Newspapers 2.1

When I designed FeedDemon 2.0 last year, one of my priorities was to completely overhaul how FeedDemon’s newspapers work.  The first thing I wanted to do was to enable newspapers to be much more interactive, so that you could mark posts as read, flagged, deleted, etc., from within the newspaper.  That goal was accomplished, but I didn’t meet my second goal, which was to split newspapers containing a large number of posts across several pages.

The main reason I wanted to do this was because FeedDemon has always been hampered by the single-page newspaper view.  Overall it worked fine, but things slowed to a crawl when displaying a newspaper containing hundreds of items.  This limited what I could do with the newspaper view, since any new feature I added had to scale to work when displaying hundreds of posts at once.

Well, I’ve been in mad scientist mode again this week, and I’m happy to report that FeedDemon’s newspapers have been completely re-architected to support pagination [screenshot].  As a result, they’re a lot faster and a lot more powerful.  The fact that I no longer have to worry about the performance cost of displaying hundreds of posts has enabled adding some long-needed features, including:

  • Highlighting of keywords in watches and subscription searches [screenshot]
  • Thumbnail images when showing summaries (excerpts) instead of full posts [screenshot]
  • Quick +/- toggle between excerpt and full post [screenshot]

Within the next week we plan to release a beta of FeedDemon 2.1 which includes all of the features mentioned above.  Pagination is a much bigger change than it may sound, and I realize that change can be jarring, so I’m hoping that the improvements are well-received.  I’ll announce the beta here when it’s available.

Update: Critter has been privately testing the pagination features, and he says “the speed improvements are astonishing” :)

7 thoughts on “Newspapers 2.1

  1. The highlight search word is superb! I was going to request something like this in the forums.
    Pages in newspapers sounds great. I don’t really not any speed/memory problems on my system due to the CPU and RAM however I was recently on a older system with only 256MB RAM and noticed that FD was a little sluggish with 100+ posts in a newspaper on Surfer with Full Posts so I am sure this will be great with machines with not much power or memory.

  2. Can’t wait for the new beta! The newspaper pagination sounds great. One thing I would love to see is the ability to mark all posts in a single page read, much like Newsgator Online. That would make skimming through large numbers of posts much quicker.

  3. Kay, you’re in luck – there’s a keyboard shortcut for marking the current page read, and there’s also an option to automatically mark the current page read when changing to another page.

  4. Hey Nick, this all looks cool but when can we get our hands on the next beta? I’ve been using 2.1 Beta 1 for the last couple of weeks and I love it. Can’t wait for the next update. Cheers – Stuart.

  5. I’ve always wanted to build (or use) a feed reader with an offline mode where I can basically come to my pc in the morning, open the reader and hit print today’s news and have it run off my own private newspaper for the 35 minute bus ride. Obviously this would need to list the full story instead of excerpts. Is this possible with FeedDemon?

  6. Adam, that isn’t possible, but it’s a very cool idea. You can, however, use FeedDemon if offline mode to read your feeds during your bus ride.

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