FeedDemon Offline Prefetch: Fixing a Bad UI

One of the most popular additions to FeedDemon 2.5 was the ability to prefetch unread items, which downloads and caches your unread items so they’re available offline.  Not only does FeedDemon prefetch images in your unread items, but it also caches links to external web sites, enabling you to click a hyperlink which appears in an unread item and still view the external page even without an Internet connection.

Despite being well-received, the truth is that the UI for this feature is downright unfriendly.  When you start a prefetch, the progress is shown in a floating dialog which obscures what you’re reading.  If you choose to hide this dialog, an icon in the system tray shows the progress instead.  It worked, but it was both ugly and confusing.  It’s one of those designs that made sense when I created it, but in retrospect makes me wonder what I was thinking.

So I decided to rectify this by ripping out the old prefetch UI and replacing it with a much simpler one which appears within the main FeedDemon window, as shown in the screenshot below:

Click to enlarge 

This will be available in the next build of FeedDemon (sorry, no release date yet – but it will be sooner rather than later).

6 thoughts on “FeedDemon Offline Prefetch: Fixing a Bad UI

  1. Thanks for all your work on FeedDemon. I really enjoy using it and your constant tweaking of the program makes it even more enjoyable.

  2. What I’ve long wondered is, why not have an option to *always* prefetch, automatically? Better yet, let us set that option on a per-feed basis, so that some feeds are always prefetched and others are skipped.

  3. @Wataru: the next build will include some other prefetch-related improvements, including the ability to automatically prefetch after every feed update as well as the ability to customize which feeds to skip when prefetching.

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