior - say that thumbnails are loaded when on 4G.

Confusing.
 

1 hour ago, wesson said:

So could you please turn off the "Download only on WiFi" or symply try using that folder when you are completely offline? 

Let's try a different approach and maybe you can tell me how to realize this behavior:

1. while on 4G I do not want that offline folders are automatically updated (in the background).

2. if I open a offline folder when on 4G, it should behave normal = show / download images - like all other folders do.

(to use offline folders only when really offline doesn't seem to be a realistic solution - most people would want to read their most frequently use folders offline and not a folder only used on an airplane. IMHO offline folders are most frequently used by commuters who have patchy 4G or simply want to save 4G data. Using them completely offline seems to be more of an awesome luxury for large commutes like flights)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, maddhin said:

Let's try a different approach and maybe you can tell me how to realize this behavior:

1. while on 4G I do not want that offline folders are automatically updated (in the background).

2. if I open a offline folder when on 4G, it should behave normal = show / download images - like all other folders do.

I completely understand you. But yes, on 3/4G, that folder should behave as any other folder in your subscriptions (showing only the RSS content). The missing of images shouldn't be related to that.  

The other possible reason about these "missing/broken" images might be an "interrupted" sync process by the OS which unfortunately we can't control.  

For example the sync process starts (you are on WiFi), most recent articles are downloaded locally from our backend and the articles full content and image pulling starts in different thread (as I described before) which takes longer time for understandable reasons and during that background sync your phone OS decides to "kill" the process due to lack of resources or symply you are "leaving" the WiFi.  

In conclusion, in the "real world" such things might happen because we can't control variables ;)

I hope you understand. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now