Any plans for "Undo action" button for incorrectly mark all as read on a feed or folder?

Any plans for an “undo action” button for when you incorrectly mark as read on a feed or folder?

This would be awesome.

It would be cool, if it had a time delay of let’s say 5 seconds, if you failed to reach the button in time, then you would be stuck with your decision forever and ever. Perhaps this way the service wouldn’t slow down, and us clumsy people would have a chance to make amends for our lack of motor skills.


Hmm, that is an interesting idea. The implementation would be to simply not send the mark-read action to the server until the “undo period” has expired, which is around 5-10 seconds. I like that idea. I may build this, but are there others who also want it? I’m not sure how I would implement the notification that you can undo what is an extremely common action.

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You could have a small colored bar on the top of feed list or stories list that says undo for that time set. Another way could be adding a colored button next to the mark as read button that only appears for those 5-10 seconds.

Thanks for the reply.

That would indeed be a great idea!
GMail supports “Undo Send” (in Labs I think), you can look at that for more details. It simply says “Message sent. Undo” where the “Undo” is clickable. After 5 seconds, the “Undo” disappears and it says just “Message sent”.

Please do this. I just blew away 60 odd stories by accident that I was leaving unread till I had time to actually read them. 

I’m all for this as well :slight_smile:
Have had few few unlucky slip-ups with short-cuts causing a feed to be marked as read. Would be nice with a small grace period.

any updates on the implementation of an  ‘Undo’ feature? …  so many mark as read mistakes

Keep adding to this thread if you want this to happen.

Well okay, I’ll keep adding. I really would like this option.

Shall I keep adding all day, or is once enough? :slight_smile:

Yeah, this sounds like a good idea to me too. I’ve messed up my clicking more than once in the past.

Undo marking as read is tricky, now that I think about it. We can’t go the naive way of just holding off for 5-10 seconds, since if you reload/close it’ll either cancel the mark read action or I’ll have to build some way to ensure that the mark read action will still fire. And then there’s the issue of what happens while feeds are being marked as read, which can take a few seconds per 100 feeds. Users with 500+ feeds (there are maaaaany of you out there, including myself with 350 accumulated test subscriptions) would have up to 20 seconds where they are in this in-between state and loading a new feed isn’t yet marked as read.

So that leaves the fuller implementation, which is to mark everything as read and keep a log. But marking a feed as read involves a lot of cleanup work. Undo-ing all of that cleanup work is expensive to both build and run. There are a *lot* of mark read operations any given minute and they would all need to be stored in a log that could undo lots of changes, only for people to use it once in a blue moon.

If I see the demand, sure, I’d love to build something to pleasantly deal with a pretty bad edge case. But it’s too complex to build without that demand, unfortunately.

From your reply, I can understand that it is no small task to implement a full version of an ‘undo’ feature. I think it’s fair enough to wait for higher demand. However i don’t see this as an edge case, because as someone mentioned above, this is a pretty useful part of email services like Gmail. They have even gone as far as touting as a big feature for their mobile applications. The only RSS service that i know that has this feature is Feedly.

I think it’s a feature that people will use a lot if implemented. I think it’s one of those useful features that people don’t think much about, but use when needed. Not sure, if people will demand it per se, but i think it’ll make NewsBlur a more powerful news aggregation tool.

I’ll keep my eye on this thread. Hopefully people will chime in from time to time.


I added a new thread similar to this before seeing this thread, but I’ll comment here anyway. Another (potentially simpler) way to alleviate my frustration is to never mark more than one story as read without a confirmation. Every time I do so, it is by accident, and seeing everything marked read with no idea how that actually happened is deeply, deeply frustrating.

The way that Google reader seemed to be implemented was that there were two bits for a story to be marked read: marked read directly or marked read by mass action. The way you would undo was to mark all as read for a longer time period. Each mass mark as read would only manipulate the mass action bit, which could be reverted by a second mass action. To be more specific, if you clicked ‘mark all as read’ followed by ‘mark items older than a week as read’ that would produce the same final outcome as simply clicking ‘mark items older than a week as read’ in the first place.

Replicating that behavior would be non-trivial, but seems to avoid a lot of the edge cases you’re understandably concerned about.

Another option would be to have an (optional) confirmation dialog that asks if a folder should really be marked as read. I just marked all my developer feeds as “read” by accident. The issue was that I marked the previous folder as read and then it seemingly did not register as nothing happened. I clicked the button once more and in that instance the context flipped to my developed feeds :frowning:

Reihnold, there is a preference setting that you can change that adds a confirmation to marking folders as read.

Not sure if I’m doing it wrong, but I just checked that I have that preference enabled, and yet was able to mark-all read on a site and there was no confirmation. Similarly, no confirmation on marking whole folder as read.

 I, too, have suffered the erroneous mark-all-read click many times and welcome some sort of help.