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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 12:23 am
Posts: 34
Post My Awasu Review
Okay...I'm familiar enough with Awasu now that I think I'm ready to post my comments. I guess this is the most appropriate forum, since it will lead to several feature requests....

I am impressed with Awasu. It does so many things that I haven't seen in other aggregators: from major features such as plugins and program hooks to thoughtful little features that aren't so obvious, such as meta-channels.

A perfectionist like me, though, can't help to find several things missing from the product. Most of these are things I've seen in competitive products; some are more important to me than others. (Note that it's possible that some of these features are there, and I just haven't found them yet :wink: ). Anyway, here they are.

1. When I start up Awasu, it takes 3 minutes to populate the channel list! With FeedDemon, it's instantaneous; with NewzCrawler, it takes 15 or 20 seconds. Does Awasu's code take advantage of multithreading? Wouldn't it be possible to list the channels first so that I can start reading while the channels are being updated?

2. The item list has only a single column. It would be SO much more useful to have additional columns. I would especially like to see a date-published/received column so that I can see whether an item is new today or too old to bother with. It would also allow resorting by date (or by other included columns). I realize that date sorting is possible now with a plugin, but this would be much easier.

3. There is no "News Bin" (one of FeedDemon's greatest features). I'm hoping that the soon-to-be-added (?) archiving will match this capability.

4. No "Watches" (FeedDemon's second great feature). A watch monitors incoming feeds for certain search terms (I have one set up to watch for "Korea") and creates a meta-channel (using Awasu terminology) of all items with the word "Korea", for example.

5. No OCS import wizard. The main OCS search pages are included in the Tools menu, but it's not quite the same.

6. Better keyboard navigation is needed. An example would be use of the space key to move through an article and then skip to the next item.

7. In a related vein, F8 and Shift-F8 move to the next/previous item, but something is needed to move to the next/previous UNREAD item.

8. It would be nice to have a blogger client and a way of creating news feeds, as in NewzCrawler and some others.

9. There is no news ticker as in NewzCrawler.

10. In addition to an unread count in the channel list, I would like to see a total count--in the format #/#.

11. Another NewzCrawler feature missing from Awasu is Usenet capabilities.

12. It would be nice to have a more full-featured browser toolbar.

The addition of just three or four of these features to Awasu would make it indispensable to me. As it stands right now, the race is very close between Awasu and the other products mentioned.

The argument might be made that Awasu is free and the other two aren't. Well...I hate to say it, but the "free" version is looking more and more to me like a gimmick. There are always the nags to upgrade (a popup balloon, upgrade tab, etc.), and I find the free version to be seriously crippled. The limitation of 100 feeds isn't too bad, but the limit of just five channel filters and reports is severely limiting. With "All", "New Content", "Unread Items", and "My Favorites" already in use, I can only add a single category to filter (unless I'm missing something). Just about every other product uses a tree structure or something similar to allow unlimited categories. I think the virtual-folder concept (although difficult to learn--I think the documentation could be better) is the best way to handle this, but it's useless with this limitation.

Newbie that I am, I'm hopeful that I've missed some important features. Please let me know!

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Sun Oct 26, 2003 10:38 pm
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Post Re: My Awasu Review
What a list! Thanks for the feedback. No, really! :-)

Magic Speller wrote:
1. When I start up Awasu, it takes 3 minutes to populate the channel list! With FeedDemon, it's instantaneous; with NewzCrawler, it takes 15 or 20 seconds. Does Awasu's code take advantage of multithreading? Wouldn't it be possible to list the channels first so that I can start reading while the channels are being updated?


Awasu is highly multi-threaded but the delay in loading the channels is a side-effect of the current design. Yes, it is a bit slow if you have a lot of channels but you can use each channel immediately and don't have to wait for them all to load. Once we start archiving feed content, the design will change and startup will be much quicker.

Magic Speller wrote:
2. The item list has only a single column. It would be SO much more useful to have additional columns. I would especially like to see a date-published/received column so that I can see whether an item is new today or too old to bother with. It would also allow resorting by date (or by other included columns). I realize that date sorting is possible now with a plugin, but this would be much easier.


We have a few plans for other things to put in the item list but it's a question of priorities and what gets done first. If I had a team of 20 programmers at my disposal, there would be heaps of things going in right now but alas, that is not the case :-( Sorting by date would be fairly low priority anyway since virtually every feed provider presents their content in reverse chronological order anyway :-) This information is available in the summary page but not all publishers provide this information.

Magic Speller wrote:
3. There is no "News Bin" (one of FeedDemon's greatest features). I'm hoping that the soon-to-be-added (?) archiving will match this capability.


