What are your thoughts on the front-end rewrite that's now on dev.newsblur.com?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
Hey NewsBlurites, I just pushed an enormous rewrite of the front-end out to dev.newsblur.com. If you're not already on dev, you're missing out on the future of NewsBlur: shared stories and blurblogs.

For those of you on dev, please let me know if anything seems faster, slower, broken, or wonky. I'm going to be taking all of your input and working on it all week. The hope is that within a week I'll be able to launch social and have it hit production. I'm mulling over a redesign of the dashboard to coincide with the relaunch of NewsBlur.

I'll also be hitting up a few tech blogs and letting them know. If you have any contacts at news orgs, email me: samuel@newsblur.com. I'm looking to launch soon.

Now, give me all the feedback you can!
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Posted 7 years ago

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mgeraci

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So far, in about 30 minutes using it, I haven't noticed any differences. So great job! Backbone ftw.

Actually, I lied: on iPad, the "fetching stories" progress bar is in the right place now - It used to be off by ~50px.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Ohh, iPad user, huh? You'll love what's happening here: https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlu.... Pretty soon I'll add a "via iPad" to comments and replies, and then get ready to be jealous since there are only 2 iPads that have the NewsBlur iPad app. If you have Xcode, you can reasonably easily make your iPad the third one with the app.
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mgeraci

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Ohhh, exciting. I'm about to head out of town, but maybe I'll ping you next weekend for a little more info about creating the app package with xcode. Can't wait to check it out!
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cr4zyd

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Previously when scrolling through the Everything button, articles would show up slowly and most of the time I would just have to click it again to load new articles as it would just give up loading them sometimes.

Now its all buttery smooth and perfect! I couldn't be happier!
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Adrian Fita

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The animation when I press "n" to go to the next unread story in feed view makes me dizzy. Please allow for it to be disabled.

Other that that it feels faster and smoother indeed. Good job!
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Of course you can disable it. Manage > Preferences > Animations.
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Adrian Fita

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Well, it doesn't seem to work. I checked now and indeed, the Animations setting was set to "Jump immediately". I tried to reset the setting by setting it to "Show all" -> Save and then back to "Jump immediately", but it didn't made any difference. (Using Firefox 10.0.2).
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Adrian Fita

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The "Collapse folder" button shows "+" when I open dev.newsblur.com and I have the folder already opened/expanded (it should display a "-"). And when the folder is collapsed, the tooltip should say something like "Expand folder" (now it says "Collapse folder" eitherway).
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John Saccoccio

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I've found performance to be greatly improved. The feeds definitely load posts faster and it gives the system a much more responsive feel, so great job there.

I'm not sure if this is a result of posts loading faster, but when I am scrolling downward through a list of posts, my scroll spot jumps all over the place and my eyes lose the point that I was reading. I think it would classify into your wonky category. That was probably a horrible description of what I am experiencing, but I tried. This isn't a huge complaint, but if the scrolling was smoother and didn't jump as newer posts get loaded, it would make the system that much better to use.
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stanley.goldman

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So far its awesome... Although I'm having a problem removing a feed.... It's gone, until I reload.
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karen

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Seems pretty darn speedy so far! I'm glad you fixed the jumping feed listing, too - that adds about a jillion points of positive UX for me.

Looks like the Single-story Feed View option isn't working, though. No matter what it's set at, it shows all stories in the reading pane.
Like Adrian, I'm getting the same with the animation preference. It doesn't matter what it's set to, the animations want to happen. Badly.
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karen

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Found another issue, using Chrome and Firefox.

When an article is selected, resizing the window (and therefore the reading pane) wipes out the reading pane until the view is refreshed (clicking on another feed, going to the dashboard, F5ing).

Doesn't happen when I go to the feed and select nothing and then resize.

Same thing happens in IE with Chrome frame. If I open an "InPrivate" window to test without Chrome Frame, it doesn't happen, but there are a whole host of other issues that then occur.
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rdominick

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When I scroll down with the mousewheel at the top of a story, the story above it will get marked as read. (Yes, I read in reverse order.) This means I can't use 'm' to move to the next unread story. This happens in both Firefox 13.0 and Chrome 19.0.1084.6.
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rdominick

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It turns out that this bug was because I had the "dorito" locked too high in the article window. If I move it down some, then I can scroll without marking the story above the current one as read. I mean, it still shouldn't do it, but I've got a work-around.
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rdominick

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This is somewhat compounded by the fact that Newsblur doesn't remember where you have the dorito locked -- so I have to unlock, move it and re-lock it each time I load the site.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Woah, that's a bug. Will be fixed later today.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Fixed the following issues:
- Animation preferences
- Mark story as read delay
- Showing a single story at a time in the Feed view
- Inadvertently selecting the wrong story (due to the mouse cursor being on top of another story while using the keyboard)

See the commit here: https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlu...
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Adrian Fita

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Indeed, the animations issue is resolved.

