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

A little bit of polish

5/07/2010 12:34:00 PM
Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

Jak wielokrotnie robiliśmy w przeszłości, ekipa Google Reader poświęciła czas pomiędzy wypuszczaniem wiekszych projektów na pracę nad małymi usprawnieniami i naprawę istniejących błędów.

Oh wait, not that kind of Polish, this kind of polish.

As we've often done in the past, the Reader team has taken the time between major releases to work on small features and bug fixes. Here's a round-up of the changes we've made over the past month:

We've added support for the HTML5 <video> and <audio> tags, so that when you come across an awesome video you can share it in such a way that your mobile device-using friends can see it too.

Not interested command We realize that our recommended items may not always hit the spot (though who wouldn't like a water slide in their house). There is now a "Not interested" link at the bottom of recommended items, so that you can both hide that item and provide signals to our algorithms about the kinds of things you like and dislike.

New version bannerReader is the kind of application that people keep open in a tab all day. While it's flattering that our users are so dedicated, we want to make sure that they don't miss out on any new features and bug fixes that we release. We've therefore added a small banner that appears whenever we release a new version. If you're in the middle of something, you can ignore it (and it'll go away for a while), but if not, newest and shinier things are just a click away. Incidentally, today we built the 500th version of Reader; over the 5 years that we've worked on Reader, that works out to almost two builds a week.

A few improvements to Reader Play: When you hit space (or shift-space), you're now automatically moved between posts, and for posts with multiple images, cycled through each image. We've also added made Play more configurable by letting you change the URL used:

  • If you add a welcome=0 query parameter, the welcome screen is skipped, even for new and signed-out users.
  • An autoplay=1 query parameter can be used to start moving through posts automatically.
  • A #feed/<URL> fragment allows you to display a specific feed.

You can combine all these to make automatically playing slideshows of your favorite photoblogs.

Finally, we've done a few other small things, like the Home view loading faster, and the Send to functionality being less susceptible to being stymied by popup blockers when used with services such as Twitter.

The way we prioritized these tweaks and fixes was based on forum and Twitter feedback, so please keep it coming.