Yes, the News Bins are neat. Awasu has one News Bin (the read-me list in the Workpad) and we would like to allow for more that can be created dynamically by the user. Once we get archiving/search in, we have some ideas for features that are much more sophisticated than FeedDemon's news bins.

Magic Speller wrote:
4. No "Watches" (FeedDemon's second great feature). A watch monitors incoming feeds for certain search terms (I have one set up to watch for "Korea") and creates a meta-channel (using Awasu terminology) of all items with the word "Korea", for example.


Again, coming soon. There have been some unfortunate delays with the search engine work which is why it is still not available. I would have liked for it to be in by now. Still, we have a lot of experience with AI-based, intelligent search so what we will be providing will be much smarter than a simple keyword search e.g. an agent that learns what you like to read (and can be trained) and then watches the incoming content for stuff that it thinks you might be interested in.

Magic Speller wrote:
5. No OCS import wizard. The main OCS search pages are included in the Tools menu, but it's not quite the same.


OCS is nowhere near as popular as OPML. I think you're the first person to ask for it.

Magic Speller wrote:
6. Better keyboard navigation is needed. An example would be use of the space key to move through an article and then skip to the next item.


I have to disagree with you on this one. Somebody once said that he liked Awasu because it didn't assume that he wanted to read every single item. Again, it's a question of quality over quantity. The way I use Awasu is to quickly scan each channel's summary looking for interesting stuff and only read that. I probably only read < 5% of all content that arrives. If I had to press SPACE to move through items, well, I have >250 channels right now, so assuming an average of 10 items per channel, that's one sore thumb... :-)

Magic Speller wrote:
7. In a related vein, F8 and Shift-F8 move to the next/previous item, but something is needed to move to the next/previous UNREAD item.


You can configure channels to show new or unread items only. The way I do it is press F7 to show the item pane and press SPACE on the item I want. I have auto-hide feed items turned on so the item pane closes up as the page loads. When I'm done, I press F7 again and since my channels are configured to show unread items only, the one I've just read will have been removed from the list and the next item already selected.

Magic Speller wrote:
8. It would be nice to have a blogger client and a way of creating news feeds, as in NewzCrawler and some others.


We have always intended Awasu to be more than just another blog reader/tool and so our efforts have been made in a slightly different direction to the others. I don't want to give away too much but you can already see the possibilities that plugins and hooks make available and these are just the first steps towards our vision of what Awasu will become. There are so many RSS readers out there now that offer virtually the same thing: a 3-pane reader, maybe a blogging interface, a simple search facility. From a business point of view, it makes no sense for us to write something that does exactly what everyone else is doing. We are commited to producing a package that gives you unparalleled power when it comes to manipulating information, something that is not available in any other reader. It may not be immediately obvious to the general public today but you will start to see what I mean over the coming months. We have enough ideas to keep us busy for a few years to come!

Magic Speller wrote:
9. There is no news ticker as in NewzCrawler.


This has been on the wish list for ages. If you have a play with the ChannelMonitorWindow hook, you will see that this could easily be extended to show the feed as a ticker instead of as a list of items. Again, it's a question of priorities. If somebody is interested, I am happy to work with them to modify it to work as a ticker.

Magic Speller wrote:
10. In addition to an unread count in the channel list, I would like to see a total count--in the format #/#.


I'll have to disagree with you again, this time on personal taste. I hate even having the unread item count in my My Channels window - I only put it in because people were asking for it. I think this is a techie thing, wanting to have a display of every available statistic. Remember, one of our main target user groups is non-techies and so an uncluttered UI is crucial. Is it really important to know how many items are in a channel or what percentage of them you have read? :-) Still, if you can drum up enough support for this, I'll put it in :-) :roll:

Magic Speller wrote:
11. Another NewzCrawler feature missing from Awasu is Usenet capabilities.


Historically, NewzCrawler started out as a Usenet reader and added RSS later. Usenet support doesn't really fit in with our vision and we have no plans for adding support at this time. Anyway, NewzCrawler has been around for years so check back with us after an equivalent amount of time :-)

BTW, there is a service that converts news groups to RSS that you can use.

Magic Speller wrote:
12. It would be nice to have a more full-featured browser toolbar.


What would you like to see? Again, I hardly use it and only added it by popular request.

Magic Speller wrote:
The argument might be made that Awasu is free and the other two aren't. Well...I hate to say it, but the "free" version is looking more and more to me like a gimmick. There are always the nags to upgrade (a popup balloon, upgrade tab, etc.), and I find the free version to be seriously crippled. The limitation of 100 feeds isn't too bad, but the limit of just five channel filters and reports is severely limiting. With "All", "New Content", "Unread Items", and "My Favorites" already in use, I can only add a single category to filter (unless I'm missing something).


