Items not staying marked as read

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  • Updated 6 years ago
This may be a problem related to too many new users, etc, etc, but some of my feeds that are more active than others have had their items marked as un-read many times. For example, I'm currently looking at a feed where the oldest "new" item is from yesterday at 4:39am. I've marked this feed as read MANY times since then, but they keep coming back!
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crazydog115

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Posted 7 years ago

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uk

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I can add that this still happens a lot on the Android app. Articles from Explosm, xkcd and "Romantically Apocalyptic" are shown as unread all over the place:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/Explosm
http://www.xkcd.com/rss.xml
http://feeds.feedburner.com/zeefeed

So for two real articles you always have something like ten zombie articles from the three sites sitting at the bottom.
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Emil Pop

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The workaround that I found is to mark the item unread, and then at the next cycle usually it gets marked as read again and doesn't show up anymore. But it's all kinda random.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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The problem here is made worse by the difference between the Android app and web/ios.

I know the Android app performs horribly and I'm planning a big rewrite. But if the web/ios aren't marking stories as read, then that's a real problem.
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tedder42

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the web definitely isn't working consistently, Samuel. I switched to newest first, but I still end up with a popular feed or two that is consistently marked unread (/mark_story_as_read returns 200).
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tedder42

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specifically: there are unread items in /everything but not in individual folders or feeds.
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Aaron Weiss

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This is happening to me on the web side, especially the kottke.org feed, which keeps coming back as unread in the All Site Stories view, but shows up correctly as read in the Kottke.org view.
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uk

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I just launched dev.newsblur.com and see the following typical behavior:


No articles are shown as unread but "All site stories" is cluttered with old articles from http://feeds.feedburner.com/zeefeed
They all show the same date and time, selecting them to mark them as read only solves the problem temporary. After a few hours the same happens again.

These are the site settings at this moment:
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agent462

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I continuously have this issue on the web. I never use the mobile apps. As I'm going through my feed the count will decrement and then immediately increment. If I leave and comeback, all the stories are still there.

edit: I just checked and the same thing happens on dev.newsblur.com
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Nick Potter

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Yep - I'm getting this a lot now too. Strangely specifically on certain feeds.

The one that's causing me the most problems currently is:

Flowing Data
http://feeds.feedburner.com/FlowingData

Despite marking stories, or the whole feed as read, it repeatedly insists on showing me articles back to the 18th March.
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Shane

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I'm getting this now too. About a dozen stories from Slashdot, going back to the 24th. No other feeds, and no error messages or anything. This is just through the web app.
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Ryan Nobles

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I'm also seeing this as well. Seems to have started for me since Friday or so. Various feeds do it at various times. This is pretty much all with the web version, but I have used the Android one a couple of times. Marking all as read seems to work for a little while, then they come back.
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volongoto

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I see this problem at dev.newsblur.com as well. The folder shows a number as "unread", but when I click on it, nothing shows up in the list. When I switch back to newsblur.com, I actuall see the unread items. So, I believe this behavior is caused by a difference between the current and the dev interfaces.
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Rob W

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It apears that if you are having this problem on both newsblur and dev.newblur sites.. it may be caused from the interaction from multiple devices causing some items not to be actually marked as read.. if this is all factual or not im not sure..

That said, it apears that if you go into dev.newsblur.com and from the wheel/cog in the bottom left, use the "mark everything read" it will actually work. At least this solved my issue. I told it to mark everything older than 1 day as read and i am not longer having the old/ghost articles show up as read.

For background i use all three platforms. web, iOS(iPad), and and Android 4.2 (HOX Phone).

I hope others find this helpful
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Rob W

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Just update, i did a bit of testing..
The "Mark as read" did in fact fix my issue for the day. So last night i used Newsblur from iOS and did all my "after work" news feed checking from there. When i started using my desktop (dev site) this morning i again has a series of articles that would just not stay 'marked as read'.

I marked them as read this morning and stayed read.

