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Google Reader Released  (View post)

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

Friday, October 7, 2005
11 years ago

I dont think they really did expect it to be hammered as hard as it did. It started out *really* slow for me, including a few 502 errors, but it has sped up considerably in the past ten minutes or so

Anders [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Ooh, I'll have to try the Google Reader. I was using a different freeware one before, but it was buggy, so I'll give this one a looksie.

Anders Bruce
www.andersbruce.com

herr_theoretiker [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

The Google Reader is pretty interesting, at first glance. It even imported by Bloglines OPML without choking (and it automatically assigned tags based on my Bloglines folders).

The only *MAJOR* bug I can see so far is that it will not count an item until the item is "moved away from," ala Outlook's ability to mark as read when you change the view to another email. The problem with this is that, when there is only one item in the current view, there is nothing to move *to*, so it is interminably unread until you can see it onscreen with something else at the same time.

Also, I'm not sure how Google is keeping the RSS info. Are they centrally caching it, like Bloglines, or are they just accessing the feed information every time you call it up? If the former, I'm a little leery of putting personalized feeds into it (Library ELF, My Comic Alert!, Odeo) without some sort of way to mark the feed private so nobody else will be able to view it via a random search.

Other than those two points, I think it's pretty darned nifty. I won't give up Bloglines just yet, but it looks like Google reader will easily replace it if I end up liking the interface.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I would suppose Google is caching the feeds at least for 1 hour, or else they'd get banned by Slashdot and other RSS-enabled sites...

herr_theoretiker [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Yeah, I can tell that some sort of caching is going on. I tried adding a show to my Odeo queue after the initial feed import, and it hasn't come up yet in the Reader. Therefore, it must be waiting for some interval before polling the feed again.

It's possible that it's just got a predefined interval which it will wait before polling a feed again, without necessarily caching all of the information in a centrally-available location. I don't mind so much if the cache is individual to my account (like Gmail's unread emails, for instance), I'm just wondering if my personalized feeds will be accessible via a general search.

Also, using the TextZoom extension in Firefox kind of borks the display... it's still readable, but the rounded-corner boxes don't scale as well as Gmail when the text inside gets resized.

Dan Neal [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I think it's great and very easy to use. You don't even have to really understand about RSS to use it. This should help bring more users into using feeds.

As already stated the only major bug i can see...

...." so far is that it will not count an item until the item is "moved away from," ala Outlook’s ability to mark as read when you change the view to another email. The problem with this is that, when there is only one item in the current view, there is nothing to move *to*, so it is interminably unread until you can see it onscreen with something else at the same time."

I have no doubt that Google will not allow a personalised feed to be accessible via a general search. Google are hotter on their privacy concerns than to allow this to happen.

I like this product, and I think there can be many more features and better integration with other google products. (feeds on sidebar, personalised homepage, blogger, blog search, gmail, news, groups, etc..)

Dan Neal
dpneal.blogspot.com

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

As for text-sizing, as soon as I hit Ctrl/+ in Firefox, the lens feature to focus on items was out of scale and focussed on the wrong items. Basically, this means I have to use whatever size Google Reader prefers showing, instead of my own font-size preference. Oh well, minor annoyance. Overall, I like the tool.

herr_theoretiker [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Using TextZoom, I can view the interface at 123% just fine, it's just that some of the text is wrapped weirdly. I suppose you can view it at whatever size the browser sees it by default, but you can't move it from there or the interface breaks.

My biggest wish now is that Google will allow me to see my unread items *oldest first*. I hate reading blogs backwards, because inevitably somebody will refer to something in an earlier post that I may not have read yet. This is part of the reason I was using Bloglines (other than the all-in-one-UI convenience): I could actually read things in their logical chronological order rather than the bass-ackwards style everybody's homepage is in these days.