I think calling it a "gimmick" is a bit harsh :-) You described yourself as a power user and so the restrictions you mentioned probably would be overly limiting. But there are a great many people out there who are just casual users of RSS - we get thousands of downloads of the free version every month - and Awasu is more than adequate for them. If you had only 50 or so channels, then 5 filters and 5 reports are probably enough; you are able to delete the existing ones and create your own new ones if you wish. Anyway, I strongly suspect that most people aren't creating their own and are just using the standard ones.

I said in the FAQ that part of the motivation of giving away a free version was a desire on our part to give something back in return for all the free software that we've used ourselves over the years and that is actually the truth :-) The free version is fully-functional (none of this can't print or can't save that some demos do) and even if you are considering upgrading to the paid version, it is still cheaper than the other ones you mentioned! :-) And there is the question of support and the like. Have you been able to have a conversation like this one with the authors of the other programs? Do they provide the same level of support in their forums as we do? Are they as responsive to bug reports and feature requests?

Magic Speller wrote:
Just about every other product uses a tree structure or something similar to allow unlimited categories. I think the virtual-folder concept (although difficult to learn--I think the documentation could be better) is the best way to handle this, but it's useless with this limitation.


Yes, but the traditional tree-based way of organizing information is such a pain to use. I hate trying to navigate through a directory tree in Windows Explorer, expanding and closing tree nodes with the mouse. Yuk! Awasu's virtual folders (excellent name, BTW, I'm going to use it!) are a much slicker, more efficient way of doing things. CTRL-SHIFT-N, I've immediately got all my channels with new content, CTRL-SHIFT-F, my favorites. Yes, it takes a while to get the hang of it, yes the documentation could be better, there are many improvements we want to make in the UI (especially for mouse-bound users) and all of this will be coming soon. There are some core features that need to be done first - sync and then archive/search - and then we will be going back and addressing issues such as these. I know a lot of developers say this but if you look through the forums, our track record is that we actually do it :-) And if you want more filters, more reports, more channels, 15 bucks is not all that much to pay. We give it away for free to thousands of people who use it every day (NewzCrawler only has a trial version and I believe that there will not be a free version of FeedDemon once it gets out of beta) so if you like it, if you use it, why not give a little something back?

Wow. What a post. Hope it helped :-)


Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:19 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 12:23 am
Posts: 34
Post Re: My Awasu Review
support wrote:
Magic Speller wrote:
1. When I start up Awasu, it takes 3 minutes to populate the channel list! With FeedDemon, it's instantaneous; with NewzCrawler, it takes 15 or 20 seconds. Does Awasu's code take advantage of multithreading? Wouldn't it be possible to list the channels first so that I can start reading while the channels are being updated?


Awasu is highly multi-threaded but the delay in loading the channels is a side-effect of the current design. Yes, it is a bit slow if you have a lot of channels but you can use each channel immediately and don't have to wait for them all to load.


Yes, but you have to wait for the one you're interested in to appear, which may be a couple of minutes....

support wrote:
Once we start archiving feed content, the design will change and startup will be much quicker.


That's very good to hear.

Magic Speller wrote:
2. The item list has only a single column. It would be SO much more useful to have additional columns. I would especially like to see a date-published/received column so that I can see whether an item is new today or too old to bother with. It would also allow resorting by date (or by other included columns). I realize that date sorting is possible now with a plugin, but this would be much easier.


support wrote:
We have a few plans for other things to put in the item list but it's a question of priorities and what gets done first. If I had a team of 20 programmers at my disposal, there would be heaps of things going in right now but alas, that is not the case :-( Sorting by date would be fairly low priority anyway since virtually every feed provider presents their content in reverse chronological order anyway :-) This information is available in the summary page but not all publishers provide this information.


"Virtually" is the key. I've found at least one that was supplied in direct chronological order. In any case, sorting by date isn't my main need here. I want to be able to SEE the date. Also, there are other columns in other readers that I tend so sort on. Title sorting is very useful, for example.

Glad you have plans, anyway :) .

Magic Speller wrote:
3. There is no "News Bin" (one of FeedDemon's greatest features). I'm hoping that the soon-to-be-added (?) archiving will match this capability.


support wrote:
Yes, the News Bins are neat. Awasu has one News Bin (the read-me list in the Workpad) and we would like to allow for more that can be created dynamically by the user. Once we get archiving/search in, we have some ideas for features that are much more sophisticated than FeedDemon's news bins.


