Naming is Harder than Coding

Last week I sent über beta tester Andrew “Spyder” Herron a pre-beta version of FeedDemon 2.5, and among the new features he noticed was a per-feed setting that enables ignoring new items if they’re older than a certain number of days (useful for buggy feeds that keep bringing back old items as new).

Andrew made the point that this feature could be a problem when you’re away from your computer for a few days – for example, if you set it to five days and then don’t update your feeds for a week, you’re going to miss stuff. So we decided that it would make more sense to ignore items published N days prior to the last time you updated your feeds.

And I can’t for the life of me figure out how to name this feature.

The feature itself took very little time to code, but naming it has taken far too long. The name has to be short enough to fit in the feed properties dialog, yet long enough to effectively describe what it does. And it has use language that’s clear to non-geeks.

This sort of thing happens a lot – I spend more time figuring out what to call a feature than I do coding it in the first place.

25 thoughts on “Naming is Harder than Coding

  1. So you still can’t think of anything? I guess “make updates to ancient posts not bug the hell out of me” is a bit too long ;)
    I really need to get around to actually installing that build you sent me, I’ve had a busy weekend :(

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  2. What’s wrong with the text you had before? Sure it’s not totally accurate, but it hits the “good enough” bar for most users.

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  3. Wooo! Can’t wait for that feature, I’ve got several feeds that do that! (Now, if only you could magically fix the broken full/partial feeds from the GigaOM sites…)
    As for my naming suggestion? I dunno, maybe call them “Dirty Feeds” or “Recycled Feeds”, and call the feature “Feed Recycling”?
    Oh, I’m sure there’s an official place I should do this but I do have a feature request that would DRASTICALLY improve my experience, along with around three other people in the world. I really like to use a convertible tablet in slate mode to read feeds with FeedDemon, except that I’m LEFT handed and the vertical scroll bar is on the RIGHT side. Any chance of adding a setting to move the scroll bar to the left side of the screen, right next to the scroll bar for the feeds “tree”? OneNote 2007 has this simple option and it’s a HUGE help to left-handed tablet users. (Like I said, me and three other people in the world.)
    Cheers, and thanks for developing one of my favorite applications. (Favorite, because it works well consistently, functionally, and in a friendly manner.)

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  4. I think the text you have up there now is close… drop the word “new” and add “from last update” to the end…
    Ignore items older than
    [7] days from last update.

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  5. Avoid reposting
    Avoid reposts
    Ignore reposting
    (If it did more than a simple time check, like at least one feature of an old post was the same, it would be more dependable.)

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  6. Why not but in parenthesis under the drop-down “(since last update)”? Or add a checkbox for the user to select if they want to ignore feeds since the last update and make it true by default.

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  7. Regurgitation Filter -has my vote, or
    Resurrection Prophylactic?
    (sorry couldn’t help it, just trying to build on some good ideas :)

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  8. OK, I’m tempted to name this feature “regurgitation filter” just so I can create an icon for it :)
    I like “ignore reposting,” but I’d probably have to expand the feature to exclude duplicate titles as well, since duplication is often the result of minor changes to descriptions in feeds which don’t use unique identifiers.

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  9. Blake, yes – this will basically do what you requested. I need to polish a few things before I’m comfortable sending FeedDemon 2.5 to other testers, but you can expect a beta before the end of the month.

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  10. +1 for keeping the existing name. Its close enought to what most of your customers will be thinking (and more importantly wanting) when they select said option.

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  11. It might be easier to name if you remove the number of days option. Just pick a good default and leave it.
    Then you could name it something like “Ignore items that appear to be duplicates.”
    Patrick

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  12. As with any name there is what it does, and what it means to the user. The feature does *not* remove duplicates, but can help suppress recurring articles. I would be inclined to put as-long-as-needed explanatory text in a tooltip or off to the side.
    ” Age limit on new items (fewer duplicates from buggy feeds). ”
    If you end up with a bunch of these somewhat hackish settings, I would suggest grouping them under an explanation of why the user should pay attention (or ignore) the entire group. (Ever been presented with a bunch of settings, and not know which you should change and why?)
    ” Things you can do to deal with buggy feeds. ”
    ” Seeing old posts as new? ”
    ” Ignore posts older than last check by [ ] days. ”
    Best if date of last check was displayed. Or something of the like. :)

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