FeedDemon keyboard experience

In this post a few weeks ago I described how I liked the FeedDemon keyboard reading experience, however there are a few things I would like to see improved, which I realise are very picky!

  1. The default key definitions seem too difficult for me,  I want to be able to do everything with single key presses and I need them to be memorable.  For example N for next unread item, P for previous item, L for open Link in new external window.  This is a low priority as they are easy to redefine, however for others it would be easier to adopt the keyboard reading style if the defaults were easier.
  2. The keyboard dialog (Ctrl-K), has a bug,  if you try to redefine a key that has a modifier for example change a function that is already define as CTRL-L to P,  you first need to remove the key assignment (set it to blank) then close the dialog and then go and define the new key.  If you don’t do this and just remove CTRL-L then when you try to define P what actually gets defined is CTRL-P.
  3. The folder tree highlight is too faint, if I click on the tree the selected folder is really clear but once I have focus on the feed items the tree highlight is really faint, this causes a problem because one you drive FeedDemon using the keyboard you switch from folder to folder without ever clicking on the tree.  FeedDemon does keep the tree in sync with the feed that you are reading, it’s just too faint to see.  This bugs me because while I am reading feed items I like to have the extra context of the feed that the item belongs to.
  4. The unread count doesn’t change, as I read items I like to see the unread count change – I just like to know where I am 🙂 Update: I just realised that this was because I was not marking posts read (how embarrassing!).
  5. The focus needs to switch back to feed items, if I press L to open a link in a new window, it works fine – a new tab opens up in my minimized Maxthon browser window.  However focus does not return to the FeedDemon item, I have to click with the mouse to do that.  Switching from the keyboard to the mouse is slow and complex.
  6. Some consistent way to go back, while I am reading I often get ahead of myself and want to go back to a previous feed item.  If I define P to be “back” this takes me to the previous item I have viewed, even if it’s now marked as read – which is great but the folder tree is not synchronised to the item I am now reading.  If I define P to be previous unread news item – then the folder tree is in sync, but I need to leave items I read un-read for this to work.  What I want is for each item I read to be marked read, and for Back to go back to the previous items I have just read (but not to the previous unread item in the folder) and when I go back I want the folder tree to keep in sync so that I know where I am. 

    My ideal experience would be the behaviour of “previous unread news item” but instead of unread items it would work its way back through the history of items that I had just read.

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Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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