Good news. Yes, I'm using the read-me list heavily already.

Magic Speller wrote:
4. No "Watches" (FeedDemon's second great feature). A watch monitors incoming feeds for certain search terms (I have one set up to watch for "Korea") and creates a meta-channel (using Awasu terminology) of all items with the word "Korea", for example.


support wrote:
Again, coming soon. There have been some unfortunate delays with the search engine work which is why it is still not available. I would have liked for it to be in by now. Still, we have a lot of experience with AI-based, intelligent search so what we will be providing will be much smarter than a simple keyword search e.g. an agent that learns what you like to read (and can be trained) and then watches the incoming content for stuff that it thinks you might be interested in.


More good news!

Magic Speller wrote:
5. No OCS import wizard. The main OCS search pages are included in the Tools menu, but it's not quite the same.


support wrote:
OCS is nowhere near as popular as OPML. I think you're the first person to ask for it.


Sorry I wasn't clear on this one. I was referring to the ability to search something like syndic8.com or 10.am for a channel to add, right from the new channel dialog/wizard. Don't these services use OCS? Hope that makes more sense--I'm still learning the terminology (and the technology).

Magic Speller wrote:
6. Better keyboard navigation is needed. An example would be use of the space key to move through an article and then skip to the next item.


support wrote:
I have to disagree with you on this one. Somebody once said that he liked Awasu because it didn't assume that he wanted to read every single item. Again, it's a question of quality over quantity. The way I use Awasu is to quickly scan each channel's summary looking for interesting stuff and only read that. I probably only read < 5% of all content that arrives. If I had to press SPACE to move through items, well, I have >250 channels right now, so assuming an average of 10 items per channel, that's one sore thumb... :-)


:lol: I'll have to think about this. You're right about one thing, anyway--there's no way I would be able to read anywhere near all the items that come in. On the other hand, I DO read every one in SOME channels.

So...up to > 250 now, eh? :o

Magic Speller wrote:
7. In a related vein, F8 and Shift-F8 move to the next/previous item, but something is needed to move to the next/previous UNREAD item.


Quote:
You can configure channels to show new or unread items only. The way I do it is press F7 to show the item pane and press SPACE on the item I want. I have auto-hide feed items turned on so the item pane closes up as the page loads. When I'm done, I press F7 again and since my channels are configured to show unread items only, the one I've just read will have been removed from the list and the next item already selected.


Good suggestions. I'll try it this way. What do you mean, "press SPACE on the item I want"?

Magic Speller wrote:
8. It would be nice to have a blogger client and a way of creating news feeds, as in NewzCrawler and some others.


support wrote:
We have always intended Awasu to be more than just another blog reader/tool and so our efforts have been made in a slightly different direction to the others.


Much appreciated, by the way!

support wrote:
I don't want to give away too much but you can already see the possibilities that plugins and hooks make available and these are just the first steps towards our vision of what Awasu will become. There are so many RSS readers out there now that offer virtually the same thing: a 3-pane reader, maybe a blogging interface, a simple search facility. From a business point of view, it makes no sense for us to write something that does exactly what everyone else is doing. We are commited to producing a package that gives you unparalleled power when it comes to manipulating information, something that is not available in any other reader. It may not be immediately obvious to the general public today but you will start to see what I mean over the coming months. We have enough ideas to keep us busy for a few years to come!


I can't wait!

Magic Speller wrote:
9. There is no news ticker as in NewzCrawler.


support wrote:
This has been on the wish list for ages. If you have a play with the ChannelMonitorWindow hook, you will see that this could easily be extended to show the feed as a ticker instead of as a list of items. Again, it's a question of priorities. If somebody is interested, I am happy to work with them to modify it to work as a ticker.


Yes, when I saw ChannelMonitorWindow, it did immediately seem to be that this was a similar concept. Anyway, a ticker isn't a big deal for me; you do have the popup balloons....

Magic Speller wrote:
10. In addition to an unread count in the channel list, I would like to see a total count--in the format #/#.


support wrote:
I'll have to disagree with you again, this time on personal taste. I hate even having the unread item count in my My Channels window - I only put it in because people were asking for it. I think this is a techie thing, wanting to have a display of every available statistic. Remember, one of our main target user groups is non-techies and so an uncluttered UI is crucial. Is it really important to know how many items are in a channel or what percentage of them you have read? :-) Still, if you can drum up enough support for this, I'll put it in :-) :roll:


Yes, I'm sure it's a techie thing--and a matter of habit. I've been seeing the numbers in my email client for years. Now I'm in the process of (maybe) switching to a different client that displays only an unread count, and I'm missing the totals there, too.