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Some stuff i noticed:
disabling stylesheets shows an extra link at the top for "other people's lists"
two unlisted keyboard shortcuts: o and v. o views entries from the source of the currently selected one only, v opens the entry in the original webpage, eqivalent to clicking "show original item"

Cow [PersonRank 2]

11 years ago #

Anyone notice the cool gradient at the top of the page?:) I don't think I've seen this in any Google products so far.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Cow, now that you mention it, I can see it... but I didn't notice it.

Caleb, can you make a screenshot of that "other people's lists"? I disabled stylesheets but can't see it...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here's the screenshot, thanks:


blogoscoped.com/files/google-r ...

Goat [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

In fact I found that with firefox if you increased text size AND THEN REFRESHED it was perfectly useable.

orli [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

hey you all.
I read here for long time but never write any thing.
great blog!!!

philipp lenssen:
i see the screenshot but cant find that option in my googleReader.
can you be more specific about it?

sorry for my english.

nice to finally write here.

orli.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Welcome Orli. The screenshot has been sent to me, I don't see the "other people's lists" link myself...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Welcome Orli. The screenshot has been sent to me, I don't see the "other people's lists" link myself...

Goat, great tip, thanks!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Without giving any specific reasons, Dave Winer of Scripting.com criticizes the Google Reader for being a step backwards:

"I tried the Google news reader again, this morning, after it had loaded all my feeds (it seems to take quite a few hours to do that).This is the second blog-related product they've come out with recently that appears not to have been touched by human beings before it was introduced to the world (the other was the ridiculous blog search). I think they need to start using their own stuff before releasing it. And maybe look at the competition for ideas. When you're first into a market there's an excuse for being so wrong. But the first of this kind of software shipped six years ago. To give you a comparison, Visicalc shipped in 1979. By 1985 we had been through two generations of spreadsheets with Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel. Google's reader is a huge step backward from what was available in 1999. The arrogance is catching up with them."
archive.scripting.com/2005/10/ ...

Dave then goes on to describe what he'd tell Eric Schmidt in a hot tub...

orli [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Thank's philipp.
maybe it's Photoshop work? ;)

keep up the good work!

some tips for maxthon??

all the way from israel, love this blog, i'll stay.
:)

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Dave is just sore because Google has all the Web 2.0 mojo =)

In other news, I want to get rid of Gmail. Why can't I subscribe to my Gmail feed via the Google Reader? I know some Googlers will read this, so make sure it gets passed along =)

mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom

Brad [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

You should be able to subscribe to your Gmail feed if you format it like this:

https :// USERNAME:PASSWORD @gmail.google.com/gmail/feed/atom

However, if Google caches the feed information in such a way that the feed URL or feed items are visible to others at some point (as may be possible via the "browse through other people's reading lists," referenced above), it may not be a good idea to put such a feed into Google's database.

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

That sounds like a Bad idea. You have to be logged into your Google account in order to use the reader, thus it should authenticate you automagically.

Aaron [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Anyone else notice that Google News (news.google.com) now has RSS feeds. I have been watching for these and just noticed them now that they released Google Reader.

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Phillip, all i did is "disable > disable styles > all styles" in the web developer toolbar. you get it down to a bare bones unordered list and its got that link. no idea how that screenshot had it..

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I don't know what it is about Google's reader that makes me want to subscribe to and tag every single feed I can find =)

Juan [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

which browser do you need? It does not work in opera 8.02 and IE5

Good that it has import export from OPML. I use Yahoo but it does not have OPML compatibility

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Juan, this is the list of supported browsers according to Google:

"# IE 6 (download: Windows)
# Firefox 1.0+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
# Safari 1.3+ (download: Mac)
# Netscape 7.2+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
# Mozilla 1.7+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)"

Juan [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

it´s in the FAQs
as it does not mention Opera I thought it could work

IE 6 (download: Windows)
Firefox 1.0+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
Safari 1.3+ (download: Mac)
Netscape 7.2+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
Mozilla 1.7+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I created a bookmarklet for displaying the "show other people's lists" link (assuming Philipp's form doesn't chop it out):

javascript:function GeasterEgg(){document.
getElementById("contacts-
drawer").className="";document.
getElementById("contacts-
drawer-contents").className="box drawer-contents"}; GeasterEgg();

[Had to chop it. -Ed.]

