GB

Postby GB » Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:00 pm

It would be nice if after the name of the channel, there was the number of unread items in that channel. (It might also be nice if when a channel has unread items that it appears in bold) This is be very similar to how Outlook shows the number of unread messages in a folder.

The channel list would then look like this:

Slashdot (12)
AP News (6)
Salon


Which would mean that there are 12 unread items in the Slashdot channel and 6 items in the AP News Channel that haven't been read. All of the items in the Salon channel HAVE been read.

Also, while I like the "dot" that appears to the left that tells me that there new items have been received, for me, I am more concerned whether there are things that I haven't read in a channel rather than whether there are "new" things in a channel. Obviously something that is "new" hasn't been read yet, therefore if you don't implement my suggestion above, then maybe making the dot (or maybe another symbol) indicate that there are unread items in a channel might be more useful. (For me at least! :D)

Thanks again for a great program

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Postby support » Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:40 pm

A lot of newsreaders work like this but I don't like it. One of the perks of writing a newsreader is that you get to do things your way :-)

The reason is that you rarely want to read *every* item in a feed. Awasu has always emphasized quality over quantity i.e. making it easy to read the items that you are interested in, not making it easy to read every single item.

Typically what happens when a new feed comes in is this: I open up the channel and read the summary page. The items I'm interested in I'll read and the others I ignore. And then that's it for that channel. I don't want to know about it until the next feed comes in with new content. I certainly don't want to be reminded about unread items that I have already rejected. This is the reasoning behind having the summary page instead of the one-item-at-a-time method that every other newsreader uses - it makes it easier to decide what's worth reading and what's not instead of forcing you to go through every single item.

If there is an item that I am interested in but want to read later, I just add it to the read-me list. This is what I do at the office. When I get in, I'll scan all the channels for new content and add the ones I want to my read-me list and then at lunchtime, I'll go back and read them all.

GB

Postby GB » Mon Mar 10, 2003 12:58 am

A lot of newsreaders work like this but I don't like it. One of the perks of writing a newsreader is that you get to do things your way


So I guess one of the drawbacks to NOT developing a newsreader is that you never get the perfect product. :D

First of all, I understand your perspective, but I guess that I work a little differently. I like to peruse around in the newsreader and read a few articles at a time from each feed. This is especially true, if I've been out of the office for a couple of hours (or a couple of days!) and have a LOT of items to catch up on.

For example, I have 30 unread items in a folder because I didn't have time to get to it for a couple of days. So I click on the channel, and as soon as I do that the "new" indicator is removed from the left hand side. I read 4 of the 30 descriptions in the summary page and as I am reading them the phone rings so that I close Awasu or a new item comes in a channel that is VERY important to me, so I click on a different channel. Now, in either case, there are 26 items in that channel that I have NOT looked at AT ALL - yet there is no way to tell that from the channel list. There is nothing to remind me that I didn't finish reading all of the items in that channel. I currently have about 50 different channels, and I find myself clicking up and down the channels to make sure that there are NOT unread items in the channel. Some sort of indication on the channel list, would easily allow me to know which channels I haven't finished reading.

I agree with you that the summary page makes it very easy to read the entire channel at once. I LOVE the summary page! And after I am done reading it, I think that I should be able to hit a keystroke for "Mark All Items As Read" (I know that you said this will be included in a newer version, thanks!) and then something happens on the channel list so that I know that everything has been read. You are right, I don't want to have to go through each individual item and mark it as read, that's why the "Mark All Items As Read" keystroke will be so convenient.

If there is an item that I am interested in but want to read later, I just add it to the read-me list. This is what I do at the office. When I get in, I'll scan all the channels for new content and add the ones I want to my read-me list and then at lunchtime, I'll go back and read them all.