Anyway, not a biggie either.

Magic Speller wrote:
11. Another NewzCrawler feature missing from Awasu is Usenet capabilities.


support wrote:
Historically, NewzCrawler started out as a Usenet reader and added RSS later.


REALLY? I'm surprised to hear that, considering how rudimentary its newsgroup capabilities are....

support wrote:
Usenet support doesn't really fit in with our vision and we have no plans for adding support at this time. Anyway, NewzCrawler has been around for years so check back with us after an equivalent amount of time :-)


It's been around for years and is at 1.5? Usenet support is another one of those "nice to haves". I would still use a dedicated Usenet newsreader. I did find it helpful in NewzCrawler to include a couple of RSS-related newsgroups that I was actively following to minimize the number of times I had to switch applications.

support wrote:
BTW, there is a service that converts news groups to RSS that you can use.


There is? Where?

Magic Speller wrote:
12. It would be nice to have a more full-featured browser toolbar.


support wrote:
What would you like to see? Again, I hardly use it and only added it by popular request.


NewsDemon has Maximize, Stop, Refresh, Channel Home, Show in External Browser. I realize that you're handling a couple of these in other ways.

Magic Speller wrote:
The argument might be made that Awasu is free and the other two aren't. Well...I hate to say it, but the "free" version is looking more and more to me like a gimmick. There are always the nags to upgrade (a popup balloon, upgrade tab, etc.), and I find the free version to be seriously crippled. The limitation of 100 feeds isn't too bad, but the limit of just five channel filters and reports is severely limiting. With "All", "New Content", "Unread Items", and "My Favorites" already in use, I can only add a single category to filter (unless I'm missing something).


support wrote:
I think calling it a "gimmick" is a bit harsh :-) You described yourself as a power user and so the restrictions you mentioned probably would be overly limiting. But there are a great many people out there who are just casual users of RSS - we get thousands of downloads of the free version every month - and Awasu is more than adequate for them. If you had only 50 or so channels, then 5 filters and 5 reports are probably enough; you are able to delete the existing ones and create your own new ones if you wish. Anyway, I strongly suspect that most people aren't creating their own and are just using the standard ones.


You're right, "gimmick" was a poor choice of words. I still think, though, that this restriction makes it almost impossible to use categories at all in Awasu. I think you're wrong about most people using the standard ones; I would most light users don't use them at all, and may not even know they're there. However, anyone who's going to use categories at all is almost certainly going to have more than 5--and definitely more than the 2 or 3 at most that are possible if you want to use any of the default filters.

If the number were 10 rather than 5, I would feel that it would be a viable "free" version.

Quote:
I said in the FAQ that part of the motivation of giving away a free version was a desire on our part to give something back in return for all the free software that we've used ourselves over the years and that is actually the truth :-) The free version is fully-functional (none of this can't print or can't save that some demos do) and even if you are considering upgrading to the paid version, it is still cheaper than the other ones you mentioned! :-)


Yes, this is true. Unfortunately, $15 is still expensive for some of us who are suffering from the effects of the poor economy here in the U.S. I've been out of work for several months :cry: . Oh, well, enough of my whining! On to the next point!

support wrote:
And there is the question of support and the like. Have you been able to have a conversation like this one with the authors of the other programs? Do they provide the same level of support in their forums as we do? Are they as responsive to bug reports and feature requests?


Well, yes, I have, but I'll grant you that it is very rare. To be honest, I think Nick Bradbury's level of support and responsiveness is comparable, but he is the rare exception.

Magic Speller wrote:
Just about every other product uses a tree structure or something similar to allow unlimited categories. I think the virtual-folder concept (although difficult to learn--I think the documentation could be better) is the best way to handle this, but it's useless with this limitation.


support wrote:
Yes, but the traditional tree-based way of organizing information is such a pain to use. I hate trying to navigate through a directory tree in Windows Explorer, expanding and closing tree nodes with the mouse. Yuk! Awasu's virtual folders (excellent name, BTW, I'm going to use it!) are a much slicker, more efficient way of doing things. CTRL-SHIFT-N, I've immediately got all my channels with new content, CTRL-SHIFT-F, my favorites.