Note that there isn't any real functionality there. It just drops down and shows a message. Only tried it in FF

Brad [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

After having played with Google Reader a bit now, I think I can safely conclude that it's a bust. It does have a novel idea with the AJAX interface, but in terms if features it falls short of already-established Web feed-readers like Bloglines (which, despite its lack of updates recently, is still my favorite).

Basically, I've found that GReader just doesn't have enough options (or that it's too hard to access the options). There is no option to view the items in their proper chronological order, and to view items by tag you have to first access the "Your Subscriptions" page. Bloglines's interface is already set up to view items from one folder at a time if you so desire.

Also, it's not very good at determining which items are new when it looks at a feed. Google reader seems to think everything's new in my local newspaper's RSS feed ever time it polls it, so I saw the same articles 5 or 6 times. In general I think it's a decent idea, but poorly executed and without enough configurability.

But then again, gmail kinda started like that. So I'll probably be going back to check out the Google Reader every now and again to see if it gets any better. For now, though, I don't think it's really read for prime time.

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

greader is a "river of news" style aggregator right now: reallysimplesyndication.com/ri ...
it may change this in the future, or it may stick around like labels and conversation view in gmail. who knows. labels and conversation view were more inherently helpful and logical than a river of news aggreagator. i personally like the "river of news" style, but thats because previously i used rssfwd which makes it prettymuch the same idea. except w/o the relevance sorting and my compulsive desire to read *all* my email.

Yoah [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

The Unsubscribe function doesn't work, am I right?

Mihai Parparita [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I'm a Google Reader engineer, and I've been reading this feedback with great interest.

Brad, you mention that your newspaper's RSS feed is showing as having all new items every time Reader sees it. Could I have its URL so I can investigate?

Yoah, what exactly do you mean by unsubscribe "doesn't work." Did you expect older entries to dissapear from your reading list when you unsubscribed? We made the decision not to do that, with the analogy that no magazine takes away your back issues when you unsubscribe.

Jamie [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

I'm pretty excited about it. I never found a desktop aggregator that I liked. The nice thing about Google apps is the speed – akamai pumps out the data as fast as machines on my lan. I could see using this regularly especially for keeping up with low traffic feeds.

The subscription interface is a little bit frustrating. After subscribing to a feed it feels like I have to go back home, and when I get there the subscribe interface is collapsed. Opening it makes it load feed data, so that's a little bit awkward.

I was also surprised that it didn't pull in blogspot feeds automatically, ie "blah.blogspot.com" returns an error. I had to toss in the /atom.xml. Along those lines I checked a few friends blogspot's and they didn't have the atom link. Blogspot has that toolbar at the top so maybe an 'add to reader' link could wind up there at some point.

It would also be really swell to be able to drop a tag into the Google personalized home page. It seems like Google at this point has so many RSS providers and consumers (news, personalized home, gmail, groups, etc) and none of them are interconnected, so any simplification there would be awesome.

In fact, it all kind of begs to be lego'd together, doesn't it? News, web, groups, feeds, gmail, blogger... Can't wait to see where it all ends up

Jamie [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

My friend's entire blogger Atom feed just showed up as new... The items have dates from August too. odd

Caleb E [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here's a feature request. i see things in the feeds all the time and if its something i think i might want to see again, i usually star it. but not always. thus i'd like a search engine for just my feeds. im sure something like that is in the works.

Nicholas [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

First, I love gReader. It's the first aggregator I've been able to use religiously.

I do have one small complaint. If I read a feed in the All view or in one of the Tag views, it remains unread in other tags that it show up in. I always wish that if I read it under the Google label it's marked as read when I go back to the All label.

or [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The Share feature is now live.

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