I love the "Read Me List" feature as well, but it doesn't address the common scenario that I outlined above. How do I quickly get the 26 unread items into my Read Me List? And if there is an answer to that, then I have to ask, "Why am I stuck putting 26 items into my Read Me List when if I had some sort of indicator on the channel list, I would be all set?" :D

The thing is that I don't think that our different styles of using Awasu have to be mutually exclusive. All that I need is an option to show something on the channel list that lets me know that there are unread items. I don't think that would have any sort of negative impact on your ability to use Awasu the way you want to use it. And just like that, everyone is happy. :P

Approaching this idea from another hypothetical angle- if you aren't going to show that there are unread items in a channel, then why even have an read/unread status for each individual item? Especially if most people are using the summary page (which again is great!) as I suspect they will. In my use of Awasu, I have never changed the status of AN individual item, I have only used the mark all as read command. But if the read/unread status can only be determined while you are IN the channel then really why have it at all? For example, in your description of your usage above, you have no need for the read/unread feature.

Of course the above paragraph was just to prove a point - I STRONGLY think that there shold be a READ/UNREAD feature and that's why you included it. I just don't think that it is that useful right now.

Now that I hope I've made an argument for why there should be an unread status of some type on the channel list, now let me provide a proposal for how you might do it using the existing interface. (I hate people that tell you all of the things that are wrong in the world but don't have any ideas on how to fix them. :( I don't want to be one of those people. :) )

Obviously, you could do what I suggested above and include the number of unread items after the channel name. (I'd prefer this because it gives me a good idea of how far behind I am in being caught up with all of the items! :o )

Another alternative is that you could also just make the dot indicator that appears to the left of the channel a different color depending on whether there are new or unread items in the channel. Let's say that the existing white dot means that there are new items and if the dot is blue then that means that there aren't new items but there are some unread items in that channel.

If this system was in place, then let's say some new items are added to the channel, just like now, there would be the white dot to the left of the channel name. Now, if I click on the channel, instead of the white dot going away, it would just turn to blue. After I have finished reading the summary page (or the individual items) I choose "Mark All as Read" from the right-click menu or from the new ultra-cool keystroke and the dot goes away. Perfect. :P

Anyway, thanks for reading my long-winded reponse, I hope that it all makes sense!

Thanks again for creating a great product.

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Postby support » Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:23 am

GB wrote:The thing is that I don't think that our different styles of using Awasu have to be mutually exclusive. All that I need is an option to show something on the channel list that lets me know that there are unread items. I don't think that would have any sort of negative impact on your ability to use Awasu the way you want to use it. And just like that, everyone is happy. :P

I have always been a big fan of making things like this configurable but I need to be a little careful about it. The options dialog is already getting a bit big and Awasu has always been designed to be easy to use by people who are not really into computers. But read on...

GB wrote:I STRONGLY think that there shold be a READ/UNREAD feature and that's why you included it. I just don't think that it is that useful right now.

I actually never use it. I put it in because several people asked for it! :-)

GB wrote:Another alternative is that you could also just make the dot indicator that appears to the left of the channel a different color depending on whether there are new or unread items in the channel. Let's say that the existing white dot means that there are new items and if the dot is blue then that means that there aren't new items but there are some unread items in that channel.

This is the solution I have in mind. I've been wanting to expand the read/unread system for a while now to be tri-state: read, unread old item and unread new item. This would be used in the My Channels window and the item list for each channel. We can't distinguish them by colours since some people have trouble picking out different colours so it would be a combination of icons, bold and italic text. It gets a little bit fiddly though, because people may want to set a channel or item to be read, unread old, unread new, or do it for all channels or all items in a channel. So I just deferred it :-) But it should solve your problem.

GB

Postby GB » Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:34 am

This is the solution I have in mind. I've been wanting to expand the read/unread system for a while now to be tri-state: read, unread old item and unread new item. This would be used in the My Channels window and the item list for each channel. We can't distinguish them by colours since some people have trouble picking out different colours so it would be a combination of icons, bold and italic text. It gets a little bit fiddly though, because people may want to set a channel or item to be read, unread old, unread new, or do it for all channels or all items in a channel. So I just deferred it But it should solve your problem.


You are the greatest. :) Where do I send my money for the Professional Version? :D

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Postby Guest » Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:42 am

[edit] Sigh... I must remember to log on... :-( [/edit]

GB wrote:You are the greatest. :) Where do I send my money for the Professional Version? :D


Thanks! :oops:

I'll be setting up payment channels when the Advanced Edition is ready to go. If you want to licence Awasu for commercial use before then, send an email to support@awasu.com and we'll sort something out :-)


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