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[Ext] Brief 1.1 - feed reading extension

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Ancestor
 
Posts: 252
Joined: May 7th, 2005, 12:51 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 10:13 am

Okay, here's what Ancestor and I have found:

1. I submitted the requested edited bookmarks.html file to him. For reasons unknown (and likely unknowable), all the entries in that file worked for Ancestor, but not for me.

2. I then did some experimenting and discovered that, were I to remove and replace the bookmarks.html file entries that would not show in Brief for me, these feeds then worked correctly.

(Now to figure out how to make the newly-entered feeds appear in alphabetic order in Brief; they are correct in the .html file, but in Brief they appear in the order in which I entered them, below the previously-working/not-removed entries.)

Thanks to John's help I finally managed to figure it out. It turns out that Brief wasn't showing some of the bookmarked feeds because they waren't Live Bookmarks. Instead, these were just feeds' addresses saved as ordinary bookmarks. They may be easy to confuse, so anyone is experiencing this, please make sure that your feeds are bookmarked as Live Bookmarks.

John Liebson wrote:Now that I have Brief working (that is, showing all my news feeds,) I have found a problem:

I use TabMixPlus. When I middle-click on an entry in Brief, the article opens in a new tab, as I expect. What I don't expect nor like is that Brief resets itself to the top of its feed page. That means that I then have to scroll down through Brief again to find where I was when I middle-clicked to load an article in a new tab. Brief ought not do that; it should stay where it was when I middle-click to load an article.

Or, as we all say, on a daily basis in Latin, in medias res, which, mistranslated, reads, "Kindly stay where you were...".

This happens when showing only unread entries, doesn't it? It's a known issue, unrelated to Tab Mix Plus, and I am planning to fix it.

alta88
 
Posts: 1020
Joined: January 28th, 2006, 3:08 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 10:35 am

John Liebson wrote:...in medias res...

with TMP, middle click opens a tab yet the Brief position remains w środku strony for me; certainly would be a bug not to.

a few suggestions:
1. enable drag and drop for links within Brief; it would be cool to drop a page into a Split Browser pane for a poor man's 3pane viewing, rather than the ergonomic of opening in a tab and thus leaving Brief.
2. folder tree enabled to close/open subfolders? one could then do serious organization of large numbers of feeds.
3. would you consider a 3pane view? so clicking on a Feed in folder view would show an email threadpane-like list (with things like author, date, etc) and all summaries in the current view; selecting a title would show just that item's summary etc. etc.
4. a method of interrupting a hanging update (as indicated by throbber)? also, due to this error, throbber continues to falsely 'throb'..
Code: Select all
Error: e is not defined
Source file: file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/xxxxx/Application%20Data/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/xxxxx.xxxxx/extensions/brief@mozdev.org/components/nsBriefUpdateService.js
Line: 272

5. image zoom? i have the Image Zoom extension, and right mouse/wheel scroll works fine on images elsewhere but not within Brief. and Engadget has those enormous images in the summary..

thanks!

John Liebson
 
Posts: 6562
Joined: July 29th, 2003, 1:09 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 10:43 am

Ancestor wrote:
John Liebson wrote:Now that I have Brief working (that is, showing all my news feeds,) I have found a problem:

I use TabMixPlus. When I middle-click on an entry in Brief, the article opens in a new tab, as I expect. What I don't expect nor like is that Brief resets itself to the top of its feed page. That means that I then have to scroll down through Brief again to find where I was when I middle-clicked to load an article in a new tab. Brief ought not do that; it should stay where it was when I middle-click to load an article.

Or, as we all say, on a daily basis in Latin, in medias res, which, mistranslated, reads, "Kindly stay where you were...".

This happens when showing only unread entries, doesn't it? It's a known issue, unrelated to Tab Mix Plus, and I am planning to fix it.

Yes, I just tested that for you: I told Brief to show all, not just unread entries. I scrolled down the page, middle-clicked one entry, and Brief stayed in medias res, which really means `in the middle of things', and that is what I'd expect Brief to always do. I await the fix, thanks.