I definitely agree. I think this may be the way of the future, too. Is it Thunderbird that's doing a similar thing for email?

support wrote:
Yes, it takes a while to get the hang of it, yes the documentation could be better, there are many improvements we want to make in the UI (especially for mouse-bound users) and all of this will be coming soon. There are some core features that need to be done first - sync and then archive/search - and then we will be going back and addressing issues such as these. I know a lot of developers say this but if you look through the forums, our track record is that we actually do it :-) And if you want more filters, more reports, more channels, 15 bucks is not all that much to pay. We give it away for free to thousands of people who use it every day (NewzCrawler only has a trial version and I believe that there will not be a free version of FeedDemon once it gets out of beta) so if you like it, if you use it, why not give a little something back?


Well reasoned out. I do like your attitude and your approach.

support wrote:
Wow. What a post. Hope it helped :-)


Yes, I kind of threw everything I could think of. Your reply did help. It sounds like you are addressing or are planning to address most of the things that are really important to me. I'm anxious to see what's coming.

Thanks for taking the time.

_________________
Keith


Mon Oct 27, 2003 11:33 am
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Posts: 2888
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: My Awasu Review
Magic Speller wrote:
1. When I start up Awasu, it takes 3 minutes to populate the channel list! With FeedDemon, it's instantaneous; with NewzCrawler, it takes 15 or 20 seconds. Does Awasu's code take advantage of multithreading? Wouldn't it be possible to list the channels first so that I can start reading while the channels are being updated?


support wrote:
Awasu is highly multi-threaded but the delay in loading the channels is a side-effect of the current design. Yes, it is a bit slow if you have a lot of channels but you can use each channel immediately and don't have to wait for them all to load.


Magic Speller wrote:
Yes, but you have to wait for the one you're interested in to appear, which may be a couple of minutes....


Well, all my channels are interesting :-)

Magic Speller wrote:
2. The item list has only a single column. It would be SO much more useful to have additional columns. I would especially like to see a date-published/received column so that I can see whether an item is new today or too old to bother with. It would also allow resorting by date (or by other included columns). I realize that date sorting is possible now with a plugin, but this would be much easier.


support wrote:
We have a few plans for other things to put in the item list but it's a question of priorities and what gets done first. If I had a team of 20 programmers at my disposal, there would be heaps of things going in right now but alas, that is not the case :-( Sorting by date would be fairly low priority anyway since virtually every feed provider presents their content in reverse chronological order anyway :-) This information is available in the summary page but not all publishers provide this information.


Magic Speller wrote:
"Virtually" is the key. I've found at least one that was supplied in direct chronological order. In any case, sorting by date isn't my main need here. I want to be able to SEE the date. Also, there are other columns in other readers that I tend so sort on. Title sorting is very useful, for example.


Not what you want to hear but the date is shown in the channel's summary. You can also reverse the feed item order using an XSLT that one of our users has written: http://www.awasu.com/downloads/ThirdParty/ReverseFeed/

Magic Speller wrote:
5. No OCS import wizard. The main OCS search pages are included in the Tools menu, but it's not quite the same.


support wrote:
OCS is nowhere near as popular as OPML. I think you're the first person to ask for it.


Magic Speller wrote:
Sorry I wasn't clear on this one. I was referring to the ability to search something like syndic8.com or 10.am for a channel to add, right from the new channel dialog/wizard. Don't these services use OCS? Hope that makes more sense--I'm still learning the terminology (and the technology).


OCS is a format used to create lists of channels and so in that respect, is the same as OPML. IMHO, it doesn't make sense to allow searching from the Channel Wizard. I think it's better the way things are: you can search using the Syndic8 plugin and for the channels you are interested in, then start the Channel Wizard. There's no reason why somebody couldn't write a plugin to search other directories (hint, hint) :-)

Magic Speller wrote:
6. Better keyboard navigation is needed. An example would be use of the space key to move through an article and then skip to the next item.


support wrote:
I have to disagree with you on this one. Somebody once said that he liked Awasu because it didn't assume that he wanted to read every single item. Again, it's a question of quality over quantity. The way I use Awasu is to quickly scan each channel's summary looking for interesting stuff and only read that. I probably only read < 5% of all content that arrives. If I had to press SPACE to move through items, well, I have >250 channels right now, so assuming an average of 10 items per channel, that's one sore thumb... :-)


Magic Speller wrote:
:lol: I'll have to think about this. You're right about one thing, anyway--there's no way I would be able to read anywhere near all the items that come in. On the other hand, I DO read every one in SOME channels.

So...up to > 250 now, eh? :o


Yep. It's a miracle I get anything done at all :roll:

Magic Speller wrote:
7. In a related vein, F8 and Shift-F8 move to the next/previous item, but something is needed to move to the next/previous UNREAD item.


Quote:
You can configure channels to show new or unread items only. The way I do it is press F7 to show the item pane and press SPACE on the item I want. I have auto-hide feed items turned on so the item pane closes up as the page loads. When I'm done, I press F7 again and since my channels are configured to show unread items only, the one I've just read will have been removed from the list and the next item already selected.


