Make work better with small screens.

Hey there.

I use Newsblur with a fairly small screen, I believe there could be some changes made to make Newsblur look cleaner and less cramped on a small screen.

  1. in the “saved stories” view, there should be an option to just show favicons of sites instead of favicons + name. That way the headline of the feed item doesn’t need to cover several lines, resulting in a cleaner look and more items on the screen at any given time.

  2. Add the possibility to minimize the left pane. There should be a way to make the left pane (the one with the folders and feeds) slide to the left to make way for the other 2 panes. This would result in more space for the main content. Obviously there needs to be an easy way to restore the left pane, such as a little plus sign on the left side or similar.

  3. There seems to be an issue with text not going all the way to the right of the screen for some reason. See screenshot here:

Thanks for your hard work.

  1. You don’t always have icons, so it wouldn’t be as helpful. That view was designed in top and bottom positioning, so the left suffers a bit. I may consider to have the left-positioning to be icon only. Anybody else agree with that idea?

  2. You can use ‘shift+u’ to hide the left pane.

  3. Not an issue, it’s where your mouse sits when you scroll. It’s a purposeful design decision, as well as a margin for when the screen is too wide.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Thanks for the reply.

  1. Fair point, but please consider that on a widescreen form factor vertical space is more valuable than horizontal space. Most feeds contain a lot of text and text is usually longer than it is wide.

  2. Thanks, I think it would be great if these arrows that make it possible to show the pane again would also be there when the pane is not hidden. That would make the option discoverable to other users.

  3. Well, I’ll accept that.

  1. I’ll stub it out today.
  2. I used to show it, but took it out in the latest design revision last week. Next to nobody used it, and the keyboard shortcut was there for those who do use it. You can also double-click on the pane sizer bar.
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For #2, you can hit Shift-U to hide the folder pane. Shift-U again re-opens, but a little tag also pops out when it’s closed so you can click to reopen.

I definitely agree about #3. It’d be nice if the text could fill the available space

I also think #3 is a non-issue. The text does not need to fill all the available horizontal space because then it would be very hard to read and follow. This is the reason books don’t have pages too wide or newspapers have columns instead of displaying the stories full way on the page. For humans it’s very hard to follow text that spans a long way on the horizontal.

I’ll drop in my support for #2 and especially #3. I actually fear for when I want to read my news but all I have is my little 1024x600 netbook.

  1. could there be a graphical widget to hide this? I always forget the keyboard shotcut. (there is a widget to un-hide it, thankfully)

  2. Even after a shift-u, that little “margin” still takes up a good 20-30% of the reading pane and only houses controls already in the context menu for each story

Thanks for implementing the favicon thing!
There is one issue I just noticed, when I select “Saved Stories”, on top of the middle pane it doesn’t say “Saved Stories”, but whatever was selected last, for example if I was reading the Ars Technica feed before, it would say “Ars Technica”, if I read a certain folder, it would be the folder name, etc.

How about:
If the display area of the feed content is < (1366px? 1280px?), don’t pad it. Otherwise, pad it.

Anything would be an improvement. I realized yesterday the right hand buffer is the same width as the save/share widget at the bottom of each article. No matter how small the reading pane is (really, go try it!), that vertical section is always taken up by the widget. Since I have the river on the left, my reading pane is already narrow enough without that extra space I can never use.

Still pushing for this, myself. Issue #3 is really a pain on small screens. While a few pixels might not seem like much at first, it can actually make the difference between usable and painful in some circumstances:

This is what NB looks like since the padding was added (the orange area) when I read on my netbook. I now have to do a lot of shift-U-ing to really see anything. Note that this was actualy taken *after* I shrank the two left panes a bit. Normally, I’d have them a bit wider so things look better on my other computer.


This is a thing of beauty. Thanks!

Ooh, an added bonus: with the buttons on the bottom, the Share Comment box is totally readable now!

^ yeah, works much better on the bottom

This change is just what I was looking for, except it’d be great if you could increase the 700 to 720. I use a 1280x720 screen in portrait orientation, and a 720px cutoff for narrow mode would be perfect. By the way, thanks for making a flexible app that works well in low-res; it’s sadly uncommon.

Check I made an even better narrow view toolbar that collapses well.

Yeah, I’m using the dev (which is great by the way), and my above comment stands. Everything’s great if I size my window to almost full screen width (which is 720px), but if I simply maximize, a third of the screen is wasted just for those three buttons. If you could just change 700 to 720 on line 189 of reader.js, you’d make my day.…

Submit a pull request and I’ll accept it.

Glorious! Thanks for accepting the patch; it looks great at 720x1280 now. You and NewsBlur are what make the Internet great. (Happy premium subscriber)