John Liebson
 
Posts: 6562
Joined: July 29th, 2003, 1:09 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 10:45 am

alta88 wrote:
John Liebson wrote:...in medias res...

with TMP, middle click opens a tab yet the Brief position remains w środku strony for me; certainly would be a bug not to.

See my reply to Ancestor about this, please.

As for "w środku strony", do you want that on rye?....

Ancestor
 
Posts: 252
Joined: May 7th, 2005, 12:51 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 11:27 am

alta88 wrote:
John Liebson wrote:...in medias res...

with TMP, middle click opens a tab yet the Brief position remains w środku strony for me; certainly would be a bug not to.

Ha! A fellow Pole or a web translator? :)
a few suggestions:
1. enable drag and drop for links within Brief; it would be cool to drop a page into a Split Browser pane for a poor man's 3pane viewing, rather than the ergonomic of opening in a tab and thus leaving Brief.
2. folder tree enabled to close/open subfolders? one could then do serious organization of large numbers of feeds.
3. would you consider a 3pane view? so clicking on a Feed in folder view would show an email threadpane-like list (with things like author, date, etc) and all summaries in the current view; selecting a title would show just that item's summary etc. etc.

Honestly, 3pane view is out of scope of this extension. It is what all feed readers seem to be doing and one of the reasons I made Brief is because I didn't like it and I wanted something different. If I started adding things outside of my own vision in order to accommodate different user's preferences, Brief would become too bloated. I am going to add an option to collapse entries and show only titles - but within the current style of view, not email-like.

As for opening and closing subfolders, you can do it right now by double clicking them. They don't retain their state between sessions, though (yet).
4. a method of interrupting a hanging update (as indicated by throbber)? also, due to this error, throbber continues to falsely 'throb'..

Yup, also on my to-do list.
5. image zoom? i have the Image Zoom extension, and right mouse/wheel scroll works fine on images elsewhere but not within Brief. and Engadget has those enormous images in the summary..

It's unavoidable given the way Brief displays entries, Image Zoom would have to be slightly modified in order to cooperate.

John Liebson wrote:As for "w środku strony", do you want that on rye?....

It's in Polish. ;)

John Liebson
 
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Joined: July 29th, 2003, 1:09 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 12:21 pm

Ancestor wrote:
John Liebson wrote:As for "w środku strony", do you want that on rye?....

It's in Polish. ;)

I thought so, and figured perhaps he wanted whatever it might be on Polish rye bread....

alta88
 
Posts: 1020
Joined: January 28th, 2006, 3:08 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 12:21 pm

Ancestor wrote:Ha! A fellow Pole or a web translator? :)

; )
Honestly, 3pane view is out of scope of this extension.

understand completely. i could achieve a very similar effect with Split Brower anyway - just need dnd.. the collapsed titles will be great. plus, i can hack up things enough to customize if necessary.
As for opening and closing subfolders, you can do it right now by double clicking them. They don't retain their state between sessions, though (yet).
ah yes. twisty wastes space, but makes it obvious.
It's unavoidable given the way Brief displays entries, Image Zoom would have to be slightly modified in order to cooperate.

hmm. i'm finding this issue with other extensions that create #browser windows; other helper extensions don't consider that window or where focus is, a shame.

looking forward to the next..

John Liebson
 
Posts: 6562
Joined: July 29th, 2003, 1:09 pm

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 2:02 pm

Updating problem?

Three times today, while playing with Brief, I tried to update the feeds, and nothing happened. Each time, I then restarted Firefox, whereupon Brief updated the feeds. The third time I did this, I got 82 new feeds; I doubt that there were 82 new feeds posted on numerous sites just a few seconds after I had tried to update and got no results.