Magic Speller wrote:
Good suggestions. I'll try it this way. What do you mean, "press SPACE on the item I want"?


Once the item pane has focus, I use the arrow keys to move around (or press the key for the first letter of the item title that I want) and then press SPACE or ENTER to open the item. This works for My Channels, the Workpad, etc. as well.

support wrote:
BTW, there is a service that converts news groups to RSS that you can use.


Magic Speller wrote:
There is? Where?


NNTP2RSS: http://freshmeat.net/projects/nntp2rss/ ... d=39%2C897

Magic Speller wrote:
12. It would be nice to have a more full-featured browser toolbar.


support wrote:
What would you like to see? Again, I hardly use it and only added it by popular request.


Magic Speller wrote:
NewsDemon has Maximize, Stop, Refresh, Channel Home, Show in External Browser. I realize that you're handling a couple of these in other ways.


These are good ideas. On the list... :whip:

Magic Speller wrote:
Just about every other product uses a tree structure or something similar to allow unlimited categories. I think the virtual-folder concept (although difficult to learn--I think the documentation could be better) is the best way to handle this, but it's useless with this limitation.


support wrote:
Yes, but the traditional tree-based way of organizing information is such a pain to use. I hate trying to navigate through a directory tree in Windows Explorer, expanding and closing tree nodes with the mouse. Yuk! Awasu's virtual folders (excellent name, BTW, I'm going to use it!) are a much slicker, more efficient way of doing things. CTRL-SHIFT-N, I've immediately got all my channels with new content, CTRL-SHIFT-F, my favorites.


Magic Speller wrote:
I definitely agree. I think this may be the way of the future, too. Is it Thunderbird that's doing a similar thing for email?


Not AFAIK. There is a great bookmark manager that does a similar thing: http://www.kaylon.com/power.html

support wrote:
Wow. What a post. Hope it helped :-)


Magic Speller wrote:
Yes, I kind of threw everything I could think of. Your reply did help. It sounds like you are addressing or are planning to address most of the things that are really important to me. I'm anxious to see what's coming.

Thanks for taking the time.


No worries :-)


Mon Oct 27, 2003 8:24 pm
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Post Re: My Awasu Review
support wrote:
Well, all my channels are interesting :-)


:oops: What can I say?!

support wrote:
Not what you want to hear but the date is shown in the channel's summary. You can also reverse the feed item order using an XSLT that one of our users has written: http://www.awasu.com/downloads/ThirdParty/ReverseFeed/


No, not what I want to hear! I want to be able to see the date without having to click on an item or scroll down in the summary/newspaper pane :( . I did already know about the XSLT, and I'm sure I'll be using it.

support wrote:
OCS is a format used to create lists of channels and so in that respect, is the same as OPML. IMHO, it doesn't make sense to allow searching from the Channel Wizard. I think it's better the way things are: you can search using the Syndic8 plugin and for the channels you are interested in, then start the Channel Wizard. There's no reason why somebody couldn't write a plugin to search other directories (hint, hint) :-)


Well, I disagree. I think it does make sense. But you're the one who gets to decide!

support wrote:
You can configure channels to show new or unread items only. The way I do it is press F7 to show the item pane and press SPACE on the item I want. I have auto-hide feed items turned on so the item pane closes up as the page loads. When I'm done, I press F7 again and since my channels are configured to show unread items only, the one I've just read will have been removed from the list and the next item already selected.


How do you configure the channels to show unread items only? Is there a way to do it globally, do you do it by individual channels, or are you using a filter?

Magic Speller wrote:
Good suggestions. I'll try it this way. What do you mean, "press SPACE on the item I want"?


support wrote:
Once the item pane has focus, I use the arrow keys to move around (or press the key for the first letter of the item title that I want) and then press SPACE or ENTER to open the item. This works for My Channels, the Workpad, etc. as well.


Ah, I see. A couple more things I didn't know about. Sound Great!

support wrote:
BTW, there is a service that converts news groups to RSS that you can use.


Magic Speller wrote:
There is? Where?




Thanks!

Magic Speller wrote:
NewsDemon has Maximize, Stop, Refresh, Channel Home, Show in External Browser. I realize that you're handling a couple of these in other ways.


support wrote:
These are good ideas. On the list... :whip:


Appreciate it.

support wrote:
There is a great bookmark manager that does a similar thing: http://www.kaylon.com/power.html


Yes, I know. I've been using Powermarks for years. It makes it so much easier to find things, and so will your virtual folders, once I can really use them!

