Earlier this month Doug posted version 1.3 of RikReader a free WPF (.NET v3) application that hooks into the common feeds store (the same feed store IE7 uses). I’ve been playing with the earlier versions of RikReader but was disappointed as it didn’t offer much over the IE7 view. However the latest version is significantly better. Similar to the New York Times reader there is a newspaper mode and unlike IE7 the tree on the left indicates how many unread items each node has.
This said, here are some suggestions for improvements:
- I like the way that IE7 highlights feeds that are unread in bold. While I like the RikReader’s indication of the number of unread messages it is located at the end of the blog name. In the usual position the splitter bar tends to hide this on most of my feeds. Perhaps this number could go at the beginning of the feed instead of the end.
- I like the newspaper mode that RikReader supports, except the articles are missing the date?
- Navigating posts in newspaper mode leaves a little to be desired – using space to mark as read and move to the next article doesn’t reposition the article to the beginning of the page. This is useful if the article goes over the page.
- There needs to be an option (similar to IE7) that will automatically mark all items in a feed as read once the feed has been opened. This is one of the most useful features of IE7 IMHO – I typically scan a lot of feeds without reading every last article so I don’t bother marking them all, I just let IE7 mark the entire feed as read as I navigate down the tree.
The other thing I would love to see someone build (perhaps someone has and I don’t know about it) is a service that will keep multiple computers in sync. I have two machines that I read feeds on and I find it frustrating that the “read” status is not in-sync.