Is something wrong with the feed updating process?

sonickydon
 
Posts: 8
Joined: August 5th, 2006, 6:12 am

Post Posted March 6th, 2007, 2:28 pm

I'd like to suggest something as well:
Usualy the new feeds come in several pages, it would be nice if we had buttons to navigate to the first/last page as well instead of only one page at a time

andyed

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Joined: November 5th, 2002, 6:31 am
Location: Clemson, SC

Post Posted March 7th, 2007, 5:40 am

This may be created by my use of the Google Synch extension cross browsers -- are the RDF ID's for bookmark folders identical? I think they are... but fair warning.

On launch, I see the right feeds inside the sidebar but cannot view feeds -- it fails at the fetch. Here are the errors:


Error: Cc['@mozilla.org/alerts-service;1'] has no properties
Source File: file:///Users/andyed/Library/Application%20Support/Firefox/Profiles/####.default/extensions/brief@mozdev.org/components/nsBriefUpdateService.js
Line: 34


Error: uncaught exception: [Exception... "ComponentManager::CreateInstance returned failure code:" nsresult: "0x80570015 (NS_ERROR_XPC_CI_RETURNED_FAILURE)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://brief/content/feedview.js :: FeedView :: line 43" data: no]


Any reason you're not using the bugzilla for Brief at mozdev?

Ancestor
 
Posts: 252
Joined: May 7th, 2005, 12:51 pm

Post Posted March 7th, 2007, 8:00 am

andyed wrote:This may be created by my use of the Google Synch extension cross browsers -- are the RDF ID's for bookmark folders identical? I think they are... but fair warning.

On launch, I see the right feeds inside the sidebar but cannot view feeds -- it fails at the fetch. Here are the errors:

Error: Cc['@mozilla.org/alerts-service;1'] has no properties
Source File: file:///Users/andyed/Library/Application%20Support/Firefox/Profiles/####.default/extensions/brief@mozdev.org/components/nsBriefUpdateService.js
Line: 34


Error: uncaught exception: [Exception... "ComponentManager::CreateInstance returned failure code:" nsresult: "0x80570015 (NS_ERROR_XPC_CI_RETURNED_FAILURE)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://brief/content/feedview.js :: FeedView :: line 43" data: no]

Thanks, that's very helpful. What OS are you running?

It doesn't look like it's got anything to do with Google Synch, by the way.

Any reason you're not using the bugzilla for Brief at mozdev?

I don't see a need to do it. It may become useful when (if) Brief really takes off but right now I think this thread does the job.

John Liebson
 
Posts: 6562
Joined: July 29th, 2003, 1:09 pm

Post Posted March 7th, 2007, 10:28 am

More information about the updating process:

1. I opened Brief this morning, at least twelve hours after I last used it. Brief refused to update feeds either by itself or through the use of the "Check all feeds for updates" icon. It was not until I had restarted Firefox that Brief was willing to update my feeds.

2. I then tried the process using a Firefox profile for which Brief is the only extension installed. As I had just started Firefox, Brief allowed me to update the feeds. I then marked everything as having been read, waited perhaps fifteen minutes, and then started trying to manually check for updates. I tried two three times, with no success; again, it was only after I restarted FF that Brief checked for updated feeds.

I am somewhat certain that a few days ago, having closed Brief for several hours, that as soon as I opened it, I was shown updated feeds without my having tried the manual update or having restarted Firefox. However, I cannot be absolutely sure that that happened, as I made no particular note about this having occurred, it not seeming to be of much interest at the time. On the other hand, that I had no new feeds this morning after a twelve-hour hiatus, seems rather problematic.

javiervb
 
Posts: 2
Joined: March 7th, 2007, 1:32 pm

Post Posted March 7th, 2007, 1:38 pm

I have found a very annoying problem. I am suscribed to several news services that, usually, share some of the posts they made. Unfortunately, Brief seems to understand that, when one same post is received in several of these feeds, just one (the first one received) is valid and all the others did not appear.

Another problem I have found is an error "managing" all those posts that usually change the time of publication (but everything else remains the same). In these cases, Brief downloads all the changes, what is a real annoyance (for example, today have downloaded 25 items 4 times, after the initial one).

BTW. I agree with all of you that ask for collapsable headers (as a GreaseMonkey script does with Sage).

