Official Google Reader Blog - News, Tips and Tricks from the Reader team

Bug swatting

10/27/2006 11:44:00 AM
Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

Being an engineer isn't always about working on fun new features -- sometimes there are bugs that need to be fixed before anything else can happen. This is especially important in an application like Reader; if you use something every day, even small bugs can start to get very annoying. Here's what's been keeping the team busy this past week:

  • The shared items clip that you can embed on your site will not interfere with other JavaScript that may be running (sorry about that, Stephanie).
  • A confirmation message is now shown when coming in from the "Add to Google" page (this includes the feed subscribe functionality built into Firefox 2).
  • Searching for feeds using keywords now works in Opera.
  • The scrolling position is now always reset when moving between feeds or folders (meaning items won't inadvertently be marked as read if you're using scroll tracking in expanded view).
  • The "none" color scheme for publisher clips now works (no more creative workarounds required).
  • The email that we supply for sending shared tags to friends now contains the right link.
  • Using the "next" bookmarklet correctly marks all items as read when displaying an entire blog. (We had been overly aggressive here, and marking items as read into the future as well!)
  • Items from different feeds or folders are no longer mixed together when clicking between them quickly.
  • Keyboard shortcuts in Internet Explorer should continue to work after using "gt" or "gu" (the tag and subscription selectors).

Folder menuWe also snuck in a small feature with this release: when you subscribe to a feed, you'll get an "Add to a folder..." drop-down. This way, you can move that feed to a folder right there and then, without having to go to the settings screen.

We made it (a little bit) better

10/09/2006 12:30:00 PM
Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

It's been a very exciting week since we did our big Reader update. It's good to see that people have been liking our work. At the same time, we know there's still lots to do, which is why we've been busy fixing bugs and tweaking things in response to user feedback. Today we did a small release, a .0.1 of sorts. Here are some of the things that changed:

Pick your start page: You can now select which page you'd like to see when you first log in to Reader ("Home", "All items", or any folder or tag). Simply go to settings and on the Preferences tab pick which one you'd like to see.

Hiding the left side: If you'd like to get the list of subscriptions on the left out of the way so you can focus on what you're reading, you can just hit the u key (press it again to go back to the regular view).

Refreshing: We've added a small "Refresh" link at the bottom of the list of subscriptions, so you can easily refresh them to see if there are new items. Better yet, they will automatically refresh every few minutes, so you shouldn't even have to click the link. When an unread count has changed, it will flash yellow for a split-second to help you find it. This yellow fade made our Web 2.0 meter that we have in our office move up a tick.

Web 2.0 Meter

Space is smart again: The space key now intelligently goes from item to item and from page to page (for longer items), just like it used to in the old interface.

In addition to all this, we've also fixed a few bugs. Your feedback in the discussion group has been very helpful in helping us prioritize, so please keep posting there (even if we don't reply to every single message, we are reading all of your comments).