Feeds showing up unread despite being read seconds ago.

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  • Updated 6 years ago
Since yesterday I am seeing that a lot of feeds show multiple articles as unread (new) despite having been read. Can't see a pattern, but it is quite annoying, considering I try to get to zero unread, and I follow about 120 feeds :-(
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Romit Mehta

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Posted 8 years ago

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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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I'm following this trend, as I've noticed it for the past week now. It's an unfortunate bug. I actually know every time it happens, since the story is recorded as being read, but then it gets marked read again. I'm trying hard to figure this one out, but it's quite elusive. I can fix it in the short term by making every feed page load consider all previously read stories instead of a select range, but it's a performance hit.

Just know that I noticed it and am straining to figure out the right way to fix the bug. It's an absolute top priority.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Are you using the Android app by any chance? I've noticed this is happening for a dozen users or so and a few of them are on the Android app. It's probably just selection bias (users who use the Android app are more likely to subscribe to feeds that publish often enough to exhibit this bug), but it's worth a shot.
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susannah.tysor

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I found that this happens for me on the android app, but not in the iPad app or when using a browser.
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Romit Mehta

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No, I am using the web app.
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bencompanjen

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I have the same problem, but for only one story. Maybe this can help:

The story http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenSa... from the Planet RDF aggregated feed ( http://planetrdf.com/index.rdf ) keeps popping up as unread. I've 'read' 50 times by now... It is always the last story in the list (which makes sense, as by now it is the oldest 'unread' post).

I thought it may have something to do with the feed's lastBuild or publishing dates, but the feed seems okay in that respect. This post is the only post that keeps being unread. It is neither the newest nor the oldest post in the feed.
The feed does have another link to a previous version of the same story, which redirects to a "page not found" error.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Try marking the feed as read. It is possible for a straggler to fall through the cracks, but marking the feed as read moves up the unread date in the database. Then, if you still have an unread story, then it's a great bug to fix. :-)
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Romit Mehta

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Samuel, let me give that a try. So after reading every new article in a feed, I have to Mark It Read, right?

There's got to be a more robust way to kill the stragglers :-(
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Romit Mehta

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Just tried it - actually, "Mark As Read" option is greyed out when I have read all articles of a feed. :-(
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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The stragglers should show up as unread in both the story titles and in the unread count. The mark feed as read solution is just to fix the straggler, which I haven't had happen to me for a few months ever since I fixed that bug that allows stragglers.

If you can't mark a feed as read, that's because it has 0 unread stories. But when you scroll the story titles, you find an unread story? Let me know the feed and I'll take a look. *That* definitely should not be happening.
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Romit Mehta

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Ok, let me explain again what is happening (and it is happened VERY frequently nowadays). I have about 100 feeds I have subscribed to, and they are in about 15 folders.

I go top to bottom and the unread count goes to zero as I progress through the feeds. When I reach, say, the 20th feed, I see that a random feed above goes from 0 unread to 2 unread. There is no pattern, but there are some that do this more than the others.

I have tried reading those manually, and also marking the feed read, but the issue continues to persist. They may not come up that moment, but the next day, the same phenomenon occurs. Maybe the same feeds, maybe some other feed.

As you can tell, trying to manage 100 feeds with random feeds cropping up as unread even though I have read, could become a very frustrating experience. The fact that it has started happening more frequently nowadays (last 2-3 days) is bothering me even more :-(

I even deleted a BUNCH of feeds, to see if the volume of feeds I have may be creating the issue. I went from 177 to about 90-odd. No difference :-(
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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This is clearly a bug that needs to be addressed immediately. I'm going to try hard to get this resolved today.

By any chance, are you using IE? I've noticed that IE will sometimes send the wrong story_id, which would make the story show up as unread even though you just read it.
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Romit Mehta

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Yes, IE9. Do I need to tweak user agent or compatibility settings to help?
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Romit Mehta

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What can I do to help troubleshoot/fix this issue? It is getting extremely annoying - just marked a few articles in a few feeds read. Seven times. Seven. And they still show up unread every few seconds.

I am willing to help in any way, just need to know this will be fixed. Soon. I would hate to go back to Google Reader :-(
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Romit Mehta

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Oh, just noticed one thing. I have "Tracking Protection" turned on in IE9 (it disables third-party cookies, if I am not mistaken). Does this have any impact on what is going on? I will turn it off and monitor, and report back.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Let me know about the tracking protection, but I'm not holding out much hope for that. I tested in IE9 and can't reproduce the issue. Are you noticing the issue more in River of News view or on single feeds?
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Romit Mehta

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Still seeing random old feeds showing up as unread. Not as bad as this morning, but still. :-(
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Good news, I was just able to reproduce the issue. It seems that a single story is becoming stuck as unread, even after reading it. I'm not sure why, but now I can reliably find it. I'm going to see about attacking this issue later tonight.
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Romit Mehta

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Ahh. Awesome. I am glad you were able to reproduce. And yes, it is in the single feed view, not in the River of News.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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OK, I fixed the issue around stories getting stuck as unread. Part of this fix is what I hope is the cure for these stories become unread again in the first place after you mark them as read. If you find stories becoming unread, let me know. I'll be watching the logs and trying to find this happening again.

But luckily, you can now read those unread stories and they should correctly get marked as read. And I have an idea as to why the unread bit gets flipped (it has to do with some sites changing a story'd guid).
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Romit Mehta

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Ok, that's GREAT. Will let you know if any problematic feeds remain. Appreciate the turnaround!
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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I know this doesn't help, but the problem still exists with about 2 weeks of read story data, which means that any previously stuck stories will take 2 iterations of you reading them (one to unstuck, one to read) before they work. I know it's less than ideal, but it's a big system and change is becoming harder to make to a live database.

This will quickly catch up and within a week there should be no more. I'll be actively watching what happens, so rest assured that I'll keep working at it, even if you happen to find old stories that are still incorrectly marked as unread. New stories should not have this problem.
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Romit Mehta

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Ok, that's fine. Knowing that it is not going to repeat is enough for me to go through this cleanup. Am I right to understand that the same feed should not show up with problems after I go through the two steps?

And thanks for the heads up!
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Romit Mehta

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Looks good so far, Samuel. Thanks! As expected, there were a few feeds where I had to run through multiple times but they have not acted up since. Yay.
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lhagan

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I'm experiencing this (or something similar anyway). It's just one feed, and one article in that feed. I can mark it as unread and the count goes to zero, but any time a legitimately new item appears in that feed, this old article shows up again as unread. It's "NEW PRODUCT – 12′′ eTape Liquid Level Sensor + extras" on www.adafruit.com/blog/feed/. Been happening since Monday.
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lhagan

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I just realized that I was still using a FeedRinse'd version of this feed, so that could be the cause. I'm switching to the regular feed and will report back if the issue persists.
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Romit Mehta

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Seems like the problem has cropped up again. 5 feeds keep on showing a few articles as unread even though I have read them. 5 times over.