Thanks again for your responsiveness. Have you seen my bug report? (Haven't checked that forum yet myself.)

<whisper> How's the alpha coming? </whisper>

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Keith


Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:03 pm
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Post Re: My Awasu Review
support wrote:
OCS is a format used to create lists of channels and so in that respect, is the same as OPML. IMHO, it doesn't make sense to allow searching from the Channel Wizard. I think it's better the way things are: you can search using the Syndic8 plugin and for the channels you are interested in, then start the Channel Wizard. There's no reason why somebody couldn't write a plugin to search other directories (hint, hint) :-)


Magic Speller wrote:
Well, I disagree. I think it does make sense. But you're the one who gets to decide!


You might find Joel Spolsky's 's article on mental models and how they relate to software design interesting: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/ch ... 00058.html

I would argue that when the user decides that s/he wants to look for some more channels, the thought process is 1) let's find some new channels 2) choose which ones look good and subscribe to them. Not, let's start the subscription process (i.e. the Channel Wizard), then go looking for new channels.

Magic Speller wrote:
How do you configure the channels to show unread items only? Is there a way to do it globally, do you do it by individual channels, or are you using a filter?


Both. You can configure it on a per-channel basis in the Channel Properties dialog (Show feed items). Or you can configure the default setting in the Program Options and channels that are set to "Default" will use that. I have my global setting as "Unread" and for the few channels where I want to see everything all the time, I configure them individually.

Magic Speller wrote:
<whisper> How's the alpha coming? </whisper>


Pretty good. I'm going to push it out the door in the next day or two.

Slightly OT but some comments on free vs. paid software here that you might find interesting: http://www.asharewarelife.com/2003_10_2 ... 4951775789


Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:23 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 12:23 am
Posts: 34
Post Re: My Awasu Review
support wrote:
You might find Joel Spolsky's 's article on mental models and how they relate to software design interesting: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/ch ... 00058.html

I would argue that when the user decides that s/he wants to look for some more channels, the thought process is 1) let's find some new channels 2) choose which ones look good and subscribe to them. Not, let's start the subscription process (i.e. the Channel Wizard), then go looking for new channels.


Great. Thanks for the link.

Yes, you do make a good point. I think the main thing that I liked about integrating the search into the subscription wizard was that it does give you a consistent search interface.

Magic Speller wrote:
How do you configure the channels to show unread items only? Is there a way to do it globally, do you do it by individual channels, or are you using a filter?


support wrote:
Both. You can configure it on a per-channel basis in the Channel Properties dialog (Show feed items). Or you can configure the default setting in the Program Options and channels that are set to "Default" will use that. I have my global setting as "Unread" and for the few channels where I want to see everything all the time, I configure them individually.


Hmmm...That's what I would have thought, but...Are you referring to the "Content presentation" section of the Channel tab in Tools | Options? Because in my installation, that entire section is grayed out :!:

support wrote:
Slightly OT but some comments on free vs. paid software here that you might find interesting: http://www.asharewarelife.com/2003_10_2 ... 4951775789


Thanks again. Always looking for more to read! :?

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Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:42 pm
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Post Re: My Awasu Review
Magic Speller wrote:
Hmmm...That's what I would have thought, but...Are you referring to the "Content presentation" section of the Channel tab in Tools | Options? Because in my installation, that entire section is grayed out :!:


I'm not really happy with the way this was implemented but I couldn't think of a better way :roll:

The Channel tab in Tools|Options are the settings that new channels will get, a template if you like. Once a channel has been created, changes made in the Channel tab will not carry over to the new channel.

For the settings that control which feed items get shown (all/unread only/new only) and the feed item format (all/excerpt/plain-text), I wanted something that would propogate through to all channels when changed. What you want is in the Display tab in the "Default content presentation" section.

You can also change both these settings via the View menu. Changes made here only last until the window is closed. This is useful if you have a channel configured to show unread items only, for example, but want to have a quick look at everything that's there.


Tue Oct 28, 2003 4:33 am
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Post Re: My Awasu Review
support wrote:
The Channel tab in Tools|Options are the settings that new channels will get, a template if you like. Once a channel has been created, changes made in the Channel tab will not carry over to the new channel.

For the settings that control which feed items get shown (all/unread only/new only) and the feed item format (all/excerpt/plain-text), I wanted something that would propogate through to all channels when changed. What you want is in the Display tab in the "Default content presentation" section.


Thanks. Don't know how I missed that....

By the way...Software sales INCREASE 31% without a trial? That is SUPER weird. :?

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Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:32 pm
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