In a recent post, I wrote about the latest release of RSS Bandit, and a fix of its newspaper view. Then, I thought that it was "safe" to use it for reading all posts in all blogs under a category. But after some thinking, I’ve changed my mind. Let’s look at the available options, after having selected the category and waited for the newspaper view to show up.
- Read all items, and finally press Ctrl-Q to mark all items as read.
- Press Ctrl-Q to mark all items as read, and then read all items.
- Read one item at a time and mark each as read by pressing the "envelope" icon.
We’ll analyze them in order. The problems come only when the feeds in the category are updated, so if you know exactly when each and every feed is updated, and it’s OK for you to read while the feeds aren’t updated, there’s no problem for you. Congratulations!
Another essential piece of information in order to understand the problem is that the newspaper view doesn’t change when new items arrive in the selected category.
- If some feeds in the category are updated and new items are added before you’ve read all items in the newspaper view, those will be marked as read, too, when you press Ctrl-Q, so you’ll never get to see them. Unsafe!
- In this case, an update of the feeds might have started just before you press Ctrl-Q, and so some items (but fewer than in case 1) might have been marked as read although they aren’t in the newspaper view. Unsafe, but safer! And anyway, I never remember to click Ctrl-Q before I start reading, so I usually end up with option 1.
- This option does work and is safe, but involves too much clicking for my taste. I’m using the newspaper view for skimming through a large number of posts, and I wouldn’t call it "skimming" if I’d have to click lots of buttons.
Now, how can we resolve this? I’ve got only one good suggestion, actually, to make the newspaper view safe: When I press Ctrl-Q after having skimmed the newspaper view, I want only items that are in the view to be marked as read, and if new items have arrived during the time, they will still be marked as unread afterwards. In order to read them, I would need to refresh the newspaper view, or to click on them one at a time.
Better solutions, anyone?