Ancestor
 
Posts: 252
Joined: May 7th, 2005, 12:51 pm

Post Posted March 7th, 2007, 3:43 pm

John Liebson wrote:More information about the updating process:

1. I opened Brief this morning, at least twelve hours after I last used it. Brief refused to update feeds either by itself or through the use of the "Check all feeds for updates" icon. It was not until I had restarted Firefox that Brief was willing to update my feeds.

Was does "not willing" mean? Did it run through the feeds and found no updates or didn't the progress bar show up at all? In such cases you should always take a look if there are any related errors in the Error Console, otherwise I don't have enough data to diagnose the cause of the problem.

It seems quite unlikely to me that it's Brief's fault and I am inclined to say that it must indeed be a coincidence.

I am somewhat certain that a few days ago, having closed Brief for several hours, that as soon as I opened it, I was shown updated feeds without my having tried the manual update or having restarted Firefox. However, I cannot be absolutely sure that that happened, as I made no particular note about this having occurred, it not seeming to be of much interest at the time.

Well, by default Brief periodically checks for updates in the background. Are you sure you have this turned off?

javiervb wrote:I have found a very annoying problem. I am suscribed to several news services that, usually, share some of the posts they made. Unfortunately, Brief seems to understand that, when one same post is received in several of these feeds, just one (the first one received) is valid and all the others did not appear.

Indeed, that's the case. Why do you think it would be better the other way? Is it not good to be notified only once when the posts are exactly the same?

Another problem I have found is an error "managing" all those posts that usually change the time of publication (but everything else remains the same). In these cases, Brief downloads all the changes, what is a real annoyance (for example, today have downloaded 25 items 4 times, after the initial one).

I know about this issue and I thought about this a lot. This is how things go - you have to have some sort of a unique identifier of an entry. There are two alternatives: you can either use the IDs provided by the feed or make your own ones by computing a hash from each entry's content. In an ideal world Brief would use the former but in reality not all feeds provide IDs and some provide IDs which are not unique. This means that potentially many of the entries in these feeds would be omitted. On the other hand, hashing is sensitive to even the smallest changes in the feeds content which, like you've seen yourself, may lead to duplication of entries. It rarely happens in my experience, unless a certain provider has a nasty habit of modifying the entries over and over again.

It's tough trade-off but in the end I decided that duplication is less harmful and annoying than missing entries out.

javiervb
 
Posts: 2
Joined: March 7th, 2007, 1:32 pm

Post Posted March 7th, 2007, 5:24 pm

First of all, thanks for your promptly reply.

Ancestor wrote:
javiervb wrote:... when one same post is received in several ... feeds, just one (the first one received) is valid and all the others did not appear.

Indeed, that's the case. Why do you think it would be better the other way? Is it not good to be notified only once when the posts are exactly the same?

Not sure about any other, but in my case, my computer (and the Firefox profile) is shared and the different feeds are used by different people. In this case, when some one of us retrieve his/her feeds, blocks the other to retrieve these shared posts.

In fact, the problem is more important, because they are not really different feeds, but feeds provided by another person in my company that uses Google Reader. This person reads more than 300 feeds and have created different Google Reader feeds using "tags" (one for marketing, one for finance, one for human resources, and so on). But one post can receive multiple tags and, therefore, forms part of different derivative Google Reader XML feeds.

Ancestor wrote:
javiervb wrote:... error "managing" ... posts that usually change the time of publication

I know about this issue and I thought about this a lot ...

It seems a very complex problem. Again in my case, I cannot guess a reason Google Reader may change the date/time of the post selected previously. At first, the only time that should appear should be the original one of the original post (it seems this is the date/time used) or the moment the post is selected and "labeled". Sadly, I cannot be of help here, because, as you said in your reply, it is a really complex decision to be taken. Anyway, Sage, NewsFox and WizzRSS seems to be able to handle this problem.

And, now, another question: How am I able to print a list of items (when I try to print or print preview the list of items I get an error message).

Thanks in advance, again.

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