Here's what's left from my point of view:
- the plus sign on the folder
- the unread items in the folder view don't correspond to the unread items in the story/feed view
- the list of stories gets behind the actual story displayed on folder view and doesn't get updated with the story being viewed
- the performance when viewing folders with hundreds of stories hasn't improved on Firefox
- I still have to check if I can view the duplicates in a folder view (like described on Can't advance when having two consecutive exactly the same stories
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mruminski

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Thanks Samuel, new version works much faster on my old pc (2,6ghz and 480mb ram). I use Cranchbang + Iceweasel 12.
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romkyns

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Stuck on the "Stay tuned..." screen. Using Chrome.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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What screen is that?
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romkyns

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On a closer look, this is just a screen telling me that my invite request got sent, I think. Never mind... thought it was the log in screen for some reason. The rotating logo makes it look like I'm supposed to wait :)
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mruminski

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I found issue:
removed site stay on the list after relolad.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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This has been fixed. Thanks for letting me know. :-)
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ojiikun

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A few thoughts:

1) in feed view, once my configured 1s mark-as-read interval passes, the title of the story in the rightmost viewport goes from bold to non-bold (like in the title list). This is actually kinda distracting. The little ghostly counter digit above the title was more than sufficient.

2) Would love a way to turn off the three icons at the lower-right of every story in feed view. These functions are already perfectly accessible via right-click menus.

3) The "'s blurblog" entry in the leftmost site list has been added up top near saved stories, etc. On a screen with very limited vertical space (read: my netbook), this takes up precious pixels. I personally wouldn't mind if it took a click back to the dashboard or from the menu to get to these.

4) I have my setting for "When opening a site" set to "Open the oldest unread story". It has several times jumped to the 2nd-oldest unread story.

Otherwise, lookin' good. Don't notice many differences and things still seem snappy. More as I find stuff . . .
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ojiikun

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Update on 4) - it's not always the 2nd-oldest. It's sometimes the 3rd, 4th, etc. oldest. Which is to say, one that is old, but not oldest.
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1+2) Those design decision may change in the future, but I'm pretty satisfied with them for the time being.

3) I'll soon be adding a way to collapse blurblogs into a single Friends folder, which will allow you to read all shared stories at once. That'll give you your space back. Gotta get built first.

4) That's a counting bug and I'm always trying to get to the bottom of it. It should always get better over time as I increase server capacity.
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mgeraci

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As far as 3 goes, I'd love to see an option to have the friends folder act like any other folder on the site (i.e., integrated into the everything feed). This would allow the same functionality that you're going for -- reading through shares from all of your friends -- by clicking on the folder, but would reduce the clicking and navigation needed to get to the friends feed in the first place.
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ojiikun

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5) Double clicking on a story title no longer temporarily shows the story view just for that one story. (the thing where you got a little pair of crossed green arrows overlaid on the FEED|STORY options)

6) I LOVE that when you read the last story in a feed, the feed doesn't disappear from the leftmost feed list until you focus on a different feed. (If you're configured to hid feeds with no stories, of course) I hope this sticks.
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5) Fixed for both story titles and sites. Thanks for noticing this! Here's the commit: https://github.com/samuelclay/NewsBlu...

6) You bet, this was a user request that I've taken to.
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asorta

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Now I can see where you going with NB and I LOVE it. Can't wait to come home and try it on my iPad. Noticed many goodies, like I have now my own BlurBlog (How to delete a story?). Social Network is taking shape, already have 2 friends, etc. Keep up good work.
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mgeraci

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If you find the story that you shared and want to delete in your blurblog, the "share" button on the bottom-right of the story should say "unshare."
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satmandu

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I just realized that selecting fb & twitter on the share dialog don't work if you're not logged into fb & twitter in the same browser that you're using to access https://dev.newsblur.com. Is this expected behavior? Is there a way to check to see if fb & twitter are authenticated before enabling those buttons (like fsq does in its mobile app?) Or does this need extensive oauth-fu?
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Actually they don't work because I disabled them. I'm drastically changing those buttons. You'll know it when they're working. They will explicitly say "Posting to Twitter: Message". I should probably re-hide them until then.
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satmandu

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Sweet. Thanks for the update.