So it really seems to have something to do with the interaction of these other clients.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Rob's correct in that marking all as read will fix the issue, but probably only temporarily. The real fix is to scale out the backend to support the increased usage. As soon as I do that, this bug is my top priority. But it could very well go away on its own as soon as I can support the increased load.
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Shane

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I tried marking all items as read in both the main site and the dev site, but it doesn't seem to have fixed the issue. I've still got about 80 stories from my Slashdot feed dating to March 25th that won't go away. If it helps, it's just from that feed, and the issue doesn't appear to be growing; it's just those same items over and over again.
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Greg

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+1 on this. I've got it set to show all unread posts, but the bar on the bottom is filled entirely with old io9 posts that it thinks are unread. io9 doesn't show up on the left under Unread, though, so it's a weird inconsistency.
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Clare Jones

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Also getting this problem, side-bar lists the correct number of unread, but days worth of other posts are appearing too when I go into the folder or directly into feed. I mostly use web across 3 computers, occasionally Android but I haven't noted correlation with using a specific device timing-wise.

WORKAROUND To those running into it, when marking all as read doesn't work, I've found that deleting the problem feed and re-adding it (easiest to copy the feed URL from the settings before deleting and paste on add) does, and it seems to retain all your training data which is great :).

Sooner or later though, it turns up on a different feed (maybe every three or four days? I haven't timed it yet). There doesn't seem to be any particular pattern to the feeds that are hit, though so far one thing they all have in common is that they're reasonably high frequency things like news sites (eg. the last three I had hit this problem were BBC News, The Guardian and.Joystiq)
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Thebudac

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This is really frustating. Have to scroll through the same 50 articles for the last 4 days before getting any new stuff.

Am reading from Old to new and have been through the list at least 6 times. Have marked offending lists as all read. Have tried Dev server.

This is bordering on unusable. For me the main culprits are Boing Boing and Ars Technica. Please fix this.
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Maulkin

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As a workaround, what I've been doing is to go to the top feed (rather than everything), and pressing 'n'. This will take you to the next unread story. For large sites which are displaying the problem, it automatically scrolls past all the read items for you.

Neil
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Thebudac

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Nope, didn't work for me. The next unread item is the same item I have read over and over.
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Nicholas Piasecki

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It happens to me most frequently with Engadget ... they'll go away for a day, and then pop up a day later ... I read oldest to newest in feed view
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crazysim

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I've noticed that this pretty much only happens on popular feeds.
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RobotGizmo

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This is happening to me too, on live and dev. I also read oldest to newest.
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Thebudac

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Haha, today I'm getting all the April fool's day posts again. At leas tthe situation isn't without some humour.
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Chris Hubbs

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This is happening to me again today, both on The Verge and on The Dish.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Ok, I'm slammed with feed fetching work, but I made a change that might mitigate the problem. Chris, can you confirm the read filter you're using? Newest/All? Oldest/unread?

Either way, stories read after right now should stay read. If not, I'll need to investigate one of your accounts to find out more information. Just so you know, I really need to find out if the story is being flipped from read to unread instantly, after a few hours, or after more than a day. And if it's specific only to a few feeds.
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tedder42

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whoa! mine are all marked as read now. I was able to go back to "oldest/unread" from "newest/unread"!
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tedder42

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hrm, Ars Technica and Boing Boing have both come up unread. Ars was right now (see timestamp, within 5 minutes of this). I wonder if it's happening after the feed is updated.
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tedder42

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if I go directly to the feed it shows as read. If I go to the folder or /everything it shows them as unread.
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Chris Hubbs

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I'm using /everything, Unread, Oldest First. It seems specific to high-traffic feeds. I've seen it on and off with The Dish, Verge, and Boing Boing.

I'll give it another whirl. Thanks, Samuel.
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Alex

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I haven't had the problem for at least a few days on my end. It seems to be working well for me at the moment. Previous problem subs were io9, xkcd, lifehacker.

https
Not using dev
oldest/unread
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Yup, I can confirm that this morning's fix should be the end of this bug. Now, there may be other bugs unrelated, but allow me to explain the cause and solution.

Turns out I was doing a cleanup for feeds 2% of the time they had new stories. So every 50 stories or so. Well, feeds would timeout, and the more popular a feed is, the more likely it will timeout (more work to do). The cleanup script was first blowing away unreads and then rebuilding them compactly. Boom, there's the bug.

The rebuild process would get killed halfway through a cleanup, due to the way the task servers work (there's a high level kill switch for tasks that take over 12 minutes, which should be more than enough time to fetch and process a feed), but because it deleted all unreads first, it didn't have a chance to rebuild half of them.

Solution was to change the cleanup script to not blow away reads at all but to compact them in place.
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Greg

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Sam, should it already be fixed, or does it take time to propagate?